Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
3/22/2017

Smart & Final Stores has upgraded its demand forecasting, inventory control and operations through its Symphony Gold omnichannel technology platform, which now includes category management, store replenishment and mobility and a vendor portal. Through the upgrade, the retailer will be able to use the platform to tailor merchandise to individual stores.

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Progressive Grocer
3/22/2017

Costco has partnered with Shipt to expand a home grocery delivery test to the Tampa, Fla., area. The service is already available in the San Francisco market in partnership with Instacart.

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CNBC
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Costco, Shipt, Instacart
3/22/2017

German discount grocers ALDI and Lidl are poised to gain market share and lead major changes in the US food retail industry over the next few years, according to Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click, and Bill Bolton, former CEO of Jewel Foods. The retailers, which will account for up to $67 billion in combined sales and operate about 3,500 US stores by 2021, will disrupt the industry due in part to their popularity among shoppers and their reputations for offering low prices, they said.

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Aldi, Lidl, Bill Bishop, retail industry
3/22/2017

General Mills is boosting its marketing investment to increase sales of cereal and yogurt, and has launched a ready-to-eat popcorn line under its Annie's Homegrown label. "Annie's is our largest brand, and retail sales are increasing nearly 40% so far this year in US Nielsen-measured outlets," said COO Jeff Harmening.

3/22/2017

The Blu-ray Disc Association estimates that Ultra HD Blu-ray players are selling at three times the rate of standard players. The group is forecasting that 250 Ultra HD Blu-ray titles will come to market this year.

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HD Guru
3/22/2017

IPhone users now can add animated captions, emojis and titles to their videos using the Clips video messaging app from Apple. The app is similar to Snapchat's Stories feature.

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Reuters
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Apple, iPhone
3/22/2017

Mythic, a company that provides technology for artificial intelligence-based programs, has raised $9.3 million, partly via a Series A round of funding. The company will use the funds to move to commercial production of its software and chips.

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TechCrunch
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Series A
3/22/2017

Amazon will expand its program aimed at removing counterfeit goods from its website by allowing brands to register intellectual property and logos. The brand registry will allow Amazon to remove listings and even sellers when counterfeit products are flagged.

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Reuters
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Amazon
3/22/2017

Meijer will close two of its 90,000-square-foot small-format stores in the Chicago area this summer, the company said Tuesday. In recent years, the retailer has been investing in 200,000-square-foot supercenters in the Chicago suburbs, which have been more successful, a company spokesman said.

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Meijer
3/22/2017

Traditional grocers account for about 16.6% of the $40 billion personal care market, according to a study by TABS Analytics. Grocers were led only by Wal-Mart, who claims a 19.4% market share, and were followed by Target at 12.1%, the study found.

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Progressive Grocer
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Wal-Mart