business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From Bloomberg:

"Amazon will deliver packages to customers by bike and on foot for the first time in the UK as the retailer announces new methods of reducing emissions.

"The delivery giant said its new 'micromobility' hub in London will lead to a million more customer deliveries each year, while others are expected to open across the UK in the coming months.

"Delivery drivers will ride e-cargo bikes and walk to customers' homes and offices in central London, replacing thousands of traditional van journeys in the city's congested roads.

"Amazon has taken steps to electrify its fleet with 1,000 electric vans now on UK roads, as it strives to deliver half its shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030 and all by 2040."

•  Business Insider reports that "Amazon has recently tested a new internal survey aimed at learning more about employee sentiment throughout the week, Insider has learned.

"The new program asked how employees felt about their jobs during the week, including questions about how positive or negative their emotions were for that day, according to people familiar with the program. Only select employees were invited to the trial test, which was conducted over email and ran for three days earlier this month. The survey questions were sent at around 2 p.m. Seattle time each day.

"The limited test was an extension of Connections, Amazon's daily survey program through which employees answer one question confidentially about their experience when they sign in for work every day. Questions for Connections are wide-ranging, such as thoughts about their managers and the length of their meetings, or in some cases, how crowded bathrooms get."

The story notes that "the new trial survey comes at a time when Amazon is grappling with a spike in attrition and executive turnover. By collecting more data about employee sentiment, Amazon can potentially better identify employees with low morale or higher risk of leaving."

We appear to have come. along way from the days when Jeff Bezos wanted to pay disaffected employees to leave, on the theory that keeping them would end up costing the company a lot more money.

•  From CNBC:

"Enjoy Technology, a retail startup founded by former Apple and J.C. Penney exec Ron Johnson, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, mere months after it made its stock market debut.

"The company’s liquidity has dwindled while its business has suffered from staffing shortages. Enjoy, which operates mobile retail stores, went public in October through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

"Enjoy said in a filing that it plans to sell its assets in the United States to the technology repair company Asurion."

The story notes that "Johnson, who is also CEO of Enjoy, founded the company in 2014. He is best known for helping to create Apple’s retail business and for trying to turn around the J.C. Penney department store chain, albeit unsuccessfully. He was there from 2011 to 2013, a period in which his strategy alienated the retailer’s core customers."

Enjoy describes itself as "a technology company that is reinventing 'Commerce at Home' by partnering with the world’s premium consumer brands to provide a personalized, high-touch retail experience in the comfort of home … Enjoy’s technology platform integrates orders, matches them in real-time to Experts and inventory, and coordinates logistics for delivery. Enjoy’s full-time, trained Experts currently offer delivery, setup, activation, data-transfers, product trade-ins, and additional shopping all in one convenient, free visit."

It always sounded great … but for the life of me, I could never figure out the economics of it.  Apparently, neither could they … and economic shifts made the road ahead even more inhospitable.