business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The South Florida Business Journal reports that with the closing of its $280 million acquisition of Vitacost, Kroger has taken "another step into online grocery retail, where it has the potential to grow in South Florida." (Vitacost has a website that sells more than 45,000 health-related products.)

The story goes on: "When it comes to brick-and-mortar space, Kroger won't be able to snap up the spaces that stores like Publix, Winn-Dixie, Target and Wal-Mart have claimed. But the company may fair better virtually as Kroger has room to move into an online ordering and express lane pickup services role. The company is currently employing those services in Denver.

"Kroger also acquired 212 stores of Charlotte-based company Harris Teeter in a $2.5 billion deal in addition to its online grocery ordering service in July 2013, which added to speculation that Kroger aimed to compete with online grocers."

• The Financial Times reports that "Amazon, the US ecommerce group, plans to ramp up its business in China by setting up operations in Shanghai’s new free-trade zone, allowing it to sell more imports more cheaply to better compete with domestic rivals Alibaba and"
KC's View:
Amazon better get aggressive in China against the likes of Alibaba, because it appears that Alibaba has every intention of getting tough with Amazon in the US.