Kroger launched a website on Friday that invites local suppliers to pitch their products directly to store buyers, a bid to expand the availability of regional products as competitor Whole Foods Market scales back its local offerings. Although Kroger already offers regional products in 35 states, the company is hoping to grow the program with its new web-based platform.
Dunkin' Brands has expanded a deal with Amtrak that will make its Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend and Dunkin' Decaf the exclusive coffees offered on all of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor trains. Amtrak, whose Northeast Corridor trains serve about 12 million passengers annually, first started serving Dunkin' coffee on its Acela trains between Boston and Washington, D.C., in April.
Cities across North America are going to extreme lengths to woo Amazon's $5 billion second headquarters, which the company expects will create 50,000 new jobs. Hundreds of students at Wharton Business School are working on Philadelphia's pitch; the mayor of Frisco, Texas, has offered to build the city around Amazon; and in Ottawa, Ontario, the mayor of the Canadian capital is touting the country's more liberal immigration policy as a plus for recruiting engineers.
GE is working with companies in South Korea, including Hanhwa, POSCO and KEPCO, to increase its Korean presence in the smart factory market. GE and Siemens are market leaders in smart factory technology, and that market is expected to grow by 5.4% annually through 2020, per industry data.
Sales of the Nintendo Switch have helped the company's stock prices rise about 70% this year, per industry data. The Switch has sold 1.5 million units in Japan, and is also the best-selling console in the US despite challenges in keeping up with demand.
Boot brand Timberland is focused on reinventing its retail model, which includes the concept of flex retail that will bring pop-ups to brand fans "when they need us," according to vice president Kate Kibler. Timberland is also trying out a store concept called TreeLAB that focuses on brand storytelling that changes every six to eight weeks.
Whole Foods Market has taken steps toward improving life in the low-income Englewood neighborhood in Chicago since opening a store there a year ago. Remaining challenges include connecting with budget-conscious consumers, many of whom aren't used to natural and organic foods.
Rihanna's Fenty Beauty collection that launched this month is winning fans with a lineup of 40 foundation shades and a message of "Beauty for All." The line, for sale online and at Sephora stores, is giving options to women of color.
Richard Baker, executive chairman and a major shareholder in Hudson's Bay Co., is communicating with private equity firms to formulate a deal that would take the parent of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue private, sources said. Baker controls 17.7% of the company's shares.
US-based White Castle opened its first two China locations this year in Shanghai and aims to add more units in the future as Chinese consumers eat more beef and seek smaller portions. The quickserve chain, known for inventing the slider, has created new versions of the small burger for its market, including Spicy Tofu and Cherry Duck.
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