retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From CNBC:

"Amazon is launching a rewards program for its legions of Flex delivery drivers that gives them a leg up when it comes to the app’s competitive shift selection process.

"The company quietly added a section to the Flex website and an app on Apple’s App Store that advertise the program, called Amazon Flex Rewards. The rewards program offers drivers a number of perks, including access to a debit card and the ability to reserve customized delivery shifts … After drivers sign up for the rewards program, they earn points for each delivery they complete. Drivers earn more points depending on their overall standing in the app, which takes into account metrics like on-time delivery rates and delivery completions.  As drivers earn more points, they’re able to 'level up' and access new perks."

The website says that "with Amazon Flex Rewards, you can earn cash back with the Amazon Flex Debit Card, enjoy Preferred Scheduling and access thousands of discounts as well as tools to navigate things like insurance and taxes.”

•  From Bloomberg:

" Inc is launching air cargo operations in Europe, the online retailer’s first such expansion outside of the U.S. as it looks to bring more freight operations in-house.

"Amazon Air will run a 20,000-square-meter regional air hub at Leipzig/Halle airport in Germany, with two branded Boeing Co. 737-800 freighters flown by ASL Airlines, the company said in a statement. The facility will employ 200 people.

"Operating its own aircraft will let the world’s largest e-commerce company offer 'more flexible delivery options,' Amazon said."