Afternoon Coffee: Wal-Mart Squeezes Food Suppliers in Grocery Price War, Hackett Partners with Symphony Ventures

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Wal-Mart is aggressively cutting its grocery prices to fend off competition from low-cost rivals including Aldi and even Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reports. But that strategy is likely to put increasing pressure on the retailer’s suppliers, asking them to eat the higher costs along with Wal-Mart.

Hackett Partnership

The Hackett Group announced a partnership Thursday with Symphony Ventures to help enable companies’ digital transformation, according to a press release. The partnership will “offer clients the ability to further improve the ROI of their Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation and other digital transformation efforts in finance, HR, procurement, and other business services areas.”

Amazon Expands in Australia

E-commerce giant Amazon is expanding its presence in Australia, announcing plans to build the first of several large warehouses on the east coast to allow for faster local delivery, the Guardian reports. Amazon launched AWS in Australia in 2012 and has about 1,00o employees in the country. No word yet on when Amazon Business will come to Australia, although with the B2B marketplace’s recent expansion to the U.K., perhaps an appearance in Australia will come in the not-so-distant future.  

Jobless Claims

And finally, an economic update: Applications for jobless claims rose slightly last week, but the number of Americans on unemployment also dropped, suggesting the labor market continues to tighten, Reuters writes.

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