• Amazon hit new sales records during the Thanksgiving sales holidays. Notably, Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day in company history, with electronics performing especially well. Additionally, small- and medium-sized businesses’ sales on Black Friday grew more than 20% year over year and Whole Foods sold more turkeys than ever before, breaking its own record for the second consecutive year.
  • Amazon is further deepening its ties with Microsoft, which has begun selling Echo devices in stores—back in May, the two also forged an integration between Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana and Alexa. But it’s not likely that partnering with Amazon will help enhance Cortana’s lesser status in the long run when it comes to AI tech, especially in the face of the ever-prominent Alexa.
  • Amazon partnered with actress Prianka Chopra, who created and published her wedding registry on the ecommerce retailer, later posting about it on Instagram. It’s a new iteration of influencer marketing, which Amazon will increasingly take advantage of in the future, tapping into the pre-existing “wish list” feature on its site.
  • Amazon is seeking to disseminate Amazon Pay, reaching out to restaurants and gas stations specifically to infiltrate markets that it doesn’t see as competitors. The payment service first launched in 2007, but hasn’t seen much traction—not only because of more popular mobile payment systems like Apple Pay, but also because American shoppers are less inclined to finalize purchases by scanning QR codes on their smartphones.
  • As Amazon prepares for the holiday rush, it plans to hire 100,000 temporary logistics employees—20,000 fewer than last year thanks to the company’s focus on robots. Amazon’s warehouse footprint now spans 75 fulfillment centers and 25 sortation centers in North America, employing a full-time staff of 125,000 in the U.S.—in fact, half of Americans now live within 20 miles of an Amazon warehouse. Last year, the company’s total footprint—including data centers, warehouses and stores—encompassed more than 250 million square feet.
  • Amazon will terminate the UK arm of its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants, which launched in the U.S. in 2015 for Prime Now subscribers. The company brought the offering to London subscribers about two years ago, charging a small flat fee for deliveries in under one hour. While Amazon Restaurants caved under competition from UK-based Deliveroo and Uber Eats in London, the service is still available in a host of U.S. cities.
  • Amazon debuted its first pop-up in Spain, offering apparel, electronics and other items—there are more to follow in Germany, Italy and the UK. The new addition follows Amazon’s recent fashion pop-up in London, which highlighted private-label brands among others, and the company’s announcement of holiday pop-ups in major European cities.