In a sign that Amazon and Google are mending their sometimes contentious relationship, YouTube will be available on Amazon's Fire TV devices soon and Amazon Prime video will operate with Chromecast and Android TV devices. A Google representative said the main YouTube app will be released first, followed by YouTube TV and YouTube Kids.
Kroger has rolled out a self-driving grocery delivery service at one of its stores in Houston. The company will expand the service later this year with eventual plans to launch it citywide.
US retail sales grew 1.6% in March over the previous month, beating economists' forecasts for 1.1% growth, according to the Commerce Department. Sales excluding autos and gas were up 0.9%, led by online retail, apparel, grocery and home furnishings.
J.C. Penney has hired 11-year Walmart veteran Steve Whaley as its new controller, one of several new hires from major retailers. The department store retailer has named longtime Macy's and Bloomingdale's executive Laurene Gandolfo senior vice president for home product design and development, and appointed former Target executive Trish Adams as a strategic adviser.
Shoppers ranked Central Market first in a list of best supermarkets, according to a survey from Consumer Reports. The chain was followed by Wegmans and Heinen's, with Shipt taking the designation for best online grocery service.
Pier 1 Imports will shutter 45 retail locations as part of a plan to cut $110 million in costs this year, the retailer said. The company has named restructuring expert Deborah Rieger-Paganis of Alix Partners as its interim chief finance officer, succeeding Nancy Walsh, who has stepped down after just over a year.
Facebook is working on a voice assistant that could match Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and the Google Assistant. The voice assistant could be used on Facebook's Portal video chat smart speakers, Oculus headsets or other projects.
Apple is reportedly revamping its Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps, combining the two into one Marzipan app that will be available on iOS and macOS for Tile-esque personal item tracking. The new app is being tested by Apple engineers under the codename "GreenTorch," 9to5Mac reports.
Data analytics is becoming an increasingly important driver for decision-making among supermarket operators as there is an emerging need for frictionless commerce, writes Relex Solutions' Greg Wilson. "Ultimately, the goal of frictionless commerce is to reduce the touches and pain points along the journey from supplier to retailer to the consumer enjoying an item," he writes.
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