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Amazon’s new store is its latest huge bet in defiance of the retail apocalypse (AMZN) – Strategy – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Amazon opened its new Amazon 4-star store to the public on Thursday.
  • It’s just one of several physical retail initiatives the e-commerce giant has undertaken recently.

Amazon has become synonymous with online shopping.

The e-commerce giant is now estimated to take about half of all online sales in the United States.

But Amazon cannot live online alone. The company is increasingly moving into the physical world, opening spaces in malls, shopping districts, and even local strip malls. It’s a move that signals the company’s ambitions are larger than e-commerce, combining its digital prowess with the convenience of physical retail.

One reason that may be, an anonymous source told CNBC last year, is that the company is seeing online sales go up in areas that have physical Amazon stores. Brick-and-mortar stores increase customer awareness of the brand, and it’s extra fuel for the Amazon engine.

Its latest move is Amazon 4-star in New York.

Here are all of the ways that Amazon has expanded into the physical world so far:

Amazon 4-star sells only items that customers have rated four stars or above on Amazon.com.


Inside Amazon 4-star.play

Inside Amazon 4-star.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Amazon’s new concept only stocks items that customers have rated four stars or above, on average. That means it will include only the best of the best.

It opened in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood on Thursday.

The store essentially uses the same format as the brand’s Amazon Books store, but has more categories on offer, including toys and games, home and kitchen, and yes, books. Amazon 4-star uses the same customer reviews as Amazon Books and the same cashless checkout process.

Amazon’s pickup centers look a lot like post offices.


Amazon's pickup centers look a lot like post offices.play

Amazon’s pickup centers look a lot like post offices.

(Business Insider/Dennis Green)

Customers can do only two things at Amazon pickup locations: pick up packages and return them. That’s all they’re built for.

The locations function a lot like a post office, but just for Amazon packages. Get them sent to the building’s address, and they’ll be there when you’re ready to pick them up. Packages can be kept there for up to two weeks.

Need to return an item? The service is free, since it doesn’t actually need to go through the mail.

Amazon won’t say exactly how many of these locations exist in the United States, but the number is at least 30 and growing.

Amazon Go is a new kind of convenience store.


Amazon Go is a new kind of convenience store.play

Amazon Go is a new kind of convenience store.

(Matt Weinberger/Business Insider)

Amazon Go is the store of the future.

With no lines or checkout process, the store uses cameras and sensors to track what you put in your basket. It then charges you through your Amazon account.

The first Go store opened to the public on January 22 after a lengthy beta period. Amazon now operates four of these stores: three in Seattle and one in Chicago.

There are now two Go formats. One focuses on fresh, prepared foods and snacks, while the other has a limited grocery selection.

The company is reportedly planning to open up to 3,000 Go stores across the country, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods gave it a nationwide network of more than 450 stores.


Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods gave it a nationwide network of more than 450 stores.play

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods gave it a nationwide network of more than 450 stores.

(Kate Taylor/Business Insider)

Amazon’s acquisition of natural-foods store Whole Foods is the big one to mention here.

Whole Foods was already a national chain with more than 450 stores, but with the power of Amazon behind it, it has the potential to be something even larger. It has since introduced Prime as the discount program for the grocery chain, and it is working on expanded pickup and delivery options with Prime Now.

Amazon struck a partnership with Kohl’s, where it will be selling Amazon devices and accepting returns at some stores.


Amazon struck a partnership with Kohl's, where it will be selling Amazon devices and accepting returns at some stores.play

Amazon struck a partnership with Kohl’s, where it will be selling Amazon devices and accepting returns at some stores.

(Madeline Stone/Business Insider)

Kohl’s started Amazon returns at 82 stores in Chicago and Los Angeles in October 2017.

The returns are free, and they don’t need to be packaged before drop-off.

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Some stores also feature an “Amazon smart home experience” with a separate section selling Amazon devices, much like the Amazon Pop-Up store model.

The partnership with Kohl’s was expanded to more than 100 stores in August, and Milwaukee was added to the test area.

Amazon operates a modified version of Amazon pickup centers at some universities.


Amazon operates a modified version of Amazon pickup centers at some universities.play

Amazon operates a modified version of Amazon pickup centers at some universities.

(Thomson Reuters)

Amazon also has a line of bookstores for college campuses, which it operates in conjunction with each school.

In addition to offering books and supplies for students, it also operates like Amazon pickup centers for picking up orders and returning items.

In 2017, Amazon announced an initiative to operate a special Amazon Locker device service called Amazon Instant, in which attendants stuff items from the store into slots, ready to be picked up by customers in a way similar to a vending machine. It seems the locations function more like typical pickup centers, with some items on hand for same-day pickup by customers.

Amazon keeps expanding its chain of bookstores.


Amazon keeps expanding its chain of bookstores.play

Amazon keeps expanding its chain of bookstores.

(Sarah Jacobs)

Amazon has moved into brick-and-mortar retail by opening bookstores in major cities like Seattle, Chicago, and New York.

The stores operate exactly the same as Amazon’s online bookstore, and they allow visitors to browse a curated selection similar to how it appears on the site.

There are currently 17 stores open, with at least one more on the way.

It introduced pickup for Amazon Fresh, which is now called Prime Fresh.


It introduced pickup for Amazon Fresh, which is now called Prime Fresh.play

It introduced pickup for Amazon Fresh, which is now called Prime Fresh.

(Jason Redmond/Reuters)

Prime Fresh members who order groceries can choose to pick up their orders at two locations in Seattle.

It set up Amazon Lockers in some grocery stores.


It set up Amazon Lockers in some grocery stores.play

It set up Amazon Lockers in some grocery stores.

(Wikimedia)

Amazon Lockers offer an alternative place to receive packages for customers who either can’t have them sent or don’t want them sent to their home or office.

The lockers are now offered in places like convenience stores, drug stores, and grocery stores, including all Whole Foods locations.

Amazon uses Amazon Pop-Up stores to showcase devices to wary customers.


Amazon uses Amazon Pop-Up stores to showcase devices to wary customers.play

Amazon uses Amazon Pop-Up stores to showcase devices to wary customers.

(Amazon)

Amazon has opened Pop-Up stores in malls around the country for customers to come and experience Amazon’s devices firsthand.

It’s a place to try before you buy, from Alexa-enabled gadgets like Echo, Look, and Show, to e-readers like the Kindle and Fire tablets

There are now nearly 80 Amazon Pop-Up locations across the US, according to Amazon’s website. Some locations are in Kohl’s and Whole Foods stores.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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