September 2023



Dive Brief:

  • Amazon Fresh is significantly raising the threshold its Prime customers will need to meet in order to receive free grocery delivery, according to an email sent to members of its Prime service.
  • Beginning Feb. 28, orders under $50 will incur a $9.95 fee; orders between $50 and $100 will incur a $6.95 fee; and orders between $100 and $150 will include a $3.95 fee. Only orders above $150 will not come with a fee.
  • This change, which follows the company’s decision in 2021 to raise fees for Whole Foods Market orders, comes as Amazon tries to improve online grocery profitability and contends with the recent slowdown in e-commerce growth.

Dive Insight:

With this update, which applies to orders from both Amazon Fresh stores as well as its online-only service, Amazon is more than quadrupling the amount Prime shoppers must spend on a grocery order in order to get free delivery. Previously, the company waived delivery fees on orders over $35.

The move echoes past steps Amazon has taken to address profitability across its budding grocery properties. In late 2021, Whole Foods caused a stir when it tacked on a $9.95 service fee for delivery orders after previously offering the service for free on orders over $35. Earlier that year, Amazon shuttered its Amazon Pantry stock-up grocery service.

Moreover, the news highlights the harsh economic realities of offering online grocery service as costs mount and sales growth slows amid ongoing inflation.

“We’re introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. “We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer delivery window for a reduced fee.”

Amazon Fresh will continue to offer free one-hour pickup service for Prime members, according to the brand’s website, which also lists the new delivery fee structure.

Amazon Fresh has been delivering groceries since 2007, and nowadays also incorporates a fleet of more than 40 stores. The rollout of Amazon Fresh stores appears to be paused, however, with The Information reporting last month the company has not opened a new location since September. A company spokesperson previously declined to comment on the development when reached by sister publication Grocery Dive.


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SEDGEWICK, Kan. (KSNW) — One Sedgwick man will spend every Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium from here on out, without ever traveling to Kansas City. He brought the Chiefs Kingdom right to his front door.

Dennis Basye says he has always been a Chiefs fan. He’s gone to many Chiefs games in the past, but it’s not something he has been able to do lately. So, he used his creativity and art skills to create the best gameday experience possible right from his home.

It all started about six or seven years ago when Basye retired.

“I used to go to games quite a bit,” Basye said. “And since I retired, the ticket prices just weren’t in my budget.”

But he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

“I just brought Arrowhead to me,” Basye said.

That’s exactly what he did.

“I went out to shop and said let’s do it,” Basye said.

Many of the pieces in his yard he built and painted himself, even the field.

“Made myself some 3-D stencils,” Basye said. “I watch them guys up there and said, hey, I could do that.”

He also brings in his family to help add to the decorations, but more importantly, they enjoy the games together.

“Ever since he started doing this, it’s been fun coming over here watching all the championship games with him and just hanging out, having a blast with him,” Kyle Basye, Dennis’s grandson, said.

Among all the fun and joy his front yard brings, he built it for a special purpose.

“I did it on behalf of my deceased wife, and she was a big Chiefs fan,” Dennis Basye said. “It is what keeps me going and kind of a dedication to her.”

Her name was Joy. Multiple people in the community gave Dennis the same sign that reads “Joy to the Chiefs.”

“I got one in my house, and I got one on the front of my sled,” Dennis Basye said. “And I just like this. It’s the joy of my life.”

Dennis Basye said he’s not planning on stopping any time soon.

“I just keep adding to it, and as the Chiefs build their kingdom, I build with them,” Dennis Basye said.

Dennis Basye says people are always stopping by to take pictures of his front yard. He says he was blessed with an artistic gift, and he loves sharing it.


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Elon Musk’s recent decision to enact major price cuts for Tesla vehicles has reportedly angered customers who paid significantly more for the same models before the discounts took effect.

Tesla slashed prices for some of its car models by up to 20% in mid-January as it looks to stave off increased competition in the electric vehicle sector and boost sagging demand. The discounts also increased the number of buyers who are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

The sharp price cuts meant Tesla owners who bought their cars just weeks earlier likely paid thousands of dollars more than those who waited until January.

