Robotics, drones and artificial intelligence technology are dramatically reshaping e-commerce fulfillment and delivery. At Amazon's fulfillment centers, data-driven robots do a significant share of the work as the company continues to build a physical version of the cloud.
Startup Runerra is one of five graduates of the Target+Techstars Retail Accelerator that will get to test their technology in Target stores. The Runerra app lets users earn a fee for picking up and delivering orders for their neighbors in dorms or other community buildings.
IKEA has opened a small-format urban store in London dubbed the Planning Studio that will focus on bedroom storage and kitchens. The new concept store will offer shoppers advice from staffers on home project planning.
Walmart has acquired online lingerie and swimsuit retailer Bare Necessities for an undisclosed amount. It's Walmart's latest acquisition aimed at expanding digital sales and appealing to younger and wealthier shoppers.
Online sales of large appliances in India are on track to hit $1 billion this year, according to RedSeer Consulting. Sales doubled to $900 million from 2015 to 2017, as e-commerce leaders Flipkart and Amazon India created warehouses specifically for washers, TVs and other big-ticket items.
Iowa-based department store chain Von Maur opened its second Twin Cities store at the Rosedale Center in Roseville, Minn., as part of the mall's nearly $80 million redevelopment. Family-owned Von Maur is in slow, steady growth mode, adding one or two full-line stores a year, and up to 10 locations of Dry Goods, its women's specialty concept, President Jim von Maur said.
Gap will implement payment technology from Adyen at 150 namesake and Banana Republic stores in France, Ireland, Italy and the UK. The platform will eliminate the need to work with legacy payment systems and help Gap personalize service by bringing together online and in-store customer data, the tech vendor said.
Luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has appointed Sophie Brocart to lead a revival of the Jean Patou fashion label, along with creative director Guillaume Henry. Brocart has served as the head of LVMH's Nicholas Kirkwood footwear brand since 2015.
Fashion retailer Kering and department store Galeries Lafayette, both based in Paris, are part of accelerator programs designed to nurture innovative startups. "Innovation is truly central for us -- in terms of sustainable development -- it's at the center of our strategy," said Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering's chief sustainability officer.
British retailer Boux Avenue has hired former Marks & Spencer executive Michael Kerr as the company's first CEO. Boux Avenue, which has grown to 30 locations in the UK, has acquired a distribution centre and warehouse in preparation for continued growth in stores and online, Boux owner Theo Paphitis said.
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