US grocers are failing to modify their businesses sufficiently to prosper from e-commerce, said Tim Steiner, founder and CEO of the UK's Ocado. Steiner's company is using huge, high-tech warehouses and a hub-and-spoke system to offer more efficient and profitable deliveries instead of the click-and-collect or crowdsourced delivery models popular in the US, he said.
Digitally native fragrance brand Phlur raised $6 million in a funding round led by global fragrance supplier Symrise. Funding fragrance startups gives suppliers like Symrise an alternative to the high partnership fees charged by major brands such as Ralph Lauren.
Eos has expanded its skincare lineup with its first cross-category line, Eos Aqua. The six-item skin and lip collection is made with sustainably-sourced sea kelp and Irish moss and products include a lotion, mask and lip scrub.
Turning malls into mixed-use villages where people live, work and play as well as shop could be key to future success, said Amanda Nicholson, professor of retail practice at Syracuse University. Making the change would mean breaking longstanding rules about not putting residential developments and non-retail businesses in malls, she said.
Retailers are rushing to grow their abilities to deliver groceries via online orders, as recent moves by Walmart, Kroger and others show. Such moves could accelerate the trend into a $100 billion segment by 2022, three years faster than was anticipated, according to a report from Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.
Target is rolling out a pilot rewards program in an effort to connect with customers who opt not to carry its credit or debit cards. The company's Target Red program, which will debut in the Dallas-Fort Worth area next month, will offer discounts on future purchases and free next-day grocery delivery.
Grocers are well-positioned to take advantage of the increased popularity of traditional favorite Jewish deli foods, a trend expected to grow in 2018. One way is to serve a Reuben sandwich with Russian dressing and house-fermented sauerkraut.
French grocer Carrefour will buy meal-kit maker Quitoque in an effort to increase its e-commerce efforts. The startup will continue to be managed by its founders as part of Carrefour, the company said.
Google Assistant has added four new features in the past few weeks: location-based reminders, scheduling via Routines, business card scanning, and plant and animal identification through Lens. The Lens feature uses artificial intelligence to give information on a variety of subjects via photo recognition.
L'Oreal has acquired augmented reality firm ModiFace, which launched in 2001 and has worked with L'Oreal and other brands, including Covergirl and retailers Ulta and Sephora, to create apps and in-store tech. "Beauty is all about the visual impression of products, and AR fits this field perfectly with the ability to preview looks, products and shades," said ModiFace CEO Parham Aarabi.