CPG manufacturers are increasingly turning to plant-based ingredients as solutions to consumer demand for healthy snacking, with vegetables, grains and pulses popping up in more snack products. Vegetable snacks accounted for 45% of the dollar sales in the alternative-ingredient salty snack category last year, while grain-based snacks generated 40% of the segment and pulse-based snacks accounted for 15% of sales, according to Packaged Facts.
Swarovski has created a high-tech holiday pop-up in Canada that lets visitors download their head shots and make selfies with Karlie Kloss and other celebrities. The Sparkle Pop-up also lets shoppers virtually try on the luxury brand's jewelry and accessories and make purchases for pickup.
Ace Hardware reported third-quarter net income of $53.8 million, compared to $50.2 million the prior year. "A retail same-store sales increase of 7.1% was the predominant fuel behind our strong 9.1% overall sales increase and record setting third quarter revenue," Ace CEO John Venhuizen said.
DistributionNOW posted a third-quarter loss of $9 million, compared to a prior-year loss of $56 million. Chief Accounting Officer David Cherechinsky will become chief financial officer, with current CFO Daniel Molinaro moving to an executive vice president role.
Warehouses can minimize the expensive "empty travel" of human workers by using robots guided by a management system, writes Steve Banker of ARC Advisory Group. He writes about the potential productivity gains of Locus Robotics' LocusButs, which are offered to companies as a monthly rental.
European discount department store TK Maxx has launched a "White Christmas" campaign, with a contest that will give shoppers the chance to win a truck full of fake snow delivered to their home. In-store shoppers can enter by finding hidden snow globes, and online fans can also enter by playing a digital game.
E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding will pay $2.9 billion for a 36% stake in hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group, which has around 400 RT-Mart and Auchan Retail stores. The deal ramps up the rivalry with Walmart, which has partnered with JD.com to grow in China.
US-based eBay has expanded its partnership with Shopify in Canada and is exploring options for creating an artificial intelligence hub in Toronto, eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig said. He shares his thoughts on e-commerce growth in Canada and how eBay differentiates itself from Amazon.