retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Holiday shoppers are giving package carriers an early gift.

"FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service may wind up having a much easier time dealing with the holiday crunch than some forecasters predicted. They say it is partly due to an uptick in people buying gifts in stores and doing their shopping early because of concerns about the global supply chain.

"Those factors - along with added capacity, an extra shipping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas and Covid-19 vaccines available for workers - have shipping executives and consultants saying the peak shipping season may not be as bad as they thought."

•  The New York Post reports that "four big unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters, urged the US Federal Trade Commission on Monday to oppose Amazon’s plan to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, saying it would reduce competition in the streaming video market … The unions, in a report by an entity they support called the Strategic Organizing Center, argued that the deal would bring Amazon’s industry-leading streaming library to more than 55,000 titles, with more under development, which would give the company greater incentive to discriminate against rivals. Netflix has the second-greatest number of titles at just under 20,000, the letter said."

Amazon announced its plans to acquire MGM - which is home to movie franchises such as James Bond and Rocky - for $8.45 billion earlier this year, in what is generally seen as a move designed to help it compete not just against Netflix, but also against services such as Disney+, Paramount+ HBO Max, and all the other streaming services that seem to be cropping up these days.