• Amazon Channels continues to take more of the television subscriptions pie from TV networks. The service, which allows Prime customers to purchase streaming subscriptions to television channels is now 55% of à la carte video subscriptions: 53% of HBO subscribers who don’t pay through their TV provider buy from Amazon instead, as do 72% of Showtime subscribers and 70% of Starz subscribers. Meanwhile, Apple is setting up Apple TV to sell channel subscriptions the same way.
  • Amazon is upgrading its beauty shopping experience—a growing threat to other beauty retailers. The company now holds 9% of the beauty market and offers an updated interface where shoppers can browse luxury, professional skincare and salon and spa tabs online. In June, Amazon will launch the Indie Beauty Shop, offering exclusive items not sold through Ulta, Target or Walmart—it already sells 94% of Ulta’s best-selling products, often at lower prices. As Amazon sheds its reputation as a commodifier and purveyor of counterfeit items, its share of beauty—both on the high and low end—is sure to grow.
  • Whole Foods is testing out a store-in-a-store concept, selling Plant & Plate housewares alongside produce and other food products at one New Jersey location. Though apparently not related to the Amazon acquisition, Amazon announced late last year that it will open up pop-ups at more than 100 Whole Foods locations to sell electronics before the 2018 holiday season and could have a larger plan to make Whole Foods into a Target or Walmart-like store that sells more than just groceries.
  • Amazon will launch the Marketplace Appstore, a free service to help its approximately 2 million sellers manage inventory and orders. A project of Amazon Marketplace Web Service, which allows sellers to share logistical data with Amazon and run their businesses more efficiently, the Marketplace Appstore is yet another way for Amazon to integrate its vendors on its own platform.
  • As ecommerce continues to grapple with a never-ending wave of returns, Amazon is red flagging and closing accounts from customers who have made too many returns. Amazon has not released information about the number of accounts it has closed and the company’s return policy does not stipulate that customers can be punished for returning too many items. While some accounts were closed without warning, other customers received email notifications beforehand.
  • As Amazon continues to mark its territory across the consumer industry, Acer revealed that its new laptops are integrated with Alexa. Meanwhile, as Amazon announced Amazon Go will move to new cities, Walmart nixed scan-and-go checkout. In the delivery space, Target’s Restock service that provides next-day delivery is now offered across the U.S. for only $3.