Vikas Khanna, a healthcare executive who bought a Tesla Model Y SUV in late December, told the Wall Street Journal that he missed out on about $5,000 in savings. Khanna, a longtime Tesla fan who bought two vehicles in the past, paid about $65,000 for his Model Y.

“It just reminded me and solidified why Tesla, as an organization, is one that I can no longer trust,” Khanna told the outlet.

Tesla has also faced backlash from vehicle owners in China.
Getty Images

Khanna added that car pricing should be treated differently than other products that occasionally receive price cuts.

“You don’t take out a loan for an iPhone,” he added.

Another Tesla customer near Atlanta, Kapil Sharma, said he was denied a refund when he approached the company after buying a Model Y just two weeks before the discounts were implemented.

“We do not have a return policy and we do not price match or price adjust completed orders,” the company told him, according to texts reviewed by the Journal.

Tesla reported record profit in the fourth quarter.
Getty Images

Elsewhere, a petition started by Tesla-focused YouTuber Dennis Wang, which asks the company to offer free services to people who bought its vehicles last year ahead of the discounts, has garnered more than 6,000 signatures.

Tesla’s price cuts prompted similar outrage in China, where owners demanded refunds and staged a protest outside the company’s Shanghai facility earlier this month.

Owners have also grumbled about a decline in the value of used Tesla vehicles, prices of which plunged 17% from a peak of $67,297 in July to $55,754 in November, according to a recent Reuters report. Other used cars declined 4% over the same period.

Tesla cut prices of some models by up to 20% in January.
Getty Images

Musk addressed Tesla’s pricing strategy during the company’s earnings call last week, revealing Tesla has generated its “strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history” in January.

“Price really matters. I think there’s just a vast number of people that want to buy a Tesla car but can’t afford it,” Musk said. “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.”

Tesla shares have surged nearly 60% so far this year. Last quarter, the company reported a record profit of $3.7 billion.


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Dive Brief:

  • Adding another digital service, David’s Bridal has introduced Pearl by David’s, a new wedding planning platform that includes a vendor marketplace for couples, the company announced Thursday.
  • Through the platform, customers can view wedding advice content, access various wedding vendors, take advantage of the bridal retailer’s loyalty rewards program and get discounts on certain vendors. Couples can also manage their registry, build a wedding website, book appointments at David’s Bridal and create a wedding checklist.
  • Vendors can join the platform for free, create their own web pages on the site and showcase their offerings, according to the announcement. Alternatively, vendors can pay $49 per month to access trunk shows and other networking events, or $119 per month for a premium membership.

Dive Insight:

David’s Bridal has been working to improve its digital services for the past few years and step further into the wedding planning process. That has included acquiring wedding site Rustic Wedding Chic in 2020 and rolling out its own wedding planning tools. Through its new platform, David’s Bridal is connecting couples with local vendors like Bach to Basic, Nash Taps and Ravel Events.

“Pearl was developed at the request of our very own brides,” Jim Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal, said in a statement. “Brides told us they wanted easier planning tools, a more seamless experience from planning to buying the dress, and more ways to earn Diamond points. Pearl also addresses pain points and gaps in the market couples experience when planning their wedding.”

The platform is an extension of a series of digital efforts David’s Bridal has invested in over the years. In April 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic upended the wedding industry, the company debuted virtual styling appointments. Two months later, the retailer introduced appointments via Zoom to help bridal parties plan remotely and in the fall, the company teamed up with Vertebrae to upgrade product pages with 3D and augmented reality visualizations of its best-selling dresses.

As the coronavirus pandemic continued to increase demand for digital services, David’s Bridal continued its tech push. In May 2021, the company launched a 24-hour YouTube Live channel showcasing content from couples, vendors and photographers. Later that year, the retailer introduced the David’s Bridal Planning App, where customers could access various wedding planning tools. Last July, the retailer worked with ad agency January Digital to create and post shoppable content on TikTok.

