January 11, 2023

Hump day. ✅

Today's newsletter is 658 words, a 2½-minute read.

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed up 1.3%, with all eyes now on tomorrow's inflation report.

  • Biggest gainer? GE HealthCare (+8.2%), after issuing preliminary fourth-quarter results.
  • Biggest decliner? Teleflex (-7.6%), the medical device company, took a hard tumble after closing higher Tuesday.

1 big thing: New acronym alert

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Amazon is turning into a logistics as a service (LaaS) provider, Hope writes.

Why it matters: The company will soon allow eligible U.S. merchants to offer its Prime logistics services without actually having to sell on Amazon.

  • Its future growth, especially in terms of profits, could increasingly ride on its ability to manage inventory, warehouse and deliver for other businesses.

Details: Amazon will open up its Buy with Prime program — running on an invite-only basis since April last year — at the end of the month, Amazon announced yesterday.

  • Sellers who sign up pay Amazon to store and deliver their products, as well as process customer payments.
  • People who pay for Amazon Prime get the benefit of free shipping and next-day delivery from more places that want to keep selling — or only sell — through their own websites. (Direct-to-consumer brands, for example.)

What they're saying: Sharon Gee, VP of revenue growth at Buy With Prime partner BigCommerce, called the move, announced during Amazon’s sellers conference last year, "essentially ... a change in their philosophy."

  • "For the first time ever, Amazon was going to modularize their fulfillment capability,” she tells Axios. 

The big picture: In many ways, Amazon’s LaaS play is taking off similarly to its profit engine, Amazon Web Services.

  • “Amazon’s smartly figuring out what alternative revenue sources are available to them, leveraging the assets that they have really perfected,” Anne Mezzenga, co-CEO of Omni Talk, a news platform, tells Axios.

2. Charted: Can't catch a break

Share of flights <span style="color: white; background-color:#FB9430; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; font-weight: 900;">delayed</span> or <span style="color: white; background-color:#D93B17; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; font-weight: 900;">canceled</span> among select airlines
Data: FlightAware; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Southwest Airlines felt the biggest sting among its peers today after the FAA paused takeoffs nationwide due to a key flight system outage early this morning, Hope writes.

Catch up quick: The percentage of delayed and canceled flights across Southwest, American, United and Delta grew from about 35% around 11am to more than 50% by the end of the afternoon, according to FlightAware data.

  • Shares of Southwest, which have dropped nearly 8% over the past month due to its system meltdown over the holidays, closed lower by 0.7% today.
  • Competitors United, American, Delta and Spirit all rebounded to close in the green.

3. What's happening

✂️ Blackrock is cutting up to 500 jobs, its first round of layoffs since early 2019. (Bloomberg)

🐭 Disney named Mark Parker its next chairman, succeeding Susan Arnold. (Variety)

4. Ubisoft sounds gaming warning

Skull & Bones. Screenshot: Ubisoft

Video game giant Ubisoft today cut projects and lowered its estimated operating income for the current year by $1 billion, Axios Gaming author Stephen Totilo writes.

  • The company blamed macroeconomic conditions, suggesting other game companies might struggle similarly.

Details: Net bookings — which include game sales, downloadable content purchases and other transactions — are expected to decline 10% for the year, rather than the 10% growth the company previously forecasted.

The big picture: Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and CFO Frédéric Duguet told investors in a hastily announced investor call today that inflation was giving some gamers pause.

  • They said a reluctance to spend was most evident in their casual and mobile sectors.

Yes, but: Ubisoft has had a conspicuously fallow run over the last two years. Its flagship Assassin’s Creed series hasn’t had a new game since 2020’s AC Valhalla, the largest gap in the series’ 15-year history.

Go deeper.

5. All in the family

Head of French multinational corporation LVMH Bernard Arnault (C) and his wife Helene (2R), pose with their children (from L-R) Frederic Arnault, Delphine Arnault, Antoine Arnault and Alexandre Arnault. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

All five children of Bernard Arnault currently the world’s richest person — hold management positions at brands within luxury conglomerate LVMH, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: He just named his daughter Delphine CEO of Christian Dior, the company’s second largest fashion label.

The big picture: Tracking nepotism babies or “nepo babies” kicked off after New York magazine last month peered into notable Hollywood family trees.

  • From the Redstones, Wenners and Murdochs in media to the Tysons of the poultry industry and the Laurens of apparel, Arnault’s clan is a reminder that corporations are no different from Hollywood.

6. What they're saying

"I remember when I first came to Hollywood, it was a dream come true … until I got here."
— “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leading actress Michelle Yeoh in her Golden Globes acceptance speech last night.

Today's newsletter was edited by Pete Gannon and copy edited by Sheryl Miller.