• Exclusive: Amazon entices warehouse employees to grocery unit with higher pay
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Amazon entices warehouse employees to grocery unit with higher pay

    This move, known as labor sharing, highlights how the ecommerce giant is reallocating some of its vast workforce to handle a spike in online sales of groceries, as millions of American are stuck at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Amazon offers online grocery services through Amazon Fresh from its own grocery warehouses, and Amazon Prime Now, which delivers from its Whole Foods stores.

  • How Travel Brands Are Approaching TV Advertising Now
    Skift

    How Travel Brands Are Approaching TV Advertising Now

    While some travel sectors such as airlines have virtually eliminated U.S. national TV advertising because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are some companies that are outliers in that they quickly pivoted their spots, or keep running the routine ads at the risk of brand damage. ISpot.tv, the U.S. television advertising analytics firm, looked at March […]

  • Microsoft (MSFT) Inks Deal to Acquire Affirmed Networks
    Zacks

    Microsoft (MSFT) Inks Deal to Acquire Affirmed Networks

    Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to expand presence in 5G edge cloud computing market with latest acquisition of Affirmed Networks.

  • Amazon Teams Up With Conduent to Control Coronavirus Spread
    Zacks

    Amazon Teams Up With Conduent to Control Coronavirus Spread

    Amazon (AMZN) collaborates with Conduent to trace the exponentially increasing number of COVID-19 infected people by integrating the latter's Maven platform with AWS.

  • Bear of the Day: The Trade Desk (TTD)
    Zacks

    Bear of the Day: The Trade Desk (TTD)

    Bear of the Day: The Trade Desk (TTD)

  • 3 Best U.S. Stocks Immune to Coronavirus Jitters
    Zacks

    3 Best U.S. Stocks Immune to Coronavirus Jitters

    The pandemic may be taking a toll on markets right now but this temporary phase offers investors a window to buy equities that have a record of performing better than the broader markets.

  • Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in Wayfair (W) Stock?
    Zacks

    Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in Wayfair (W) Stock?

    Investors need to pay close attention to Wayfair (W) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • An Oversold Wall Street Rallies Despite Bad News: 5 Top Picks
    Zacks

    An Oversold Wall Street Rallies Despite Bad News: 5 Top Picks

    The market has been so oversold that even a bad news will not deter market participants from buying good stocks at an attractive valuation.

  • Indian lockdown disrupts Amazon, Flipkart deliveries: sources
    Reuters

    Indian lockdown disrupts Amazon, Flipkart deliveries: sources

    India's coronavirus lockdown is disrupting e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart, despite government assurances it would not, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Differing state and district level regulations relating to the 21-day lockdown, which began on Wednesday, are hindering operations, the sources said on Friday, with e-commerce firms finding it difficult to get curfew passes for delivery staff. The disruptions highlight the difficulties of ensuring the supply of essential goods to 1.3 billion people during the shutdown in India, which has so far reported 724 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths.

  • UK government helps supermarkets prioritise 'vulnerable shoppers'
    Yahoo Finance UK

    UK government helps supermarkets prioritise 'vulnerable shoppers'

    Supermarkets in England will prioritise delivery slots for the most vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic, using government data.

