Canadian retail prices dropped almost 1% between February and May 2017 due to tough retail competition, according to Statistics Canada. As a result, online shopping grew 46.9% since May 2016.
Retail giant Walmart and e-commerce player JD.com will broaden their collaboration in China, which was forged a year ago, the companies said Tuesday. The cooperation aims to increase the integration of their physical stores and online business.
US clothing retailer Abercrombie will debut on Alibaba Group-owned online store Tmall in China this month. According to Angela Dolan, the move comes after Abercrombie figured out a way to increase sales, changed its image and learned how to better position itself for the Chinese market.
China's consumers ages 15-24 years prefer French luxury brand Christian Dior compared to its upmarket competitors, according to RTG Consulting Group. "Dior is good at inspiring expression (of shifting cultural values) that goes beyond the tradition and norms," says Marc Arnold of RTG.
Academic institutions are taking the lead in discovering the capabilities of 2D printing using nanomaterials such as graphene and molybdenum disulfide, writes Jeffrey Rothfeder. Industry would be wise to accelerate its exploration of nanomaterials, he writes, because they have the potential to improve the environment, treat medical issues more effectively and expand manufacturers' product options.
Manufacturers who look at problems from a root cause perspective, rather than trying to pare component costs across the board, stand to improve quality and reduce costs, write Christian Heiss and Federico Ucci of Oliver Wyman. The authors recommend manufacturers study 20 areas, including functionality interference, to reduce costs in a way that improves performance.
Manufacturers who have already adopted Industry 4.0 features such as wearable technology and artificial intelligence shouldn't be overwhelmed by the idea of doing more, writes Earl van As of ecmarket. Explore relatively smaller scale automation advances in areas like document automation and contract pricing, he suggests.
Manufacturers who collaborate with brands to solve supply chain issues create an environment of productivity and openness, writes Ben Wilde of ADEC Innovations. Evolving to a partnership approach increases return on investment and reduces risk, he writes.
The overwhelming amounts of data created as more manufacturers use sensors to monitor equipment are useless without analysis, according to J.P. Provencher of Solutions at PTC. "It is really important to talk about ecosystems and the ability to connect to adjacent technologies," said Brett Burger of National Instruments.
Slip, trip and fall accidents cost businesses $18.4 billion a year, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index2, and Donny Beaver of HalenHardy writes that risk reduction efforts should begin with a site audit. Improve surface traction and ensure adequate lighting to create a safer workplace, he recommends.