R|T: The Retail Times – The Shopify divide: manager or crafter?

A pair of hands holding a mobile phone which has the Shopify logo on it
Plus: Amazon pauses long awaited construction

The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.

Subscribe to R|T using the form at the bottom of this page to ensure you don’t miss out on the most important retail tech news every week!

Shopify changes employee compensation model: “being a manager now has no effect on compensation” (BETAKIT)

After re-building Indigo's website following a ransomware attack, the e-commerce giant changed how it pays and evaluates employees, and being a manager “now has no effect on compensation.”

Instacart’s revenue and profit climb ahead of public listing

The grocery-delivery company told employees on Tuesday that its revenue increased more than 50% in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier, while gross profit rose more than 80%, according to a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Sonder lays off 14 percent of staff as it aims to become cash flow positive in 2023 (BETAKIT)

As Sonder noted in its Q4 2022 letter to shareholders, the firm’s focus “remains on reaching its first quarter of positive free cash flow in 2023.” The company said it plans to do this “without additional fundraising, while keeping a robust cash cushion.”

Amazon Pauses Construction on Second Headquarters in Virginia as It Cuts Jobs (BLOOMBERG)

Amazon in 2017 announced plans for a second headquarters that would ultimately house 50,000 employees, prompting cities around North America to bid ferociously for the project. Government entities in Virginia won out by committing to roughly $800 million in tax breaks and infrastructure improvements over 15 years in exchange for 25,000 of those workers.

The development is now paused, and John Schoettler, Amazon’s real estate chief, didn’t specify a new start date.

From desk to doorstep: KitchenMate expands smart food kiosk to condo market (BETAKIT)

In October, KitchenMate, a meal dispensing machine, launched in its first condo building and has since expanded to nine more condos, with 10 more expected to come online in the coming weeks.
Users can access the startup’s Smart Fridge with a credit card; the fridge’s sensors detect meals taken, and those meals can be quickly heated with its Smart Cooker.

Nordstrom closing down in Canada, shuttering all 13 stores (CBC)

All stores will close and all the company's staff in Canada — roughly 2,330 people — will lose their jobs, the company said Thursday.

In court filings, the company says Nordstrom's Canadian business has lost money every single year it has been in operation.

Lightspeed COO Brandon Nussey to depart in latest C-suite shakeup (BETAKIT)

Lightspeed said the decision to leave was Nussey’s, and after his departure, the COO position will be eliminated; Lightspeed stated that the responsibilities will be distributed among other executives.

Coupang sales miss estimates despite reporting profit (BLOOMBERG)

Known as South Korea’s answer to Amazon.com Inc., Coupang had lost money for years as it built out the business. The company is now looking to save money with what it calls extreme automation, where thousands of robots deliver products and sort out packages at its newest fulfillment center.

How to build a diverse talent ecosystem for Canada (BETAKIT)

In an Op-Ed, Palette Skills Chief Strategy Officer AJ Tibando says Canada seems well placed when it comes to talent acquisition, particularly in tech and innovation.

However, Tibando argues that firms still struggle to recruit workers and an educated workforce alone is not enough to solve Canada's talent crunch.

Indigo won’t pay ransom after cyberattack from LockBit, malware organization with ties to Russia (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

“Given we cannot be assured that any ransom payment would not end up in the hands of terrorists or others on sanctions lists, Indigo has determined it would be inappropriate to pay the ransom. We have no indication that there is any risk to customers because of this illegal attack,” the statement said.

Fresh Prep acquires fellow Vancouver food delivery startup Peko (BETAKIT)

Peko claims it has saved customers close to $1 million in grocery bills and diverted over 200,000 pounds of food from landfills since its launch.

Peko will continue delivering its produce boxes and pantry items under Fresh Prep’s ownership, and Peko’s co-founders will remain involved with the company.

Why is Starbucks at war with its unions? (THE WALRUS)

While other blue-collar industries like manufacturing may have thousands of workers under one roof who can band together, a single fast-food restaurant may have only a dozen or so. This makes it difficult for unions to build influence.

Canada’s small businesses want open banking, too (BETAKIT)

According to a recent survey by Mastercard, over the past two years 90 percent of small business owners with disabilities, 79 percent of Indigenous small business owners, and 71 percent of women small business owners have sought out new digital tools to manage their businesses.

Amazon climate tech fund backs Genecis to turn food waste into bioplastics (BETAKIT)

Traditional plastics, which are made with petroleum, represent a significant source of global pollution.

Genecis aims to address this problem by converting food waste into bioplastics, a biodegradable alternative to conventional plastic that can be used to create a variety of packaging and products.

Subscribe to The Retail Times

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Retail Times using the form below to make sure it hits your email inbox every week!

* indicates required

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

0 replies on “R|T: The Retail Times – The Shopify divide: manager or crafter?”