  • A Grocery Tycoon Races to Keep India Fed and His Company Afloat
    Bloomberg

    A Grocery Tycoon Races to Keep India Fed and His Company Afloat

    (Bloomberg) -- Confined to his home in an upscale corner of Mumbai, Kishore Biyani is scrambling to maintain control of his supermarket empire in more ways than one.The founder of Future Group -- which is backed by both Amazon.com Inc. and Blackstone Group Inc. -- has set up a virtual war room practically overnight to ensure his vast chain of Indian grocery stores has enough food and essentials for a nation under lockdown, according to a person familiar with the matter.At the same time, Biyani has held more than two dozen calls with investors as he tries to prevent shares of his companies from tumbling to levels that would allow lenders to seize control of his holdings. He hopes to find a solution over the weekend, which may include capital injections or asset sales, the person said. Future Consumer Ltd., one of Biyani’s biggest listed companies, has tumbled 65% this year and touched a more than five-year low on Friday.The tycoon’s two-front battle illustrates the challenges faced by many Indian companies after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown to fight the coronavirus. With operations upended by the restrictions, businesses are grappling with official appeals to aid in the world’s biggest isolation effort while attempting to stall what Modi’s own adviser has called “waves of default” as cash flows dry up.Their predicament is one reason why the Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates and announced steps to boost liquidity in an unscheduled move on Friday. All banks and shadow lenders were allowed a three-month moratorium on repayment of term loans outstanding on March 1, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.Future Group, set up in 1996, runs India’s second-largest retail chain by revenue, with more 1,300 stores across the country. Biyani bet big on India’s consumption story by piling on debt backed by shares of his companies, and kept margins thin to cater to the nation’s cost-conscious population and lure them away from smaller mom-and-pop stores.He also partnered with Amazon, which invested $193 million in Future Group between April and December through a mix of debt, equity and other assets, according to REDD Intelligence. Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, invested about $236 million during the same period. Future Group had $1.6 billion debt as of March 2019, 80% of which was held by private equity firms, 13% by Indian shadow lenders, and the rest by banks, REDD estimates.The Biyani family’s shareholding has lost more than half its value over the past year, and almost 80% of their stake is pledged, REDD analyst Janvi Sanghvi wrote in a March 19 report, citing company filings.Crisil, the local unit of S&P Global Ratings, on Tuesday placed Future Consumer’s 1 billion rupees ($13 million) of commercial paper on review for downgrade, saying the Covid-19 pandemic will disrupt operations and increase the financial risk profiles of retail outlets. While Crisil noted that shares have been under pressure, it said a majority of the equity-backed loans were held by “large foreign institutional investors, which continue to be associated and aligned with the management and the group’s growth strategy.”Biyani, whose net worth was valued at $1.8 billion by Forbes in 2019, is counting on these creditors to help structure a deal, said the person familiar with the talks.Representatives for Future Group, Amazon and Blackstone didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.Future Group’s stores and warehouses are operating with only half their usual staff as employees struggle to reach their workplaces, the person said, adding that inventories could run perilously low if supply chain issues aren’t resolved. Essential services, like food supplies, are exempt from the lockdown.Share declines in Biyani’s companies on Friday underscored the urgency of the situation. Future Consumer tumbled for the 15th straight day, losing as much as 8.3%. Future Retail Ltd. and Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd. both sank 5%.The virus outbreak “is a big blow for highly leveraged groups and those that have pledged shares,” said Chokkalingam G, head of investment advisory at Equinomics Research & Advisory Pvt. in Mumbai, without naming any specific business. “It will be a tough task to manage liabilities in the current crisis.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • For Once, Monoprix’s Owner Has Something Right
    Bloomberg

