J.C. Penney will add appliance showrooms at 100 more stores, incorporate more brands and launch a test of home installation services including heating and air conditioning. The retailer is increasingly competing with Sears on the appliance and home services front.
Wal-Mart has launched a price-cutting test at 1,200 stores in the Midwest and Southeast as it competes with rivals including Kroger and German discounter ALDI, sources said. The retailer also reportedly met with suppliers recently to urge them to find ways to cut costs as competition grows.
Sony and Line, a popular Japan-based messaging app, may partner to use artificial intelligence to improve the digital personal assistant experience. The announcement was made at a conference in Spain, and during that time, Sony also showed off earphones that use Xperia Agent, a virtual butler.
Ahold Delhaize has tailored the selection at its third and newest small-format bfresh store to include more value-focused private-label items and fewer specialty items with higher price tags after reviewing sales data from the banner's first two stores. The store, which opened Friday, includes a larger selection of meal kits, a hub-and-spoke layout in prepared foods and a product assortment that gives 55% of selling space to fresh foods and 45% to center store products, features that will be rolled out at the chain's first two stores.
Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market has grown to include 48 stores in almost three years, with a goal of operating 90 by the end of 2018, CEO Chris Sherrell said. The retailer's growth is due in part to well-timed real estate opportunities and also to its focus on organic foods and becoming a "destination for fresh," he said.
Target will update investors this week on progress in its efforts to revamp the grocery department, which accounts for about 20% of the retailer's sales. The plan, launched two years ago, has included improving the fresh produce selection and adding more organic foods.
Department stores are taking different strategic approaches to reducing square footage and keeping brick-and-mortar stores relevant in the digital age. Macy's and J.C. Penney will close some stores and use the savings to invest in others, while Kohl's will move many of its stores to smaller spaces.
Wal-Mart has been conducting price comparisons and going back to vendors to reduce prices on grocery items, looking to compete with discounting rivals such as ALDI and Kroger, Nandita Bose writes. The company also met with major consumer products suppliers and pushed for a 15% cut in wholesale prices, Bose said, quoting sources.
Alibaba Group Holding says poor laws limit the success of its efforts to limit counterfeit sales. The company reported 4,500 counterfeiting leads in 2016 and saw just 33 convictions, with most of those receiving only probation.
Victoria's Secret opened its first full-line China store in a 2,500-square-metres, four-story space near Shanghai's high-end Xintiandi shopping district. The lingerie retailer has operated branded accessories stores in China since 2015, and it will open a second location in Chengdu later this year.
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