AuthorTopic: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart  (Read 31356 times)

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Amazon Says It Will Buy Greenpeace USA In $212 Million Deal
« Reply #270 on: June 06, 2019, 12:02:23 AM »

Amazon is buying Greenpeace USA, in a merger that values Greenpeace USA at $212 million dollars. The internet retailer (and book seller, pharmaceutical company, grocery store, etc…) says it’s buying Greenpeace USA for the name recognition, industrial climbing skills, and their warehouses, but will be laying off about half of Greenpeace’s employees.

Greenpeace, which was founded in 1971 as a small direct action-focused environmental group, has expanded into a large multinational NGO with an operating budget of over 200 million dollars. Greenpeace USA is the US affiliate.

Amazon CEO and third creepiest man on earth, Jeff Bezos, justified the deal to investors, arguing, “Our marketing algorithms increasingly show that people are concerned about the decline of our Earth’s living systems, and I think any viable company would move to capture that widening demographic.” The sale, which has not yet been approved by Amazon shareholders, is expected to be concluded in the second half of 2019.

Amazon says that Greenpeace USA CEO, Annie Leonard, will remain in that role. “She can deal with all the calls from pissed-off hippies” said one unnamed Amazon communications official.

“Greenpeace has been profiting off of grassroots environmental activism for years,” said Bezos, adding, “they’re doing an amazing job at it and we want that to continue.”

In their news release, Amazon says all their factory workers will be undergoing Greenpeace climb training, with the ultimate goal of expanding factory productivity and drone delivery by having workers moving boxes on climb lines and traverses to enable three dimensional non-stop aerial packaging.

For Amazon, the move furthers its outreach to liberals after its purchase of Whole Foods and Jeff Bezos’ public spats with Trump. For Greenpeace, the move furthers its push to be bigger and larger and have more influence on corporations in order to Protect the Earth™. In addition, Greenpeace USA will be gaining full access to Amazon’s satellites to increase scouting capabilities.

Leonard defended the move on Greenpeace USA’s part saying, “While we don’t agree with many of Amazon’s business practices, at least now we have a seat at the table to make some compromises in defense of mother earth. Plus, their drones are going to be totally LEED-certified, and you can now order an Alexa device for your home, pre-loaded with direct action and security culture trainings.”

In a race to catch up with Amazon, rumor has it that Google has resorted to the old pen and paper to fill the Earth First! Journal’s PO Box with pleas for a merger. No Journal editors were available for comment (they were too busy talking shit to answer the phone), but the next issue of the magazine will be available to download directly to your consciousness.

EDITORS NOTE: This is obviously an April Fools joke, you dorks, but we’re sure Jeff Bezos wishes it wasn’t, as we all know he is an undead creep who won’t rest until he has dug his pale lecherous fingers into every corner of the earth.

The date on this article is April 1st.  As the last line says, or as you can find out by taking the link to the original article.

I read that....

There's a left handed curve ball C.T. in here somewhere !
You don't go reposting stale toast for shits & giggles.

Amazon expects 'Prime Air' drone delivery 'within months'

Amazon Inc. said it's taking deliveries to the next level -- quite literally -- within a few months by using drones.

Amazon Amazon debuted its new Prime Air drone at the company's reMARS Conference in Las Vegas on June 5, 2019.

The company made the announcement Wednesday at its re:MARS Conference in Las Vegas, with the company's CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, Jeff Wilke sharing the news and design specs for the newest Prime Air drone.

"We've been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes," Wilke said in a blog post.

(MORE: Amazon can now deliver packages to your car)

According to Amazon, the new drones will be more efficient, stable and safe because they're designed to detect static and moving objects from any direction while in motion.

Detecting wires proved one of the most difficult challenges for low-altitude flights, Wilke said in the blog post, but Amazon accomplished it by using of proprietary computer-vision techniques.

"We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe," Wilke said. "So we're building a drone that isn't just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence technologies."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first revealed plans for Prime Air in 2013, and the company made its first fully autonomous Prime Air delivery Dec. 7, 2016, in Cambridge, England, where the company has a fulfillment center.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to Amazon Prime Air, "allowing the company to operate its MK27 unmanned aircraft for research and development and crew training in authorized flight areas."

It's eligible for renewal after a year, the agency added.

The retail goliath's Wednesday announcement is just the latest in a string of delivery innovations from the tech giant that's invested billions of dollars into its fulfillment network.

© Amazon Prime Air drone delivery.

Earlier this week, Amazon announced one-day free shipping is now available to more than 100 million Prime subscribers. That service was announced in April along with Key For Garage, which debuted on "Good Morning America."

(MORE: Amazon adds in-garage delivery to in-home, in-car options)

Amazon said using drones is just the next step in customer convenience.

