Amazon acquires smart-home start-up
Amazon is expanding in the connected home devices space.
The online giant has acquired Blink, a start-up specializing in wireless video home security cameras and monitoring systems. Launched in early 2016, Blink also makes video doorbells that allow homeowners to view a live feed (via their smartphones) of who is at their door.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Blink’s products are compatible with Amazon’s smart home line, Echo.
“If you own one of our systems, nothing changes for now,” Blink said on its website. “We’ll continue to operate under the Amazon umbrella selling and supporting the same great products you know and love.”
The acquisition comes as Google has been beefing up its own line of connected home devices offerings.
Report: Mattress Firm to close some stores
The largest mattress retailer in the United States plans to reduce its store portfolio, which has expanded in recent years due to a series of major acquisitions.
Mattress Firm, which was acquired by Steinhoff International Holdings in 2016, plans to close about 200 underperforming and duplicate stores during the next 18 months, reported Bisnow Houston.
“As a result of putting together 1,500 stores over most recent years through acquisitions, we have recognized that there are approximately 300 underperforming or duplicative stores,” chairman Steve Stagner said during a lenders presentation to Steinhoff stakeholders, the report said. “Over last year, we’ve already gotten out of about 90 locations.”
Currently, Mattress Firm has roughly 3,400 U.S. locations.
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Amazon celebrates its ‘biggest holiday’
Amazon wasted no time in crowning the 2017 holiday season its “biggest” to date, fueled by an increase in Prime membership.
In a release, the e-commerce giant said that customers were shopping on its website at “record levels” throughout the season. It also boasted that, in one week alone, more than four million people became Prime members or started a free trial, sending its membership count to new highs. The retailer did not provide a specific membership total.
Amazon’s high-tech devices also enjoyed a record run, the company said, with the Echo Dot being the top selling Amazon Device this holiday season, and the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon, with millions sold.
Here are some other holiday stats from Amazon:
• Customers worldwide shopping on the Amazon App increased nearly 70% this holiday season.
• Amazon’s peak day of customer fulfillment in 2017 was Dec. 19, 2017.
• Customers purchased more than twice as many Amazon Fire TV Sticks compared to last year’s holiday season. Fire TV continues to be the No. 1 streaming media player family in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan, across all retailers.
• The last Prime Now order in time for Christmas was delivered in 58 minutes at 11:58 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Baltimore, MD. The order included the Kid Galaxy Amphibious RC Car Morphibians Shark Remote Control Toy, the Crayola Oil Pastels Art Tools, 28 ct., and the VTechClick and Count Remote.