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Amazon gets together with Oprah, opens its first store and adds Amazon-only luxury fashions

November 6, 2015 01:58 PM
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Amazon.com Inc. is playing for keeps, adding an array of shopping options to appeal to holiday shoppers.

Amazon news for the week ending Nov. 6.

  • Oprah’s Favorite Things—buy them on Amazon: Oprah Winfrey’s annual “favorite things” list is a go-to guide for many gift givers. This year, instead of debuting the list in O Magazine, as the media mogul has done since she ended her TV talk show in 2011, this year’s list debuted this week on the home page of Amazon.com. (The December issue of O, which features Winfrey’s favorite things on its cover, won’t hit newsstands until next week.) An Oprah’s Favorite Things page on Amazon includes the 87-item list and seven videos starring Winfrey as she selects the products and explains what she likes about them. Clicking on items launches quick-view pages that include a comment from Winfrey.

One of her favorites? Amazon Echo. Her review: “If you thought the Scarlett Johansson-voiced operating system in the movie “Her” was science fiction, meet Alexa, the voice of a device that answers questions, plays music, reads your Audible book aloud and more. OWN’s Erik Logan turned me on to it, and I love it.”

 

  • Amazon opens a retail store: And it sells books. Amazon Books opened Tuesday in an upscale Seattle mall. Data collected online helps determine which 5,000-6,000 titles are featured in the shop. See photos of Amazon Books on opening day.
  • Free same-day delivery: Amazon Prime members in greater London can get same-day delivery of orders they place by noon, seven days a week, for no additional cost. A million items are eligible for same-day delivery.
  • Luxury fashion: Amazon in France announced an agreement with Paris design house MySuelly to make two luxury leather bag available for sale only on Amazon Fashion (Amazon Mode, in French) in time for the holidays. The Amazon.fr/MySuelly shop will go live Nov. 15. The bags are priced at 275 euro and 420 euro ($295 and $451 at current exchange rates).
  • Counterfeit ruling favors Amazon: A federal jury trial in late October in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in Amazon’s favor. The suit was filed  against Amazon in 2013 over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Amazon marketplace by third-party merchants. Pillowcase maker Milo & Gabby asserted Amazon was liable because it made the offer to sell goods that infringed on Milo & Gabby patents. Amazon argued it was the marketplace merchants, not Amazon, that offered the products for sale, and Amazon provided only the services that supported the sale. The court had previously determined that a group of Chinese manufacturers were responsible for supplying the products that violated Milo & Gabby’s patents. 

In his ruling on the case Nov. 3, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez concurred with the jury’s opinion but expressed misgivings. “The Court is troubled by its conclusion and the impact it may have on the many small retail sellers in circumstances similar to the Plaintiffs. There is no doubt that we now live in a time where the law lags behind technology. This case illustrates that point,” he wrote. “However, that is a subject which must be addressed to Congress and not the courts.”   

  • Research grants: Amazon launched Amazon Catalyst, a grant-giving program in conjunction with the University of Washington, to fund research into solving complex challenges. Read more in this Seattle Times report.

Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide.

 

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