business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

Business Insider reports that “Amazon accounted for 4% of US retail sales and 44% of US e-commerce sales in 2017, according to a study from One Click Retail.

“This marks an increase in e-commerce market share from 2016, when it was responsible for 38% of e-commerce sales, as Amazon's share has grown from an estimated$149 billion to hit $197 billion.”

CNBC reports that Walmart is expanding its ‘Scan & Go’ technology to an additional 100 locations across the U.S., though the story notes that even this expansion will leave it with fewer than 200 stores offering the service, as compared to Kroger, which is rolling out its "Scan, Bag, Go” checkout-free service to 400 stores this year.

Bloomberg reports that Amazon’s Alexa-powered virtual assistant “will be added to some Toyota and Lexus vehicles this year, advancing Amazon’s ambitions to expand its speech platform beyond the home. Alexa will let drivers and passengers get directions, control entertainment features, get the news and perform other functions in the car via voice command.”

And do some shopping, I’d guess.

• Albertsons said yesterday, following up on its commitment late last year to work with Instacart to offer same-day delivery in less than two hours at a variety of its banners, that more than 325 Acme, Shaw’s and Star Market stores throughout New England are now offering the service, and that it will be available at more than 1,800 Albertsons-owned stores across the country by mid-March.

CNBC reports that “Sprouts Farmers Market on Tuesday said it will offer home delivery through Instacart.”

According to the story, “Sprouts, which delivers to homes in eight U.S. cities through a partnership with Amazon Prime Now, said it will add Instacart service to other U.S. markets, beginning with select zip codes in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday.”

• Amazon said this morning that “more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses joined the Amazon Marketplace in 2017,” and “sold billions of items to customers around the world.”

In fact, Amazon said, half the items sold on its site globally last year “are from small and medium-sized businesses that offer their products through the Amazon Marketplace, many of whom also choose to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to tap into Amazon’s global logistics network and make their items Prime eligible.”
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