Amazon is betting that Whole Foods Market shoppers will pick up Echo digital assistants and other gadgets along with the fixings for their holiday meals this season. The e-commerce giant is also promoting its electronics in other brick-and-mortar outlets, from its own 13 bookstores to select Kohl's locations, in its push to keep its lead in voice-activated tech.
It's anticipated that 1.43 billion smartphones will be shipped globally in 2017, resulting in 5% growth year-over-year, per Digitimes Research. In 2018, shipment growth is expected to be slightly lower, at 4.8%, with more than 1.5 billion units shipped, the report also notes.
Of the consumers who have Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, about 57% report using the virtual assistant option multiple times per day, based on a Dashbot study. Most individuals access the assistants for music, information, and weather updates, the survey also indicated.
Apple is reportedly paying $30 million to buy Vrvana, a Canadian company that created the Totem, an augmented reality headset, per TechCrunch. The purchase appears to support the rumor that Apple is working toward releasing an augmented reality headset in 2020, though the company has declined to comment.
German discount grocer Lidl opened its first store in New Jersey last week as the retailer ramps up competition in the US with rival German discounter ALDI. The retailers each have global store counts of more than 10,000 locations, and ALDI has set its sights on operating 2,200 U.S. stores within five years.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will open up to 10 stores in 2018 and focus on price competition as rivals such as Whole Foods Market cut prices, Co-President Kemper Isely said. The retailer also plans to launch a private-label line in the second quarter.
Neiman Marcus turned to 20 of its millennial staffers to test 300 beauty brands and winnow the pack down to 45, which the retailer has begun selling online and in its new Trending Beauty Shop section at a store in Dallas. The lineup of more than 650 products from brands including Glambo and Paddywax will launch in more stores next year.
Consumers longing for a Vitamix blender that won't break the bank can purchase the new Explorian E310 for around $350, which is much lower than the company's other standard-size models. The blender performs and looks like the elite 5200 model but has a smaller container and only a five-year warranty, instead of a seven-year guarantee.
The CaffItaly SO5 is a single-serve pod brewer that can make tasty coffee, tea, espresso and hot chocolate. The appliance features maintenance notification lights and a unique retractable spout that extends down to produce a lovely crema.
People shopping for home bakers have a lot of good choices to choose from, including Martha Stewart Collection copper mixing bowls and KitchenAid's 9-speed hand mixer, Kim Cook advises.
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