"Can we deliver packages to customers even faster? We think the answer is yes, and one way we're pursuing that goal is by pioneering autonomous drone," Wilke said.

But Amazon isn't the only company expanding drone deliveries. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also has been working on Wing Aviation, the first drone company to receive an Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, in April.

(MORE: With FAA certification, Google's drone company set to start deliveries in Virginia)

With the certificate, Wing Aviation, which became its own independent Alphabet company in July 2018, after graduating from company incubator Google X, can now turn its test flights into commercial deliveries in the U.S.

Wing Aviation conducted over 70,000 test flights with more than 3,000 deliveries to Australian doorsteps, driveways and backyards over several years in order to meet the FAA's safety requirements to qualify, according to a Medium post by the company.

The company plans to launch a delivery trial later this year in southwest Virginia and has recently announced it will be launching an early access air-delivery program in Finland this month. Residents of the Helsinki will be able to receive fresh Finnish pastries, meatballs and a range of other meals and snacks within minutes via Wing aircraft, according to a Medium post by the company.

But it's not just technology companies considering drones. Air Canada on Tuesday announced a sales agreement with Drone Delivery Canada to deliver cargo, and a San Francisco-based medical delivery company called Zipline uses drones to distribute vaccines, blood and lifesaving medication across Rwanda and Ghana.

Order a box of shotgun shells.  Birdshot.  Have an Amazon drone deliver it to your neighbors (while they are on vacation) while you watch.  Make a second order and when that order gets to your neighbors house, the new package can replace shells from the first order that get used up on the drone.  This would be more satisfying than writing a doom article about how horrible drone delivery would be on the environment.  Drone delivery is unbelievably inefficient from an energy POV.  All economies of scale fly out the window like all the money that would be spent on drone delivery. 

Batteries don't charge themselves coal does.

But not to worry, Get yourself a piece of the action so when things go Venus here you can go Martian with Musk.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 12:24:18 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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🏬 Companies Going Out of Business in 2019
« Reply #271 on: June 07, 2019, 12:50:52 AM »
...and another one bites the dust...


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Offline RE

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🏬 The Ruthless Reality of Amazon's One-Day Shipping
« Reply #272 on: June 16, 2019, 03:05:11 AM »

The Ruthless Reality of Amazon's One-Day Shipping

Photo: Getty

Michael Sainato
Friday 11:03am

Amazon has rapidly expanded its internal shipping services as the company shifts toward one-day delivery shipping from its default two-day shipping service. The company is pledging to spend $800 million this quarter to achieve one-day delivery as the default shipping option for all prime members. But this planned growth has incited concerns from workers, contract delivery carriers, and logistics analysts over how Amazon is seeking to dominate another sector of the economy.

“Jeff Bezos wants Amazon to be the core infrastructure on which everyone depends, and then use this power to exclude competitors and privilege his own businesses,” said Matthew Stoller, a fellow at the anti-monopoly non-profit Open Markets Institute, on Amazon’s business model. “He doesn’t seek to run a business, but to govern all commerce.”
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Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the non-profit advocacy group Institute for Local Self Reliance, added, “This is essentially a company that’s set out to be and own the infrastructure for 21st century commerce and the shipping is another piece of that.” She cited Amazon’s current relationships with manufacturers and retailers enable it to have leverage in compelling the same businesses to use its shipping services.

This quest for dominance furthers concerns over the economic power Amazon exerts over its workers, its competitors, and the foundations of the online retail marketplace as a whole.
Last-mile delivery

The existing shipping infrastructure owned by Amazon already includes ocean shipping licenses from China to the U.S, a recently launched shipping trucking brokerage platform, and last-mile gig delivery operations such as Amazon Flex services, Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, Shipping with Amazon, and food delivery services primarily conducted by independent contractors.


Shortly after Amazon announced plans in April 2019 to expedite shipping to customers, Amazon announced incentives of $10,000 and three months salary for current employees to quit and start up their own package delivery service in partnership with the company’s delivery service partner program.
“As soon as we clock in, we’re pushing our bodies and minds to the limit on these machines, feeling like robots a lot of the time getting the stuff out.”

“Amazon, by not employing the small business owners directly, has a lot of leverage over them,” said Mitchell, who noted that Amazon’s use of independent contractors is undercutting unionized, higher paid workforces at UPS and the United States Postal Service. “It’s not an independent business. You can only use those Amazon trucks to do Amazon delivery. Your only client is Amazon. It’s a way for Amazon to get this work done at an arm’s length with the contractor relationship.”
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Many of those independent contractors who have driven for divisions of Amazon delivery services have already experienced the negative impacts of Amazon’s leverage over independent contractors completely reliant on them for business.

Several contractors around the United States are advertising jobs to deliver for Amazon that list wages lower than $15 an hour, despite Amazon setting a $15 minimum wage last year for all employees, including seasonal and workers hired through temp agencies.


