• Amazon will open electronic- and toy-centric pop-ups in Europe for the holiday season, deemed “Amazon Loft for Xmas.” The stores will be in operation from November 16 to 26 in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris, located in city centers. The company has also debuted Prime Wardrobe, its try-before-you-buy service in the UK.
  • Amazon is launching a new delivery program, Delivery Associates, to relieve the burden of the holiday season. Unlike the Delivery Service Partners program, launched in August 2018 to allow third-party companies to fulfill packages last mile, Delivery Associates will be controlled by Amazon itself—wages, vehicles and schedules will be dictated by the ecommerce platform—and participants may apply to continue working for Amazon delivery after the season ends. This program further reduces Amazon’s reliance on UPS, FedEx and USPS.
  • Amazon will mail its first printed holiday toy catalog to millions of customers starting in November. The catalog is 70 pages and includes QR codes for a large number of products to facilitate ecommerce buys—customers can also scan images with the Amazon App to learn more and purchase items online. Essentially an updated version of the iconic Toys R Us catalog before the company filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, Amazon’s snail mail is a clear attempt to fill the void that the toy retailer left in its wake.