retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Washington Post has a story about how Jeff Bezos, founder-CEO of Amazon as well as, through a personal investment, the chairman-owner of the Washington Post, is bringing Amazon’s board of directors to Washington, DC, for a series of meetings … though it is not expected that he will announce that the area will be the site of Amazon’s much speculated-about second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The Post writes that the DC meetings appear to be the beginning of a series of high-profile area appearances for Bezos, including an interview being hosted by the Economic Club of Washington and a speech at an Air Force conference at National Harbor. (The Post notes that “Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, is developing a rocket capable of flying satellites to orbit, and it has said it intends to compete for lucrative Pentagon launch contracts.)

There are other reasons for Bezos to mix with the DC glitterati. The Post points out that Amazon Web Services “holds a $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services to the CIA,” but is competing for a much larger Pentagon contract that could be worth $10 billion over the coming decade. However, frayed relations with the Trump administration could, at the very least, make getting that contract problematic.

• Amazon and Whole Foods this morning have begun delivery of natural and organic products via Prime Now in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Raleigh, Seattle, Tucson and expanded to additional neighborhoods in New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Amazon says the service now is available in 38 cities, with plans for continued expansion across the U.S. throughout 2018.

MarketWatch reports that Amazon will for the first time sell full-sized, live Christmas trees this holiday season.

The story says that the trees will begin being offered for sale in November, and will be shipped - with free two-day delivery to Amazon Prime members - in a box within 10 days of being cut down.

The story says that the online option is pricey: “A 7-foot Fraser fir from a farm in North Carolina will run about $115, the AP said. For comparison, as of 2016, the average tree nationwide cost about $75, and last year a 6- to 7-foot Fraser fir cost about $42 at Lowe’s.

“But then again, you don’t have to lug Amazon’s tree home and get your hands covered in sap.”

I’m going to get pushback from the home front on this one, but I totally want to try buying a Christmas tree from Amazon. Just for the hell of it. And if I can get it approved by Mrs. Content Guy, I will report back.
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