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(We're off to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving, so we won't be sending an email on Thursday or Friday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!)
Some folks like to call Thanksgiving "Turkey Day." But you'll be forgiven for thinking that a certain company that was formerly valued at over $1 trillion would like us to start using a new nickname: "Amazon Day."
Exhibit "T" (or maybe "A"): Other companies have made waves in recent years by giving their employees the day off on Thanksgiving, Amazon, and more specifically Whole Foods, is going in the opposite direction. It's using Thanksgiving to show off its Prime Now home delivery service, with free one-hour delivery of groceries until 2 p.m. on Turkey Day itself.
It's only in a limited number of cities, and of course if you're waiting until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving to order groceries you're a bit of a procrastinator. But the service seems designed more for the last minute thing you might have forgotten (cranberry sauce, it's always the cranberry sauce). Plus of course it gives Whole Foods a bump in its battle against other supermarkets like Walmart and Kroger that are also investing in on-demand delivery.
So what will we wind up calling this time of year? Amazon Thursday? Walmart Wednesday? Kroger November? The jury's out. Until then, just enjoy Drunksgiving.
Here's what else I'm reading today:
No good dead goes unviralized
Maybe you saw this story going viral: An anonymous benefactor at a Walmart in Vermont started paying off thousands of dollars worth of products that other customers had saved on layaway. He clearly wanted to stay anonymous, as he gave his name only as "Kris Kringle." But then one of the people he helped out snapped his picture. And now the hunt is on to find out who he his. Oh well, happy holidays, 2018 version.
--Bill Murphy Jr., Inc.
(Not) Made in the USA
A silver lining in President Trump's trade war with China: U.S. manufacturers are using the conflict to lobby the Federal Trade Administration to crack down on fake "Made in the USA" labels (meaning on foreign products.) "You have the president talking about Made in America and manufacturing on a regular basis. It seemed like the right time," said the head of the American Association of Manufacturers.
--Heidi Vogt, The Wall Street Journal
Bye bye, BFR
When Elon Musk unveiled his plans for a super powerful spaceship that could take passengers to Mars, he called it the BFR. Officially that was short for Big Falcon Rocket, but nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, we all knew what the "F" really was supposed to mean. Without explanation however, Musk announced he's changing its name to the much more boring and ordinary "Starship." Boring and ordinary: Those aren't really words you normally associate with Musk. Is this the start of something new?
Target: Sheryl Sandberg
After Facebook's latest no good very bad week, a critic is aiming squarely at at Sheryl Sandberg, arguing that she, more than Mark Zuckerberg, drove the company into a reputational ditch. The idea is Zuckerberg's focus was always on user experience, but Sandberg had to make the company profitable. And her single-minded focus on advertising that led the company to make almost all of the horrible mistakes it's now trying to recover from.
--Alex Shephard, The New Republic
How to win Black Friday (even thought it's already Wednesday)
Black Friday is just 48 hours away so we have a few suggestions on ways that smaller companies can compete even at this late date. Bottom line: the whole idea is to create scarcity, and push customers to act quickly.
--Geoffrey James, Inc.