Industry News

Industry IQ: The Grocery Game Gets Changed and Small Business Gets the Google Bump

Amazon Goes for the Whole Enchilada with Whole Foods Purchase

Late last week, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos racked up a $13.7 billion grocery bill on one and , in the process, changed the supermarket game as we know it. The retail behemoth’s acquisition of Whole Foods, the world’s highest-selling organic foods chain, is set to have a ripple effect on how people in the United States — and, presumably, the world over — buy their groceries.

Whole Foods’ 465 locations in North America and the UK are Amazon’s newfound physical presence will serve as a major shot in the arm to its recently launched online effort, AmazonFresh, which began beta-testing pickup locations of its own in March of this year. Traditional supermarkets and mass retailers who’ve previously disrupted the grocery game, such as Walmart and Target, are already bracing for impact.

American grocery giant Kroger reported a 28% loss in shares once the announcement came down, while other competitors are starting to reassess their overall approach to salvage already razor-thin profit margins. Meanwhile, customers are set to benefit greatly from the move, which should result in lower grocery prices from players across the board and, most likely, a complete overhaul of the in-person grocery shopping experience.

Google Brings Website Capabilities to Small Businesses

Google has reached out to, what it calls, the “60% of small businesses worldwide” without a website by launching the appropriately named “Website,” a free, single-page website builder that will allow small business owners to set up a minimal online presence within minutes.

The new tool — an extension of their Google My Business service, which ensures business listings appear in Search and Maps results — requires owners to register for Google My Business, after which Google can plug the company’s info into a bare bones site. Once that happens, thesite can be customized to your specifications. For now, Website’s design and layout options are minimal, but it certainly beats the alternative – not having a website at all.

Los Angeles Mayor down with Elon Musk’s Underground Vision

There are those both skeptical and in awe of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s idea to build a high-speed transit network underneath Los Angeles, but he’s got a fan in one important player in the entire process: the city’s Mayor Eric Garcetti. A recent interview with Garcetti, corroborated by a recent tweet from Musk himself, cites that the two  have had “promising conversations” regarding the idea. While this news comes as a boon to the project, it could end up being entirely symbolic if the project becomes entangled in efforts to receive the proper permits. As Musk suggested, getting city planners to clear the project would be a much greater hurdle than building the network itself, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

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