business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon "has introduced a service in three cities aimed at connecting customers to local service providers like plumbers and electricians, according a person briefed on the plan. Amazon shoppers in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle would see the offers after purchasing items like a car stereo or air conditioner that may require installation … The listings service, known as Amazon Local Services, is part of a broader Amazon effort to compete with brick-and-mortar stores, which still account for more than 90% of retail sales."

The story notes that "Amazon is entering a crowded market with established players such as Yelp Inc., Angie’s List Inc. and Craigslist, as well as startups like Thumbtack. Groupon Inc. recently rolled out a listings service through which it will eventually offer daily deals."

In other (admittedly unrelated) Amazon news …

• The BBC reports that Amazon is working with the Royal Mail in the UK, using some 10,500 post offices in the country as delivery depots where customers can pick up their packages.

The story says that "the addition of the Royal Mail Local Collect 'click and collect' facility means Amazon will have 16,000 pickup locations in the UK."
KC's View:
Being generally hopeless when it comes to doing anything around the house (other than cooking), I love services like these … and I think it makes sense for Amazon to try to offer this service. I recently bought a garbage disposal, and it would've been great if Amazon also had told me about a local person who could install it. (I think I used Angie's List.)