Amazon has introduced the Echo Look, a device that allows users to take voice-activated videos and photos of themselves to help make wardrobe decisions. Amazon has also introduced the Style Check app, which offers customizable suggestions using machine learning and information from fashion experts.
Albertsons has named Jewel-Osco President Mike Withers to serve as executive vice president of retail operations in charge of the retailer's East region. The move will bring Withers to Albertsons' headquarters in Boise, Idaho, where started his career as an Albertsons clerk in 1976.
Dollar Tree will build a new distribution center in Warrensburg, Mo., that will support the retailer's existing stores in the Midwest, as well as new store growth in the region. The 1.2-million-square-foot $110 million facility is slated to open in May of next year.
Food retailers are turning to produce and other fresh departments to ramp up competition with delivery services and other foodservice operators, offering produce butchering and other services that make meal prep easier. Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee now offers dedicated space for groups of shoppers to prepare recipes ahead of time, and New York-based Price Chopper/Market 32 lets customers choose from several pre-planned sauce, meat and vegetable combinations to create meals.
Google Home can now deliver recipes from Bon Appetite, Food Network, The New York Times and more via a step-by-step process that allows users to pause instructions and go back as needed. The app has been updated and now has 5 million recipes.
Samsung Electronics reported first-quarter operating profit of about $8.7 billion, a 48% increase from a year ago, while net profit was $6.8 billion, up 46% year-to-year. The company's chip business, with its dominant market share in DRAM and NAND flash memories, accounted for about $5.5 billion in operating profit for the quarter.
Consumer interest in electronics buying is increasing, per a recently released index from the Consumer Technology Association. Shawn DuBravac, CTA's chief economist, said, "Perceived strength in the overall economy and, specifically, perceived strength in income growth and labor market stability are likely supporting sentiment around tech spending."
Sales of the Nintendo Switch may lead to the company doubling its annual operating profit, and since the Switch hit the market last month, the company's share price has increased 20%. "If the 10 million target [of Switch units sold] is achieved ... that means the sales momentum would be close to the Wii," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said.
Albertsons Senior Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising in Northern California Geoff White has been tapped to serve in the newly-created position of president of own brands. In his new role, White will oversee the retailer's culinary kitchen, technical center and growth and development in private brands.
FMI and other industry groups are looking forward to working with Sonny Perdue, who became the US Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. "He made great strides in food and nutrition, particularly in the WIC program, during his governorship in Georgia, and I know he'll work tirelessly for national improvements while at USDA," said Jennifer Hatcher, FMI's senior vice president of government affairs.
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