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- Vincent Phamvan
February 3, 2020

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Daily e-commerce and retail briefing

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Amazon Reports Sales Boom After The Rollout Of One-Day Prime Delivery

On the latest episode of Today In Five:

With the rise of e-commerce has come the rise of counterfeit goods. The U.S. is now vowing to crack down on those counterfeit goods.

  • UPS and Waymo, a self-driving vehicle company, are partnering to launch a package transportation pilot according to an announcement. Waymo’s autonomous vans will pick up packages from UPS stores in the Phoenix area, and deliver them to nearby UPS sorting facilities. A trained driver will be present in the vehicles at all times. Scott Price, the UPS chief strategy and transformation officer said in a statement that the pilot would assist with, “getting packages to our sortation facilities sooner and more frequently, while also creating an opportunity for later drop-offs for next-day service." The companies plan to use the pilot to explore ways they can incorporate autonomous vehicles at scale and potentially work together long-term. The partnership comes at a time when last-mile delivery is in demand and more firms are looking to autonomous vehicles to cut down on labor costs and improve driver retention.


  • A sale of Victoria’s Secret in the midst of declining sales looks more likely. The private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, is reportedly in talks with L Brands founder and CEO, Les Wexner, to buy Victoria’s Secret according to the Wall Street Journal. The publication previously reported that L Brands was in talks to sell off the brand and that Wexner was set to step down, except to retain his seat on the board as chairman. There’s an existing relationship between L Brands and Sycamore, with the latter taking a controlling stake about eight years ago in the company’s Mast Global Fashion sourcing and logistics unit, and in 2015, took over the rest as L Brands spun it off into a separate company.


  • Nordstrom is diving deeper into the resale industry. The company announced they were opening an apparel resale shop, called See You Tomorrow, at its New York flagship store and online. The assortment will include women’s apparel, shoes, and handbags, along with men’s apparel, accessories, and shoes. The shop will be stocked in part with cleaned, repaired, and refurbished the Nordstrom Quality Center, which processes returned and damaged merchandise. Another source will be customers, who can exchange their own used clothing at the New York flagship for gift cards they can use at Nordstrom. With its take on resale, Nordstrom may be working hard to prove the viability of department stores during a time when most department stores are struggling.  

 

Amazon Crushes Fourth Quarter Earnings, Beating Analyst Expectations

While many doubted the profitability of  integrating one-day shipping, Amazon just reported that it actually fueled a sales boom. The e-commerce giant reported that fourth-quarter net product sales rose year over year to $50.5 billion from $44.7 billion. For the full year, net product sales rose to $106.4 billion from $141.9 billion in 2018. Net online store sales in the quarter rose 15% year over year. Third-party seller services rose more than 30%. Executives said that the move to deliver items in one day helped drive those sales. 

The roll-out of one-day shipping had many thinking the added expense for fulfillment would cut into the giant’s profits. Amazon instead answered with profits soaring 8 percent $3.3 billion. The e-commerce giant continues to innovate and drive consumer expectations as it implements difficult to carry out strategies, and is challenging many other retailers to rise to the challenge. Its consumer-focused initiatives have set a new precedent that will be hard to follow. 

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