    For Once, Monoprix’s Owner Has Something Right

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As lockdowns shutter stores and keep consumers cooped up at home, there will be many losers from the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. But there will also be a few winners.Casino Guichard Perrachon SA, the French supermarket operator that’s been a target for short-selling hedge funds, is emerging as a beneficiary, in line with other grocers seeing a frantic stockpiling of food on both sides of the Atlantic.While Casino’s complex financial structure has long been a source of consternation, there are some jewels in its highly leveraged crown. These are the Monoprix and Franprix chains, both of which have strongholds in Paris.Between its brands, Casino has more than 40% of the Paris market, compared with 11.5% nationally, according to Charles Allen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Much of French capital is served by small supermarkets, such as Franprix, which average around 5,300 square feet. This format has been particularly strong over recent weeks, as Parisians, like city dwellers worldwide, don’t want to venture too far from their homes to stock up on groceries. And while Monoprix’s clothing range will be under pressure, demand for food has rocketed.Casino should be able to capitalize on a boom in home delivery too. The company sells through Amazon and it just began testing an online grocery service with Ocado Group Plc. Its online non-food business Cdiscount is also expanding its grocery offer, and may benefit from increased demand for all kinds of electronics as people are forced to work from home.But as ever with the company controlled by Jean-Charles Naouri, things aren’t straightforward. Despite the upswing, Casino on Thursday gave no guidance and suspended its three-year targets, saying the coronavirus pandemic makes predictions impossible. Although free cash flow before disposals improved, the company’s ability to deliver cash in France has been disappointing over the past couple of years. While frantic shoppers in today’s environment should give Casino a boost, its weak cash generation and high leverage shouldn’t be overlooked. Moves to sell and lease back stores over the past two years add rental payments to its financial obligations.Net debt in France fell from 2.7 billion euros to 2.3 billion euros in 2019, helped by the asset sales. But overall borrowings rose from 3.4 billion euros to 4.1 billion euros, after Casino used debt to finance the simplification of its structure in Latin America.What’s more, Casino has decided to hit pause on its disposal program as it grapples with “unprecedented demand,” both in its stores and online. Still on the list to be offloaded is the Geant hypermarket business.The company is in the midst of a 4.5 billion-euro divestment program, having struck 2.8 billion euros of deals so far. Of this, about 1 billion euros worth have been signed, but not yet completed. When these transactions cross the finish line, Casino should be able to repay bonds due in 2021 and 2022. Still, Casino must agree another 1.7 billion of disposals to reach its targets. It’s confident it will still achieve them in time and it’s done a good job so far, with a better-than-expected price just this month  from selling its Leader Price chain to German discount rival Aldi for example. But conditions could be rockier from here given the economic fallout from the coronavirus.The disposal program is important for both Casino and its parent Rallye, Naouri’s investment group. The proceeds are key for Casino to be able to  resume paying dividends, and Rallye, which owns 52% of Casino, is counting on them. The debt-laden Rallye agreed a restructuring plan with the French courts last month that gives it 10 years to pay back 2.9 billion euros.Although the shares initially fell as much as 7.75% on Thursday, they ended up 1.7%, cementing their outperformance over the past month. So investors seem convinced it will continue to benefit from the current crisis. But as long-time followers of  Casino know, even when the chips are looking up, there are always more spins to come.(Corrects Thursday’s share price move in final paragraph.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Sony Says Virus Disruptions May Hit Profit, Delay Reporting
    Bloomberg

    Sony Says Virus Disruptions May Hit Profit, Delay Reporting

    (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. said fallout from the coronavirus may wipe out a previously projected increase in its profit and force it to delay an earnings report scheduled for April.The Japanese company said two factories in China are returning to normal operation but continue to face component shortages, while facilities in Malaysia and U.K. will remain shut until middle of April because of government requests. Sony said it can’t dispatch employees to these locations to discuss assembly of new products.Sony had raised its forecast on Feb. 4, saying operating income will probably reach 880 billion yen ($8.1 billion) in the year ending March 31, compared with the 840 billion yen forecast in October. If profit comes in at the earlier figure, that would be a shortfall of about $370 million.“Given their high exposure to consumer spending, it is not surprising that COVID-19 is having an adverse impact on their business,” said Damian Thong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital.Sony joins a growing list of corporations forced to revise or scrap financial forecasts because of the virus.Apple Inc., Expedia Group Inc., and Twitter Inc. are among the technology companies that have withdrawn or modified guidance in the wake of the pandemic, which has disrupted supply chains, upended demand and forced millions of people to work from home. On Thursday, Dell Technologies Inc. and VMWare Inc. became the latest to withdraw their earnings outlooks.Sony had been benefiting from strong demand for the image sensors that power smartphone cameras, but production and sales of such devices have taken a hit in recent weeks. It supplies Apple and Samsung Electronics Co., among others.A Sony spokeswoman said it doesn’t see any notable impact on the launch of its next-generation game console PlayStation 5 planned at the end of this year.Sony shares have slid about 10% this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • WeDoctor to Pick JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, CMB for IPO
    Bloomberg