David’s Bridal has also worked to vary its product assortment, both through launching new product lines and through acquisitions. The retailer bought the assets of Anomalie, a custom wedding dress company, for an undisclosed sum last year. As part of the acquisition, Anomalie’s co-founder and CEO, Leslie Voorhees Means, joined David’s Bridal to manage “new strategic initiatives.”


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A Los Angeles-based lawyer employed by Google discovered he was being laid off by the tech giant in an email that he received at 2 a.m. while he was feeding his newborn infant daughter.

Nicholas Dufau had been employed by the search engine as its associate product counsel for six months when he was granted parental leave following the birth of his daughter in the early morning hours of Jan. 17.

Dufau shared a photo of him cradling his little bundle of joy to his chest on Google’s internal Slack channel, where dozens of colleagues sent their warm wishes.

Little did the new dad know that just 72 hours later, he would receive a message from his employer notifying him that he no longer had access to his work email and that he was effectively terminated — this while feeding his daughter in the wee hours of the night.

Nicholas Dufau worked as associate product counsel for Google for six months.
Nicholas Dufau worked as associate product counsel for Google for six months.
LinkedIn/Nicholas Dufau

He was among 12,000 employees let go by Google last week.

“Last Tuesday morning at 2am, I became a father,” Dufau wrote in a LinkedIn post Wednesday that has gone viral.

“The next day, my Google teammates showered me with heart emojis and virtual confetti, wishing me well on my paternity leave.”

Dufau went on parental leave after the birth of his daughter on Jan. 17.
Dufau went on parental leave after the birth of his daughter on Jan. 17.
LinkedIn/Nicholas Dufau

Dufau continued: “On Friday morning at 2am while feeding my infant, I received a notification that I had lost access to my Google corporate accounts.”

“I had been laid off via automated email,” he wrote.

Dufau wrote that his colleagues at Google reassured him that the company “was one that treasured its employees and encouraged me to take the full extent of my parental leave to cherish this precious time with my family.” 

“I had never been so thankful to find myself on a team that valued me as a person,” he wrote.

But 72 hours later, he was informed via automated email that he no longer had access to his work computer systems.
But 72 hours later, he was informed via automated email that he no longer had access to his work computer systems.
LinkedIn/Nicholas Dufau

“Every layoff hurts — the timing of this experience, however, not only made me feel acutely expendable, it made me feel naive,” Dufau wrote.

He wrote that he has found solace in his “saintly wife and miraculous daughter” who “have been here to lift my spirits and give me comfort.”

The Post has sought comment from Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Dufau said the layoff made him feel "expendable" and "naive."
Dufau said the layoff made him feel “expendable” and “naive.”
LinkedIn/Nicholas Dufau

Laid-off Googlers have not been shy about posting their stories on social media.

Nicole Tsai, a Southern California-based “vlogger,” posted a viral TikTok video showing the precise moment she learned she was being let go.

Google is among several tech giants that have downsized in recent weeks and months as Silicon Valley is feeling the pinch of a sluggish economic environment marred by high inflation.


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Favorite Shampoo: “Sometimes they say you’re supposed to switch because it’s good for your hair, but I have been using the same thing forever. It is Awapuhi. It’s a moisturizing shampoo and it really energizes your hair, especially thin hair. It’s very hydrating.”

Favorite Jeans Brand: “Ramiz.”

Favorite Phone App: “Instagram.”

Favorite Game: “I used to love backgammon but I haven’t played that in a long time. For the phone, Candy Crush. I find it relaxing.”

Favorite Type Of Cuisine: “Mexican food.”

Favorite Sports Team: “I don’t really follow sports right now.”

Favorite Breakfast Item: “Eggs.”

Favorite Sandwich: “Turkey and cheese.”

Favorite Sweet Treat: “Dark chocolate.”

Favorite Healthy Snack: “Seaweed. Dried seaweed chips with some salsa is so good.”

Favorite Hot Beverage: “Chai tea.”

Favorite Cold Beverage: “Lukewarm water.”

Favorite Color: “I always go back and forth between blue or green. Green is the color of nature but blue is the color of the ocean. I love them both.”

