5G has arrived, but before upgrading, consumers should be aware of the tiers of frequencies being deployed by the four major carriers, writes Rob Pegoraro. He details what each carrier offers, and he explains the differences between millimeter-wave frequencies, which deliver fast speeds but with a limited radius; midband 5G, which offers more radius at a slower speed; and 5G, which operates on the same frequencies as 4G.
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Kroger are hoping to cut costs in their supply chains with the launch of the Retail Procurement Alliance. The companies aim to open the group purchasing effort to other retailers, and Kroger and Walgreens will also explore opportunities for manufacturing goods for each other.
Target's Good & Gather private-label food brand launched in September and will expand to more categories next year as the retailer phases out its Archer Farms brand. Food and beverage generates about 20% of Target's total sales and Good & Gather has the potential to become the retailer's biggest private-label line, CEO Brian Cornell said.
General Mills is supplementing the iconic shape of original and Honey Nut Cheerios for the first time in decades with hearts for a limited time. A promotional campaign for heart health will accompany the shape change which launches nationwide in January, raising awareness leading to Heart Health Month in February.
Sur La Table wants customers to have more time to use the kitchenware they buy, so the company has teamed up with Shipt for home delivery of products in as little as one hour. The service is available in 62 metro areas, just in time for planning holiday meals.
From extraordinarily adorable food puzzles from Areaware to Z Wraps' beeswax food-saver wraps, Sara Kennedy has tracked down some inventive kitchen-related items that would make great creative gifts for home chefs or holiday party hosts.
Richard Shapiro predicts the top trends for 2020 in customer experience will include an "explosion of connectivity" for more customer experience opportunities, curating and working with "super fans," a decentralized customer experience operation and Social Media 2.0, among other trends. "As consumers increase their use of social media, brands must keep up by adding new support channels and continually refining how they use established tools," he writes.
Fresh food sales are being driven by an increase in private-label sales, craft-quality items and boosted plant-based purchases by flexitarians, according to a Daymon report. Retailers have the opportunity to educate shoppers about plant-based items and create unique in-store destinations for signature offerings.
ConnectSense is getting smarter with its In-Wall Outlet, which allows users to control devices plugged into it via Apple's HomeKit or any of the three main smart assistants -- Google, Siri and Alexa. The device also helps users assess energy efficiency by providing voltage readings through the ConnectSense app.
Facebook is getting in on the hype for "The Rise of Skywalker" by allowing fans to create "Star Wars"-themed AR effects and send them via Messenger to contacts. The limited-edition feature can be used to create posts and share them via Facebook Stories or Instagram.
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