Saks Fifth Avenue has teamed with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on a holiday window extravaganza that will feature a 10-story light show and a digital display starring 124 dancers from Broadway. Bloomingdale's flagship will promote the new movie "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" with interactive window displays wishing passersby "Happy Who-Lidays."
Facebook's new Portal is limited by its software, but the company is looking to competitors such as Amazon's Alexa to improve its functionality. The company also added Google's YouTube to the app platform, which gives the device greater function when showing videos.
Schnuck Markets will be the first traditional grocer in the St. Louis market to offer curbside pickup via Instacart, beginning with four stores and expanding the service early next year. Schnucks already offers home delivery via Instacart in its markets across the Midwest.
Kroger is working with Cincinnati's chamber of commerce to attract tech talent to the city. The company is helping establish a website, CincyisIT.com, to promote the region, with career fairs and national conferences also being used to lure talent to the area.
Campbell Soup has issued materials indicating that it is seeking buyers for its Australian Arnott's biscuit and Kelsen snack brands. The move follows the company's announcement that it would be divesting its fresh food and international units.
Consumers' growing demand for gadgets has put pressure on the traditional toy industry, and retailers including Target, Walmart and Kohl's are rethinking their toy strategies to compete for former Toys R Us customers. Retailers are creating spaces for experiential play, keeping less inventory on hand and forging exclusive deals with toy brands, Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali said.
Microsoft is acquiring inXile Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment in an effort to offer more Xbox-exclusive content. InXile specializes in role-playing games such as "Wasteland 2," while Obsidian offers several popular options, including "Fallout: New Vegas," "South Park: The Stick of Truth" and the "Pillars of Eternity" series.
Companies such as Samsung and Skydance see a lot of long-term potential in the virtual reality market, and both are working on ways to benefit from it. Farshid "Farsh" Fallah of Samsung notes that technology advances will improve sales in this category, saying, "Soon VR and AR will merge together, too, which will make it even better. At some point they got separated because of hardware realities. Those hardware realities are going away."
Private brands have shown strong growth across retail venues, growing four times faster than national brands so far this year, according to market researcher IRI. Club retailers led the pack with a 5.9% increase in spend per buyer, while grocery has been one of the lagging categories in sales growth of private labels, according to the report.
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