Favorite Magazine: “Vogue.”

Favorite Book: “Right now I like a good self-help book.”

Favorite Item In Your Wardrobe: “Benheart [her clothing store], of course.”

Favorite Room In Your Home: “Bedroom.”

Favorite Sitcom: “SCHITT’S CREEK.”

Favorite Movie: “That’s hard because there are so many different types of movies, but I love romantic comedies like Pretty Woman.”

Favorite TV Host: “Drew Barrymore.”

Favorite Comedian: “I don’t have one currently. I feel bad for the comedians since everything has turned upside down.”

Favorite Singer Or Band: “The Rolling Stones.”

Favorite Place To Learn Lines: “Sitting on my bed. But I also find that I study a lot driving, and I also learn my lines when I’m on the treadmill or the indoor cycle because when I’m doing something like that, it really drives the lines into my head.”

Favorite Kitchen Appliance: “Our coffee maker.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Oh, boy! I love Italy for a vacation, or a beach in Tahiti.”


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Ford is cutting prices on its Mustang Mach-E electric SUV by as much as $6,000 just weeks after market leader Tesla took similar steps.

The Detroit automaker is increasing production of the Mach-E this year and said it is taking advantage of streamlined costs to reduce prices across the board, it said Monday.

The cut comes just over two weeks after Elon Musk’s Tesla dropped prices 6% to nearly 20% in the United States on most of its models in an effort to bolster demand and raise market share.

Ford’s maneuver will almost certainly force other automakers to trim prices as well, touching off a bit of a price war for electric vehicles, said Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area consulting firm.

“To remain price competitive to consumers, it’s going to require a response from anyone who wants to play in this area,” he said.

Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford said the price cuts are part of its plan to keep the Mustang Mach-E competitive in a fast-changing market.

However, Schuster says he doesn’t see an all-out price war that brings prices down even more. Automakers will try to protect profit margins on EVs as their share of the US market keeps growing, he said.

Although Ford didn’t mention Tesla in its statement, the Dearborn, Mich., company said the price cuts are part of Ford’s plan to keep the SUV competitive in a fast-changing market.

“We are not going to cede ground to anyone,” said Marin Gjaja, Chief Customer Officer of Ford Model e, the company’s electric vehicle unit.

The price of a base rear-wheel-drive standard range Mach-E will drop $900, from $46,895 to $45,995. The top-end GT extended range will fall $5,900, from $69,895 to $63,995. The prices don’t include shipping, government fees or taxes.

On Jan. 13, Tesla slashed prices dramatically on several versions of its electric vehicles, making some of its models eligible for a new federal tax credit that could help spur buyer interest.

The company dropped prices nearly 20% in the United States on some versions of the Model Y SUV, its top seller. That cut will make more versions of the Model Y eligible for a $7,500 electric-vehicle tax credit, which will be available through March. Tesla also reduced the base price of the Model 3, its least expensive model, by about 6%.

The cuts were in response to slowing demand and Tesla’s sagging stock price.

Ford said customers who ordered Mach Es and are awaiting delivery will automatically get the lower prices. The company will reach out directly to those who already have their vehicles with a sale date after Jan. 1.


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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation is thinking about getting rid of permits and fees for commercial photographers in state parks and conservation areas after hearing complaints from the public.

Since 2020, photographers and videographers have been required to purchase a permit to shoot in areas managed by the MDC if their activities result—directly or indirectly—in financial gain or profit. Previously, such activities were prohibited at state parks and the like.

The photography permit cost $100 per year, while the video permit carried a $500 fee per day.

The MDC says it received “considerable public feedback” that the permit costs and fees were too much for “hobby” photographers and videographers.

This past December, the Missouri Conservation Commission approved the MDC’s proposal to eliminate the permits and fees. However, the regulation changes would still require Special Use Permits from the MDC under the following circumstances:

  • Access during closed hours or to portions of the area closed to public use;
  • Use of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone;
  • Use of props, sets, or equipment that are more than a single person can carry; or
  • More than 10 people will be participating in the activity over the course of the day.

