business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  C&S Wholesale Grocery announced yesterday that it has contracted with delivery service Instacart " to offer e-commerce and same-day delivery solutions to more than 3,000 C&S independent grocery retailers across the U.S. The new partnership shows both companies’ continued commitment to supporting independent grocers across the country and the diverse communities these retailers serve … As part of the partnership, C&S will help bring their network of independent grocers onto the Instacart marketplace. The companies will work closely to help retailers establish an e-commerce and delivery offering to meet the needs of their customers."

I get this.  I'm sure in a time when e-grocery is accelerating its penetration among consumers because of the pandemic, with expectations that much of that online business will remain in place going forward, C&S and its retailers were looking for a solution.  Maybe even were desperate for a solution.

But they need to know that they are handing Instacart all sorts of customer data that will eventually put them at a competitive disadvantage when Instacart starts opening its own dark stores and walking a more autonomous business path.  C&S is a big enough company that it could've developed a more proprietary system for its retailers, outsourcing some of the operations but making sure its retailers would be more protected.  If I were one of these independents, I think I'd be concerned that while the short-term impact might be positive, the long-term implications could be far more dire.

•  Bloomberg reports that "Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said it’s 'time to break up Amazon' in a tweet Thursday, escalating a rivalry with Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos, another billionaire investing in space exploration."

Musk added, "Monopolies are wrong."

According to the story, "Musk’s post came in response to a tweet from a writer who said his book titled 'Unreported Truths About COVID-19 and The Lockdown' was being removed from Amazon’s Kindle publishing division for violating unspecified guidelines.

"An Amazon spokeswoman said the book was removed in error and is being reinstated. 'We have notified the author,' she said in an email."