Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/23/2019

Bose has unveiled the Home Speaker 300, a 2-pound smart speaker with 360-degree sound and powerful bass but lacking the album artwork the Home Speaker 500 displays while music is playing, writes Jessica Guyon. The Home Speaker 300 can connect to Bose's other smart speakers and sound bars, as well as Google Assistant.

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Dealerscope
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Bose, Google
5/23/2019

LG's 2019 TVs in North America will be updated this month to include built-in Alexa voice commands for the first time. Previously, an external Alexa smart speaker was needed to control a TV using Amazon's virtual assistant.

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The Verge
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Alexa, LG, Amazon
5/23/2019

Google Duplex complicates its use of artificial intelligence in booking restaurant reservations by sometimes using a human voice and other times using a robot voice, write Brian Chen and Cade Metz. They write that the Duplex mixing of voices makes it difficult to decipher the real from the fake, from fraudulent reviews and online misinformation to bots posing as people.

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Google, Cade Metz, Brian Chen
5/23/2019

Future has launched; the $150-a-month app uses an Apple Watch to track the user's physical activity and assigns a human trainer to communicate with. The app has a one-month money-back guarantee, and in beta tests, 95% of users have remained with it for three months, with 85% sticking around for six months.

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TechCrunch
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Apple
5/23/2019

Kroger is teaming up with Growing America's Farmers to make college scholarships available through Future Farmers of America. A portion of sales of GR Farms' Vidalia onions in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina will go toward the scholarships.

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AndNowUKnow
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Kroger, FFA
5/23/2019

Ahold Delhaize's Netherlands banner Albert Heijn is piloting an artificial intelligence-powered platform that automatically adjusts chicken and fish prices to reduce waste. Prices go down as a product's sell-by date approaches and are affected by factors like location, weather conditions, in-store stock and historical sales performance.

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Albert Heijn, Ahold Delhaize
5/23/2019

Bowl meals are all the rage, and Presto's countertop Belgian Waffle Bowl Maker allows the vessel to be part of the meal. While using pancake batter or hash browns can yield an edible, bowl-shaped vessel in fewer than five minutes, consumers also can experiment with biscuit mix, cookie dough and more.

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Fatherly
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Presto
5/23/2019

Finding efficient ways to sharpen knives at home can save time and money and make products last longer. The compact, customizable Work Sharp Culinary E5 electric knife sharpener has an integrated timer, can use belts of varying coarseness and offers an upgrade kit for more seasoned home cooks.

5/23/2019

Target reported its eighth straight quarter of same-store sales growth, fueled by private-label growth in categories including beauty, baby and essentials. The retailer has added about 40 new brands recently, including natural cleaning line Everspring and clean beauty brand Versed.

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Everspring
5/23/2019

Brazil-based Body Shop owner Natura Cosmeticos will acquire Avon Products in a $2 billion stock deal set to close next year. The combined company would operate in 100 countries with 3,200 stores and upwards of 6 million direct sales representatives.