Respondents to an American Productivity and Quality Center survey noted an absence of "preexisting process foundation" as one hurdle to implementing process automation. Determine which processes will benefit most from automation, and assess the skills needed for success, writes Hailey Lynne McKeefry.
UK-based Rutland Partners, parent of electronics retailer Maplin, is negotiating with several potential buyers and expects to announce a sale of the retailer soon, a spokesman said. The company aims to implement a 2020 multichannel strategy, which includes helping customers choose the right smart devices and installing the devices in their homes.
Rival Chinese tech companies Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings have together spent more than $10 billion on retail investments since early 2017. The firms have invested in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail, with a focus on expanding the range of their respective mobile payment services.
France-based supermarket operator Casino aims to acquire shoe retailer Sarenza and ramp up online growth to stay competitive, as Amazon plans to expand in the country. Sarenza's sales topped $310 million in its last fiscal year.
Tractor Supply Company Senior Vice President and CIO Rob Mills says 70% of his company's customers shop on a mobile device for gardening equipment, animal supplies, hardware and apparel. In this episode of NRF's Retail Gets Real podcast, Mills discusses how Tractor Supply creates an award-winning online customer experience. Listen now.
Coty's consumer beauty division booked a 19.4% increase in second-quarter profits, a jump it attributes largely to its acquisition of peer-to-peer makeup selling platform Younique. Younique has grown from about 80,000 sellers to more than 230,000 and booked double-digit sales growth since Coty bought a 60% stake in the company last year.
Givaudan's fragrance experts and flavorists have collaborated on the brand's new food-focused Delight fragrance collection. Scents in the line are made with base notes of familiar foods including beets, toasted bread and bacon.
Millennial parents will drive some toy trends this year, including a return to retro toys and board games, according to the Toy Association. Some of the hot items on display this week at the New York Toy Fair include DIY slime kits, smaller and less-expensive animatronic pets and My Little Pony toys that hark back to line's 1983 launch.
Cook's illustrated co-founder Christopher Kimball has collaborated with Regal Ware on a stainless steel collection dubbed Christopher Kimball by 1919 Cookware, which will debut at the International Home + Housewares Show. Kimball has also partnered with Switzerland-based Kuhn Rikon to produce a collection of kitchen devices that will be available exclusively at Sur La Table starting in April.
New beverageware, dinnerware and drinkware has been added to Zak Designs "Deadpool" tableware collection. New additions include a 25-ounce Tritan bottle featuring a flip-up cap, two hand-painted ceramic mugs and a 10-inch plate designed for outdoor use.