retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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Bloomberg reports that Amazon “is willing to team up with competitors Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google if it would help improve customers’ experience with its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant, an executive working on the platform said.

“The online retailer, which is already working with Microsoft Corp. on productivity features for Alexa such as calendar interactions, will put the user first in pursuit of any other partnerships, said Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Echo devices, who has been on the team since 2014.”

GeekWire reports that Amazon has announced a $10 million donation over the next five years to, described as “a non-profit that advocates for K-12 STEM education” and “dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities.”

Good for them. This is smart for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that it helps seed the labor pool.

• Provocative quote from PepsiCo chairman/CEO Indra Nooyi in Fortune in which she talks about the growing importance of e-commerce - especially Amazon - to her categories; PepsiCo says that it is “on track to hit about $1 billion in e-commerce sales by the end of the year,” according to the story.

“Our strategy is not about shelf space,” Nooyi says. “It’s about how to get the right clicks so we move up in the search process.”
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