2018 Year in Review: Seattle Big Businesses Make Power Moves

Amazon, Starbucks, Boeing, REI and Costco are keeping busy

This article appears in print in the December 2018 issue, as part of the Year in Review featureClick here to subscribe.

Push Back
Amazon, Starbucks and other companies outspend proponents of the head tax 2 to 1 (while complaining about how much it would cost to pay it).

Beta Testing
Starbucks tries out a pilot program for cashless stores at its location at Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle.

The Big Re-org
Amazon whittles down list for second headquarters to 20 finalists.

Changing Lanes
Jeff Bezos is profiled in The New York Times style section; the story calls him “a full-fledged style icon.”

Making a Pivot
Costco refreshes in-store menu; it keeps $1.50 hot dog and soda combo.

Reaching Out
Howard Shultz steps down as executive chairman of Starbucks and hypes forthcoming book that hints at a 2020 presidential bid.

Making Hay
Amazon outranks Microsoft as the world’s second-most-valuable company, and Bezos becomes the world’s wealthiest man.

Finding the Synergies
Starbucks opens its first stand-alone bakery, Princi, in Seattle, and a new Reserve marketplace in SoDo to showcase its premium coffee.

Lateral Moves
Fleeing Hurricane Florence, eight Boeing 787s from South Carolina land at Paine Field in Everett.

Rethinking the Paradigm
After months of consideration, Nordstrom decides not to go private.

Outside the Box
Amazon launches in-car delivery service—yes, orders delivered to your car.

It's Scalable
The third cashier-less Amazon Go store opens in Seattle; company considers launching 3,000 more nationwide.

Infinite Bandwidth
Seattle now ranked no. 4 city in the U.S. for start-ups.

Test Phase
Alaska Airlines tests new uniforms designed by Luly Yang.

Market Research
Starbucks promises to dump all plastic straws by 2020; still struggles to craft a recyclable cup. 

Moving the Needle
Jeff Bezos donates $33 million to scholarship for “Dreamers,” $10 million to veteran-focused super PAC, and $2 billion for early childhood education and homeless families.

The Big Picture
REI rolls out new sustainability standards for its vendors regarding environmental impact, animal welfare and other practices.

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