Rent the Runway's launch of its Unlimited subscription program is driving change at the fashion rental site's brick-and-mortar stores. The stores, designed to be showrooms for fashions, are morphing into pickup and drop-off hubs for subscribers, said Hampton Catlin, senior director of engineering.
Fairway Market will work with FutureProof Retail to deploy an app that allows customers to scan their items for line-free checkout. The app should add convenience for customers and free up more time for staff members to serve them, said Dorothy Carlow, chief marketing officer of Fairway.
Amazon could become the largest grocery retailer by 2030, especially if it continues to boost its growth through acquisitions, according to business analyst Brittain Ladd. Amazon needs to grow its grocery infrastructure and could do so by acquiring another national chain such as Target, Ladd said.
Voice assistants and artificial intelligence were heavy areas of focus at this year's CES, as was the connectivity making these technologies possible. Voice in vehicles drew particular attention, with Baidu Vice Chairman Qi Lu saying, "There will be no border between a home and a vehicle. Whatever you can do at home, you should be able to do it in cars."
The Indian government's reluctance to embrace foreign ownership of multi-brand retail operations has held Walmart back from growing in the country, where it runs 21 wholesale stores but no retail outlets. Rules established in 2011 allow for 51% foreign direct ownership, but few major international retailers have opted to take this path.
Winser London CEO Kim Winser revived struggling fashion retailer Pringle before concentrating on her namesake brand in 2012. At both companies, the key to success has been bringing together experienced older employees with energetic young staffers, she said.
Retailers that offer consumers experiences they can't find anywhere else are in growth mode and adding new stores. The TJX Companies' brands are adding new off-price stores, Ulta Beauty will grow by 100 new locations per year as beauty fans flock to stores to try new products, IKEA will add three new stores, and Dollar Tree plans to open hundreds of new Dollar Tree and Family Dollar locations this year.
Snap content execs Sean Mills and Nick Bell discuss the overwhelming negative reaction from Snapchat users to the app's new design, which has been rolled out in markets including the UK, Canada and Australia. "[P]eople don't like change. We're certainly listening to our community, as we always do," Bell said.
Looking to expand further into Southeast Asia, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has invested in Tiki.vn, a Vietnamese online retailer. The undisclosed investment amount will make JD.com one of the largest shareholders in the company, enabling it to compete in a region where Amazon and Alibaba are also investing.
The in-store retail experience is changing quickly along with innovations in technology, and retailers need to be open to change and risk-taking, panelists at Retail's Big Show said. Tech companies serving retailers need to understand each retailer's unique qualities, said Hershey Co. executive Brian Kavanagh.
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