Stores Weekly
First Edition

The links in this week’s issue go to STORES Magazine’s new online home, STORES.org.

Retail is only in the early stages of virtual reality, but widespread adoption could be here within a decade. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay told attendees at NRF’s annual convention and expo that virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence have the potential to bring about “dramatic changes in the customer experience.”

Connected to a store’s internal system, Theatro’s hands-free device allows employees to conduct inventory or price checks with a simple voice command. Managers can also leave messages for associates.

   
CAYAN
      
MaxPoint
   
Trends

Tesco is testing a “relaxed” checkout lane at a northern Scotland store, promoting the service to older customers, particularly those with dementia who may need a little more time to find their cash or close out the sale.

There’s no need to drag a wheeled shopping cart when Gita can roll behind; the concept, from the company behind classic scooter Vespa, trails users holding cargo, and is being tested in business environments before consumer applications.

The digital edition of STORES’ April 2017 issue is now available! The magazine is packed with must-read pieces including the articles featured here.

NRF News

Americans expect to spend more than ever on Mother’s Day this year as they shower moms with everything from jewelry to special outings at favorite restaurants, according to NRF’s annual survey. Total spending is expected to reach $23.6 billion — the highest in the survey’s 14-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $21.4 billion.

Demand for highly skilled tech workers continues to climb to new heights and it’s not just in Silicon Valley. While these experts traditionally flock to startups or tech giants, NRF’s Ellen Davis says the retail industry has emerged as a “key competitor in the battle for this talent.”

Retailers and big banks are lining up for the beginning of a showdown on Capitol Hill this week as the House holds a hearing on legislation that would repeal debit card swipe fee reform. The legislation at hand has saved merchants and their customers more than $40 billion over the past five years.

   
Naylor Association Solutions
      
Naylor Association Solutions
   
Retail Deals

Park City Group’s ReposiTrak Inc., a provider of compliance management and track and trace solutions for food, pharma and dietary supplement safety, announced that Oregon-based Umpqua Dairy is adopting ReposiTrak’s Compliance Management System to manage records from their upstream suppliers.

 

Silipos, the global leader in gel technology, announced a new partnership with the Running Room, Canada’s largest running and walking retailer with 117 stores.

 

Aditya Birla Online Fashion, a leading online retailer, is tapping IBM to create a new, personalized online shopping experience powered by IBM Watson's Natural Language Classifier and Retrieve and Rank, deployed on the cloud.

 

Dunkin’ Donuts is now the official hot coffee onboard all Amtrak Acela trains — making the coffee brand available to the 3.4 million customers who ride Acela trains each year.

 

Global Brands Group Holding Ltd., a leading branded apparel, footwear, fashion accessories company, announced a multi-year licensing agreement with outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland, covering men’s and women’s socks, soft accessories and cold weather accessories.

 

Ferguson & Hassler, an independent family-owned supermarket, has partnered with Rosie to launch Fergie’s Online Curbside Express, their online grocery store.

 

Certona, a leader in real-time omnichannel personalization for the world’s largest brands and retailers, today announced it has partnered with Tailored Brands Inc. to enhance the customer experience across two of their main websites, Josbank.com and Menswearhouse.com.

 

Amazon Web Services Inc., an Amazon.com company, announced that Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., has selected AWS as its cloud infrastructure provider.