• As its apparel retail business grows, Amazon’s 3D body scanning department will collect data on how body size and shape changes over time. The company acquired a startup called Body Labs in 2017 that it is working with to create “statistical 3D models of human bodies.” With the help of voluntary participants who partake in a series of 10 semi-monthly meetings, Amazon hopes to utilize its findings to reduce the likelihood that customers return online clothing purchases—a feature of online apparel sales that is plaguing ecommerce operations across the industry.
  • Amazon halted its expansion in Seattle following the discovery of a newly proposed law that seeks to collect taxes from companies in order to alleviate the city’s housing crisis. The tax would only collect $500 per employee—a miniscule setback for the company—and Amazon’s reluctance to pay it comes up against its apparent enthusiasm to establish more of a symbiotic relationship with whichever city it chooses for HQ2.
  • Amazon added its first new service since upping the price of a Prime membership: a subscription called Prime Book Box Kids. The service is available to Prime members at $23 each (marketed as a 35% discount) and the curated book selections are determined by age. With an option to swap some books out for others, this is likely a low-cost way for Amazon to collect more data on customer preferences and engrain in every-day family life as it interacts with its now more than 100 million Prime members.
  • Amazon launched a new pet brand, Wag, which adds to its ever-expanding private-label network. Only available to Prime members, Wag sells dry dog food for now, but has plans to provide a wide array of pet supplies. Dry food is heavy—and thus expensive to ship—but Amazon knows it’s a product that must be replenished. As it expands the private-label brand, it will be able to capitalize on a $72.1 billion pet market, as per 2018 predictions, and send more of the revenue its own way.