business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Boston Globe reports that Butcher Box, a meat subscription delivery service, is partnering with Instacart, which "will deliver ButcherBox products to customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Miami this summer through a pilot program."

“We’re meeting customers where those customers are,” ButcherBox founder and CEO Mike Salguero tells the Globe. “They’re not just on ButcherBox.com, they’re shopping on Instacart, they’re at restaurants. It’s about how we as a brand attract people wherever they go.”

I understand that Butcher Box wants to reach more customers, but it also needs to understand that Instacart now is going to have access to a lot of its customer information, which it can use if it decides it makes sense to start up a competing service, or can use in other marketing efforts.

I happen to be a  Butcher Box subscriber, but the moment that box of meat gets delivered to me via Instacart, I'm outta there.  I don't want to be a pawn in Instacart's growth plan.


•  Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "a new study from the Progressive Policy Institute, which was founded in 1989 as a centrist Democratic think tank and promises 'radically pragmatic thinking,' calls Amazon its No. 1 'investment hero.' It estimates that Amazon boosted its U.S. capital spending by 75% in 2020, to $33.8 billion, from the year earlier, which was more than twice that of any other company.

"The study names 25 investment heroes based on their U.S. capital spending. The rest of the top five for 2020 are Verizon Communications, $16.1 billion; AT&T, $15.6 billion; Google’s parent Alphabet, $14 billion; and Intel, $12.5 billion."

According to the report, “The willingness of these companies to keep spending essentially made it possible for large chunks of the economy to move forward despite the pandemic … Investment by broadband and tech companies kept people connected at home during the shock of the lockdown; and the investment by e-commerce firms helped keep essential goods flowing while many Americans could not go out shopping."


•  In the UK, This Is Money reports that "Amazon is predicted to overtake Tesco as Britain's biggest retailer in 2025, marking a major change of the guard. 

"The pandemic has turbocharged online shopping and put Amazon, which started selling books in the UK in 1998, on the road to dominance … Tesco, founded by Polish migrants as London market stall in 1919, employs 340,000 staff in its 3,400 UK stores."