5 surprising changes Amazon is making this year

Whether it’s investing in the health care industry or launching brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon is surprising consumers with a slew of changes this year.

Amazon has more than 6,000 employees in Ohio, and two fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz. Here are five changes consumers can expect to see from Amazon within the next year:

1. Delivering packages in new ways 

The online retailer has been looking for a while to find a way to have more control over how its packages are delivered. With its new program rolling out Thursday, contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver Amazon packages. The move gives Amazon more ways to ship its packages to shoppers without having to rely on UPS, FedEx and other package delivery services. READ MORE

2. More fulfillment centers

Amazon is expanding its footprint with more fulfillment and distribution centers across the U.S. In Ohio, the online retail giant is building fulfillment centers in North Randall, Monroe and Euclid. Hefty tax credits and months of strategic negotiations helped solidify Amazon's decision to build its next fulfillment center in Monroe. The one-million-square foot facility near Interstate 75 will house employees who will pick, pack and ship larger customer orders.

» PROJECT BIG DADDY: How Monroe landed Amazon’s next fulfillment center

3. Brick-and-mortar stores

Amazon is looking at expanding its Amazon Go concept in other markets. Amazon's first store, which has no checkout lanes, opened in Seattle at the beginning of the year. The new concept Amazon Go will give consumers "the world's most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line," according to the online retail giant. Some industry experts are calling the concept the future of brick-and-mortar retail. READ MORE

4. A closer relationship between Whole Foods and Amazon

Amazon is strengthening ties between Amazon and Whole Foods after purchasing the grocery chain last year. Amazon Prime Day 2018 will start on July 16 and will run for 30 hours through July 17 — and it will include deals in Whole Foods stores. Amazon also announced last month that all Prime members shopping at Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S. will receive 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and deep discounts on select popular products.

» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: After Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase, grocery industry braces for change

5. Entering the health care industry

Amazon.com Inc. is buying PillPack, an online pharmacy that offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery. Amazon said PillPack offers a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology. The company, which has its primary pharmacy in Manchester, New Hampshire, ships to all states except Hawaii. READ MORE


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