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Period: April 15, 2014 to June 1, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

Unilever Executives Study Amazon's Proposed Drone Delivery Service

Unilever executives in India witnessed a demonstration by online retailer Amazon of its proposed delivery service using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. During the videoconference, Amazon executives demonstrated the UAV-delivery service first described by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his letter outlining the company’s Prime Air delivery service. According to a Bangalore-based Unilever executive, his company has no immediate plans to adopt the drone delivery concept proposed by Amazon.

"HUL executives check Amazon's drone delivery mode", Economic Times, May 20, 2014

Amazon Invests Further In Warehouses, Distribution Centers

Amazon is expanding its network of warehouses and distribution centers in the United States to strengthen its reign as the country’s leader in online retail. Spending $13.9 billion on order-fulfillment infrastructure, which includes 50 new distribution centers, in 2010 to 2013, the online retail giant is eyeing further expansion moves and seeking ways to speed up deliveries of online orders, which include same-day deliveries, to online shoppers’ homes. Other initiatives launched by Amazon as part of its efforts to grab a bigger share of the overall retail market include the Prime Pantry service for members of its loyalty program and the AmazonFresh grocery business.

"Amazon's Warehouse Expansion Goes Unabated As A Means To Unchallenged Dominance", Forbes.com, May 16, 2014

FedEx's Revised Rates Help Amazon Beat Smaller Online Retail Rivals

Shipping company FedEx’s plan to revise its shipping rates to charge based on the size of a package and not just its weight is likely to help Amazon.com in competing against smaller Internet retailers. Further demonstrating how Amazon.com’s size is helping it to expand its share of the online retail market, this development has also seen FedEx adding incentives for the online retail giant to keep using its service. With the huge volume of business it brings, Amazon is able to negotiate its own shipping rates with FedEx and other shipping companies. To deal with this FedEx move, online retailers are expected to use shipping boxes smaller than the ones they are currently using.

"FedEx’s Price Rise Is a Blessing in Disguise for Amazon", New York Times, May 09, 2014

Wal-Mart Notches Web Win Against Rival Amazon

Wall Street Journal, May 06, 2014

Market News  

Five U.S. Large Stores Push Online Retail Operations

In the United States, five large store brands plan to expand their online retail operations. With online orders accounting for almost half of its business, office supply retailer Staples plans to close around 225 stores by end of 2014 and will instead focus on online retail. Retail giant Wal-Mart’s online sales grew faster than Amazon’s for the first time in 2013. Consumer electronics brand Apple has become the country’s second-largest online retailer behind Amazon with its revenue of $18.3 billion in online sales. Electronics retailer Best Buy transformed itself into an “online first” retailer by implementing several initiatives, such as updating the company’s website, launching a loyalty program that works with the website, and starting the Athena big data project. Retailer Target hopes its online retail projects, which include a partnership with Google, will help it overcome negative consumer reactions to a recent data breach and an employee rant, which has gone viral on Gawker.

"Five big stores that are moving online", Marketplace.org, May 16, 2014

Millions Could Be Saved By Taking A Fresh Look At Direct Store Delivery Systems

A Honeywell report based on a survey of 350 C-level consumer goods execs and  directors from around the world says that millions of dollars could be saved annually if companies would re-evaluate their transportation systems using process re-engineering. Organizations that have tried process evaluations to improve direct store delivery (DSD) – how products are ordered, sold, delivered and merchandised – have cut costs an average of $734,000 a year. At least half the companies surveyed said increased transportation costs have damaged profit margins. Twenty percent said they expect to save a minimum of $1 million through DSD process re-engineering. Those with 3,000 or more employees expect to save at least $3 million.

"Direct Store Delivery ‘Can Save $3M Annually’", Environmental Leader, April 30, 2014

Marketing & Advertising  

Wal-Mart Expands Online Price Matching Tool Across U.S.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it plans to expand its Savings Catcher online price-matching tool to cities across the United States. Also, the world’s largest retailer plans to expand the product range covered by the online tool, including TVs, shirts, vegetables, and other produce. Also, Wal-Mart customers can now use Savings Catcher on the retailer’s mobile app. Wal-Mart’s move comes after the company’s U.S. discount division reported revenue declines for five consecutive quarters, and a drop in the number of shoppers for six quarters straight.

"Wal-Mart to expand online savings tool nationwide", Yahoo, June 05, 2014

Amazon Expands Sunday Delivery Service To Several Cities In The U.S.

Online retailer Amazon said it has expanded its Sunday delivery service to include 15 cities more in the United States. Coming six months after Amazon’s signing of a deal with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver products to customers in New York and Los Angeles on Sundays, the service will now become available for customers in other cities, including Houston, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis. Other initiatives recently launched by Amazon to expand sales include expansion of same-day delivery to more cities and the launch of a food and kitchen supply service for users of its Prime program.

"Amazon Expands Sunday Delivery to 15 More Cities", Mashable, May 08, 2014

Target aims to test same-day shipping

InternetRetailer.com, May 28, 2014

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.