Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Amazon opened two drive-up grocery stores in Seattle and a bookstore in New York City last week, adding to a growing brick-and-mortar venture. The online retailer now has nine stores total — seven bookstores (with plans to open six more) and two grocery stores.

Why it matters: Amazon had $136b in sales last year — 43% of all online shopping. But there's a lot more money to be made in the offline retail industry. In 2016, e-commerce only made up $1.9 trillion of the $22 trillion in total retail sales, according to eMarketer, so the upside of expanding into the offline market is massive. And Amazon's experimentation in offline stores (using cameras to track customers to automatically charge for purchases and using mountains of data to track customer preferences and sales) could further disrupt retail employment — which has already been falling for four straight months.

How it works: AmazonFresh, the company's e-grocery department, is available to AmazonPrime members (who pay a $99 annual fee for two-day shipping). For a grocery subscription, they pay an added $14.99-a-month fee, for which they can order and pick up their groceries at a drive-up neighborhood store within 15 minutes. Customer data (name and license plate number) are stored so that subsequent pickups are available more quickly, Amazon says.

Amazon's physical bookstores, the newest of them in the heart of Manhattan, feature sections like "Highly rated children's books, 4.8 stars & Above" and "Most-Wished for Books on Amazon.com." The strategy is data-centric, offering products that the company already knows sell well online — and now, the company hopes, in person.

"Data is becoming the new crude oil — a valuable resource," Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for BankRate.com, tells Axios. Amazon is incorporating data it gathers online into the offline world, with the objective of broadening its already-commanding place in global retail. No matter if you're buying food or books, whether you are doing it online or in a traditional store, founder Jeff Bezos is going to try to get you immersed in the Amazon Way.

Bottom line: Unlike other stores, Amazon might not employ a lot of people in its physical shops. (The company has tested a cashier-less store called AmazonGo.) Asked about store employees, Nell Rona, an Amazon spokesperson, said the number "varies depending on the day and the time."

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Senate passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 50-49 on Saturday to approve President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: COVID relief has been a central promise for Biden, and passing the sweeping package has been a major priority for the administration and congressional Democrats.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.