A former driver for an Amazon delivery contractor in New Jersey noted many of the jobs that list hourly wages of $15 an hour or more are often much less. The driver noted the contractor paid workers a flat rate per day and regardless of the hours worked, the daily pay rate always stayed the same. Current job listings for contractors delivering Amazon products cite daily pay rates and note “your wage is up to you!”

In 2016, Vanessa Boggs started working as an Amazon Flex driver in Tampa, Florida, when the service was first introduced to the region. She explained when the flex service first started, drivers received $18 an hour plus tips, but those benefits gradually declined or disappeared altogether.
“As they hired on more people, it became harder to get work. I had to pay to get someone to get me shifts.”

“I loved driving when I did the two hour prime deliveries. But as they hired on more people, it became harder to get work. I had to pay to get someone to get me shifts,” Boggs said. Then the tips were taken away by Amazon, and Amazon began shifting work from delivery restaurant orders to delivery larger loads of Amazon products. She quit in early 2018, as the lack of tips, longer routes, and larger delivery loads made it untenable to continue driving. “Amazon doesn’t take care of their drivers. We didn’t care too much when the station first opened because we made our money, but then they started screwing us little by little.”

In Seattle, Washington, Philip Hasten stopped driving for Amazon a few months ago after about a year because the $18-an-hour wage wasn’t enough to offset the driving expenses of gas, and wear and tear on his vehicle. “Last time I delivered I made $9 an hour,” he said. “The wear on my car was excessive and they don’t help you do repairs.”
Illustration for article titled The Ruthless Reality of Amazon&#39;s One-Day Shipping
Photo: Getty

Amazon Air

As Amazon has continued to expand its last-mile delivery services, it’s also focusing on growing air cargo services, Amazon Air, to reduce its reliance on third-party carriers such as UPS, Fedex, and the United States Postal Service. FedEx recently declined to renew their shipping contract with Amazon. According to a Morgan Stanley report in December 2018, Amazon could save between $1 to $2 billion in 2019 as a result of handling more of its own air deliveries.

In April 2019, Amazon broke ground on the construction of a $1.5 billion air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, expected to open in 2021. The ceremony included featuring two different types of aircraft used by Amazon, but pilots for Amazon Air, that uses planes leased and operated by Atlas Air, Southern Air, and Air Transport Services Group, argue they’re being shut out of Amazon’s growth as they work to negotiate a new union contract.
“We keep trying to engage the company to negotiate a fair contract so we can recruit enough qualified pilots to continue the expansion Amazon wants, yet the negotiation process continues to be stonewalled.”

“We want to see Amazon Prime Air succeed, we just want to be a part of that success. Up to this point, we feel shut out of the entire process,” said Captain Michael Russo, a pilot at Atlas Air for 15 years. Amazon Air pilots are represented by APA Teamsters Local 1224, which has called on the contractors to negotiate a new union contract to address concerns over low pay and working conditions. “We keep trying to engage the company to negotiate a fair contract so we can recruit enough qualified pilots to continue the expansion Amazon wants, yet the negotiation process continues to be stonewalled. We don’t understand how Atlas Air can serve a really big, important customer like Amazon and not include pilots in that process.”

Atlas Air pilot of nearly 20 years, Captain Bob Kirchner, cited that the contractor is expected to increase the number of aircraft for Amazon Air from 24 to 44 planes over the next year.

“Our competitors, who pay 60 percent or more, who have better working conditions and retirement plans, are taking away many of the experienced pilots at Atlas and its creating real stresses in the business,” Kirchner said. “Because the airline is not growing and people are leaving, we feel these are unachievable numbers right now. Unless they come in and fix it, we feel that Amazon is putting so much pressure on contractors, driving the cost down and putting financial pressure on them its becoming a safety problem.”


An Amazon spokesperson told me in an email, “We are disappointed with the current state of relations between Atlas and their pilot union. Neither side seems willing to work towards a reasonable compromise. This is contrary to the interests of Atlas, the pilots, and the customers they both serve.”

The pilots launched a website, and have held several protests near the Amazon hub construction site to push their contract carriers to improve working conditions to meet Amazon Air’s expansion.
Ocean and trucking freight services

Amazon first acquired a license from the Federal Maritime Commission to transport goods from China to the United States in 2016, and has since eliminated third parties in their supply chain from manufacturers in China to consumers in the United States.

From Amazon’s purchasing power to its widespread network of distribution centers, Amazon has significant advantages over competitors as it seeks to grow its shipping and logistics network.

Steve Ferreira, the CEO of Ocean Audit, recently noticed Amazon frontloaded its shipments from China to avoid paying tariffs raised by President Trump last month.

