Kroger's first standalone restaurant, Kitchen 1883, has gotten a positive reception since opening in Union, Ky., last month, and the retailer is also readying for the opening of its culinary innovation center. The moves are two examples of how Kroger's Hospitality Division and Culinary Innovation Team are driving foodservice growth for the company heading into 2018.
Higher-than-expected November sales have retailers hoping to book their biggest Christmas season since before the recession. "We think this marks the beginning of a real and sustained rebound," said Craig Johnson of research firm Customer Growth Partners, which raised its holiday sales growth forecast from 4.3% to 5.6%.
L'Oreal Professionnel is rolling out a new botanical hair color line called Botanea to European salons in May. The line is made with plant-based formulas that can be combined with different hues and water temperatures for a wide array of colors and highlights.
Cognitive Systems is offering use of Aura WiFi Motion technology to those who are developing products for the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform. The Aura technology acts as a motion-monitoring system via a series of beacons placed in electrical outlets through the home.
Innovations in television are expected to be on display at CES next month, as has been the case in years past. David Katzmaier predicts that brands will showcase voice control, local dimming features and emerging display technology.
Mastercard, Discover and American Express have all announced plans moving toward eliminating signature authentication at the point of sale, with Visa remaining quiet on the issue. Eliminating signature authentication would be especially beneficial in the food retail sector, where quicker checkouts would make a big difference, said Hannah Walker, FMI's senior director of technology and nutrition policy.
The Rite Aid Foundation will contribute $100,000 to Red Cross efforts to help residents and communities affected by wildfires in Southern California. The retailer's charitable arm has donated upwards of $34 million to causes since its founding in 2001.
Unilever will acquire Oregon-based personal care company Schmidt's Naturals, the companies said. Schmidt's founders Jamie Schmidt and Michael Cammarata, who have been making deodorants and other products from plants and minerals since 2010, will stay involved in the company after the deal closes.
Estee Lauder has created an augmented reality app for employee training in partnership with Perfect Corp., the maker of the YouCam app. The app lets the beauty brand hold monthly training sessions for its more than 17,000 sales staffers around the globe and lets participants virtually try on the new products they're learning about.
United Parcel Service and FedEx are establishing more package pickup points at supermarkets and drugstores in a push to cut costs associated with home delivery of online purchases. Online sales are on track to grow as much as 15% this season, according to NRF data.
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