    WeDoctor to Pick JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, CMB for IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- WeDoctor, one of China’s biggest online health-care startups, has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International to lead a Hong Kong initial public offering, people familiar with the deal said.The startup could become one of the largest technology companies to brave volatile public markets in 2020. WeDoctor envisions raising at least $500 million and as much as $1 billion, one of the people said, asking to remain anonymous discussing a private deal. The details could change given that deliberations are ongoing, the people said. More banks may be invited to join the deal in future, one person said.WeDoctor, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to revolutionize a traditional health-care industry after the coronavirus pandemic underscored its shortcomings. The company is on the prowl for expansion capital and last month laid the foundation for a public debut by hiring finance overseer John Cai, formerly chief executive for AIA Group Ltd.’s operations in markets including China, Malaysia and Vietnam.The startup, whose business spans insurance policies and medical supplies to online appointment-booking and clinics, was last valued at around $5.5 billion. It’s said to be targeting a float in late 2020 or 2021.WeDoctor, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse representatives declined to comment. A CMB representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. IFR first reported on the selection.Read more: Coronavirus Shows Scale of Task to Fix China’s Flawed HealthcareThe Covid-19 pandemic has brought inadequacies in the country’s medical care system into stark relief, exposing an over-reliance on big hospitals in major cities and flaws in how the state responds to emergencies, even with a mechanism built after the SARS outbreak in 2003. The startup has said it launched an online platform dedicated to treating coronavirus cases on Jan. 23 and has helped facilitate 1.4 million consultations with doctors in the month since it began.Longer term, startups like WeDoctor could play a pivotal role in a nationwide effort to wrench its ailing healthcare sector into the modern age. Beijing envisions a 16 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) healthcare industry by 2030 and, in a blueprint laid out in 2016 called “Healthy China 2030,” vowed to improve public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities to match those of developed countries.Read more: A $6 Billion China Startup Wants to Be the Amazon of Health CareFounded by artificial intelligence maven Jerry Liao Jieyuan in 2010, WeDoctor aims to compete with both fellow startups and major corporations such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the burgeoning field of online healthcare.It needs capital to expand. It has yet to decide whether to include its cloud business -- where sensitive patient information and government data reside -- in the envisioned Hong Kong public offering, people familiar with the matter have said.WeDoctor counts China Development Bank Capital, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. and AIA as backers. The company said in a statement it connects 360,000 doctors with some 210 million registered users.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank’s Bet on Sharing Economy Backfires With Coronavirus
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank’s Bet on Sharing Economy Backfires With Coronavirus

