Tag: Amazon (company)

Help-wanted ads point to Boston and D.C. area as top sites for Amazon HQ2

Help-wanted ads point to Boston and D.C. area as top sites for Amazon HQ2

Jeffry Boston and greater Washington, D.C., might be the most likely places for Amazon to build its second headquarters — if help-wanted ads are any indication.
One of the key determining factors for Amazon AMZN, +1.64% is expected to be the available supply of well-educated workers.
Amazon wants to be in a major metro area with a “strong university system” so it can fill thousands of jobs for computer engineers, marketing types, managers, accountants and the like.
Using online ads as a guide, the Conference Board’s economic research group found that Amazon’s listings for those sort of jobs are growing the fastest in the Boston and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas.
Amazon has shortlisted not just the District of Columbia but also neighboring Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md., for the second headquarters.
Only the New York City region has more online listings in 2017 for the kinds of jobs Amazon is expected to create at its second headquarters, but those listings barely grew last year.
More and more companies complain about a shortage of skilled labor, and they now have to compete harder with each other to fill open jobs.
That probably helps explain why San Francisco, and neighboring Silicon Valley, was left off Amazon’s short list.
“If Amazon chooses to build their second headquarters in a city where they already have a large pool of workers who would fit well into a second headquarters, it can ease the challenge of attracting such talent from elsewhere, especially in a tight labor market,” the Conference Board researchers said.
Similarly, Amazon has invested some $38 billion in its Seattle headquarters over the past six years and added some 53,000 jobs, by some accounts.

Amazon didn’t kill Toys ‘R’ Us. Here’s what did

Amazon didn’t kill Toys ‘R’ Us. Here’s what did

And that meant an unpleasant shopping experience that doomed the chain.
The company told employees Wednesday that it would close or sell its US stores after 70 years in business.
Last year toymakers Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro (HAS) each sold about $1 billion worth of their toys at Walmart, more than twice as much as what they sold through Toys “R” Us.
And like most retailers, Toys “R” Us also lost sales to online rivals such as Amazon that offered lower prices and quick shipping.
When Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, it disclosed it had about $5 billion in debt and was spending about $400 million a year just to service that debt.
Brandon said in a filing last fall that the bankruptcy process would allow it to invest $65 million in its stores. “Better employees make for happier customers,” Brandon said in the filing.
Despite sharply declining sales, Toys “R” Us was also extremely late to the game in closing stores.
At the time of its bankruptcy filing, the chain had 1,697 stores — more than it had ever had.
On Wednesday, hours before announcing the decision to close its US operations, it said it would close the last 75 UK stores.

FedEx Follows Amazon Into the Robotic Future

FedEx Follows Amazon Into the Robotic Future

In 2012, Amazon acquired a robotics company called Kiva.
But what has happened at the FedEx hub may be a surprise to people who fear that they are about to be replaced by a smart machine: a robot might take your role, but not necessarily your job.
And in time, they will replace about 25 jobs in a facility that employs about 1,300 people.
“It just might be in a different place.” As people have become more comfortable buying online, big and bulky goods like car tires, canoes and boxes as big as a coffin have accounted for an increasing percentage of the packages flowing through FedEx’s distribution centers, said Ted Dengel, who oversees operations technology for the FedEx Ground network, which includes 35 shipping hubs across the United States and Canada, including the facility in North Carolina.
But over all, the work force inside the hub will grow, not shrink, Mr. Steele said.
The North Carolina hub is already highly automated; more than 80 percent of packages move across the facility through a system of conveyor belts, scanners and sorters that needs no human labor.
When a truck filled with packages arrives, workers load the bulky items onto trailers hitched to a robot.
Mr. Clark said the company has deployed more than 100,000 Kiva robots across 26 distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
But even inside Amazon, the need for human labor is growing much faster than the robot work force.
Since acquiring Kiva and deploying its first robots, Amazon has expanded its work force by 300,000 people.

