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.
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.
British brand Belstaff has teamed with Canadian shoe retailer Aldo Group to expand its footwear offerings. Aldo, which will create Belstaff shoe offerings for retail and wholesale channels, ultimately aims to amass licensing deals with up to 14 brands, Aldo Product Services executive Jonathan Frankel said.
Nike has focused its mobile efforts on creating a stable of apps targeted to different audiences and the apps now boast a total of more than 170 million users. The brand is now adding more features to the apps in a push to use mobile tech to drive sales and attendance at special events.
Digital luxury consignment shop The RealReal is continuing efforts to improve its authentication processes and weed out fakes, CEO Julie Wainwright said. In October the company identified about 4,000 counterfeit items from the more than 490,000 items it processed for listing on the site.
About 90% of millennials research engagement rings online and a long list of direct-to-consumer brands including With Clarity, Manly Bands, Majesty Diamonds and Vrai aim to give them a way to buy online as well. With Clarity launched in 2015 as Four Mine, and last year it booked $18 million in revenue.
To cut down on holiday stress, more shoppers are planning to order their groceries online, according to a report from ServiceChannel. Half of online grocery shoppers say they will purchase online more than usual during the holidays, and 63% said they would be somewhat likely to order a fully prepared meal online.
Volkswagen will assemble battery packs in Chattanooga, Tenn., as part of a planned $800 million investment to expand manufacturing there. The overall expansion is expected to add 1,000 jobs.
Manufacturers can fend off tech-based entrants by creating competitive offshoots that are freed of the constraints that govern the parent business, according to this McKinsey analysis. "Up-front due diligence -- performed in part by using the parent company's advantages -- can help ensure that there is a product-market fit before parent companies invest in new businesses," the authors write.
Haier-owned GE Appliances reduced how often its products are handled during the transport process by using virtual reality, radio-frequency identification and a "digital thread" facilitated by artificial intelligence and data analytics. "We want to wait up until the last moment to move a product and reduce those touches," says Adam Wiseman of GE Appliances.
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