Amazon is planning to grow its Go concept to the supermarket space with new stores separate from Whole Foods Market. The company is also hoping to license its technology to airport stores and kiosks, baseball stadium retail spots and movie theaters.
Some consumer packaged goods companies are abandoning validation research -- such as lengthy market studies, focus groups and product testing -- for an agile approach driven by consumer-behavior data, Christopher Doering writes. The approach has jump-started sales for Conagra's Healthy Choice brand and allowed Ferrara Candy to cost-effectively launch products faster while Mars Wrigley prefers leveraging traditional research with digital tools.
UK department store John Lewis is teaming with supermarket chain Waitrose to create a new store format that will have experts on staff in areas including beauty, cooking, fashion and gardening. The store in Southampton, England, will boast a Waitrose Cookery School, a rooftop garden and "experience playgrounds" on each floor.
Michigan's only Crate & Barrel store plans to move after the holidays from the Somerset Collection shopping center in Troy to the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. The new space offers 27,300 square feet.
The world of cooking classes is being expanded with the Food Network Kitchen app, which gives budding chefs access to 500 beginner cooking classes via Amazon, iOS and Android devices. Users can prompt Alexa for ingredients and recipes without touching device screens.
Google has expanded its Assistant features to enable users to purchase movie tickets on their smartphones via a voice prompt. The feature is not yet available on smart home devices.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society's Project Understood wants to expand the speech patterns smart devices recognize so people with Down syndrome can use the platforms without issue. The project, a partnership with Google, involves having those with Down syndrome record and submit phrases, which will eventually help algorithms analyze the spoken patterns more accurately.
Amazon's shipping ambitions are getting bolder, with executive Jeff Wilke saying 30-minute deliveries will be possible for Prime members in certain areas once the company deploys a full drone fleet. Amazon is already testing self-driving vehicles and sidewalk robots as it works to shave off delivery time.
The nation's largest Asian grocer, 99 Ranch Market, is venturing into New England with a store in Quincy, Mass. The California-based retailer has 52 locations, with five on the East Coast after the Massachusetts store opens early next year.
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