• The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Lowes Foods "has formed a partnership with QuickCollect Solutions that is focused on providing more grocery options to consumers returning to the workplace.
"The partnership expands Lowes Foods to Go delivery options by placing Bell and Howell’s QuickCollect GL temperature-controlled grocery lockers at offices and corporate campuses. Orders are placed online and delivered the next delivery day.
"Once an order is placed and has been delivered to the locker, the guest is notified via text or email with a unique pickup code. From there, the guest can simply scan the code and retrieve their items."
• Reuters reports that Amazon "could be fined more than $425 million under the European Union's privacy law … Luxembourg's data-protection commission, CNPD, has circulated a draft decision and proposed a fine highlighting Amazon's privacy practices among the bloc's 26 national data-protection authorities … The case relates to Amazon's collection and use of individuals' personal data and violations under EU's landmark data privacy rules known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)."
• AdWeek reports that Instacart "is committing up to $1 million in advertising credits to help boost Black-owned consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands on the platform.
"Specifically, the grocery delivery service is offering brands credits for its Featured Products offering. The credits are valid through 2021 … Supporting Black-owned businesses was one of the initiatives outlined by Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta in an April 2021 blog post about how the platform plans to 'continue to be an advocate for the Black community and drive systemic change in what we can impact and own within our company and the communities we serve'."
• Bloomberg reports that Amazon has reversed a previously announced policy - instead of returning to an office-centric model this fall, it now will allow corporate employees to work remotely two days a week if they so choose.
According to the story, "Amazon said it expects office workers in the U.S., U.K. and several other countries to resume working mostly on site the week of Sept. 7, according to an email sent to employees Thursday. Workers can seek exemptions to the rules, which have to be approved. Corporate employees would also have the option of working up to four weeks a year fully remote from a domestic location."
However, the decision could have repercussions: "Amazon’s new position … may slow the revival of Seattle’s downtown, which has been struggling to rebound from the pandemic while white-collar workers stay away. Amazon is the largest office tenant in the city, with a campus that sprawls through multiple neighborhoods.
"As businesses shifted to remote work during the pandemic, foot traffic downtown dropped dramatically. More than 160 street-level businesses downtown shuttered permanently last year, according to a tally from the Downtown Seattle Association."