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• The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon "is preparing to bring its full retail offering to Australia, signaling a major competitive threat to the country’s retailers and an important new beachhead for its global distribution network.

"Australia’s more favorable regulatory climate is also likely to offer Amazon opportunities to test deliveries via autonomous drones and road vehicles, a person familiar with the matter said. Australia last year rolled out new rules for remote-operated drones, and government officials are looking to develop national guidelines for autonomous-vehicle trials. Amazon, which announced its Australia intentions last month, hasn’t said when the full retail offering will roll out. Some analysts say 2018 is a likely date."

• Delivery service Instacart announced that it plans to launch service to the Columbia, South Carolina, market, offering residents there the ability "to order from retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Publix, Costco and Petco and have their groceries delivered straight to their doorsteps in as little as one hour."

The new delivery coverage area includes Columbia, Forest Acres, West Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Elgin and Blythewood.
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