The public will be able to leave feedback online about these proposed changes from Feb. 2 to March 3 at

On March 14, the commission will hold a public meeting to give final consideration to the proposal. If approved, the new regulations would take effect July 1.


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New Internal Revenue Services rules could cause a sizable increase in audits and taxes on Americans, especially those using transaction services like Venmo and PayPal for fantasy sports, according to tax experts.

CPA and Tax expert attorney Bruce Willey told Fox News Digital that the new changes constituted one of the largest “cash grabs” by the IRS in recent memory and were likely to hit taxpayers “like a truck.”

“Most Americans are about to get run over, and they have no idea. If they’re not prepared for it, things could get pretty ugly for people,” he said.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 amended a code section that decreased the minimum threshold for reporting on third-party settlement organizations (TPSOs) from $20,000 and 200 or more transactions to any transaction of $600 or more.

The code change, approved by Democrats and signed by President Biden in March 2021, will require TPSOs like Venmo, PayPal, Etsy, AirBnB and more to send 1099-k forms to the IRS and users if their transactions exceed the amount. If a sports betting application like FanDuel or DraftKings uses these payment systems, you will face taxes there, though sports betting is already included under the current tax code. 

FanDuel and DraftKings
If a sports betting application like FanDuel or DraftKings uses these payment systems, you will face taxes there.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“It’s this huge fishing net that’s just going to sweep up a vast amount of people in America,” Willey said.

The code change will likely burden those engaged in sports fantasy leagues and sellers of professional sports tickets with additional obligations come tax season.

BakerHostetler Nationwide Tax Chair Jeff Paravano described a situation in which an individual sells preseason games at a loss but still gets a 1099 for gross proceeds. IRS oversight will not consider what they paid for those tickets or their losses on games and will have to provide further details,

The taxpayer may or may not have taxable income because of that reporting but could get a form for even selling one ticket, depending on the sale amount.

“Somebody that engages in a lot of fantasy sports. You can only deduct the losses to the extent of your winnings. So, you better be keeping receipts of your losses. That’s going to be a deduction for you on the money you received,” Paravano, a former Senior Adviser to the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, said.

Paravano said the changes were also likely to impact fantasy sports leagues with money wagers conducted by coworkers, friends and family members. He suggested the 1099 would be doled out for the gross amount and would not include the wager. Tax penalties are likely for the persons that held onto the money, who will receive a 1099 alongside the third-party payer used by the group.

“The fear is that the 1099 will be sent out for things that are not taxable income and the IRS doesn’t have the capability to easily figure that out,” he said.

Both tax experts suggested that the code changes could result in more audits and taxes for Americans or, at the very least, an increase in correspondence with the IRS.

Government leaders have repeatedly pushed back on the idea that the IRS changes would negatively impact any Americans making under $400,000.

“Legislators are being disingenuous,” Willey said. “This is one of those things where they say one thing while they are taking your campaign donation and then they turn around and go to Washington and do something completely different.”

IRS headquarters
Tax experts suggested that the code changes could result in more audits and taxes for Americans or, at the very least, an increase in correspondence with the IRS.
AFP via Getty Images

“The reality of it is they said nobody making under $400,000 a year was going to have an increased chance of audit or pay more on taxes. That’s a flat lie. That’s not accurate. They’re lying to you,” he added.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins projected last week that the number of 1099s being filed would double once the code change goes into effect.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the new provision will raise 8.1 billion in revenue over a 10-year budget window.

Calling it a “stealth tax increase,” Willey said it is a “fantasy world” to think that the move will not increase audits and taxes.

Venmo app
If a transaction provider like Venmo or PayPal is being used and the amount compounds to over $600 within a year, a 1099 will likely follow.


“If it didn’t increase anybody’s taxes and didn’t increase their chances of an audit, then what are the 87,000 new employees going to do, where’s’ the 9.1 billion that the estimated it’s going to recover—where’d that number come from? It’s going to affect the fabric of American life,” he said.

Outside of fantasy sports, Willey and Paravano also asserted that the IRS changes would impact Americans in various other ways.

