August 01, 2022
Welcome back and happy August!
🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed down 0.3%.
- Biggest gainer? Boeing (+6.1%), following a report that the FAA cleared the way for the jet maker to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner.
- Biggest decliner? Royal Caribbean (-7.6%), after coming out with a $900 million convertible bond offering.
Today's newsletter, edited by Pete Gannon, is 699 words, a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: Amazon delivers same-day for mall brands
Amazon's newest Prime perk is same-day delivery from stores such as GNC and PacSun, Hope writes.
Why it matters: The added service demonstrates how much its consumer retail business has helped to fuel its enterprise e-commerce.
Catch up quick: Amazon announced today that Prime members in more than 10 cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., can get items from Superdry, Diesel, and others delivered same-day for free.
- Important caveats: Qualifying purchases need to be $25 or more. And orders are placed through the Amazon app or on Amazon.com.
Context: Other retailers including Sephora and grocery chains have been using platforms such as Instacart or UberEats to get their goods to homes.
- Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig tells Axios that one Amazon advantage is that it can deliver a variety of goods in one trip.
The big picture: Heavy investments that Amazon has made in its logistics are paying off at a larger scale.
- “It’s taking an existing same-day delivery infrastructure and expanding it to other retailers,” Forrester principal analyst Sucharita Kodali tells Axios.
What to watch: The real appeal and benefits of same-day delivery to retailers and customers.
- While there has been massive funding for speedy delivery startups, customer demand isn’t there yet, says Kodali.
- On the other hand, Weinswig sees same-day delivery as being able to help customers make more sustainable decisions — such as buying one gallon of milk when they need it, versus six gallons that could go to waste.
2. Charted: Two ways to clean a dish
Please use the dishwasher — that's Procter & Gamble's plea, Nathan writes.
- The company is doubling down on a long-running campaign to increase usage of the appliance in hopes of boosting its 70-year-old Cascade dishwashing brand, Bloomberg reports.
State of play: About 4 in 10 households don't use a dishwasher in a given week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- About 27% don't have one, and another 14% don't use the one that's there.
The intrigue: At least some shirk the dishwasher in the belief they are saving water, a narrative P&G has long been seeking to dispel.
3. What's happening
4. Book deal goes on trial
A federal trial that began today will determine whether Penguin Random House can acquire rival Simon & Schuster for $2.2 billion, marrying the first- and fourth-largest U.S. book publishers, Axios Pro's Kerry Flynn reports.
Why it matters: The outcome will set a precedent for mergers and acquisitions at large, as the Biden administration continues to challenge corporate consolidation.
What they're saying: The DOJ, which filed the lawsuit last November, argued Penguin Random House would gain "outsized influence" over which books are published in the U.S. and how much authors are paid.
- The other side: The company contends the government's argument amounts to "artificial concentration to create artificial harm," Deadline reported.
What's next: The trial is slated to run August 1-19, with a ruling expected in November, per Vanity Fair.
5. Nordstrom tire myth traced
Nordstrom's customer service has been described as "legendary."
- And that famous story you may have heard about being able to return anything — even car tires? It's true, the company says.
Driving the news: The retailer tracked down the former employee responsible for the famed refund and featured him on today’s episode of the company’s podcast, The Nordy Pod, Hope writes.
- Craig Trounce worked at a Nordstrom store in Fairbanks, Alaska, more than 40 years ago.
- A customer rolled in a pair of used car tires and insisted he bought them in that building. Nordstrom never sold tires, but it did acquire three stores from a company that did.
- Instead of turning the customer away, Trounce called a tire company to get an idea of the price and made the exchange.
Trounce’s thought bubble: “My grandmother from Germany had a saying — how you holler in the woods is how it echoes back."
6. What they're saying
“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have.”— Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to Google employees in an internal meeting, according to CNBC.
Thanks to Patricia Guadalupe for copy editing today's newsletter.