Wal-Mart was named first on a list of top global retailers for 2015 compiled by Planet Retail based on sales forecasts for this year. Wal-Mart earned the top spot with sales projected to reach $527.8 billion and a focus on strategic initiatives that include growing e-commerce and restoring its performance in some global markets, according to Robert Gregory, Planet Retail's head of advisory. Costco Wholesale, Carrefour, Kroger and Tesco rounded out the list's top five.
Wal-Mart will open two Supercenters and four Neighborhood Markets in San Antonio over the next 12 months, as the retail real estate market continues to tighten in the city. Much of San Antonio's new retail space is being taken up by food retailers, which are targeting the area due to new residential construction and its growing population.
Sony generated $780 million in operating profit during its first quarter this year, passing analyst expectations and securing a 39% year-over-year improvement. Sales were driven largely by Sony's camera sensor and PlayStation 4 units, signaling that the company's restructuring under CEO Kazuo Hirai is working.
Samsung Electronics hinted that it will cut prices on its Galaxy S6 phones following a quarter of disappointing sales of the flagship handsets and a fifth straight quarter of profit declines. The curved-screen S6 Edge proved popular, but Samsung failed to produce enough units to meet demand. The South Korean company will release more low-end models and move up shipments of its next Galaxy phone. Mobile revenues fell by 37% from the same period a year ago.
The "Shop Smart, Cook Healthy, Eat Right" initiative from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation's Kids Eat Right program offers advice from registered dietitian nutritionists for a healthy diet and lifestyle, Diane Quagliani writes. A study found caregivers who are pressured by children often cave in and purchase food they did not intend to buy, but Quagliani notes that retail dietitians have developed in-store nutrition education programs that can make family grocery shopping a positive experience.
Representatives from four trade groups are requesting that Congress ease up on security and privacy regulations for the Internet of Things. "It's up to manufacturers and service providers to make good decisions about privacy and security, or they will fail in the marketplace. Industry-driven solutions are best to promote innovation while protecting consumers," said Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association.
Television-makers have marketed curved TVs as a solution for better viewing angles and immersive viewing in the home, but high prices kept consumers from latching on to the trend, which has caused manufacturers to shift gears toward ultra-thin flat screens, Karine Heyden writes.
Best Buy will stock 360fly's 360-degree camera in 900 stores across the country starting in September after signing an exclusive distribution deal. "Having mass retail visibility at launch is extremely important to us, as we believe our camera goes beyond the extreme sports market and can be used in everyday lifestyle applications," 360fly's Michael Lanzon said.
Whole Foods Market will roll out the first five units of its new 365 by Whole Foods Market small-format stores in the second half of 2016, with plans to add 10 more in 2017, the company said. The first 365 stores, which will be about 30,000 square feet in size, will be located in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, Santa Monica, Calif., Portland, Ore., Houston and Bellevue, Wash.
Collaboration between retailers and suppliers is key to achieving effective consumer engagement and improving the shopping experience across channels, according to a study by Consumer Goods Technology and Gladson. Companies can increase omnichannel sales by collaborating on initiatives like market research, digital promotions and enhanced online product content, the study found.