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AMAZON has revealed an invitation-only section of its website called Luxury Stores.

The 'luxury' experience is currently only avaliable for select Prime members in the US.

1Luxury Stores is only for customers who were invitedCredit: Amazon

Those who fit the bill should have already recieved an invitation.

Presumably they are customers who spend a lot of money on Amazon and have a taste for designer goods.

You can also request to receive an invitation and be put on a waiting list.

Christine Beauchamp, President of Amazon Fashion, said: "We are always listening to and learning from our customers, and we are inspired by feedback from Prime members who want the ability to shop their favorite luxury brands in Amazon’s store.

Introducing @oscardelarenta. Step into a world of opulence, where luxe trimmings add refreshing updates to forever garments. Discover the collection by visiting Luxury Stores, exclusively available through the latest version of the Amazon app. https://t.co/MMfmjXxcRe pic.twitter.com/nphtdb8pz8

— Amazon Fashion (@AmazonFashion) September 15, 2020

"We are excited to offer luxury brands the services and technology to build an inspiring, elevated customer experience.

"It’s still Day One, and we look forward to growing Luxury Stores, innovating on behalf of our customers, and opening a new door for designers all over the world to access existing and new luxury customers."

Luxury Stores should put luxury goods in one easily viewable place.

Amazon is planning to extend invitations to more customers.

An Amazon press release explained: "Available in the Amazon app by invitation only, Luxury Stores combines the convenience customers have come to know and love from Amazon with innovative technology like “View in 360.”

"This interactive feature will begin rolling out with select garments at launch, allowing customers to explore styles in 360-degree detail to better visualize fit, and making shopping for luxury easier and more engaging.

"With collections sold directly from the participating brands as a ‘store within a store’ experience, brands independently make decisions regarding their inventory, selection, and pricing – and Amazon offers the merchandising tools for brands to create and personalize content in each of their unique brand voices."

American fashion house Oscar de la Renta is the first brand to unveil an online store with Amazon Luxury Stores.

Who is Jeff Bezos?

Here's what you need to know...

Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of online marketplace Amazon.

The businessman studied electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton University before working on Wall Street.

In 1994, Bezos, 56, founded Amazon from a garage - five years later he was named Time magazine's person of the year.

As well as Amazon the tech giant is the founder of Blue Origin, a company working to develop commercial space travel.

He also owns the Washington Post and is a volunteer firefighter.

Bezos is a massive Star Trek fan and had a cameo in the last movie, playing an alien Starfleet official.

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In other tech news, Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch 6.

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And, Motorola has revealed its highly anticipated Razr 5G flip phone.

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Tags: amazon luxury stores

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Restaurant Owners Turn to Food Trucks During the Pandemic

By JEFF HOGAN and RICK ARMSTRONG

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Many in the restaurant industry are now turning to food trucks to help their business survive, and Wake Technical Community College is seeing a higher demand for classes that prepare students to take that leap.

Amrit Narula said he learned his lesson the hard way after opening his Mr. Cheesesteak restaurant during the pandemic on Miami Boulevard in Durham.

“Yeah, we actually opened in the middle of COVID,” said Narula, adding that many customers are more reluctant to come inside a traditional restaurant for fear of coronavirus exposure in a closed space.

“Commonly, we’ll have only two or three of these tables filled,” said Narula, referring to his normal lunch rush.

Fortunately, before opening the restaurant, Narula had the wisdom to invest in and operate two food trucks. The food trucks are what has helped him stay in business.

According to business consultant Ted Bachman, who offers lessons for students at Wake Tech, the food truck business is very popular and growing rapidly.

Bachman is one of a group of experts at Wake Tech sharing knowledge about the legal, tax and financial aspects of operating a business, even mobile businesses.

Students learn about the risks, investments and strategies required for success in the food truck world. Bachman said his best advice is not to go it alone -- and seek expert advice.

“I think to start any business without any knowledge is foolish,” said Bachman.

Sameer Pawa, director at Wake Tech’s Workforce Continuing Education hospitality training programs, works to find the experts who can help people aspiring to open their own food truck operation and avoid the potholes ahead.

“You come to us. We’ll give you all the do’s and don’ts, mostly the don’ts,” he said.

Pawa said buying and outfitting a food truck is a major investment that can average between $50,000 to $75,000.

“If you’re going to be spending that kind of money, you better know what you’re getting into,” said Pawa, explaining that is the purpose for Wake Tech’s food truck classes, which meet at the college’s Public Safety Center on Chapanoke Road in Raleigh.

Narula said his food trucks may now have an advantage over restaurants. However, he said, it’s still an uphill climb.

“Food trucking is down too,” he said, referring to the fact that many customers now work from home. There are also fewer big events to attract food truck rodeos and gatherings.

Now, Narula said, food truck operators depend more than ever on social networking to find and better serve their customers. He and others even offer curbside pickup for customers who order online so they won’t have to wait for their meal when they arrive.

Good service and having the ability to adapt to customer needs is how food businesses have always survived.

“We are able to serve communities and people that normally wouldn’t come to a restaurant,” said Narula.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: North Carolina

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