Safeway officials have asserted that the company is still committed to remodeling and redeveloping its 19 stores in the Seattle area, though timing of the upgrades remains in question. The company plans to collaborate with local government, with Seattle division president Karl Schroeder saying, "[O]ur part of that is to make sure that we're leaning in and betting on the future of Seattle."
Macy's launched its first 36 in-store Story locations two months ago, and the concept shops are proving to be a strong traffic driver for Macy's, which reported same-store sales growth of 0.7% in the first quarter of this year. The "Color Story" themed spaces include more than 400 items from brands including Levi's, MAC Cosmetics and Crayola, and they include Instagram-worthy design features such as a rainbow tunnel and Lite-Brite-inspired Story Wall.
Toys R Us will open around six stores and launch an e-commerce site in the US in time for the holidays this year, sources said. The stores would reportedly be about a third of the size of the retailer's former locations and would include play areas and other experiences.
Best Buy is turning to new technology to cut waste from its packaging operations, including machines that build 15 boxes per minute in custom sizes to help prevent the retailer from shipping boxes full of air, Supply Chain Operations Head Rob Bass said. The machines, which are in use at two facilities in California and one in New Jersey, have helped Best Buy decrease cardboard waste by 40%, allow workers to fit more boxes in trucks and open up floor space for other uses.
Microsoft has not confirmed, but a supply chain source says to expect a foldable Surface to be released next year. The hybrid device will likely have two 9-inch screens, use Windows Lite OS, Apple's iCloud and Android apps and will have always-on connectivity via LTE or 5G.
The new mobile augmented reality game "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" has been launched in the US and three other markets, in a phased-in rollout that developer Niantic hopes will not duplicate the crash caused by the launch of "Pokemon Go." The game will be rolled out to 25 other countries this week.
Campbell Soup is targeting pretzels as an area for innovation and growth, said Campbell Snacks President Carlos Abrams-Rivera. The firm recently launched a garden vegetable variety of Snyder's of Hanover Braided Twists, as well as chocolate- and caramel-drizzled Pretzel Crisps for its Snack Factory line.
Rachel Karten says her wine-drinking life has not been the same since purchasing Rabbit's compact, airtight, rubber-and-stainless steel bottle stoppers that come in a variety of colors. "I've left a bottle with one in for a week or so, and it tasted just as good as when I first opened it," she writes.
The consumer makeup of the specialty food industry has increasingly changed to include higher percentages of Generation X and older millennials, Mintel's David Lockwood said at the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show. This change indicates that trends in the fancy food sphere will now be dictated by Gen X and millennials, as opposed to baby boomers.
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