retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

TechCrunch reports that Twitter has acknowledged that "it used phone numbers and email addresses, provided by users to set up two-factor authentication on their accounts, to serve targeted ads."

Which would be, in technical jargon, a no-no.

According to the story, "Twitter finds itself in the same boat as Facebook, which last year was caught using users’ phone numbers and email addresses, which they gave Facebook for securing their accounts, for targeted advertising. The Federal Trade Commission fined the social networking giant $5 billion earlier this year and was prohibited from using the phone numbers it obtained for setting up two-factor for advertising."

Twitter's issue "stemmed from the company’s tailored audiences program, which allows companies to target advertisements against their own marketing lists, such as phone numbers and email addresses. But Twitter found that when advertisers uploaded their marketing lists, it matched Twitter users to the phone numbers and email addresses users submitted to set up two-factor authentication on their account."

• The Washington Business Journal reports that Amazon has signed a lease for more than 8,000 square feet on an expanding retail corridor located at 14th and Riggs streets NW in the nation's capital.

What's unknown at this point is which of Amazon's retail formats will occupy the space.

Amazon Books? Amazon 4 Star? Amazon Go? Or one of its new grocery stores, part of a new chain that the company plans to start opening as soon as later this year?

Amazon isn't commenting.

It is unlikely to be one of the new grocery stores, I'd guess, simply because those are supposed to be larger, like around 35,000 square feet. But you never know what Amazon has in mind … this could be a format we know nothing about yet. What this story illustrates is just how many arrows Amazon has in its quiver.

USA Today reports that Amazon " is launching a $109.99 Kindle Kids Edition, which it describes as a first-ever dedicated reading experience built just for kids. Preorders begin today.

"Featuring a 6-inch (167 ppi) e-ink display and adjustable front light, the hardware is identical to the entry-level Kindle Amazon that sells for $20 less, meaning it does a very good job of replicating the experience of reading on paper.

"What parents pay a premium for then is a bundle that includes a special kid-friendly case (blue, pink, rainbow birds or space designs) and wallpapers, a two-year guarantee that Amazon will replace a broken unit you send back for no extra charge, and a one-year subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited. That’s the service that provides access to a selection of curated e-books, all inside a password-protected 'walled garden'."

Get them when they're young, and get them addicted to Amazon's ecosystem. That's the pan. It's brilliant. Maybe a little insidious, but brilliant.
KC's View: