Amazon aims to open as many as 1,500 small warehouses across the US — many of them in suburban locations — as it raises the stakes in its battle against Walmart, according to report.
The Seattle-based retail giant was caught flat-footed during the pandemic, when it couldn’t keep up with demand for basic items like toilet paper and milk. Now it’s ramping up its delivery capabilities with more hubs in cities and suburbs, according to a Bloomberg report.
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is investing billions in these new warehouses and in improving the company’s transportation capabilities, according to the report.
In the early days of the pandemic, Amazon couldn’t fulfill its two-day delivery promise to Prime members, but it has since hired 175,000 workers who have gotten the company back on track.
But Walmart and Target are now offering same-day delivery via their vast network of stores, with Walmart this week launching Walmart Plus, its answer to Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus have virtually the same monthly rate — $12.99 and $12.95 respectively — while, at $98 a year, Walmart is $21 less than Amazon’s $119 yearly subscription price. Both programs require a minimum purchase of $35 for same-day delivery.
While Amazon looks to pad its real estate portfolio, it’s not interested in abandoned department store space, according the report.
Struggling department stores that are closing stores, including JCPenney, are an “option of last resort” for the Seattle-based giant, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.
In the New York metro area, Amazon bought two former Fairway Market stores in May New Jersey, but it’s unclear what those spaces will be used for as Amazon did not disclose that information in court filings in the Fairway bankruptcy case.
Female banker emerges as possible successor to Goldman Sachs CEO
Wall Street can stop wondering who might be the most powerful woman at Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Chief Executive David Solomon announced Tuesday that he has shuffled the executive ranks once again, this time making Stephanie Cohen co-head of the $2 trillion megabank’s consumer banking and wealth management group.
Cohen, a 43-year-old insider who has been Goldman’s chief strategy officer since 2017, is the first woman to lead her own group under Solomon, who dramatically reorganized the bank’s operations in January. That streamlining created the consumer banking group, which contains Goldman’s fledgling Marcus savings account business and AppleCard businesses.
Solomon has long touted the consumer division as playing a key part in Goldman’s future. By putting Cohen in this new role, he also is boosting her profile in Goldman’s line of succession. Cohen has long been seen as a Solomon favorite, and running a key division will provide her with the experience and clout that she will need to compete for his job when he leaves the C-Suite.
Running the division alongside her new co-head Tucker York also transforms Cohen immediately into one of the most powerful women on Wall Street and the latest female contender to lead a major bank.
Cohen will replace longtime Goldman partner Timothy O’Neill as the co-head of consumer and wealth management. O’Neill will step back into the bank’s executive office as senior counselor, a role that appears very similar to the one he held under three of Solomon’s CEO predecessors.
Goldman also announced Tuesday that Harit Talwar will step aside from his day-to-day management of Marcus after five years, making way for Goldman partner Omer Ismail to take charge of the bank’s biggest consumer product.
All in all, Goldman announced seven executive moves on Tuesday, with Cohen being the only woman to change desks.
At the beginning of 2020, Solomon made the bold statement that Goldman will no longer handle IPOs for companies with all-male boards, but progress inside Goldman to promote women has appeared slow.
Just a week after his IPO pronouncement at the Davos conference in January, Solomon held Goldman’s first-ever Investor Day featuring speeches and presentations from top Goldman execs. As The Post reported at the time, the first 11 speakers that day were men, making it more than five hours until a woman took the stage.
That woman was Cohen.
JPMorgan settles market manipulation probe for $920 million
JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay more than $920 million to settle market manipulation investigations into its trading of metals futures and Treasury securities, the US regulator for derivatives markets said Tuesday.
The settlement draws a line under a multi-year probe into the country’s largest lender and marks a major scalp for US authorities.
The lender will pay the biggest monetary penalty ever imposed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), including $436.4 million in fine, $311.7 million in restitution and more than $172 million in disgorgement, the statement said.
Disgorgement is a form of restitution that requires companies to return money that has been obtained from a fraudulent scheme.
“Spoofing is illegal — pure and simple. This record-setting enforcement action demonstrates the CFTC’s commitment to being tough on those who intentionally break our rules, no matter who they are. Attempts to manipulate our markets won’t be tolerated,” said CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert.
Spoofing is a practice in which traders place orders they intend to cancel to move prices to benefit their market positions.
“The conduct of the individuals referenced in today’s resolutions is unacceptable and they are no longer with the firm,” said Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan and CEO of the Corporate & Investment Bank.
“We appreciate that the considerable resources we’ve dedicated to internal controls was recognized by the DOJ, including enhancements to compliance policies, surveillance systems and training programs.”
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission said the lender would pay $35 million in fines and disgorgement in relation to the CFTC probe into manipulative trading practices in Treasuries and Treasury securities between 2009 and 2016.
“Traders placed numerous non-bona fide orders on one side of the market for a particular Treasury instrument – i.e., orders they never intended to execute – in order to create a false impression of buy or sell interest in that instrument that would raise or depress prices,” the securities regulator said in a filing on Tuesday.
Beyond Meat planning to triple distribution at Walmart
Beyond Meat said on Tuesday its burger patties will be available at more than 2,400 Walmart stores from next week, as it triples distribution with the retailer to tap into the growing demand for its plant-based meat products during the pandemic.
Demand for fully cooked plant-based alternatives jumped 25 percent in the four weeks to Aug. 22, data from Nielsen showed, as consumers grow increasingly health conscious and concerned about the environmental impact of industrial animal farming.
The company said the wider distribution of its Beyond Burger patties – made from peas, mung bean and rice to mimic the taste of a beef burger – from 8,000 Walmart stores to over 2,400 comes after the successful launch of its value offerings this summer, at a time traditional ground beef prices were spiking due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions at beef plants.
It also comes at a time the company, which derives about half of its global sales from restaurants such as Dunkin and KFC, is trying to reroute its products to retailers to keep sales humming as restaurants continue to remain closed due to coronavirus-led restrictions.
Tuesday’s deal with Walmart, which in 2015 was the first retailer to launch its frozen offerings, comes on the heels of Beyond Meat’s announcement about expanding availability of its breakfast sausage patties at 5,000 more stores in the United States by the end of September.
Along with the burger, Walmart also sells other Beyond Meat products such as its plant-based sausage in the fresh meat aisle and sausage patties in freezer aisles, the plant-based meat maker said. The sausage and sausage patties, however, were not part of the expanded distribution deal
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