Kroger is investing in state-of-the-art automated grocery fulfillment centers with help from Ocado, though the grocer doesn't expect to see changes until the first one comes online sometime in 2021. "With shopper receptiveness to digital innovation limited mainly by retailers' imagination, Kroger's new facilities will be coming online about the time that expectations for speed, accuracy, assortment and freshness are hitting new highs," Mike Troy writes.
Google's Mark Spates speaks candidly about how the company is moving away from a purely device-focused marketing strategy for its smart devices and is instead focusing on how such devices can help users solve household challenges. Smart devices aren't being used to their fullest extent, says Spates, who also addresses the importance of consumer privacy.
ALDI is now offering same-day alcohol delivery through its partnership with Instacart, where state and local laws allow it. The retailer is celebrating by offering free delivery for new customers through December via a special holiday code.
Walmart revised its full-year guidance upward, after reporting a 3.2% same-store sales increase and a 41% jump in e-commerce sales in the US for the third quarter. Online grocery sales are driving e-commerce growth for the retailer, which now offers home delivery from more than 1,400 locations and click-and-collect services at more than 3,000 stores.
Brooks Brothers is working with investment bank PJ Solomon to explore strategic options which could include a sale of the company by owner and CEO Claudio Del Vecchio, sources said. Del Vecchio has reportedly been considering a sale amid interest from several investment funds.
Startups Grabango and AiFi are creating autonomous checkout systems that will let smaller players compete with Amazon Go stores. Also, Walmart has been testing cashierless checkout systems, and its scan-and-go technology is operational at Sam's Club stores.
The cereal aisle saw a slew of innovation this year, including such major brand partnerships as a Drumstick flavor from General Mills, Peeps cereal from Kellogg and Post's upcoming Hostess Twinkies cereal, due in late December. Half of grocery shoppers choose flavor over nutrition, with 96% of them buying cereal in a store visit, according to a Shopkick survey.
"Dutch ovens are (arguably) ... the kind of luxurious pieces Pinterest dream kitchen boards are made of," Julia Guerra writes. She highlights versions from Lodge, Cuisinart, AmazonBasics, Utopia and Bruntmor.
Amazon has opened its first Amazon 4-star store in the Chicago market in a former Sears space at the Oakbrook Center mall. It's the seventh location of the store concept, where shoppers can return items ordered on Amazon and shop for products rated with at least four stars or that are new, trending or top sellers.
Television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes is joining Dove's efforts to end bias against black women and girls based on their natural hair style. The CROWN Coalition, co-founded by Dove, is working to pass state laws penalizing this discrimination, which often prevents career advancement for ethnic minorities and damages self-esteem for young people.
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