Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it would spend $500 million on one-time bonuses to its front-line employees and partners working through the coronavirus crisis. Employees and partners who have been with the e-commerce company through June will receive bonuses ranging from $150 to $3,000, the company said (here) in a blog post.
The world’s largest online retailer, which delivers about 10 billion items a year, has been facing intense scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in the day, workers at six Amazon sites in Germany decided to go on strike in protest over safety after some staff at logistics centres tested positive for coronavirus, labour union Verdi said on Sunday.
West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorised agency to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazon was among the companies found to be eligible for registration with authorities.
Last Updated: June 20, 2020, 7:51 AM IST
Amazon.com Inc has secured clearance to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, according to a document seen by Reuters, signalling the US e-commerce giant’s first foray into the country’s multi-billion-dollar sector.
In a notice on Friday, West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorised agency to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazon was among the companies found to be eligible for registration with authorities.
Alibaba-backed Indian grocery venture BigBasket has also won approval to deliver alcohol in the state, the notice said.
West Bengal is India’s fourth most populous state, with a population of more than 90 million people.
Amazon has been invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state, said the notice, which has not previously been reported.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. BigBasket also did not respond to a request for comment.
Amazon’s interest in delivering alcohol in West Bengal marks a bold move to make inroads into a market that is worth $27.2 billion, according to estimates by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
Over the years, Amazon has expanded its e-commere operations in India as more and more people go online to shop for everything from groceries to electronics. The company has committed $6.5 billion in investments in India, one of its key growth markets.
India’s top two food-delivery startups, Swiggy and Zomato, started delivering alcohol in some cities last month, as they looked to cash in on the high demand for booze as many states come out of a lockdown aimed at tackling the coronavirus.
India restricted liquor sales when it announced a nationwide lockdown in March. Hundreds of people queued up at liquor stores in May when some restrictions were eased, and the liquor industry had been lobbying with many states to allow online deliveries.
Each state sets its own alcohol sales policy. West Bengal last month invited companies to express interest for “handling electronic ordering, purchase, sale and home delivery of alcoholic liquors from licensed retail outlets” to eligible legal-age consumers in the state.
The decision to delay it means Amazon will have about 5 million extra devices it would have expected to sell sooner.
Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 12:09 PM IST
Amazon is scheduling its annual Prime Day shopping event for September and allowing unlimited shipments of non-essential goods to warehouses, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The latter move will allow the company to lay the groundwork for shipments of a wider variety of products, indicating it is now in a position to process orders more quickly in its warehouses and create room for more inventory, the report said.
Amazon declined to comment to a Reuters request for comment on the report. It was reported in April that the e-commerce giant is postponing the major summer shopping event until at least August. Prime Day, a marketing event Amazon started in 2015 to drum up sales during the summer shopping lull, has previously occurred in July, though the company never publishes the date far in advance.
The decision to delay it means Amazon will have about 5 million extra devices it would have expected to sell sooner, items like its suite of voice-controlled Echo speakers that have been popular orders during the event. It also affects third-party merchants who have come to depend on Amazon’s platform for revenue.