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Inside Amazon (Feb 8th, 2018)

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Amazon plans to deliver groceries from Whole Foods via its two-hour Prime Now delivery service. The company will launch the program in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beac,. and plans to expand to other cities in the U.S. later this year. A two-hour delivery option will be free; one-hour deliveries will have a fee of $7.99 on orders of $35 or more. Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017. — CNBC

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Amazon is launching a new WordPress plugin that creates audio versions of blog posts. The audio can be played from within the webpage itself of from a podcast form, through a feature called Amazon Pollycast. The plugin was designed by Amazon’s AWS team and WPEngine. Polly uses machine learning technologies to deliver more life-like speech. — TECHCRUNCH

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Amazon has launched two private-label women's denim brands that are having a modest impact on Gap and Nordstrom, according to a KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst. The brands, called Hale and Denim Crush, were designed by Adriano Goldschmid, who helped create AG Jeans, Diesel and Gap 1969 brands. “Amazon continues to make steady progress in apparel," wrote analyst Edward Yruma. Amazon has a total of 71 private label clothing brands.  — MARKETWATCH

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A Massachusetts couple has received 20 Amazon packages containing gadgets and they have no idea where they came from.  Among the items that Mike and Kelly Gallivan didn't order were: an outdoor TV cover,  tent lamp, selfie light,  phone charger, virtual reality case, and others for a total of 50 items. They don't know who ordered them and neither does Amazon. The only address on the boxes is the Amazon distribution center in Lexington, Kentucky. Amazon said the items were purchased using a gift card, which is untraceable. Amazon also said the sellers involved in this case did not receive names or shipping addresses from Amazon. — USA TODAY

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Amazon Web Services has proposed a 600,000 square foot data center campus on a 44-acre site just south of Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The plan calls for three buildings on the site, which is 7 miles from the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology campus that Loudoun County pitched for the Amazon HQ2 competition. Amazon has about 6.6 million square feet of office space in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area, up from 200,000 in 1999. — WASHINGTON BIZ JOURNAL

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