• NJ.comreports that "ShopRite of Hunterdon County opened its first automated micro-fulfillment center to enhance its online services on Tuesday.
"The special warehouse-like facility, located beside the ShopRite of Flemington, is opening in response to an extraordinary growth in online shopping and the ShopRite from Home services over the past several months, according to Joe Colalillo, chairman and chief executive officer of Wakefern Food Corp. and president of his family-owned company, ShopRite of Hunterdon County."
“This micro-fulfillment center represents an important investment in our stores and the ShopRite from Home service," Colallilo said. "It allows us to continue to provide our customers with the outstanding quality and service they expect from ShopRite, whether shopping us in-store or online.”
• Bloomberg reports that Amazon is partnering with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center - described as part of the Department of Homeland Security that serves as a government watchdog "preventing counterfeit products from entering the U.S. supply chain" - to "conduct inspections of suspected fake goods at U.S. ports of entry, the company’s latest attempt to excise bogus products from its web store."
According to the story, "More than half of the products for sale on Amazon’s site are listed by independent sellers. The embrace of such third-party merchants and a highly automated store mean the company is constantly playing whack-a-mole with counterfeiters. Amazon’s spotty record in controlling the scourge has turned off customers and brands that otherwise might put more of their products on the site."
• The Associated Press reports that "Home Depot has reached a $17.5 million settlement with the attorney generals of 46 states and the District of Columbia over a 2014 data breach that exposed the payment card information of some 40 million customers. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office detailed the settlement in a statement Tuesday, saying Home Depot agreed under its terms to employ a full-time chief information security officer among other measures."
• Bloomberg reports that Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama have "filed a petition with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board to form a union … The federal agency posted a notice dated Friday for a hearing to determine whether the petition meets the criteria to advance to the next step. With enough support, it’ll proceed to a vote among those working at the warehouse outside Birmingham on whether to unionize and be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The recently opened facility in Bessemer employs about 1,500 people."
The story notes that this is "the latest sign of strife between the online retailer and its large blue-collar workforce," tensions that have been exacerbated by heightened demands placed on those employees by accelerated e-commerce sales and safety concerns created by the pandemic.