Amazon Offers Prime Discount for Medicaid Recipients

Amazon Offers Prime Discount for Medicaid Recipients

The move expands an effort started last year, when Amazon started offering the Prime discount to people with electronic benefit transfer cards, used to distribute aid for food purchases.
The push is a further effort by Amazon to go after shoppers who favor Walmart, which has long been a go-to destination for people on tight budgets.
(Amazon says the discount applies to adult holders of Medicaid cards.)
Many Medicaid participants also receive electronic benefit transfer cards, and Amazon is “very pleased with the response so far” to the discounted Prime membership for those card holders, a company spokeswoman, Julie Law, said.
Its Prime program has been a hit in many households, making shopping on the site a far more practical substitute for going to stores.
Prime members can typically have goods delivered free in two days, with many items available for one-day or same-day shipping.
“They are still getting used to the idea of shopping online,” Ms. Kodali said.
Amazon Cash, for example, allows people to add money to their Amazon accounts by taking cash to CVS pharmacies, GameStops and other retail locations.
Amazon Lockers, installed outside convenience stores and other locations, give people a secure place to pick up and return Amazon packages.
But he added that he was not entirely convinced that low-income shoppers would be willing to pay a membership fee, even a reduced one, to shop at an online store.

Amazon offers low-cost Prime memberships to Medicaid recipients

Amazon offers low-cost Prime memberships to Medicaid recipients

Beginning Wednesday, qualifying recipients of Medicaid will be eligible for a discounted Prime membership of $5.99 per month, as opposed to the normal rate of $10.99 a month.
No annual commitment is required and customers can get the discount for up to four years.
Customers can also sign up for a free 30-day trial of the service.
More: Amazon tests food stamps, another breach of Wal-Mart territory More: Amazon may be looking at creating its own checking accounts More: Why Amazon is sending you pictures of your front porch More: Jeff Bezos’ wealth is now equal to 2.3 million Americans’ It’s part of a concerted effort on the part of the Seattle e-tailing giant to gain more market share among low income consumers and those without access to traditional banking and credit.
It represents a market Amazon can expand in when 70% of online consumers who have incomes above $150,000 a year are already estimated to be Amazon Prime members.
Amazon is clear that it’s making this move for business reasons, not for altruism, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help people, said Avi Greengart, an industry analyst with GlobalData, a market research firm. “The ability to order things online and have them shipped directly to your door within a quick time frame, people in higher earning demographics have long seen this as a convenience that changes the way they shop.
People that this opportunity are targeting are going to get that chance for the first time — and they may actually need it more,” he said.
People without bank accounts, the “unbanked,” made up about 15% of U.S. consumers in 2016, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
On Monday a report in the Wall Street Journal suggested Amazon was considering a debit-card like program for those without access to credit cards.

Robots, unemployment and immigrants

Robots, unemployment and immigrants

Putting products back on the shelves will soon be fully automated, with robots doing the work previously done by humans.
In May 2016, the World Bank’s Digital Dividend Report, calculated that replacing low-skilled workers with robots in developing countries would affect two-thirds of jobs.
Today, automation already accounts already for 17 per cent of production and services.
It will account for 40 per cent within 15 years, according to World Bank projections.
It was generally assumed that a time would come in which machines would eventually do all production and humankind would be free of work, maintained from the profits generated by machines.
The statistics show that today, when people lose their jobs at a certain age, any new job they may find will almost always be for a lower remuneration.
Migration has become a major theme in elections.
However, statistics from the European Union tell us otherwise.
A study on Brexit demonstrated that immigrants had helped to increase GDP, and that the increase in productivity meant a global increase in employment.
It is clear that the real threat to employment for the large majority of citizens comes from robotisation, not immigration.

