Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/18/2019

Google will buy the intellectual property rights to Fossil's smartwatch in a deal worth $40 million. The purchase will include some of Fossil Group's research and development team moving over to Google.

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ZDNet, Ars Technica
1/18/2019

Walmart will team with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie to grow its grocery delivery service in four states, as part of the retailer's ongoing efforts to bring grocery delivery to 1,600 stores. The company offers delivery from 800 stores with partners including Postmates, Deliv and DoorDash.

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Walmart, Postmates
1/18/2019

Book sales grew 1.3% in the US last year, according to NPD Group, and five titles sold upwards of 1 million copies, up from two titles in 2017. Sales of "Becoming" by Michelle Obama topped 3 million copies and a craving for cozy comfort fueled sales of titles like "Magnolia Table" by Joanna Gaines.

1/18/2019

Grocery shoppers are visiting center-store aisles less often, but more than 99% of shoppers still made purchases in the category in 2017, and 81% of shopping carts included at least one item from the center store, according to a report from Catalina. Center-store success hinges on meeting consumer demand for new food experiences and fresher, healthier options, said Marta Cyhan, Catalina's head of marketing.

1/18/2019

About 150 food inspectors are returning to work without pay for the Food and Drug Administration to check on higher-risk foods despite the partial government shutdown, the agency said Tuesday. Among the duties to be re-established is the inspection of imported food items.

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FoodNavigator
1/18/2019

Microsoft will not release its own smart speaker and instead will use its virtual assistant, Cortana, in other projects, says Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott. "On the smart speaker side of things, we've got a bunch of partners who are building Cortana-powered things right now and we're super excited about all of those, but it's not like we're going to have a single Microsoft-branded Cortana smart speaker that's going to be the thing that carries Cortana to customers," Scott says.

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VentureBeat
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Kevin Scott
1/18/2019

Project Alias is a system designed by Bjorn Karmann and Tore Knudsen to help protect users' private conversations from being recorded and transmitted by their smart speakers. The device includes a 3D-printed housing that uses a microphone and speaker to produce white noise and prevent eavesdropping.

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VentureBeat
1/18/2019

Multiple TV-makers at CES 2019 discussed their upcoming 8K options, with TCL, Sony, Samsung and LG reportedly planning on shipping big-screen 8K models this year. In addition, Hisense, Sharp, Changhong and Skyworth showed off prototypes of their 8K options.

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TWICE
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Changhong, Samsung, TCL, Sony, Skyworth
1/18/2019

United Natural Foods' $2.9 billion acquisition of SUPERVALU has set the company up for success in a competitive market, with a distribution network that provides more than 110,000 items to more than 40,000 locations, UNFI Chairman and CEO Steve Spinner said. "That combination puts UNFI in a position to win in the long term, and today we are the largest public wholesaler by far," he said.

1/18/2019

Walmart is advertising to hire a CEO to create a new company from the ground up under the retailer's Store No. 8 tech incubator. Store No. 8 launched two years ago and several of its innovations were highlighted at NRF 2019: Retail's Big Show this week.

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Walmart