For example, sending money to a kid in college can be considered a gift under the current US tax code unless it exceeds $17,000. However, both parents and the student will still receive a 1099 to ask for proof.

“The horror is that a parent who pays rent to a college student every month, guess what, they may get a 1099,” Pavalano said.

The code changes will also cover transactions on Facebook marketplace, lending money to a friend, reimbursing a roommate for rent, paying a colleague for going out to dinner, repaying a bar tab, a mother sending a child gas and raising money to get a coach a gift.

If a transaction provider like Venmo or PayPal is being used and the amount compounds to over $600 within a year, a 1099 will likely follow.

Interestingly, taxpayers will not get a 1099 if they use Zelle because of the technical definitions of third-party settlement organizations. Generally, a check is the safest option to avoid triggering a 1099.

The new system is expected to increase the paperwork and cause more instances of mismatch between the IRS and the taxpayer.
The new system is expected to increase the paperwork and cause more instances of mismatch between the IRS and the taxpayer.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The IRS’ current information return volume is 4 billion annually, with 99% filed electronically. They just rolled out a 1099 electronic information return portal.

The new system is expected to increase the paperwork and cause more instances of mismatch between the IRS and the taxpayer.

“In a vacuum, one of those transactions doesn’t seem bad, but if we’ve got 4 billion information returns now, and we think that might double, there’s just going to be a lot of compliance burdens,” Paravano said.

“The thing that comes up in my mind is the image of the dog catching bus. You caught the bus, what do you do with it. You’ve got all this information out, and you’ve got all the reporting. What will the IRS do with it,” he added.

There is support in the House and Senate from both parties to raise the threshold to $5,000.

Republicans, according to Paravano, would prefer to go back to the previous threshold of 20,000 and 200 transactions, but it will be challenging to put old rules back in place given the concern around spending.

Willey described the situation as an “enforcement nightmare” for the IRS and a nightmare for the taxpayer.

“You should be calling your legislature and complaining if they voted for this bill to all ends,” he added.

A 2022 IRS tax audit data study found that a taxpayer in the lowest income bracket is five times more likely to face an audit than a member of the highest income bracket.

“The IRS correspondence audit process is structured to expend the least amount of resources to conduct the largest number of examinations – resulting in the lowest level of customer service to taxpayers having the greatest need for assistance,” taxpayer advocate Collins said of the report during an annual report to Congress.

The IRS in December said that it is the new tax reporting requirement by one year and would likely impact tax filings occurring in early 2024.

The IRS said the change was intended to home in on Americans evading taxes by not reporting their full gross income. However, critics have labeled it as government overreach likely to hurt middle-class Americans and small businesses.  


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Dive Brief:

  • Expanding its footprint in the city, upscale convenience store chain Foxtrot on Tuesday will open a new location in the Farragut Square area of Washington, D.C., according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • Foxtrot’s new Farragut Square store is meant to “cater to the surrounding office buildings, providing a space for lunch meetings, coffee breaks and much-needed snack breaks,” according to the company.
  • The new location at 888 17th St. NW will host an opening event on Tuesday, which will include swag, food and drinks, per the release. Visitors who download and use the company app during the opening week will get a gift while supplies last. 

Dive Insight:

Foxtrot’s heavy expansion in the Washington, D.C., area is continuing into the new year with its latest store.

The company currently has six other locations in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia region. In April 2022, the company announced it planned to open four stores in the region by the end of the year, which included its first Maryland location in the Bethesda neighborhood and two additional Washington, D.C., spaces. The expansion arose from $100 million in investments it had raised in months prior.

Since the company opened its first Washington location in March 2021, it’s had a focus on carrying local products. Currently, it offers products from regional brands including Ceremony Coffee, Little Sesame and Anchor Beer, per the press release.

It also discovers and showcases more local brands through its annual Up & Comers awards, which help to “catalyze the growth and success of small businesses.”

Since initially launching as an online retailer in 2013, Foxtrot has opened a total of 24 brick-and-mortar stores across the Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., areas.


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