Best Buy is launching a Geek Squad service that covers all appliances and tech products in a new program called Total Tech Support. Customers will pay $200 annually for unlimited online and phone support, some in-store services and discounts on in-home services such as setting up smart home devices.
Amazon took a big step toward expanding its overall retail market share with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, which expanded its ability to reach grocery shoppers on a weekly basis. "Food is the platform for selling you everything else," said Walter Robb, Whole Foods' former co-CEO.
Downtown Dallas retailer Forty Five Ten is redeveloping its first floor and adding space for its sibling concept Tenoversix. Both upscale retailers are owned by Headington Cos., which has been spearheading a downtown revitalization for the past decade.
Facial recognition systems that can recognize past shoplifters have vastly improved over the past few years and can now do their job in a matter of a second, FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp said. Technology is playing a bigger role in combating customer and employee theft, which cost retailers $48.9 billion in 2016, according to NRF data.
Cable provider Comcast has moved into retail with new stores in five cities that feature spaces where customers can try out products including video players and smart home gadgets, and it expects to launch at least 50 more this year. "We're opening...next to the Apples and Sephoras and Ultas," said Tom DeVito, Comcast's senior vice president of retail sales and service.
Tokyo-based discount retailer Bic Camera, which sells electronics, liquor, makeup and other goods, has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists visiting Japan. The retailer accepts a variety of payment methods including Bitcoin, Alipay and WeChat, and it gives international shoppers the option of reserving goods online.
Flipkart will expand its Perfect Homes private-label home furnishings line over the coming months and expects the line to account for nearly half its furniture sales by March 2019. The Indian online retailer launched the Perfect Homes brand last year.
The data is in on how retailers are responding to customer demands and where they plan to invest. For one, more brands plan to open stores versus close them this year. Forrester Research's Sucharita Kodali joins the Retail Gets Real podcast to discuss findings from the 2018 NRF-Forrester Research report State of Retailing Online. Listen to the episode.
The key strength of Industry 4.0 technology is its ability to identify and solve the roots of problems, writes Rafael Amaral, a principal consultant at Nukon. To develop a clear picture for Industry 4.0, he writes, companies should use current-state and value-driver assessments.
Lockheed Martin, Mechdyne and Delta Sigma are among companies successfully using augmented reality in manufacturing applications. Delta Sigma has seen a reduction of 92% in rework costs, as well as reduced standard deviation and quality.
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