The Kroger Technology & Digital Innovation Lab, a partnership between the retailer and Northern Kentucky University, will officially open today, store officials said. The lab, which is designed to drive digital innovation and also includes scholarships for students, is the latest in a series of Kroger's initiatives with colleges in and around its hometown, Cincinnati, aimed at boosting the store's digital and technological capabilities.
Retail sales grew 4.1% to $730.2 billion during the November and December holiday season, according to NRF, coming close to the top end of the group's holiday forecast that projected growth of between 3.8% and 4.2%. "This is a strong finish to the holiday season, and we think it's a positive indicator of what's ahead," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Gap has dropped plans to spin off its Old Navy banner into a separate publicly-traded company, the retailer said, citing the expense and other difficulties that would be involved. Sales at Old Navy have softened since Gap first proposed the spinoff last year.
Amazon is buying 40 electric vans for deliveries in Munich as part of its effort to reach carbon neutrality in 20 years. Deutsche Post's StreetScooter unit, which is selling the vans to Amazon, has set up 60 charging stations at an Amazon fulfillment center near the city.
Starbucks will open or renovate 85 stores in low-income urban and rural communities over the next five years, bringing the total number of these community stores to 100. The chain will also work with the United Way to create job training and education programs in each store.
Bottega Veneta has become luxury conglomerate Kering's fastest-growing label since Daniel Lee took over as the brand's creative director two years ago. Sales at Bottega Veneta grew 7% in the second half of last year, and the brand has been in high demand among buyers for retailers including Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Clorox will open a manufacturing plant in Berkeley County, W.Va., that will produce Fresh Step and Scoop Away cat litter. The site will be the company's third in the state and will employ 100 people.
In a fast-growing business it can be difficult to maintain a positive company culture, if you're missing these three fundamental steps, writes Raj Jana, founder of JavaPresse Coffee Company. Hold company-wide meetings, stay involved in the hiring process and ensure you maintain strict standards for every new employee, recommends Jana.
The rise in returns has led to increased demand for warehouse space for reverse logistics, particularly in older, second-tier buildings, writes Patricia Kirk. Investors should consider warehouses in secondary markets and on the edge of urban areas, says Brian Banaszynski of Transwestern Development.
Research suggests that leaders with high levels of discipline and love have better-performing teams and less turnover than leaders who try to please or rule over employees, writes John Eades, CEO of LearnLoft. "Leaders whose style is to elevate their employees report having high-performing teams at rates better than all other styles combined," he writes.
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