business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Verge reports that "Amazon is ending support for its Dash Wand, an Alexa-enabled device that let shoppers scan grocery barcodes and order household essentials from their homes. In an email to users, the company said the devices will no longer be supported as of July 21st. Shoppers can still use other Alexa-enabled devices to add items to a shopping list, the company noted."

The Dash Wand was introduced in 2017.

The Dash Wand has been something of an afterthought for a long time, and eliminating support for the device just makes sense in the same way that Amazon bailed on the Dash buttons - at a time when it believes that its Alexa-powered voice recognition system is the future of online shopping, it is time to take Wand-related learnings and move forward.

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that  Matthew McCarthy, CEO of Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry's Homemade, "said the ice-cream brand is considering joining other companies in boycotting advertising on Facebook Inc.’s platforms while pushing more of its media partners to take further action on issues concerning systemic racism and social reform."

The story notes that "civil-rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP last week called for big advertisers to pull spending from Facebook for July to protest what they say is the company’s failure to make its platform a less hostile place."  Companies including Patagonia, REI, and The North Face have all announced plans to stop advertising on Facebook.

What they’ve been doing is not fully right with our values, period,” McCarthy said.   “The reality is, anything that’s right for the business, but wrong for our values, is wrong.”

Wow.  That line about the importance of values ought to be put on every business's walls.

•  Canadian retailer Sobey's has announced that it has launched its newest e-commerce platform, Voilà by Sobeys, in the Toronto metropolitan area.

According to the announcement, "Voilà by Sobeys has a freshness guarantee and products at affordable prices with no hidden fees, delivered straight to customers' doors in convenient one-hour delivery windows. Starting June 22, customers in Vaughan will be able to order online at or by downloading the Voilà mobile app."

Voilà is powered by an Ocado automated Customer Fulfillment Centre, using robots to "assemble orders efficiently and safely, resulting in minimal product handling, while Voilà teammates safely deliver orders directly to the customer's home."