The barcode changed the face of retail after its introduction in 1974, making checkout faster and more accurate. Now, growing demand for more product information and transparency is fueling the rise of new mobile technology that goes beyond the barcode, such as PRO Trace, an application Metro is using in Germany to reveal the origins of its fresh fish.
Dollar General booked a 7.9% second-quarter sales rise and a 12.3% jump in profits, as consumers continued to seek out deals on smaller-sized items and low-income shoppers held onto their frugal ways, the company said. The retailer is also testing a new model in which it spends more on labor to keep stores stocked.
The first of Macy's new Backstage outlet stores is set to open in Queens, N.Y., next week with new brands and shelves that boast low-priced fashion, footwear and accessories next to deeply discounted designer goods. "You're going to get a little bit of a different vibe from what I would call our older sister, Macy's. Here, we're trying to attract new and different customers," Backstage Senior Vice President Vanessa LeFebvre said.
France's Constitutional Council found procedural reasons to strike down a law that would have required the country's grocers to donate unsold food. Now, lawmakers are urging supermarkets to comply voluntarily with the measure, which was designed to cut food waste while feeding people in need.
US fashion retailer Bebe Stores has teamed with retail operator Longgoal LLC to open 60 or more retail stores and wholesale distribution points in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan starting next summer. Bebe, which is struggling to reverse weak domestic sales, expects to have about 150 retail stores in China by 2020.
South African retailer Woolworths booked a 6.7% headline earnings per share jump and a 20.5% rise in profits for the 12-month period ended in June, with a strong showing at David Jones, the Australian department store chain it acquired last year. Woolworths also benefited from the resilience of wealthier South African consumers who continued to spend in a tepid economy.
China is still a key growth market for global fashion retailers including Gap, H&M and Zara that continue to add stores and expand e-commerce offerings. "Many of our clients are looking at more investments in China. The country is still expecting a lot of middle-class income increases in the next four-five years," said KPMG China partner Jessie Qian.
Tech entrepreneur Falon Fatemi landed at Google at age 19 and spent six years living outside her comfort zone and learning to make the most of every opportunity she saw. "I hadn't even taken a finance class, yet I had two weeks to put together a strategy for entering Africa and Eastern Europe. I had to be resourceful," she writes.
New J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison has moved quickly to beef up its e-commerce team as it plays catch up with rivals and faces the challenges that come with a transition to omnichannel. The retailer is working to improve the way consumers buy home goods and other products online.
Glamour magazine has launched a program called the Lipstick Index, which uses an algorithm to comb through blogs and social sites to update hot hairstyle and makeup trends hourly. "[S]ome things will be consistently high and that will be interesting information for us as editors, but we think it will also be incredibly interesting to marketers," Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive said.
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