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$AMZN announced the opening of The Spheres, its newest Seattle HQ buildings which have no enclosed offices or conference spaces. The Spheres feature treehouse meeting rooms, river and waterfall features, a four-story living wall, and epiphytic trees. The project created more than 600 full-time jobs, and is part of a more than $4Bil investment.
$AMZN has chosen 20 metropolitan areas as proposed locations for HQ2, its second headquarters. These are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington DC.
$AMZN reviewed 238 proposals from across the US, Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, its second headquarters in North America. The company has chosen 20 metropolitan areas for the next phase of the process. $AMZN expects to make a decision in 2018. The company plans to invest over $5Bil and create as many as 50,000 jobs at HQ2.
$AMZN said Amazon Music Unlimited will become available in Australia and New Zealand starting February 1, giving users access to a catalogue of more than 45MM songs and hundreds of playlists and personalised stations. New subscribers can sign up for a free 90-day trial of Amazon Music Unlimited for a limited time.
Industrial supplies company $FAST said its net sales grew 9% YoY to $323MM in December 2017. Daily average sales advanced 15% annually to $16.2MM, with sales in the US and the whole of North America growing 13% and 15% respectively. The company had 20,565 employees at the end of the month, up 5% compared to last year.
$FAST said its fastener division registered lower margin due to higher expenses in 4Q17, when profitability was impacted by the tax legislation. The company is aggressively investing in its onsite and e-commerce initiatives, and expects inventory position to improve further in 2018. Fastenal targets to sign 21000-23000 vending devices this year.
$FAST, a distributor of industrial supplies, said its 4Q17 profit rose sharply, helped by higher sales and benefits of the tax reform. Earnings advanced 32% YoY to $152MM or $0.53 per share. Sales grew 15% to $1.1Bil as strong demand resulted in an increase in new product signings. Daily sales of fastener products registered a double-digit growth.
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an $AMZN company, announced that Comcast Cable has selected AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider. Comcast Cable will expand its use of AWS by migrating material workloads and building new applications on AWS.
$AMZN announced the Virtual Dash Button Service (VDBS), an SDK that allows third parties to offer virtual Dash Buttons on their screened devices. Virtual Dash Buttons are shortcuts that allow Prime members to quickly find and reorder products from a selection of millions of eligible products.
$AMZN has added device makers including HP, Kenmore, 3M’s Filtrete brand, Epson, and Blustream to its Dash Replenishment program. Dash Replenishment enables smart, connected devices to measure supply consumption through inputs, including infrared and other sensor arrays. It then signals an automatic reorder of supplies before they run out.
$AMZN said more than 300,000 US-based small and medium-sized businesses joined the Amazon Marketplace in 2017 and SMBs on $AMZN sold billions of items to customers around the world. Half of the items sold on $AMZN are from SMBs, many of whom choose to use Fulfillment by Amazon. In 2017, FBA shipped billions of items for SMBs worldwide.
$NSP President Richard Rawson will retire on May 18, 2018, after having served as an executive officer for over 28 years. Insperity also announced the appointment of James Allison as SVP of gross profit operations, which will also be effective on May 18, 2018.