Amazon’s third quarter operating profits dropped to $3.2bn from $3.7bn a year ago as the online giant increased spending on its next day delivery service. Sales in the third quarter meanwhile, rose 24% to $70bn. The profit fall trigged an investor sell-off which wiped over $80bn from the online retailer’s market cap (The Financial Times £). 

Amazon spent over $800m in the quarter to expand its free one-day delivery service and compete with the likes of Walmart. World-wide shipping costs jumped 46% to $9.6bn from the previous year (The Guardian). But CEO Jeff Bezos defended the retailer’s decision claiming it was “the right long-term decision for customers” (The BBC).

This was the first decline in profit Amazon revealed in over two years, with investors spooked by a further warning that growth would slow during the all-important Christmas season (The Telegraph, The Times £). Amazon said sales in the fourth quarter, including Black Friday and Christmas, will range between $80bn and $86.5bn, missing analysts expectations set at $87.4bn (Sky News).

Amazon’s 4-Star stores could be ‘the future of bricks-and-mortar retail’ writes The Financial Times. The US retail giant is currently trialling shops selling only products most recommended by customers, with an average of 4-star-plus on the website (The Financial Times £).

European diners could soon take a bite of meat replacement brand Impossible Foods burgers as the company applied for a EU permit. The company gained popularity in the US after signing a deal with Burger King to supply its ‘Impossible Whopper’ (The Times £).

In an interview with The BBC, Coca Cola global chief executive James Quincey claimed that the drinks giant was ‘moving in the right direction’ when it came to tackle plastic pollution, despite results from a recent global audit found more Coca Cola plastic waste than the next three big consumer companies combined spread in our environment. The drinks giant plans to recover every bottle sold by 2013 and reuse 50% of them (The BBC).

Unilever has claimed it saves hundreds of thousands of pounds by replacing recruiters with artificial intelligence systems, which analyse body language and word choice from video interviews. Vodafone, Singapore Airlines and Intel are among other companies to have used similar systems, amid rising public opposition (The Guardian).

A Guardian analysis showed that Brexit uncertainty has started to generate job losses across the UK as political turmoil held back the economy. The number of employed people dropped by the largest margin in over four years in August as companies wait to see what will become of Brexit ahead of hiring (The Guardian).

Fortress Investment Group, the owner of Majestic Wine, is understood to be the frontrunner to buy 150 leased and tenanted pubs from Marston’s for an estimated £45m as the company increased its interested in the UK (The Times £).

German consumer group Henkel, maker of the Persil detergent, will replace CEO Hans Van Bylen with CFO Carsten Knobel in January after a series of disappointing earnings and revenue downgrades (The Financial Times £).

Fuller, Smith & Turner has acquired Cotsworld Inns & Hotels for £40m, reinvesting part of the proceeds from its £250m brewing business sale to Asahi (The Times £).