Just a few weeks earlier, The Capitol Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based news service that examines business and regulation, published a story arguing Amazon risked antitrust enforcement by the Trump administration for using its algorithms and platform to promote its own products over “those of merchants that are dependent on Amazon’s platform and with whom Amazon competes.”
While our survey has long shown seasonal fluctuations in Prime membership levels, we have now seen four months of—at best—flatlining membership rates. Moreover, in July last year, Prime Day prompted a month-over-month increase in membership numbers, but this year we saw no such jump. This August, the proportion of consumers we recorded holding a Prime membership was the lowest we had seen in a year.
Sports brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas are among the most-bought brands bought on Amazon. These brands’ presence across both clothing and footwear likely supports their leading positions—and, as we discuss later, footwear is a very popular category on Amazon Fashion. Lower-cost casualwear also ranks highly, as do underwear brands such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, implying that Amazon is popular for basics.
We present these figures with the caution that no research firm truly knows how much clothing and footwear is sold on Amazon. We also note that some research firms have enjoyed substantial media coverage on the back of estimates that have placed Amazon as one of the very largest retailers of apparel in the US. We further note the risk of a herding effect, whereby some research firms may be reluctant to estimate figures that vary susbtantially from those published by other firms and that are already in the public domain.
"These are by far the cheapest blue-light-blocking glasses that I've found, and they work really well. I was having headaches nearly every day of my last semester of college from working full-time and taking night classes — both of which relied heavily upon screens. These were truly lifesavers, and I've rarely gotten so much use out of $9. I've written a review of them before, and I'm wearing them now." — Mara Leighton
Available in the Amazon app under Programs, Outfit Compare is a quick service that helps you figure out which outfit looks better on you, regardless of whether the clothes are purchased from Amazon. A fashion specialist takes into account how the clothes fit you, which colors look best on you, how the outfits are styled, and what's on trend right now.
Amazon also created "channels" to benefit certain causes. In 2004, Amazon allowed customers to donate $5 to $200 to the campaigns of 2004 US presidential hopefuls, providing links that raised $300,000 for the candidates. Amazon has periodically reactivated a Red Cross donation channel after crises such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. By January 2005, nearly 200,000 people had donated over $15.7 million in the US.
The Ring Stick Up Cam will be offered in both wired and battery-powered configurations — both for $179.99. The Stick Up Cam can be used both indoors and out, according to Amazon, marking Ring’s first cameras designed for both environments. They can integrate with the Ring Alarm when used inside the house. The wired variant is up for preorder starting today, with the battery Stick Up Cam due to arrive in December. Both offer 1080p video, night vision, motion detection, and IPX5 water resistance.
Amazon's answer to Apple Music, Spotify and the like gives you access to "tens of millions" of songs -- far more than you get from Prime Music. If you already have a Prime subscription, Music Unlimited costs $7.99 per month -- a few dollars less than the competition charges. However, a family plan makes it $14.99 per month whether you're a Prime subscriber or not, and that doesn't represent any savings over the competition. Indeed, you might want to investigate whether Amazon Music Unlimited is good deal for you before adding it to your account.
Around 2009, Amazon quietly entered the private label business by offering a handful of items under a new brand called AmazonBasics. Early offerings were the kinds of unglamorous products that consumers typically bought at their local hardware store: power cords and cables for electronics and, in particular, batteries — with prices roughly 30 percent lower than that of national brands like Energizer and Duracell.
In January 2013, Amazon launched AutoRip, a digital music service. The service allows customers to receive a free MP3 copy of select CDs purchased through Amazon. Amazon announced in September 2013 that it would launch Kindle MatchBook in October 2013, a similar service for books allowing customers who buy books from Amazon to acquire an e-book copy for free, or at a discounted price of US$3 or less. MatchBook was launched on the company's site on October 29, 2013.
In a time when exploitation cinema seemed the standard for cheap movie houses the world over, no martial arts flick got much better than this Shaw Brothers staple, which eventually adopted the much more PC title, Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms. The blind one, the deaf mute, the one without legs and the brain-damaged “idiot”: Together, they make an unstoppable force of vengeance against the local martial arts master who crippled them, as well as his son, who ironically lost his arms at a young age, and so sports dart-shooting cast-iron facsimiles. In other words, Crippled Avengers plays it cool, allowing our disfigured heroes few but important victories for most of the film, building up to its final 25-minute series of fight scenes, in which a blind man, a deaf mute, a man with iron prosthetic legs and an acrobatic “idiot” combine their individual strengths to defeat a kung fu master with, basically, robot arms. Movies like this give us reasons to get up in the morning. —Dom Sinacola
On the surface, the move into the private label business (in which goods are sold under the retailer’s name rather than that of an outside vendor) appears to be a deft move by Amazon. Analysts predict that nearly half of all online shopping in the United States will be conducted on Amazon’s platform in the next couple of years. That creates a massive opportunity for Amazon to more than double revenue from its in-house brands to $25 billion in the next four years, according to analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. That’s the equivalent of all of Macy’s revenue last year.
In which we bask in Vince Vaughn’s hugeness, witnessing S. Craig Zahler’s pitch-perfect ode to grindhouse cinema draw the best of extremes out of an actor who’s had a rough couple years crawling out from under the parody of himself. This is not Vince Vaughn playing Bradley Thomas, stolid brute willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, it is the silhouette of Vince Vaughn, silent and bigger than everyone else in the room, a spectre of bruised flesh—so much flesh—descending circle by circle into Hades, his odyssey heralded by the likes of Don Johnson and Udo Kier (both seemingly born to be in this endlessly compelling, awfully fucked-up movie) and soundtracked by soul/RnB icons like the O’Jays and Butch Tavares. It confirms that Zahler—along with Bone Tomahawk—is on some Tarantino levels of modern genre filmmaking—which could honestly be a pejorative, were Brawl in Cell Block 99 less finely tuned, less patient and less breathlessly violent. By the time Bradley lurches into irrevocable action, foreshadowed by an opening scene in which he rips apart a car with his bare hands, which is exactly as that sounds, every life force he snuffs out with maximum barbarity also comes with pure satisfaction, the Id of anyone who’s into this kind of thing stroked to completion. —Dom Sinacola
On top of 4-star, Amazon has expanded its retail presence beyond its Whole Foods purchase. Amazon opened its first bookstore in 2015 and now boasts over 15 Amazon Books locations throughout the U.S., with plans to open more. Furthermore, the e-commerce power runs four cashierless convenience store-style, Amazon-Go locations along with pop-up stores.