Researchers at HP Labs in California are combining technologies into an in-store kiosk system that could reinvent the supermarket experience. The Retail Store Assistant will enable shoppers to input information from home, then swipe a card or enter a phone number at the kiosk to receive coupons, store maps with items noted and special discounts.
Internet shoppers have grown savvier with the times and are no longer as accepting of poor site performance, Mary Wagner writes. Although opportunities abound for adding such functions as rich media, third-party content and consumer-generated content, it's critical that retailers maximize not only a site's performance, but also their customer's perception of that performance.
Chinese customers are becoming increasingly wary of the food they buy as the country slowly attempts to sort out its safety regulations. The government recently sentenced Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the food and drug agency, to death, and announced a system of recalls.
7-Eleven is actively pursuing its goal of becoming a fully franchised business nationwide and expects to convert 538 of its stores in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia into franchises over the next five years. The company operates 5,600 stores in the U.S., and about 3,650 are franchised.