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Amazon

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The rising cost of housing in America's most desirable "creative" cities troubles Richard Florida, urbanist thinker and author. In those cities, the cost of housing is affordable only to the creative class themselves. The rest of the working population — those in service industry or manufacturing — struggle to keep up with rising housing prices.

Florida says what's happening in Seattle, specifically, is surprising even to someone like him, "supposedly in the know."

An official from Toronto has called Amazon's search for the second headquarters "the Olympics of the corporate world."

It's a unique situation of its kind and scale. Typically, cities and states vie for factories or offices behind the scenes. This time, Amazon's public solicitation of bids from essentially all major metropolitan areas in North America has prompted reporters and analysts across the continent to run their own odds on potential winners.

What's at stake?

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Until last week, Seattle’s growth looked endless and predictable. Amazon was hiring at a fierce pace, and planners were struggling with housing and transit needs that are a consequence of all the new jobs.

But with Amazon’s announcement that it will build a second headquarters elsewhere, bets about the future of Seattle’s growth are off.

The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Washington State GOP chair Susan Hutchison, and Geekwire editor and co-founder Todd Bishop about whether or not Seattle's progressive climate has pushed Amazon to open a second headquarters outside of Seattle.

'Week in Review' panel Bill Radke, Christopher Parker, Billy Bryant and Natalie Brand.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Amazon tells Seattle it wants to see other cities and announces plans for a second headquarters in another North American metropolis.

The only Republican Congressman from the Puget Sound area said this week he won't run for another term. Who will take over for Rep. Dave Reichert?

Image Courtesy/Vulcan

Amazon wants to double its footprint by building a second headquarters — for 50,000 more workers.

Consider that its current Seattle headquarters has more than 40,000 people at its Seattle headquarters.

An Amazon Prime truck delivers an Australian fern to Amazon’s campus for the ceremonial first planting at The Spheres on Thursday,  May 4, 2017, in Seattle.
Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Amazon

Bill Radke speaks with Geekwire editor Todd Bishop and Slate Magazine tech writer April Glaser about what it could mean for Seattle that Amazon will set up a second headquarters in a different North American city. 

The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times report Mike Rosenberg about his article that shows how Seattle has become a company town for Amazon.

Crosscut Columnist Knute Berger also joins the conversation to talk about how he has seen this same pattern with Boeing and Microsoft before.

We also hear from listener on how this change has impacted them.

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods' 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer's "Whole Paycheck" nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is another step closer to reality, after the Federal Trade Commission decided the grocery deal would not hamper competition or provide an unfair advantage.

President Donald Trump talks with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg upon his arrival on Air Force One at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Bill Radke talks to Emily Parkhurst, editor in chief of the Puget Sound Business Journal, about why the CEO of Boeing stayed on President Trump's manufacturing council (until it disbanded) and how the president's tweet about Amazon will affect the company. 

Flickr Photo/Kate (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Km6ZXK

Bill Radke talks to Kathleen Flinn, cook and author of "The Sharper the Knife the Less You Cry," and Naomi Tomky, food and travel writer, about the pros and cons of the meal kit delivery service industry. 

Mute button on an Amazon Echo
Flickr Photo/Rob Albright/(CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/C6Ae3S

Bill Radke speaks with WIRED senior writer Emily Dreyfuss about her article that asks the question if Amazon's Echo should be able to call the police and what implications that could have on our privacy. 

The last few months have not been easy ones for the small companies that supply Whole Foods with quinoa and kale. As big investors demanded a shake-up at the company, maybe even a takeover by a much bigger supermarket chain, Janey Hubschman felt that the fate of her own company, Epicurean Butter, was also at stake.

"The fact that their sales have not been great affects every single product that is in Whole Foods, and their reputation affects everything that is on the shelf," says the Colorado businesswoman, who has been selling to Whole Foods since 2005.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET on June 19

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, in a merger that values Whole Foods stock at $42 a share — a premium over the price of around $33 at the close of trading on Thursday. The Internet retailer says it's buying the brick-and-mortar fixture in a deal that is valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, back in 1980, now has 465 stores in North America and the U.K.

SEIU organizer Patience Malaba leads a protest while Amazon shareholders enter the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Seattle in May.
KUOW Photo / John Ryan

Big companies often tout the good they’re doing for the planet. Reducing energy use, buying green energy, things like that. But they often reveal much less about the harm they do.

Like Amazon. With its data centers, warehouses and delivery trucks, the computing and retail giant has grown into one of the nation’s biggest users of energy.


Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

The AmazonFresh Pickup site in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Amazon Prime members can now pick up their groceries without getting out of their cars. This is part of a new service they’re trying out called AmazonFresh Pickup.

But what does that mean for traditional grocery stores?

Protesters outside Amazon's annual shareholder's meeting hold up a RoboBezos sign
KUOW photo/Kate Walters

As shareholders heard about revenue gains at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, protesters gathered outside the building.

The company’s revenue grew to $136 billion in 2016, up from $107 billion the year before. Amazon also grew its employee base to more than 340,000 people worldwide in 2016.

The online retail giant shows no sign of slowing. And as the company continues to grow, Amazon is facing pressure on social and political issues.

Workers watch the ceremonial first planting in The Spheres at Amazon campus on Thursday.
Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Amazon

You've seen the big, glass orbs in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, right?

The Amazon spheres.

Jeff Bezos speaks at the Apollo rocket engine unveiling at The Museum of Flight, showing the injector plate from an F-1 rocket used on Apollo 12.
Courtesy of The Museum of Flight/Ted Huetter

Jeannie Yandel talks to Alan Boyle of Geekwire about the possibility of taking a hybrid, electric plane for short regional trips and Jeff Bezos' dream of people in space. 

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to GeekWire's Todd Bishop about Amazon's stock and how it will be affected by their grocery business. 

Amazon says a typo caused its cloud-computing service to fail earlier this week.

On Tuesday, part of Amazon Web Services stopped working. The company's so-called simple storage service, or S3, provides features ranging from file sharing to web feeds.

In an online statement, Amazon described the circumstances of the disruptive typo this way:

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Todd Bishop, co-founder of the technology news site Geekwire, about the crash that slowed and stopped websites using Amazon's Web Service. 

A view of the Columbia Tower. Trump Hotels wanted to buy property near here and erect the tallest building in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Antonio Campoy (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3eEJaw

Trump Hotels said this week that it plans to build a luxury hotel in Seattle, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon announced on Thursday that it’s adding 100,000 jobs nationwide by the middle of 2018.

It's a huge growth spurt for the Seattle-based company. The hiring will boost Amazon's U.S. workforce from 180,000 to 280,000 people in just 18 months time. The company had just 30,000 workers back in 2010.

Fast shipping and now fashion from Amazon

Jan 8, 2017

When you think of Amazon.com, fast shipping may come mind, but does fashion?

The equity research firm Cowen and Company estimates that Amazon's share of the apparel and accessory market last year was 6.6 percent and will keep climbing. 

And the retail behemoth has been developing several in-house brands, for items like kids' clothing and men's shirts.. It also recently posted some "brand manager" positions for a private label active wear line.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Amazon's personal assistant device called Echo was one of the most popular gifts this Christmas. But this week, the device grabbed headlines for another reason: Police in Arkansas are trying to use its data in a murder investigation.

Amazon released an online ad for their convenience store, Amazon Go.
Screenshot from YouTube

Bill Radke speaks with Forbes staff writer Ryan Mac about Amazon's announcement that they'll open a convenience store with no checkout. Mac says to check your excitement and take the announcement with a grain of salt. 

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