Sam's Club has rolled out a new virtual experience for the holidays -- an online recreation of Clark Griswold's house from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" -- that allows shoppers to browse and buy gifts, holiday decorations and other items. Customers can choose from two different experiences, and both include interactive sections and movie trivia.
Google is reportedly testing a Nest Hub feature, code-named Blue Steel, that would trigger Assistant when users are near, removing the need to use a vocal wake word. The feature is thought to rely on ultrasound sensing or facial recognition, both of which the user can disable.
H.E. Butt Grocery will give all of its full- and part-time workers a $500 bonus in advance of the holiday season to show appreciation for their work during the pandemic. The extra pay will also go to employees at Mi Tienda, Central Market, Joe V's and Favor, as the grocer acknowledges the performance of front-line workers who "have confronted each obstacle with grace, compassion, strength and resilience."
Sam's Club will soon deploy a fleet of 372 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in most of its 600 US stores, and the retailer also announced an expansion of a shelf analytics pilot program that uses an accessory to the cleaning robot. The machines feature an add-on that employs a cloud-based program to better analyze inventory and verify pricing accuracy, among other functions.
After meeting seven key guidelines aimed at expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, Meijer has been named a Gold Level winner of the 2020 Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards, presented by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. The grocer has been recognized every year since the award was created in 2014, and Meijer Vice President Tim Williams says the honor acknowledges "one of our core values of treating all people with dignity and respect."
Target won't open its doors early on Black Friday or offer traditional doorbuster deals, to limit crowds because of the coronavirus crisis. Stores will open at 7 a.m., employees will limit the number of in-store shoppers, and customers will be able to check line status and reserve a spot remotely.
With an eye toward continuing to push the boundaries of plant-based food alternatives, Impossible Foods said it will double the size of its research and development team within the next year. The company plans to dedicate a large chunk of the $700 million it raised this year to the effort, which will result in 50 positions for scientists, engineers and others involved in R&D work.
Hive, a new online marketplace, will focus on selling curated, value-driven grocery brands that feature low-impact ingredients and share its dedication to sustainability. The site uses the "Hive Five" standards, which include environmentally friendly packaging and low carbon footprints, to select products and save shoppers money and time they may have spent vetting and researching purchases.
Garmin's Instinct Esports Edition is a smartwatch that allows gamers to sync their biometric data with their livestreams. The heart rate and stress data, which can be displayed onscreen and can trigger sounds and images, could provide useful performance feedback, Garmin says.
Tesla reported a profit for the fifth consecutive quarter on Wednesday even as it spent 33% more on operating expenses compared with a year earlier. This week, some Tesla customers received a beta version of the company's autonomous driving software.
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