It is not Amazon that CVS Health is Afraid of

The real reason why CVS Health wants Aetna is to expand its vertically-integrated business model. Vertical integration means that one company controls as much of the production, financing, marketing, and distribution of a product or service as possible.

CVS Health is already partially vertically-integrated because it operates both drugstores and prescription-management plans. CVS operates clinics in some of its stores for the exact same reason. Buying a health insurance company would give CVS, even more, control over the process.

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Surprise Walmart Pay is winning the Payment Wars

Around 6% of 58,000 customers surveyed by Forester Research said they used Walmart Pay, Bloomberg Technology reported. About 7% of the same group said they had used Apple Pay in the past three months. That means the adoption rate of the two apps is about the same.

The number of active Walmart Pay users will surpass the number of Apple Pay users sometime next year, Richard Crone; the CEO of Crone Consulting told Bloomberg Technology on 7 November. Walmart Senior Vice President for Services and Digital Acceleration Daniel Eckert thinks his company’s victory in the payment wars will come sooner than that.

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Walgreen Boots Alliance Struggles to Survive

Medicare for All would be a boon for Walgreens by financing millions of new pharmacy customers and creating hundreds of thousands of new customers for its in-store clinics. That alone makes WBA a really good value investment to add to portfolios for the future but is it a value investment for the present.

Therefore a good wa

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Monster Banking and Credit Cards Pay off at Citigroup

An intriguing possibility might be for Citibank to offer an Apple Pay, Venmo, Tez, Alipay, Walmart Pay, Facebook, PayPal, or Android Pay credit card. Since PayPal is experimenting with a Venmo Visa that makes a lot of sense. Such a card would allow a customer to pay with either their digital wallet balance or with a Visa or MasterCard line of credit. The customer would also get the ability to access his or her line of credit via the payment app.

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Can Big Lots Survive?

If you are looking for a good value investment in retail check out Big Lots, it is cheap but makes money. More importantly, Big Lots already has many of the attributes that other brands are trying to achieve.

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Costco’s Sales Approach $130 Billion

What’s more impressive is that Costco achieved that revenue growth with one website and brick and mortar stores in a handful of countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia. Amazon has vast diversified operations that include Amazon Web Services, a movie studio, Amazon Prime, dozens of lines of private label products, Zappos, Whole Foods, and far more.

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Is Tesco Making Money?

Some sort of Amazon/Tesco arrangement would make a lot of sense. Tesco might serve as a pickup point for Amazon orders in the UK or for returns. It might also enable Britons to pay for Amazon orders with cash at its stores. A major resource would the smaller Tesco locations in British cities, the Metro and Express stores.

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Walmart wants Access to Your Fridge, Amazon wants French Grocery Stores

Details of the partnership were not available but it would presumably involve E. Leclerc accepting Amazon returns and possibly letting customers pick up Amazon orders in its stores. Another possibility is that customers might be able to order groceries from E. Leclerc through Amazon. Amazon recently entered into a similar arrangement with the ailing American department store chain Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS).

The privately-held E. Leclerc is France’s largest supermarket with 21.1% of the nation’s grocery market in April 2017, Statista reported. There were unsubstantiated rumors that Amazon might attempt to buy France’s second largest grocer Carrefour (OTC: CARR). Carrefour currently controls 20.9% of the French grocery market.

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The Ever Growing List of Doomed Retailers

Expect to see a mass die-off of sick retailers in January and February of 2018 as the dust from the 2017 holiday season settles. If it is anything like last year’s numerous retailers are likely to report losses and more than a few will shut down.

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Kroger Gets no Respect from the Market

Finally, Kroger’s low price raises an intriguing possibility that will creep some people out. What would happen if Amazon bought Kroger?

It’s not probable; and might not pass muster with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but it is a possibility we need to consider right now. Kroger is such a tremendous bargain right now, that it might attract Jeff Bezos’ attention.

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