Whole Foods Market has become the second major retailer to adopt Square's mobile credit-card reader, following in the footsteps of Starbucks. Square's iPad cash registers, which will be used at sandwich and coffee stations in Whole Foods stores but not at the main checkouts, will enable customers to pay with cards or cash and, in a few locations, with Square's Wallet application.
Sales of signature burger dishes at fast-food chains declined 28% from 2006 to 2011, indicating a decrease in consumption of such items among Americans, a study by Hudson Institute says. Lower-calorie choices, diet drinks and coffee increased in sales, researchers said.
ShopRite stores are testing configurations of food and nonfood items "to engage customers the way they want to buy," said Steve Henig, vice president for corporate merchandising and marketing. Though no space was added, sales tripled in stores with an updated pet department, he said, and the company is testing changes to the baby and household departments.
Sabzee Mediterranean Market in Encino, Calif., is urging customers to shop there for Valentine's Day meals. Among items appropriate for the holiday are fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, baklava, cheese and nuts.
Most consumers equipped with smartphones use them to help make shopping decisions, according to research firm Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, which found that 66% of the respondents in a February survey considered the devices to be helpful when shopping. Among its other findings: 38% conducted research with their phones while inside stores, while 47% said they used the devices for gathering information about products.