Amazon's artisan crafts marketplace, Handmade at Amazon, expanded beyond the US last week, launching in five European countries. The site has grown since debuting almost a year ago, but it's smaller than leader Etsy, which boasts almost a total global presence.
The World Wide Web Consortium has called in Google, Facebook, Apple and others to create a one-click payment option that can be applied worldwide. The new system was launched in some versions of the Google Chrome browser and will allow users to auto fill their payment information with one click through any browser.
Online grocer FreshDirect has raised $189 million in a round that will fund the company's expansion to new markets. FreshDirect, which has largely served the New York and Philadelphia areas since launching in 2002, recently began a one-hour delivery service called FoodKick in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Apple opened its first store in Mexico City on Saturday, the third Latin American store for the retailer, which entered the market two years ago with a store in Rio de Janeiro. The company is reportedly looking to expand to more countries, including Argentina, Chile and Peru.
A survey from Market Track has found that nearly one-third of shoppers plan to finish most of their holiday shopping early, even before November -- and almost half plan to have the majority of their shopping done before Thanksgiving. Shoppers are not waiting for Black Friday or other last-minute deals, as in previous years, the survey of 1,000 US shoppers found.
Whole Foods Market is taking an equity stake in four-year-old grocery delivery startup Instacart as part of an expanded partnership, sources said. Grocery delivery startups have drawn more investment in 2016 than meal delivery firms, according to the research firm CB Insights.
Emojis are becoming an avenue to e-commerce and advertising as companies innovate with the simplified images. Sportswear brand Fanatics is offering Apple Messages users shoppable emojis, while startup Emogi is offering marketers a way to insert branded emojis in messages on Kik.
Best Buy's Ignite program links promising startups with product innovation company PCH and features their new gadgets in a designated section of Best Buy's website. The retailer has also devoted a section of its Mountain View, Calif., store to showcasing products that came out of the initiative.
Store closures and falling foot traffic likely won't hurt the two main malls in the Sonoma County, Calif., town of Santa Rosa, where employment is high and tight regulations restrict new construction, said Cushman & Wakefield executive Garrick Brown. "It actually is one of the rare areas in the US that is under-retailed," he said.
Canadian retailers including Canadian Tire and Hudson's Bay Co. are increasingly turning to exclusive and private-label products as a way to give shoppers goods they won't be able to find on Amazon. Hudson's Bay aims to double sales of private-label items, said CEO Jerry Storch.
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