This Will Be Where Amazon Puts Its Second Headquarters, According to Experts

This Will Be Where Amazon Puts Its Second Headquarters, According to Experts

About 40,000 employees currently work in Seattle, and the company says it has pumped $38 billion into the city’s economy from 2010 to 2016 alone.
“When a big company opens a headquarters, it brings the opportunity to grow,” he says.
That growth will have far less impact on places like New York and Los Angeles; though both made the company’s shortlist.
Denver, Colo., Columbus, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C., are smaller contenders that will take Amazon’s dime a lot further — and have less competition for employee talent than saturated tech markets, thus making them, in theory, better bets.
Newark, N.J., is probably the biggest surprise on Amazon’s list and would majorly benefit from the company’s presence.
— contenders that are also more likely to entice both new hires and employees in Seattle who get the opportunity to transfer down the road.
In October, the research firm released, “Where Amazon’s Next Headquarters Should Go,” which ranked cities based on “business environment,” “quality of life,” and other factors.
In its list of finalists, Amazon chose seven of Moody’s top 10 cities, and all three of the firm’s top picks: Austin, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a well-rounded, underdog.” Gallino, for his part, is also betting on “City of Brotherly Love.” “My personal guess is Philadelphia,” he says.
Atlanta Austin, Tex.

Amazon Go: Lines form in Seattle to be among the first to try checkout-free shopping

Amazon Go: Lines form in Seattle to be among the first to try checkout-free shopping

USA TODAY SEATTLE — Amazon’s checkout line-free convenience store Amazon Go opened Monday morning in Seattle to crowds of press and the curious.
Amazon employees walked down the line of those waiting to hand out bright orange Amazon Go shopping bags. “This is the future of grocery shopping.
When his turn to shop came, Fleming walked in, grabbed a six pack of Elysian beer, a local Seattle brand, and a mug emblazoned with the tag line Just Walk Out shopping.
The Amazon Go convenience store and its proprietary technology, made up of hundreds of cameras and sensors, require that shoppers have an Amazon account and download a special Amazon Go app.
All the salads and sandwiches are prepackaged and sold in identical amounts, so each ham sandwich, for example, is the same price and can be seen by the store as interchangeable with every other ham sandwich.
That, he said, “would be a game-changer.” No food stamps One criticism of the Amazon Go store has been that it does not accept SNAP benefits.
However since the 1990s, SNAP recipients receive an electronic benefits transfer card similar to a bank card which allows them to make purchases with the benefit.
Grocery stores are not required to accept SNAP but many do, including convenience stores and Whole Foods, which Amazon purchased in 2017.
SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase prepared foods such as salads and sandwiches, which makes up a large percentage of the items sold at Amazon Go.

Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow

Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York Thomson Reuters By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Netflix Inc’s quarterly report on Monday may offer an advanced preview of whether Facebook Inc , Amazon.com Inc and other heavyweights behind much of the U.S. stock market’s record-breaking rally can keep delivering.
Many of the S&P 500’s largest companies – Microsoft Corp , Apple Inc , Alphabet Inc , and Amazon.com – have outperformed in the first 12 trading days of 2018, with investors betting strong earnings growth will justify tech valuations at their highest levels in a decade.
As of Thursday, Netflix, which is due to report its quarterly results on Monday after the stock market closes, had jumped nearly 15 percent this year, outpacing the S&P 500’s 5 percent increase.
Netflix’s 53 percent surge in 2017, along with rallies by shares of Amazon.com and Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies, helped propel the stock market to new highs. “Netflix is going to be a great early indicator of risk appetite for these high-volatility growth names,” said Wedbush trader Joel Kulina.
But investors remain optimistic about its ability to beat expectations.
Its stock recently traded at 95 times expected earnings for the next 12 months, versus AMC Entertainment at 44 times earnings and Time Warner Inc at 14 times earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Analysts on average expect S&P 500 technology companies to deliver a 15.9 percent increase in earnings for the December quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Analysts on average expect a 32.5 percent jump in revenue to $3.28 billion, and net income of $186.3 million, up 179 percent.
Facebook will post quarterly results on Jan. 31, followed by Amazon.com, Apple and Alphabet on Feb 1.