retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Financial Times reports that analysts believe that Amazon Fresh "is gearing up to launch in Britain, possibly as early as this year.

"Amazon will not confirm whether Fresh will be crossing the Atlantic. But the prospect is striking fear into the hearts of British grocers, which are already engaged in a vicious price war." The story notes that "Amazon’s willingness to tolerate wafer thin margins could make it a dangerous competitor."

• Amazon has responded to a lawsuit brought against it by Angie's List by suggesting that its methods of developing a competitive product - Amazon Local - "are customary in the home services 'deals' industry and wholly appropriate."

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that when Angie's List filed the suit, it charged that "two dozen Amazon employees who Angie’s List charges signed up as members ... violated the terms of their membership agreements, which restrict use of the information to personal purchases." Those employees, the suit says, used information gleaned from their Angie's List experience to make Amazon's offering more competitive and compelling.

In fact, Amazon has countered the charges by asking that Angie's List be compelled to provide computer records detailing the extent to which it has used information gathered on the Amazon Local site to structure more competitive deals on its site.
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