retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"For the second time, plans by Amazon to substantially expand its presence in the New York area have been abandoned after labor and community groups mobilized in opposition.

"In 2019, Amazon abruptly canceled plans to build a second headquarters in New York City after facing a barrage of criticism that it did not anticipate. This time, the e-commerce giant was unable to complete a deal for a cargo hub at Newark Liberty International Airport.

"The project, which hinged on a 20-year lease worth hundreds of millions of dollars, attracted opposition after the Port Authority disclosed it last summer.

"'Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon have been unable to reach an agreement on final lease terms and mutually concluded that further negotiations will not resolve the outstanding issues,' Huntley Lawrence, the Port Authority’s chief operating officer, said in a statement on Thursday.

"Advocacy groups and unions involved had said they could not support the lease unless Amazon made a set of concessions that included labor agreements and a zero-emissions benchmark at the facility.

"'This victory signals that if Amazon wants to continue growing in New Jersey, it’s going to have to do it on our terms,' said Sara Cullinane, director of Make the Road New Jersey, an advocacy group that had questioned the deal.

"Amazon, which expressed confidence in May that the deal would close, expressed disappointment in a statement, adding that 'we’re proud of our robust presence in New Jersey and look forward to continued investments in the state'."

•  Peapod Digital Labs (PDL), the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine for the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA, has announced "the launch of an Incubator Program for diverse-owned suppliers, specifically targeting suppliers for its Private Brands portfolio. The Incubator is designed to develop new, exceptional quality, private-labeled products in partnership with certified, diverse-owned suppliers. During the two-and-a-half-month program, the chosen participants will learn from PDL’s Private Brands team about the private brand structure and goals, will grow their knowledge of the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA, and, ultimately, will propose product concepts for consideration."

According to the announcement, "Participants selected for the Incubator will get a concentrated look at Peapod Digital Labs and the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA. The program will include educational sessions and discussions on best practices with various functional subject matter experts. Participants will also be paired with their own personal private brand mentors, who will help them prepare for their final pitch."