    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son has been among the most fervent believers in the sharing economy, investing billions in startups that help people split the use of cars, rooms and offices. But as the coronavirus curtails unnecessary human interaction, it’s hammering such businesses and rattling the foundations of Son’s SoftBank Group Corp.In New York City, the co-working space of SoftBank-backed WeWork stands practically empty as tenants stay home for fear of infection. In Shanghai, drivers for the ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing have seen their pay plummet as customers avoid shared automobiles. In San Francisco, Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., another SoftBank investment, said “I wouldn’t put my kids in an Uber.”Investors are increasingly spooked about the stability of Son’s empire and its $100 billion Vision Fund amid the pandemic. Before this week, SoftBank shares had tumbled about 50% in a single month, including their worst one-day decline since the Japanese billionaire listed his company in 1994. In response, the SoftBank impresario launched one of the most audacious deals of his career: sell part of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other assets to raise $41 billion to buy back shares and slash debt.While that envisioned deal put a floor under the share price, it hasn’t changed the fundamental vulnerability of an edifice built on sharing-economy standouts that’ve been walloped since sheltering in place became the norm. SoftBank gained about 40% since Son revealed that blueprint, which is said to include unloading $14 billion of Alibaba stock for starters. But it remains down about 30% from a February peak. In fact, Moody’s Corp. questioned the wisdom of selling prized assets into a market downturn and pushed SoftBank’s debt deeper into junk territory. SoftBank fired back by accusing Moody’s of bias, but its stock fell 9.4% on Thursday.“Right now, investments sensitive to sharing and the economy are not where you want to be, with the pandemic encouraging a stay-at-home mentality,” said Pelham Smithers, whose London-based firm offers research on Asian technology companies, in a note to clients. Companies such as WeWork, Uber and the hotel-booking Oyo “weren’t profitable when times were (relatively) good, begging the question, what will their economics look like in 2020?”Read more: Masa Son Unveils a $41 Billion Asset Sale to Silence His CriticsDespite the stock bounce, SoftBank’s credit default swaps -- the cost of insuring debt against default -- are still near their highest levels in a decade. The concern isn’t so much that the Japanese giant won’t be able to pay its own debts -- its cash will cover money due for at least the next two years. Rather, investors fret that Son’s 80-plus portfolio companies will struggle in the current environment, triggering negative headlines and massive writedowns.“With the prospect of more good money being sunk into firms like WeWork and Oyo, investors would not have reacted as positively as they did this week,” Amir Anvarzadeh, a market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors Pte. in Singapore, said in a note to clients.Most worrisome for investors, Son -- who saw $70 billion wiped from his net worth in the dot-com crash -- may feel compelled to step in to support some of his startups rather than see them fail. The litany of woes surrounding SoftBank’s highest-profile startups threatens to tarnish Son’s reputation as a tech investor -- one built largely on an early bet on Alibaba before it came to dominate Chinese e-commerce, which he’s struggled to replicate.Last year, after WeWork’s effort to go public fell apart, SoftBank stepped in to organize a $9.5 billion bailout. Son had to choose between financial aid or bankruptcy, at a time when risk aversion is straining global tech investment.“SoftBank frustrated investors already with its assistance to WeWork last year,” said Makoto Kikuchi, chief investment officer at Myojo Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “SoftBank owns many investments such as tech companies that get hit particularly in this situation.”SoftBank and Vision Fund representatives declined to comment for the story.Read more: SoftBank Blasts Moody’s for ‘Biased’ Ratings DowngradeSon did vow he wouldn’t step in to rescue any more portfolio companies after WeWork and called for more financial discipline. Among SoftBank startups, Brandless Inc. said in February it would close down while satellite operator OneWeb is mulling a possible bankruptcy filing.