• Merch by Amazon continues to win the attention of brands such as Walt Disney Co. and Dr. Seuss Enterprises. The three-year-old t-shirt printing service removes the middlemen wholesalers to provide items on demand without a traditional licensing deal or a large inventory buy.
  • Amazon debuted Clicks and Mortar, a pop-up series in the UK that features products from small ecommerce businesses. The company is working with Enterprise Nation, a community that supports small businesses, and plans to contribute research on its pilot stores for the “Future High Street” government initiative, which aims to bolster local economies.
  • Amazon is adding Prime Video Channels for Canada to its roster of membership services. The company will allow Canadian consumers to purchase a variety of channel streaming options from hayu, STARZ, Nickelodeon and STACKTV, and will add more in moving forward.
  • Amazon began selling branded meal kits at some Whole Foods locations. Also sold via AmazonFresh since 2017 and Amazon Go stores, these private-label sets rival the products sold by Blue Apron and HelloFresh and bolster the company’s presence at Whole Foods while providing a high-margin SKU that helps solidify Amazon as a grocery retailer.
  • Counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers are such a burden on the platform that some Amazon sellers are hiring third-party companies to monitor the site for copyright infringements and other fraudulent activity. The fact that these third-party companies, including Vantage BP and CompuMark, are creating an industry of their own is a testament to the chaos of selling on Amazon. Though the ecommerce retailer has attempted to curb counterfeits, it also profits from third-party vendors (some of which are legitimate sellers in its system) that resell products at a discount (the company’s entire ethos). It’s not surprising that the retailer has placed the onus on brands to tackle the problem.
  • Spurred by Amazon’s rise, the real estate company Blackstone Group will purchase 179 million square feet of warehouse space for $18.7 billion, increasing its logistics footprint by almost twofold. This will help position the company as a go-to real estate partner for industrial needs among companies including Amazon, Whirlpool, FedEx, Home Depot, UPS, Starbucks and L’Oréal.
  • Amazon and L’Oréal are partnering to launch an AR extension to Amazon’s mobile app that lets customers virtually try on select cosmetics SKUs. The app uses ModiFace technology, a company L’Oréal acquired in 2018. Given greater appeal among shoppers of other retailers using ModiFace and other AR technology—and particularly those in the beauty space—the offering will likely gain more traction than the Echo Look, an AR styling product that Amazon launched in 2017.
  • Amazon Studios is building out exhibits that market its original content at events such as Comic-Con and South by Southwest. This July, the company plans to promote three of its shows at a 60,000-square-foot space at Comic-Con, showcasing performances and hosting screenings. In the past, Amazon has worked with the “experiential agency” Tool North America to concoct a deli inspired by “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” among other interactive spaces.