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In Case You Missed It: Amazon News Round Up – September 16-22, 2017

When I first read about Amazon Prime Instant Pickup, my thoughts went to pharmacies and how this could be the beginning of Amazon getting into that funny niche of convenience store/drugstore overlap where it’s all about quick trips in and out and grabbing add-ons like impulse-buy snacks and the toilet paper you forgot to pick up at at Target . . . oh, and the prescription your kid’s pediatrician called in and you need ASAP.

In a CNET article, Cooper Smith, head of Amazon research at market researcher L2, was of a similar mind and stated that “Amazon could really target the Walgreens and Rite Aids of the world with this.” It seems like Smith and I were onto something as this week, Investor’s Business Daily reported that “Amazon Could Be Targeting Pharmacy Delivery Business” and that it will be not only the Walgreens and Rite Aids that are affected, but the mail-order pharmacy services such as Express Scripts as well.

In a move sure to delight Amazon shoppers in close proximity to Kohl’s and/or Whole Foods stores (and a move sure to annoy Kohl’s and Whole Foods store employees), selected locations of the department store and all locations of the grocery will now accept returns of items purchased on Amazon. Both Kohl’s and Whole Foods are already selling certain Amazon items such as Kindles and Echos so the returns element is not entirely out of the blue. While the expanded returns option has the potential to drive sales at the physical stores, the folks at The Motley Fool have looked at the history of Amazon’s relationships with brick-and-mortar stores and declared that “With Its Amazon Deal, Kohl’s Is Playing With Fire.”

Bonus Resource: Amazon Is Firing on All Cylinders to Grow Its Retail Presence, which includes a full list of Amazon’s growing physical footprint.

Amazon’s recent announcement that it was looking for a location for its second corporate headquarters in North America has set off quite the competition as cities vie against one another in attempt to woo the online giant. If you’re involved in your city’s bid (or you’re involved in an office pool where people are betting on the where the new HQ2 will land), read up on the competition:

Apparently, the thirst for Amazon HQ2 is real.

Almost exactly a month to the day after the Echo Dot debacle wherein Amazon gave away thousands of free Dots (and canceled many thousands more orders for free Dots), Amazon has blundered again in a very public way. This week, many customers received emails from Amazon informing them that a gift was on the way and that said gift was something purchased from the recipient’s Amazon Baby Registry. This might have been delightful news were it not for the fact that, as CNN reported, “Many of the recipients did not have a baby registry—let alone a baby gestating or any plans to have or adopt a baby” and “the email looked like a phishing email, with a stock-photo baby crawling off the side.” Because Amazon seems to do everything right and to be so ruthlessly efficient in doing so, I can’t help but almost be slightly charmed when it makes an error such as this one. Or maybe it’s just schadenfreude.

Lena R. Liberman

Lena is a Content Editor at Seller Labs. She has nearly 20 years of editorial experience, heavily concentrated in the fields of technology, publishing, and education. When not gathering information and writing about it, Lena can be found restoring vintage furniture or hiking with her dogs.