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Government Approves UPS Delivery Drones, Biggest Mall Owner in U.S. Goes Online, and Salsify Acquires B2X Partners

Government Approves UPS Delivery Drones

We’re one step closer to having flying robots deliver our packages. Shipping giant UPS’ drone delivery service, UPS Flight Forward, has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate as the nation’s first drone airline. UPS Flight Forward was previously restricted and only operated in North Carolina’s WakeMed hospital campus, but this certification from the FAA allows UPS to use an unlimited number of drones. However, national rollout of these drones is still far away, as the drones won’t be allowed to fly beyond the sight of the operator. “This is history in the making, and we aren’t done yet,” says UPS CEO David Abney. “Our technology is opening doors for UPS and solving problems in unique ways for our customers. We will soon announce other steps to build out our infrastructure, expand services for healthcare customers and put drones to new uses in the future.”

What stood out to us? Close your window blinds.

Busy inside of a mall

Biggest Mall Owner in U.S. Opens Ecommerce Site

To stay alive in the age of ecommerce, shopping malls are going online. Simon Property Group, a commercial real estate company and largest shopping mall operator in the U.S., has announced a partnership with online shopping company Rue Gilt Groupe to launch an ecommerce site for discount shopping. The new site,, has over 300,000 products and brands from over 2,000 designers, as well as discounted merchandise compared to in-store. Simon believes its mall can coexist with the new website, and will not cannibalize its retail business. “We believe online value shopping presents a tremendous business opportunity for Simon, given our credibility, trust and relationships with brands, retailers and shoppers,” says Simon CEO David Simon.

What stood out to us? 1999 called and it wants its idea back.

Salsify Acquires Consulting Firm B2X Partners

During the 2019 B2B Next conference, it was announced that Salsify has agreed to acquire B2X Partners. Salsify offers a “product experience management” platform that assists brands with displaying content online, and B2X Partners, a consulting firm founded by B2B e-commerce expert Justin King, advises distributors on selling via e-commerce. Through this acquisition, the companies plan on combining its services to help manufacturers and distributors better manage product content on B2B e-commerce sites. “We know from working with leading manufacturers that there is a distinct competitive advantage to be had as B2B manufacturers and distributors develop strategies to create rich, differentiated product experiences across every channel their buyers interact with,” says Salsify CEO Jason Purcell. “Justin is a proven, trusted expert in the product content needs of B2B manufacturers and distributors.”

What stood out to us? Smart partnership.

In the headlines

  • Back and Bigger Than Ever: Google Express successor Google Shopping is redesigned and live with new features such as Google Lens integration.
  • B2B Expansion: India-based B2B ecommerce platform Udaan has raised $585M in funding to bring multiple small businesses online.
  • DataDash: Food-delivery service DoorDash announced this week that a security breach exposed personal data of 4.9M customers.
  • Sign Here Please: USPS deliveries will finally introduce electronic signatures on 10/07/19.

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