Published on: March 30, 2022
With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• From the Seattle Times:
"Regulators with the state Department of Labor and Industries have cited and fined Amazon four times in the past 11 months — a total of $81,000 — for alleged violations of workplace safety laws, accusing the company of setting an unsafe pace that puts employees at risk as they quickly move package after package.
"The company disputes the violations, saying it sets a safe and comfortable pace of work and is constantly looking for new technologies and processes to keep workers safe in its warehouses and delivery stations. Amazon appealed the first three citations and plans to appeal the fourth.
"Those appeals, the start of an often lengthy legal process, don’t mean Amazon can continue operating as usual. But, for the most part, Amazon still is.
"Under Washington law, employers are required to address workplace safety violations even while an appeal is pending. Since issuing their first in a string of citations against Amazon last May, state officials say the company hasn’t done enough to satisfy their concerns and risks more injuries each day."
I'm sorry, but the idea that Amazon and Washington State are tussling over $81,000 in fines is almost laughable. I did a little checking, and apparently it can cost as much as a half-million dollars - or more, considering the price of gas these days - to fill up a super yacht like the one Jeff Bezos owns. Sounds to me like regulators are bringing a dull knife to a gun fight.
• Benzinga reports that DoorDash Inc has announced a new partnership with BJ's Wholesale Club, allowing even non-BJ's members to "get same-day grocery delivery through BJs.com. The partnership covers all 226 BJ's locations in 17 different eastern U.S. states."
Unless I'm missing something, doesn't this mean that the $50 membership fee at BJ's has just become obsolete? BJ's has something like five million members, so this deal potentially could take $250 million in revenue off its books. I hope the non-members who buy from BJ's via DoorDash are able to compensate for that possible loss.
• The Information this morning reports that "Gopuff, the instant-delivery company valued at $15 billion last fall, is preparing to lay off hundreds of employees, or around 3% of its global workforce, said a person with knowledge of the matter. The cuts are part of an effort to reduce annual head count costs by at least $40 million, said another person who was briefed about the move."
The layoffs, according to the story, "follow a hiring freeze earlier this month and the resignations of several key executives. The moves show how private companies, even those that raised billions of dollars last year, are looking to rein in expenses as investors increasingly favor companies with lower cash burn."
• There was an announcement yesterday that energy company/c-store retailer bp and Uber Technologies have "a new global strategic convenience delivery partnership, extending their existing local arrangements to reach more consumers across the world. Together, the partners will offer a huge range of quality convenience products, including fresh and prepared ranges, from select retail locations.
"bp is the first convenience retailer to team up with Uber Eats on a global level and aims to have more than 3,000 retail locations available on the delivery platform over the next three years. The partnership supports bp’s goal of growing its access to customers and expanding its delivery footprint, in response to soaring demand for food, groceries and everyday essentials brought to the door.
"The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US. Sites in the UK and eastern US will be added to the app for the first time this year, with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023."