retail news in context, analysis with attitude

RTT reports that a new analysis from Citi Research suggests that Amazon “should split into two companies to avoid antitrust scrutiny from Trump administration.”

According to the analysis, “By separating the retail and AWS businesses, Amazon could minimize or avoid the risk of increased regulatory pressure.” After such a separation, the story says, Amazon’s retail business would have an estimated $400 billion value while Amazon Web Services would have a $600 billion value.

RTT notes that Amazon has been getting “more scrutiny due to its $1 trillion valuation and CEO Jeff Bezos being the richest man in the world. President Donald Trump is ‘obsessed’ with the e-commerce giant and his administration could potentially go after the company on antitrust grounds.” Trump has made such threats a number of times.

• The Washington Post reports on the development of a new mobile application called StoreMe, described as enabling a service “that allows people to park their gym bags or luggage with cooperating merchants for short periods of time. The idea - which is sort of a cross between Uber and Airbnb for luggage - transforms unused storage space around the city into something like those coin-operated lockers that used to be found in many airports, bus depots and train stations. StoreMe users can take the backpack off their backs for as little as $7.50 a day.”

The company says that “since its soft launch in New York City in January, the service has rolled into the District, Boston and Philadelphia, and it’s picking up about 1,500 active users a month.”

The story goes on: “The way StoreMe works is simple. Users download the app on their smartphones, signing up via an email address or a Facebook account. When activated, the app shows pins around the user’s location showing potential storage sites at participating merchants and retailers. The user then selects a location, inputs the number of bags he needs to store and takes a photograph that the storage site will review and use for identifying the bag. Hosts have the right to refuse bags and inspect them and their contents.”
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