Industry News
Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/15/2021

Walmart has pulled together a collection of kitchen storage solutions, including a space-saving oak shelf for over the kitchen sink; Estilo's eight-piece glass set for storing grains and spices; and stacking baskets from Better Homes & Gardens.

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Apartment Therapy
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Better Homes & Gardens, Walmart
1/15/2021

The Federal Reserve reported a 1.6% rise in industrial production for December, while manufacturing increased for the eight consecutive month with a gain of 0.9%. Industry operating capacity in December remained below pre-pandemic levels.

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The Associated Press
1/15/2021

Robotic blacksmithing could portend a future in which machines squeeze and bend metal in automated processes that benefit industries such as automotive and aircraft, as well as when companies need speedy production of large parts, says Glenn Daehn, professor of metallurgical engineering at Ohio State University. ""We envision a future that moves from closed die forging to robotically controlled open die forging that uses simple tools incrementally," Daehn says.

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SME
1/14/2021

Kroger has been testing the new KroGO smart cart in a Cincinnati-area store since last fall, the company reports. The cart, powered by tech firm Caper, will be rolled out to more stores based on insights from employees and customers, according to a company spokesperson.

1/14/2021

The Fresh Market is launching a new curbside pickup program at all 159 of its stores in an initiative called the "Friendliest Curbside Experience in America." The effort features designated personal shoppers, orders verified with the store manager's signature, a satisfaction guarantee and some surprises, such as using a costumed Santa Claus to bring orders out to customers during the recent holiday season.

1/14/2021

As e-commerce demand continues its explosive growth, it is vital for retailers to look closely at their digital capabilities and find the right methods for fulfilling online orders, says Jordan Berke, who helped Walmart build its e-commerce program in China. Berke outlines six approaches that can work based on the size of typical orders, including in-store picking to handle less than 50 orders a day and automated dark stores that can fill more than 1,000 orders each day.

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Grocery Dive
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Walmart
1/14/2021

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon sat down with Consumer Technology Association Vice President Tiffany Moore for a virtual Q&A at CES 2021, opening up about the cultural values of his organization on issues such as diversity and equality, sustainability efforts and consumer data privacy. McMillon also shared how the company has been "looking in the mirror, learning" to lead on promotions, compensation and diversity progress.

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ZDNet
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Walmart
1/14/2021

Apple, as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, will open an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit in conjunction with Michigan State University. Apple will also help launch Atlanta's Propel Center, a tech hub, in conjunction with four Historically Black Colleges and Universities; the center's courses will focus on technology, business and entertainment.

1/14/2021

United Natural Foods CEO Steve Spinner says the food distributor is well-positioned to boost its share in the wholesale market by cross-selling, offering private brands and running e-commerce operations for retailers, among other efforts. Spinner, who retires in July, also told investors at the recent ICR Conference that "[w]e are transforming the way in which food gets from its point of manufacture and, ultimately, to the retailers."

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Steve Spinner, UNFI
1/14/2021

Growing worldwide demand, particularly from China, is helping set new benchmarks for pork and beef exports from the US, according to data from the US Meat Export Federation. While figures for December still pending, export volume and value for pork surpassed previous 12-month records, with beef exports also notching new gains, and experts believe the trends will continue this year.

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US Meat Export Federation