Amazon

Will James / KNKX

Why would Amazon build its second headquarters just 30 miles from its first headquarters in Seattle? 

If you ask leaders in Tacoma, it's because their city has everything the retail giant loves about the Pacific Northwest, plus plenty of room to grow. 

There's one week left for North American cities to assemble their bids to lure one of the biggest economic prizes in years, the second Amazon headquarters. At least half a dozen Pacific Northwest places plan to submit proposals.

The Overcast: Amazon's HQ2 News Ripples Through Hometown

Sep 15, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP

The news that Seattle-based Amazon wants to build what it calls an "equal" second headquarters somewhere else in North America sent shocks through the local political and business communities.

Amazon made the sort of announcement Thursday morning that mayors dream about.

The tech juggernaut said it was looking for the right city in which to build its "HQ2": a second headquarters in North America, equal to its campus in Seattle. And it's going to make that selection process a public one, akin to how cities bid to host an Olympic Games.

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods' 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer's "Whole Paycheck" nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is another step closer to reality, after the Federal Trade Commission decided the grocery deal would not hamper competition or provide an unfair advantage.

With an eye on the future of online retailing, Walmart and Google are teaming up to go after rival Amazon in a play that also targets the growing market for voice-activated shopping.

Starting next month, Walmart customers will be able to access hundreds of thousands of products from the company's shelves — everything from dishwashing soap to dining tables — via the online retailing service Google Express. Until now, Walmart's enormous inventory was available online only through the company's own website.

vbloke / Flickr

With less than a week till the much anticipated solar eclipse, some Amazon shoppers are scrambling to find glasses that are certified safe to view the event. The online retailer recently emailed some shoppers to tell them not to use the solar eclipse glasses they purchased on the site from third-party vendors.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Since last year, Amazon has provided the nonprofit group Mary’s Place with space for about 65 homeless families to sleep. Now, the company is trying to inspire kids from Mary’s Place shelters to choose careers in science or technology.

The last few months have not been easy ones for the small companies that supply Whole Foods with quinoa and kale. As big investors demanded a shake-up at the company, maybe even a takeover by a much bigger supermarket chain, Janey Hubschman felt that the fate of her own company, Epicurean Butter, was also at stake.

"The fact that their sales have not been great affects every single product that is in Whole Foods, and their reputation affects everything that is on the shelf," says the Colorado businesswoman, who has been selling to Whole Foods since 2005.

When the news broke that Amazon had agreed to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, the retail food sector went a little bananas.

The stock prices of large food retail chains, such as Costco, tumbled a bit.

And this headline from Business Insider helps explain it: Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods — and Walmart, Target, and Kroger should be terrified.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET on June 19

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, in a merger that values Whole Foods stock at $42 a share — a premium over the price of around $33 at the close of trading on Thursday. The Internet retailer says it's buying the brick-and-mortar fixture in a deal that is valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, back in 1980, now has 465 stores in North America and the U.K.

When I started my career at The Washington Post in the late 1990s, the newsroom wore a dusty, outdated look as if it were paying homage to its legendary past. The Post of today occupies an updated building on D.C.'s renowned K Street, in modern, glass-walled offices with a Silicon Valley aesthetic.

Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, the internet goliath that revolutionized the way much of the world shops for books, toilet paper and TVs, hit a new milestone Tuesday. Its stock surpassed the $1,000 mark for the first time.

That price put Amazon's market value at about $478 billion, double that of the world's biggest traditional retailer, Wal-Mart, and more than 15 times the size of Target.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

Amazon hosted a ceremonial tree planting Thursday as work continued on the large glass domes at the center of the company's downtown Seattle campus.

The Australian tree fern is the first plant to call the spheres home. The spheres will house a kind of indoor park for Amazon employees with hundreds of different species of plants from around the world.

"This is an opportunity to link nature to today's office space," said John Schoettler, Amazon's vice president of global real estate and facilities.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

Two security officers who work on the Amazon campus in Seattle say their hours were cut after they marched to the company's headquarters on May Day.

