• Amazon will open its fifth 4-Star location in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. These stores sell top-rated Amazon merchandise, and are known to promote its private labels. This is the latest brick-and-mortar addition to Amazon’s network, though the company has yet to detail any grand plans to expand 4-Star in the same way as it is allegedly growing its Amazon Go stores (3,000 locations by 2021, up from its current 13). However, considering Amazon’s recent decision to shutter its 87 kiosks, many of which featured Amazon’s private labels in malls, the 4-Star strategy does point to a more selective approach to introducing Amazon’s owned brands.
  • Amazon debuted the Amazon Professional Beauty Store, which sells supplies to certified hairdressers and aestheticians. The store, which has a dedicated page on Amazon’s site, requires shoppers to provide their credentials, proving that they are working in a professional capacity before making a purchase. Major beauty product suppliers such as Sally Beauty will likely feel the brunt if Amazon is able to effectively take advantage of this customer demographic.
  • Amazon Prime Day will expand to a 48-hour sale, up from 36 hours in 2018. The corporate sales holiday will begin at midnight on July 15. Last year, the event served as an excuse for Amazon to promote its private-label electronics, which went on sale 12 hours early. It will repeat the tactic this year with Alexa-enabled devices taking center stage.
  • AWS now offers AWS Control Tower and AWS Security Hub, new services to help businesses with cloud computing. The offering competes with Microsoft’s Azure Security Service and Google Cloud Security Command Center, and signals Amazon’s ongoing interest to invest in its cloud services.