“Amazon tactically ordered 4 to 5 times it’s normal order pattern of the items it sells on, and imported them ahead of the Trump tariffs so that it can avoid having to pay the extra China tariff/duties that most customers, that don’t have the buying power or distribution space,” said Ferreira in an email. He noted Amazon now has the option to either pass the savings onto customers or sell those products at higher profits.

“This is essentially a company that’s set out to be and own the infrastructure for 21st century commerce and the shipping is another piece of that.”

Rather than owning ships themselves, Amazon leases space on steamship lines and resells it to their customers, similar to their air cargo services and the trucking freight brokerage platform they launched earlier this year. XPO Logistics, one of the largest logistics companies in the United States, estimated a revenue loss of $600 million in the coming year as Amazon is insourcing the majority of its business with the company.

“Their goal is to create the ‘world’s most customer-centric company’—what better way to do this than to control their supply chain,” Cathy Roberson, founder of Atlanta based Logistics Trends & Insights, told me in an email. “I believe they will always have a need for their logistics partners and will not drop them entirely. However, because of the volumes, Amazon likely commands big discounts on shipping costs. How many of their logistics partners will be willing to do this is hard to say.”
How shipping expansion will impact Whole Foods and Amazon warehouses

Other sectors in Amazon’s business have felt the squeeze to increase the company’s market share. At Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in 2017, changes to expedite shipping services are kept under tight wraps by management, though workers have reported store space has increasingly become focused on Amazon Prime business.
Illustration for article titled The Ruthless Reality of Amazon&#39;s One-Day Shipping
Photo: New Amazon Kiosk at Whole Foods. Photo sent in by an employee wishing to remain anonymous. Used with permission.

An anonymous Whole Foods worker in the Pacific Northwest who has worked for the company for several years explained the grocery store chain has shifted into a retail outpost for Amazon to push online sales and prime memberships. They provided a photo of a new Amazon kiosk, which are being constructed at several stores around their region. Amazon declined to provide further information on Amazon’s plan to expand prime services at Whole Foods.


A spokesperson for Amazon told me in an email, “We’ve been able to expand the Prime 1 day offering because we’ve built our network over 20 years powered by incredible employees and state-of-the-art technology like Amazon Robotics to supercharge fast delivery, increase efficiency, lower prices and improve workplaces around the world.”
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At Amazon fulfillment centers, where workers over the past few years have reported widespread abuses and robotic, inhumane working conditions, it remains unclear how faster and insourced shipping services will impact warehouse workers, but labor unions and workers have criticized Amazon for working to expedite shipping without addressing working conditions.

“As soon as we clock in, we’re pushing our bodies and minds to the limit on these machines, feeling like robots a lot of the time getting the stuff out,” said William Stolz, a picker who gathers products for orders at an Amazon fulfillment center in Minneapolis, Minnesota who has worked there for about two years. “Amazon’s working conditions have to change if they’re going to actually start treating us like human beings with dignity. A lot of the jobs they have are still temporary. We want Amazon to provide safe and reliable jobs. Right now it’s not the case.”

Michael Sainato is a journalist based in Gainesville, Florida. Follow him on Twitter @MSainat1.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without "GOD"
« Reply #273 on: June 19, 2019, 02:23:42 PM »
America’s Epidemic of Empty Churches

The God biznesss ain't cheap anymore. This ain't yer' grandpa's brand of sundee come to meatin' "service"

Religious communities often face a choice: Sell off the buildings they can no longer afford, or find a way to fill them with new uses. (perhaps exorcisms 4 hire) spiritual hired gun.

 Three blocks from my Brooklyn apartment, a large brick structure stretches toward heaven. Tourists recognize it as a church—the building’s bell tower and stained-glass windows give it away—but worshippers haven’t gathered here in years.

The 19th-century building was once known as St. Vincent De Paul Church and housed a vibrant congregation for more than a century. But attendance dwindled and coffers ran dry by the early 2000s. Rain leaked through holes left by missing shingles, a tree sprouted in the bell tower, and the Brooklyn diocese decided to sell the building to developers. Today, the Spire Lofts boasts 40 luxury apartments, with one-bedroom units renting for as much as $4,812 per month. It takes serious cash to make God’s house your own, apparently.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Death of Retail - Amazon Ruined Online Shopping
« Reply #274 on: July 10, 2019, 05:14:56 PM »
Amazon Ruined Online Shopping

There’s a Gatorade button attached to my basement fridge. If I push it, two days later a crate of the sports drink shows up at my door, thanks to Amazon. When these “Dash buttons” were first rumored in 2015, they seemed like a joke. Press a button to one-click detergent or energy bars? What even?, my colleague Adrienne LaFrance reasonably inquired.

They weren’t a joke. Soon enough, Amazon was selling the buttons for a modest fee, the value of which would be applied to your first purchase. There were Dash buttons for Tide and Gatorade, Fiji Water and Lärabars, Trojan condoms and Kraft Mac & Cheese.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind


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