The Service Employees International Union filed a complaint Wednesday to the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of Abdinasir Elmi and Betiel Desta.

Elmi and Desta are employed by Security Industry Specialists, a California-based company that contracts with Amazon.

"This problem has been going on for a long, long time. This is not the first time," Elmi said.

REED SAXON / AP Photo

Amazon is testing a grocery pickup service in Seattle.

The AmazonFresh Pickup service is currently open only to Amazon employees. Eventually, members of Amazon's $99-a-year Prime loyalty program will be able to order groceries online and drive to a pickup location, where crews will deliver items to the car.

Amazon says orders will be ready in as little as 15 minutes after being placed. The service is being tested in two locations in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered.

Amazon says a typo caused its cloud-computing service to fail earlier this week.

On Tuesday, part of Amazon Web Services stopped working. The company's so-called simple storage service, or S3, provides features ranging from file sharing to web feeds.

In an online statement, Amazon described the circumstances of the disruptive typo this way:

PR NEWSWIRE

Amazon has not yet said exactly what caused one of its cloud storage services to go down for several hours Tuesday, but businesses who were affected can learn from the headache.

The Seattle-based tech giant dominates the cloud services market, far outpacing its next three competitors.  

Amazon says it is opening a new food and convenience store that doesn't have a checkout line.

Instead, the company envisions customers at the Amazon Go store picking up whatever they want off the shelves — then simply walking out with it. The items are automatically billed to their Amazon accounts.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Amazon.com will add 120,000 seasonal workers in an effort to meet an expected spike in demand during the holidays.

The seasonal positions will be created at fulfillment centers, sorting centers and customer service sites in 27 states. The move marks a 20 percent boost from the 100,000 seasonal hires a year ago.

Today, Amazon announced the debut of an on-demand music-streaming service called Amazon Music Unlimited. With a subscription model like Spotify and Apple Music, Amazon will charge standard subscribers $10 per month; for Amazon Prime subscribers, just $8 a month; and for users of its Echo devices, only $4 a month.

Seattle-based Amazon is giving $10 million to help the University of Washington double the capacity of its computer science and engineering program.

The University of Washington said Thursday the money will help it build a 130,000-square foot facility to accommodate increasing numbers of students interested in computer science. The new building will allow the university to double, to more than 600, the number of degrees the department awards each year.

Amazon employees and their parents explore a "science fair" at the company's first ever "Bring Your Parents to Work" day.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Many companies have a bring-your-child-to-work day, but Amazon thought maybe their employees' parents were feeling left out. 

On Friday, the Seattle-based company held its first "Bring Your Parents to Work Day."

Thousands of employees and their parents crowded into Amazon buildings downtown and in South Lake Union. They attended sessions like Amazon 101 and a screening of a new Prime series. 

With activities like a "science fair" and people in bright yellow shirts directing the massive crowds, a lot of parents said they felt like they had done this before.

Amazon's new part-time teams are generating buzz about work-life balance in the tech industry.
Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Amazon is experimenting  a few teams of part-time employees, consisting of both workers and managers with a 30-hour week. The move has renewed conversations about work-life balance in the tech industry. 

Laura Troyani  used to work for TINYpulse, a local startup that helps employers – mainly other tech companies – measure their employees' happiness. She has since started PlanBeyond, a marketing consulting firm.

Troyani sat down with KNKX to talk about how tech employers are starting to help their employees strike that balance.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Amazon is starting a site offering research, reviews and other information on new and used cars.

The latest venture by the e-commerce powerhouse will compete with established players in the field including CarSoup.com, Edmunds.com, truecar.com and cars.com.

Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle's University Village last year.
Elaine Johnson / AP Photo

Part of the convenience of shopping online is having your spoils delivered to your door, but online retailers are opening more and more physical stores.

Consider the bookstore Amazon opened in Seattle's University Village last year. Now the retail giant is beginning to build drive-up grocery stores where customers can pick up online orders.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

Every year, Amazon’s shareholders meeting offers activists a chance to get the ear of one of the world’s richest, most powerful executives, Jeff Bezos.

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