“It’s unlikely that SoftBank portfolio companies will see any of that money, because the announcement was pretty clear on the purpose of the asset sale,” said Justin Tang at United First Partners. “In fact, it would be an opportune time for SoftBank to get rid of its weaker portfolio companies and stick with the leaders.”On Wednesday, Moody’s said it will watch SoftBank and the extent to which tumbling valuations will hurt its tech-heavy portfolio. Son’s biggest bet to date has been on ride-hailing, with stakes in Uber and the leading companies in China, India and Southeast Asia. The latest to exhibit signs of trouble was European player Getaround, which is now said to be dangerously short of cash and actively seeking a buyer.Beijing-based Didi Chuxing is another prime example of how the virus is walloping these operations. The startup, once tagged at $56 billion, had struggled to justify its valuation even before the latest crisis because of a government crackdown on its services. Ridership tumbled during the outbreak in China and Didi cut driver subsidies.Sheng Gang, a 34-year-old Shanghai resident, said he used to earn a 36 yuan ($5) bonus for every four rides during the morning rush hour; now that’s been lowered to just 6 yuan for every three. He expects his income to drop by about half this month to around 10,000 yuan.“I don’t have a Plan B since I just bought a new car,” Sheng said.Wen Peng, a 35-year-old Hebei native, earned around 6,000 yuan a month as a part-time driver. But when the coronavirus hit, most people chose to stay inside and he couldn’t sustain himself. He quit in February.“People didn’t leave their homes, almost no one wanted rides,” he said. “Many others quit for similar reasons.”A Didi spokeswoman said ridership has rebounded significantly in recent weeks as people went back to work.Read more: WeWork’s New Crisis: ‘Workplaces Will Never Be the Same’WeWork is another question mark: SoftBank has told WeWork shareholders that it could withdraw from the agreement to buy $3 billion of its stock that was part of a bailout deal. WeWork has kept its offices open despite the virus, even while other co-working operators have closed them. That may be because revenue would disappear otherwise, just as SoftBank is trying to engineer a turnaround. WeWork said Thursday it doesn’t expect to hit its 2020 financial targets as it grapples with the outbreak.One executive who usually uses a WeWork office on Park Avenue in New York said hardly anyone shows up anymore. His WeWork representative has stopped coming to the site and works remotely. He figures customers may be canceling their leases or simply not paying, which would leave WeWork on the hook for rent owed to the landlord, Tishman Speyer. “None of us are going to the office,” he said. “But we’ve decided for now to just kick any decisions down the road for six months.”Then there’s Oyo, which is in a particularly tricky spot. The Indian company has been expanding rapidly by guaranteeing a certain amount of revenue to hotels if they sign on as franchisees. But with few travelers anywhere, Oyo has to pay hotels even when their rooms are mostly empty.At the Kawasaki Hotel Park in Japan, more than 400 reservations were canceled for February to April. The result was a drop in revenue of about 25 million yen ($226,000), according to Sanho Miyamoto, the owner.“Overseas customers disappeared and Japanese businessmen halted business trips. I had to ask our employees to take a vacation for a while,“ Miyamoto said. “I am worried whether Oyo can manage because it guarantees the revenue fall for its members.”He wouldn’t comment on arrangements with Oyo. But if the startup paid the entire shortfall, it would lose about $240,000 on a single hotel.Read more: Masayoshi Son’s Other Big Real Estate Bet Has Some Real ProblemThere’s opportunity in the downturn too. SoftBank-backed Slack Technologies Inc., a popular work communications tool among home workers, has surged following lockdowns from New York to California. And after a difficult first year in Japan, Oyo has turned to promising cash for hotels that join its platform as bookings plunged. While the company didn’t say how much it was prepared to spend, that kind of opportunism can only shorten its runway of available cash.Investors fear that companies like Oyo have become too big to fail for SoftBank, Atul Goyal, senior analyst at Jefferies Group, wrote in a report. The WeWork rescue showed that “zero is not a floor” for any SoftBank investment and that Son is willing to throw more good money after bad, he wrote.SoftBank may soon prove Goyal right. The company is seeking to raise an additional $10 billion so its first Vision Fund can support portfolio companies, according to people with knowledge of the matter. And the list of SoftBank portfolio firms that may soon need help also includes gym company Gympass, Getaround and travel startups Klook and GetYourGuide.“These startups are geared for high growth and high cash burn,” Goyal said. “As revenues fall, they will need further infusions of capital to keep the lights on.”Read more: SoftBank Seeks $10 Billion to Support Vision Fund Companies(An earlier version of the story corrected the name of GetYourGuide.)(Updates with WeWork’s warning in the 21st paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coronavirus stimulus checks of $1,200 will be a 'much needed' relief to American households: top Walmart exec
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus stimulus checks of $1,200 will be a 'much needed' relief to American households: top Walmart exec

