business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• Amazon announced that it "has more than 50,000 roles available to fill across its U.S. fulfillment network. For anyone who has ever been curious about what working at Amazon is like and how the retailer fulfills customer orders at superfast speed, the company is opening up 10 of its fulfillment centers on August 2 from 8 a.m. to noon local time for its first Jobs Day with tours and information sessions ... Candidates can come on-site to learn more about working at Amazon and the technology it utilizes in its operations. The company plans to make thousands of on-the-spot job offers to qualified candidates who apply on-site as part of Amazon Jobs Day."


Tech Crunch reports that Amazon "is continuing its international expansion push with the launch of its services in Singapore," which is expected to happen "as soon as this week ... The launch will see Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now fast delivery and Amazon’s regular e-commerce services become available to Singapore’s population of over five million people."

The story notes that in addition to attempting to acquire Whole Foods in the US, Amazon "has spent 2017 pushing into new geographies ... It expanded into the Middle East — via the acquisition of Souq.com — (and) initiated a move into Australia ... Now it is jumping into Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million consumers where rival Alibaba and fellow Chinese firm Tencent are already actively investing.

Let's face facts. You can't aim for world domination without actually trying to take over the world.


• The Washington Post reports that David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock USA, has sent a "blistering" five-page email to store owners selling his shoes and warning them to under no circumstances to sell them via Amazon.

The reason? Counterfeits.

The Post writes that "Birkenstock stopped selling its shoes on Amazon earlier this year, citing a rise in counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers." However, when Amazon reportedly contacted individual retailers offering to buy Birkenstocks at full price so it could offer them online, Jahan said that "he is considering legal action against Amazon.com for 'knowingly encouraging a breach of our policy'."

Kahan also called Amazon's efforts a “desperate act” and a “PERSONAL AFFRONT."

Not cool. Amazon doesn't even deny the charge. I'm not sure that Amazon is morally required to say no if a third party wants to sell Birkenstock on its site, but the effort to deliberately circumvent the show company's policy strikes me as a mistake. They seem petty when they don't have to.
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