business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Wall Street Journal this morning writes about how the fastest-growing trend in e-commerce may be the backing away by consumers from "demands for urgent delivery that have fed a race among online retailers and parcel carriers to fill orders in just a day, within an hour and even faster. Delivery apps including Instacart have started offering delivery in as little as 15 minutes, a service aimed at food and pharmacy orders.

"The competition accelerated early in the Covid-19 pandemic, when locked-down households began ordering all kinds of goods online and triggered a boom in e-commerce business. That has also quickened the search for faster paths to last-mile delivery, including technology such as drone delivery aimed at overcoming hurdles such as traffic and distance. 

"Now, some consumers are showing more willingness to wait and greater reluctance to bear the costs of getting basic household items in hours rather than days."

The economics of super-fast delivery never made sense, or least never had been proven;  venture capital groups were investing in promises that I always felt would be hard to live up to.  It was like nobody in that sector ever had been in traffic.

•  From The Information:

"The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Monday handed down a fine against an Amazon seller for abusing the site’s reviews system to boost its products, representing the agency’s first enforcement action for what it calls 'review hijacking.'

"The Bountiful Company, a supplements maker, tricked customers into believing that newer products had more reviews and higher ratings by repurposing reviews from older products, the FTC said … The FTC’s commissioners unanimously approved a consent order requiring The Bountiful Company to pay a $600,000 fine. The order also bars the company from using similar deceptive tactics in the future, the FTC said."

•  Amazon announced that it now is featuring PickleTV - described as "a new free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel dedicated to professional pickleball matches, tutorials, interviews, and original content … the only streaming channel dedicated to pickleball 24/7" - on both Prime Video and Amazon Freevee in the U.S.

According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, it is estimated that there are currently 36.5 million pickleball players in the US - up from five million in 2021 was roughly 5 million.

"There is an increasing demand for pickleball content from pickleball players but, more importantly, from people that have never played the sport. The country is curious about this game called pickleball. A 24-hour channel will provide, not only pickleball matches but learning tools for new players through clinics and instructional content. It is the perfect time to launch this great asset to the sport," said Terri Graham, owner/co-founder of the US Open of Pickleball, in a prepared statement.