Amazon’s formidable presence in the world of retail stems partly from the fact that it’s just not a commerce giant, it’s also a tech company — building solutions and platforms in house that make its processes, from figuring out what to sell, to how much to have on hand and how best to distribute it — more efficient and smarter than those of its competition.
Now, one of the startups that is building retail technology to help those that are not Amazon compete better with it, has raised a significant round of funding to meet that challenge.
Relex — a company out of Finland that focuses on retail planning solutions by helping both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce companies make better forecasts of how products will sell using AI and machine learning, and in turn giving those retailers guidance on how and what should be stocked for purchasing — is today announcing that it has raised $200 million from TCV.
Relex is not disclosing its valuation but from what I understand it’s a minority stake, which would put it at between $400 million and $500 million.
The report comes amid concerns over the future of brick-and-mortar retailers, with the likes of Sears and Toys 'R' Us facing bankruptcy — although the latter's lenders recently cancelled a bankruptcy auction and plans to revive the brand.
Not to mention the fact that several retailers are closing hundreds of stores across the country as the threat of increased competition from e-commerce firms like Amazon and eBay continues to put pressure on the industry.
The research said the sector would see a 4.4 percent gain year-on-year in in-store sales, rising to $878.38 billion, and that brick-and-mortar would be a "bright spot" for the retail industry as a whole for the 2018 Christmas holiday period.
"While e-commerce will continue to see strong double-digit gains, brick-and-mortar retail should be a particular bright spot this holiday season," Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in a statement Tuesday.
The chipmaker also unveiled what are hailed as the world’s first data center processors and graphics cards to feature a leading-edge 7-nanometer architecture.
AWS said that the new cloud instances run on customized central processing units from AMD’s Epyc line but didn’t disclose the model. The virtual machines are organized into two families, M5a and R5a, that cost up to 10 percent less than comparable instances running Intel Corp.
The M5a series comes in six sizes that all target workloads such as application servers.
AWS’ new R5a machines, meanwhile, target analytics applications and other data-intensive workloads that require even more RAM than what M5a offers.
It’s worth noting that Amazon’s Prime members already qualify for free same-day and two-day deliveries on certain goods, including Whole Foods orders, but this latest announcement opens things up to those who have yet to join Amazon Prime.
CVS is piloting a program in Boston that includes free delivery on most prescriptions and online purchases, access to a pharmacist helpline, a 20 percent discount on all CVS-branded products and a monthly $10 coupon.
Though still just a pilot in one city at this point, CarePass is a bold attempt to fight Amazon — and may even put the retailer ahead.
"We think it's a one-of-a-kind in the marketplace, but the reason for doing it is the direct response of the interest that our customers have shown us in the program," CVS Pharmacy President Kevin Hourican told CNBC.
Online shopping has already hurt drugstores' revenue as fewer consumers come in to buy everyday items.
Amazon hasn’t broken down how much each participating charity has raised through the campaign, only that “hundreds of thousands of charities have been able to expand their meaningful work thanks to the donations they’ve received through AmazonSmile,” according to Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, Jeff Wilke.
After announcing earlier this year that it planned to shut down HipChat and Stride and sell the IP of both to Slack, today enterprise software company Atlassian made another move related to its retreat from enterprise chat.
IBM has agreed to acquire open-source software company Red Hat for $34 billion, the company announced Sunday.IBM hopes the acquisition will help it expand its position in the enterprise cloud computing market to better compete with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based software company will operate as a distinct unit within IBM's Hybrid Cloud team.
Amazon.com on Thursday forecast holiday season sales that disappointed Wall Street, attributing what would be its lowest growth in years more to accounting issues than to any slowdown in business for the world’s largest online retailer.
Amazon’s third-quarter sales and its forecast for fourth-quarter operating profit missed analyst estimates as well.
For years, Amazon has made expensive bets on new technology and programs, like its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 to storm the U.S.
Amazon’s more subdued expectations for this year’s holiday shopping season, which runs from the U.S.
In a June 15 email to a DHS recipient, Amazon Web Service's federal sales principal for Homeland Security followed up on a conversation about Amazon's artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies that occurred at the Redwood City, California, offices of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The firm had an "integrated consulting management services" contract with ICE, part of which focused on "developing ICE [Enforcement and Removal Operations'] modernized vision and strategy."
Update, 2:30 PM: An Amazon spokesperson told Ars that Amazon “participated with a number of other technology companies in technology 'boot camps' sponsored by McKinsey Company, where a number of technologies were discussed, including Rekognition.
Amazon is adding some new perks for its Business Prime program, headlined by a new credit card offered with American Express.
The credit card has no annual fee and includes the choice of 5 percent back or 90-day interest free payments for Business Prime members on purchases from Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods stores.
Business Prime members in more than 8,000 cities can now get one-day and same-day shipping on more than 1 million items for orders over $35.
Spend Visibility gives users the ability to visualize their company spending, powered by AWS QuickSight.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a bombshell report claiming that agents from a Chinese intelligence organization successfully planted malicious hardware on Supermicro servers that eventually were put into use by companies like Apple and Amazon.
What’s more, both Amazon and Apple issued strongly worded responses unequivocally denying all aspects of the story.
Apple’s denial reads in part: “On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.
A few weeks later, Tim Cook is now calling on Bloomberg to retract the story altogether.
Amazon said it also plans to add more people to its R&D bases in Edinburgh and Cambridge — respectively known for developing search technology as well as the AI technology that powers Alexa, among other things.
The government is positioning Amazon’s news as a win at a time when many have been criticising how it has been handling Brexit negotiations.
The news was announced today as the company presented an “Innovation Day” to journalists, showcasing some of the different areas that are the focus of its R&D hubs in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the U.K.
For example, in one demo the company showed off today, a new computer vision-based system Amazon is building in Berlin will allow robots to identify what produce is ripe or rotten so that automatic pickers can select more robust fruit and vegetables to pack off to consumers, and identify what needs to be discarded.
Wish CEO Peter Szulczewski built an $8 billion e-commerce juggernaut on the back of bargain-basement pricing made possible by cheap shipping rates for low-weight goods sent to the U.S.
But now, the Trump administration is threatening to withdraw from the United Nations agency that oversees those rates — throwing the future into question for one of the few U.S.
The Trump administration has argued that the cheap rates give Chinese manufacturers and merchants an unfair advantage over their American counterparts, and have resulted in scenarios where it is at times cheaper to ship items from China to the U.S.
A Trump administration official also told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that China’s subsidized rates cost the United States $300 million a year.