Amazon will open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Chicago next year, building on the concept created when the online retailer opened its first store in Seattle last year. The concept combines traditional books and Kindle devices, and lets shoppers buy onsite or place online orders.
The hedge fund controlled by Sears Holdings CEO and majority shareholder Edward Lampert will loan the retailer $300 million, the company said Thursday after reporting a $395 million second-quarter loss. The retailer, which has been selling assets and closing stores to cut costs, will also shutter its 40-year-old anchor store at Minnesota's Eden Prairie Center in November.
Google has launched "The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks," a project that uses virtual reality to transport people to national parks around the country. Users can experience a park in 360-degree images while a ranger leads them through a guided tour.
Ahold Delhaize reported strong results for the combined company in the second quarter, with CEO Dick Boer saying the merged retailer is seeing "good momentum." "We look forward to continuing to shape Ahold Delhaize, with a strong commitment to delivering great food, value and innovations for customers across our 11 markets, both in stores and online," he said.
Hormel Foods has transitioned to a completely cage-free egg supply almost immediately after making the decision to do so, rather than phasing in the program as most companies do. "Hormel switched...almost 'overnight,'" said Josh Balk of The Humane Society of the US, who has worked with Hormel on animal welfare issues.
Online fragrance retailer Phlur launched June 22 and received more than 1,000 orders in its first 30 days. The startup from former Ralph Lauren executive Eric Korman, which lets customers sample any two scents for $10 and sells full-size bottles for $85, raised $1.8 million in a new round to fund operations and develop new products.
China's first Disney store opened in Shanghai last year to a mile-long line of people who waited eight hours for the 54,000-square-foot store to open. The store opened more than a year before Disney's new Shanghai theme park, and its initial mission was less about selling trinkets and more about introducing Chinese consumers to Mickey Mouse and friends.
A story about the first market where regional grocery favorites Publix and Wegmans will compete proved this week's most popular food and beverage story. New convenience food products from Totino's and Velveeta also ranked high, as did a story about the growing popularity of savory jams.
Restaurant chains are turning to social media channels including Facebook, Slack and Twitter to make mobile ordering easier and eliminate the need to take up smartphone space with more apps. Chains including Wingstop, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are experimenting with conversational ordering systems and chatbots to boost social ordering.
Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill parent Bloomin' Brands is looking to Latin America for future growth, said spokeswoman Cathie Koch. The Florida-based restaurant operator has hired an international real estate firm to help it expand in several markets, including Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
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