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The aloe vera gel many Americans buy to soothe damaged skin contains no evidence of aloe vera at all.
Samples of store-brand aloe gel purchased at national retailers Wal-Mart, Target and CVS showed no indication of the plant in various lab tests. The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice — another name for aloe vera — as either the No. 1 ingredient or No. 2 after water.
There’s no watchdog assuring that aloe products are what they say they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe. That means suppliers are on an honor system, even as the total U.S. market for aloe products, including drinks and vitamins, has grown 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC.
H/t reader kevin a.
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As Wal-Mart ramps up its war against Amazon.com, it seems the retailer’s suppliers are increasingly being squeezed. After telling trucking companies that the retailer will no longer do business with them if they continue moving goods for Amazon, Wal Mart is now threatening to punish suppliers for delivering goods a day early. Here’s Bloomberg:
Long known for squeezing its vast network of suppliers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is about to step up the pressure.
The focus this time is delivery scheduling, and the company’s not messing around. Two days late? That’ll earn you a fine. One day early? That’s a fine, too. Right on-time but goods aren’t packed properly? You guessed it — fined.
The program, labeled “On-Time, In-Full,’’ aims to add $1 billion to revenue by improving product availability at stores, according to slides from a presentation obtained by Bloomberg, and it underscores the urgency Wal-Mart feels as it raises wages, cuts prices and confronts a powerhouse rival in Amazon.com Inc. that’s poised to grow with its planned purchase of Whole Foods Markets Inc.
In a note this morning from Deutsche Bank’s freight and logistics analyst Amit Mehrotra, he notes that the “WMT vs. AMZN battle is heating up” and points to a report by DV Velocity, according to which a well respected transportation industry consultant told attendees of a logistics conference that Walmart (WMT) is telling trucking companies that it will no longer do business with them if they continue moving goods for Amazon (AMZN).
This follows similar reports citing WMT’s “request” for its tech partners to stop using Amazon Web Services.
The news, while suggestive perhaps of Walmart’s growing desperation in its war with the retail juggernaut that is Amazon, has dramatic implications not only for the future of retail (and associated prices) but for one of the most important US industries: trucking, and the number of people it employes.
A lot of people were probably thrilled today about Amazon’s latest announcement. The online retail giant has revealed that they are going to reduce the cost of Prime membership, which provides free shipping for more orders and unlimited streaming for many shows and movies. But it’s not just for anyone. The reduced rate will be reserved for low income households.