Displaying items by tag: Amazon
Amazon is starting a new service. For the last year, the company has been trying to convince consumers that letting the company’s delivery people in their homes via a special service was a good idea. Now Amazon is taking that one step further with the launch of a program to deliver packages to customers’ cars. Like the home deliveries, and broadly under the same program, named Amazon Key, Amazon’s delivery people will deliver packages to cars parked in publicly available areas. The car will be unlocked by an OnStar (or similar) service and relocked after the delivery is completed.
FINSUM: We think this could be a very convenient feature for many people and may be an enticement to get more consumers to sign up.
The retail sector has been in tumult for years, but the struggles have intensified over the last few years as ecommerce has accelerated and physical stores are under pressure. The big winner so far has been Amazon, but lately, Walmart has been pushing back with a greatly improved and expanded ecommerce offering. Now, Walmart may be able to grab more market share in the US retail market by undercutting other retailers on price. Walmart has been lowering prices and is now 3-5% below other retailers like Dollar General, Kroger, and Big Lots for the same items. Many of the items are so-called “traffic-driving”.
FINSUM: We can comment on this from personal experience. It is remarkable, especially in rural America, how much minor price differences can entice consumers to drive 10+ extra miles to the store which is perceived as cheaper. We think these price differences will be material.
The Wall Street Journal says that the source of Donald Trump’s push to regulate Amazon has nothing to do with tech industry issues or the Post Office. They say it is personal. In particular, the WSJ contends that Trump’s anger is personally directed toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, a publication with which there is mutual ire with Trump. The president dislikes the Post’s coverage of him, so he attacking Amazon as a proxy, says the WSJ.
FINSUM: If you are in investor in Amazon, then this is likely good news, as Trump’s ire might just be hot air that doesn’t materialize into any new rules.
Amazon has been in President Trump’s crosshairs since the election, but the president has recently upped his rhetoric about bringing regulation to the company and the tech industry. The push has spooked stock markets. However, news is out that Amazon is making a push of its own. The retailer is building a huge army of lobbyists in Washington to combat the rising risk of regulation. Since Trump’s election, the company has doubled its staff of in-house lobbyists to 28, giving it more than double Google’s manpower.
FINSUM: The rumors coming out of the White House—that this is all just rhetoric—seems encouraging (if you are an investor). However, Amazon seems to be taking the risk seriously, which it should.
The market is increasingly worried about a big regulatory push against the tech industry. Amazon, along with Facebook, are dead center in the bullseye of the push. However, Bloomberg tells investors not to be too worried. The reason why is that according to five sources inside the White House, there are no active discussions or planning about any regulation that would impact the ecommerce retailer. Even in the case of the Post Office, which Trump has focused on, rates are set by a commission, and the organization is legally barred from charging any shipper less than its cost of delivery, meaning Amazon can’t be underpaying.
FINSUM: This is quite relieving if you are an Amazon investor. However, beyond any immediate threats, we do agree that the government is going to have to reconsider anti-trust regulation in light of how data is being used an abused by large tech companies.