• Bloomberg reports that while Amazon "spooked investors last month when it predicted the slowest holiday season growth in its history," there are some signs, "albeit tentative … that the world’s largest e-commerce company could have a somewhat merrier Christmas than anticipated."
According to the story, "Inflation has eased in recent weeks and, according to survey results released Sunday by Jefferies Financial Group, US consumers see prices moderating in all categories except rent and groceries. Americans continue to spend despite rising interest rates, with October retail sales increasing the most in eight months. Analysts, meanwhile, expect Amazon to hit the higher end of its fourth-quarter forecast, with revenue growing 6.7% to $146.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s still a slowdown from last year’s 9.4% growth but hardly a disaster."
• TechCrunch reports that "Amazon will shut down its food delivery business in India by the end of the year, the retailer said Friday, retreating from a $20 billion vertical it entered less than three years ago.
"The retailer will shut down the food delivery business, called Amazon Food, on December 29 in India. It launched Food in India in May 2020 in parts of Bengaluru. The company later expanded the service across the city, tying up with additional restaurants, but it never heavily promoted or marketed the platform … The announcement is part of Amazon’s broader restructuring in India. It announced earlier this week that it will be shutting down its edtech service Academy in the country next year.
"India is a key overseas market for Amazon, which has deployed over $6.5 billion in its local business in the country. But the company is lagging Walmart’s Flipkart and struggling to make inroads in smaller Indian cities and towns, according to a recent report by Sanford C. Bernstein."
“We don’t take these decisions lightly," Amazon said in a prepared statement. "We are discontinuing these programs in a phased manner to take care of current customers and partners and we are supporting our affected employees during this transition. Amazon remains focused on providing our growing customer base the best online shopping experience with the largest selection of products at great value and convenience.”
• From Bloomberg:
"Amazon plans to spend more than $1 billion a year to produce movies that it will release in theaters, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, the largest commitment to cinemas by an internet company.
"The world’s largest online retailer aims to make between 12 and 15 movies annually that will get a theatrical release, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the company is sorting through its strategy. Amazon will release a smaller number of films in theaters next year and increase its output over time. That number of releases puts it on par with major studios such as Paramount Pictures.
"Streaming services have eschewed theaters with most of their original movies, or released the titles for less time and on fewer screens than traditional movie studios. Netflix in particular has aggravated cinema chains by releasing more than a movie a week for viewers at home. The streaming giant released a sequel to 'Knives Out' in theaters on Wednesday. It will stay there for just one week, however, before heading to streaming next month. The original film grossed $312.9 million theatrically in 2019.
"Amazon has been more open to theaters than Netflix, but has yet to invest as much money in original movies. While Netflix releases close to 100 movies a year, Amazon puts out just a couple dozen, many in languages other than English."