    Walmart executive vice president of corporate affairs Dan Bartlett talks coronavirus impact with Yahoo Finance.

  • Amazon Says Kentucky Governor Ordered Idling of Returns Facility
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Says Kentucky Governor Ordered Idling of Returns Facility

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. says its returns warehouse in Kentucky where three workers tested positive for Covid-19 has been closed by the order of the state’s governor, and the online retailer aims to reopen the facility next week.Amazon on Monday evening had informed employees of the Shepherdsville, Kentucky, warehouse that the facility would be closed for 48 hours for cleaning after it identified three workers sickened by the disease caused by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, hours before the warehouse -- called SDF9 -- was scheduled to reopen, Amazon told workers it would be idled until further notice for more cleaning, the first known case of Amazon shutting a U.S. facility due to the pandemic without a scheduled end date.In an emailed statement on Thursday, Amazon said that the facility remains closed at the order of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “At the order of the Governor the site is closed until April 1st,” the company said. “We will continue to work closely with health department and the Governor to reopen the site.”An executive order taking effect Thursday evening requires all businesses in Kentucky to close unless they provide life-sustaining services, or meet certain other exceptions. Amazon, however, said SDF9 was closed by a separate order specific to the site. The governor’s office didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.Amazon is dealing with unprecedented strain on its logistics network. A surge in online orders from people hunkered down at home arrived just as some workers in its own buildings began to get sick or stay home out of fear. Many Amazon warehouses in the U.S. stock a wide variety of goods, and are capable of easily shifting their work toward in-demand items like toilet paper, diapers and dry goods. The company this month cut off restocking shipments of non-essential goods.But SDF9, a former Zappos.com warehouse before Amazon acquired the footwear retailer, almost exclusively handles non-essential goods, workers say.. Instead, workers inspect, clean and restock returns of apparel and sneakers. Employees interviewed this week by Bloomberg said they worried about the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus in the service of processing used customer shipments. Some raised concerns with Amazon management and state officials that the company was putting workers at risk unnecessarily, according to two people who made such complaints.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coronavirus pandemic spurs brisk sales of HP PCs and printers as the nation works from home: CEO
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus pandemic spurs brisk sales of HP PCs and printers as the nation works from home: CEO

    HP CEO Enrique Lores tells Yahoo Finance demand for PCs and printers have been strong as people work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Daily Crunch: Airbnb offers housing for healthcare workers
    TechCrunch

    Daily Crunch: Airbnb offers housing for healthcare workers

    Airbnb says it will subsidize housing for 100,000 workers at the front lines of COVID-19 care, Groupon gets a new CEO and Stripe invests in a universal checkout startup. Airbnb’s effort will work by allowing Hosts on its platform to opt-in to making their space available, with any fees that Airbnb would normally charge for using its platform waived for those who participate. The program will include new protocols around cleanliness that are designed to keep spaces safe for those workers who use it, and Airbnb will be working with the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, the International Medical Corps and other non-profit groups to help allocate space where it’s needed most.

  • Amazon.com Stock Rises 3%
    Investing.com

    Amazon.com Stock Rises 3%

    Investing.com - Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) Stock rose by 3.06% to trade at $1,943.78 by 15:52 (19:52 GMT) on Thursday on the NASDAQ exchange.

  • Amazon (AMZN) Halts Loan Repayment to Promote Seller Interest
    Zacks

    Amazon (AMZN) Halts Loan Repayment to Promote Seller Interest

    Amazon (AMZN) does not require merchants to pay back their loans till Apr 30 as they face declining sales owing to coronavirus crisis.

  • Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in Groupon (GRPN) Stock?
    Zacks

    Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in Groupon (GRPN) Stock?

    Investors need to pay close attention to Groupon (GRPN) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • Netflix (NFLX) Cuts Video Quality in India on Coronavirus Woes
    Zacks

    Netflix (NFLX) Cuts Video Quality in India on Coronavirus Woes

    Netflix (NFLX) downgrades video streaming quality in India followed by Amazon, YouTube among others in an attempt to lower network traffic amid Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Target & Others Bracing for Coronavirus-led Demand Spike
    Zacks

    Target & Others Bracing for Coronavirus-led Demand Spike

    Retailers like Target are taking necessary actions to cope up with the burgeoning demand for essential commodities. Also, they are practicing sanitizing measures and safety protocols.

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