Tag: Stores

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Checkout free stores head to college (and soon to you)

standard-cognition.jpg

Philip Pavliger

A couple years ago Amazon’s checkout-free Go store made worldwide headlines and ushered in a new shopping concept. Now, as was inevitable, there are signs that checkout-free technology is proliferating and will soon be a reality in a location near you.

The latest example comes to us by way of the University of Houston, where an on-campus convenience store will become the first retrofitted, completely touchless and cashierless retail experience.

The emphasis on the word retrofitted is important here. Amazon Go stores were build from the ground up to interact atop a touchless infrastructure. But for the concept to proliferate quickly, existing stores will need to be retrofitted with the same technologies without undergoing a major overhaul. Amazon is selling its Go technology to other retailers, but there are other companies competing in the same market. The company behind the University of Houston store, Standard, thinks that’s where it will carve out a major customer base for itself. 

“Market Next is the first retail store in the world to be retrofitted for a 100 percent cashierless, checkout-free experience,” said Jordan Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO of Standard. “Our platform is the only system on the market proven to retrofit an entire retail experience. Innovative retailers like Chartwells use the AI-powered Standard platform to enable shoppers to grab any product they want and simply walk out, without waiting in line. We are excited to partner with Chartwells to deliver this groundbreaking technology to more locations around the country.”

Standard was early out of the gate in the autonomous checkout space. It was the first to open a cashierless store in San Francisco and was named “One of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company. The company has raised $86M in funding.

The use of a college campus mirrors

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Tally The Cute Shelf-Scanning Robot Is Coming To More Grocery Stores

When you shop at a Schnucks grocery store, you may share the aisle with Tally the shelf-scanning robot. Made by Simbe Robotics, Tally is autonomous and scans shelves for inventory to make restocking easier. Schnucks is expanding its use of the robot to 62 locations, which will allow Tally to scan more than 4.2 million products every day.

“The real-time data Tally collects helps retailers like Schnucks ensure shelves are stocked, prices are correct, and the products customers are looking for are where they expect them to be. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tally has been crucial to Schnucks’ success. Tally has been able to keep track of inventory and replenishment, while simultaneously minimizing the amount of time workers need to spend in the aisles, keeping customers happy and workers safe,” Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics, said.

Tally removes the mundane, often-dreaded task of manual inventory checking. It frees up 30 to 100 hours per week for teams to put down their pens and clipboards and focus on more important jobs, such as helping customers and keeping the store clean.

By using Tally, Schnucks has seen a 20% reduction in items being out of stock, and the robot’s inventory counts are on average 14 times more accurate than manual audits. Over the next two years, Simbe plans to roll out an additional 1,000 Tally robots to the retail industry.

“Since Simbe’s founding, we have approached Tally’s design with thoughtfulness to foster positive, valuable human-robot interaction for both retailers and shoppers. Tally operates alongside customers during regular business hours, so we have designed the robot to be keenly aware of its surroundings – and gave it great manners – always giving people the right of way and

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple Stops Selling Bose, Sonos And Logitech Headphones In Its Retail Stores

KEY POINTS

  • Third-party products were taken off shelves in Apple stores
  • Apple had pulled Bowers & Wilkins, Band & Olufsen audio gear from its stores
  • Apple is expanding its audio strategy with new over-ear headphones

Ahead of new launches in its own audio category, Apple quietly removed headphones and other wireless speakers from third-party makers like Bose, Sonos and Logitech from its retail stores, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The iPhone maker has sold products of its rivals for a long time, but their audio gear was pulled from the website at the end of last month, the report said. Apple’s retail store employees were also asked to remove these products from the shelves.

Following this news, shares of Sonos fell as much as 7 percent in extended trading, and Bose and Logitech confirmed to Bloomberg that Apple will no longer sell their products. This move will be a big blow to Bose, as it depended on Apple to sell its products in shopping malls around the world. Logitech continues to sell other tech accessories in Apple stores, like keyboards and cameras.

Apple did not comment on this development.

The company pulled products of Bowers & Wilkins audio devices in 2016 and Band & Olufsen was taken off the shelves earlier this year.

This is not the first time that the company has rebuffed rivals’ products from its store. In 2014, it stopped selling Fitbit gear after announcing the launch of Apple Watch. Apple had stopped carrying Bose for a brief period in 2014 when the latter sued Beats, an Apple-owned company, for patent infringement.

The Verge reported that Apple may hold a hardware event later this month. The company has been working on over-ear headphones, including fitness-oriented models. The widely anticipated AirPods Pro and AirPods Studio headphones could have noise cancellation

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google delays mandating Play Store’s 30% cut in India to April 2022

Google is postponing the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India to April 2022, days after more than 150 startups in the world’s second largest internet market forged an informal coalition to express concerns over the 30% charge the Android-maker plans to mandate on its store and started to explore an alternative marketplace for their apps.

The company, which is going live globally with the new Play Store rule in September 2021, is deferring the enforcement of the policy only in India, it said. It is also listening to developers and willing to engage to allay their concerns, it said.

Last week, Google said it would no longer allow any apps to circumvent its payment system within the Play Store. The move, pitched by Google as a “clarification” of its existing policy, would allow the company to ensure it gets as high as a 30% cut on in-app purchases made through Android apps operating in a range of a categories.

Google’s announcement today is a direct response to the loudest scrutiny it has received in a decade in India — its biggest market by users but also a place where, compared to Western markets, it generates little revenue. More than 150 startups in India last week formed an informal coalition to fight the company’s strong hold on Indian app ecosystem. Google commands 99% of the smartphone market in India, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Among the startups that have expressed concerns over Google’s new policy are Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, payments processor Razorpay, fantasy sports firm Dream11, social network ShareChat, and business e-commerce IndiaMART.

More than 50 Indian executives relayed these concerns to India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over a video call on Saturday, according to three people who attended the call.

Several businesses

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Walmart to Redesign Stores to Better Integrate With App

Walmart  (WMT) – Get Report on Wednesday unveiled a new store redesign that works with its mobile app to help customers make contactless transactions.

“As part of the overall signage, the exterior and interior of the stores will reflect the Walmart app icon,” the Bentonville, Ark., company’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said in a blog post.

“As customers enter the store, they will see colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop.

“Throughout the store, bold, dimensional typeface … directs customers to the exact section they are looking for, while aisles are marked with letter and number combinations to guide customers from phone to product.”

The company said it tested the design in select stores — it didn’t say which — and was pleased with the customer feedback.

The new store design will roll out across Walmart’s 200 Supercenters by the end of this fiscal year and at nearly 1,000 store locations by the next fiscal year., the company said. 

“We were inspired by airport wayfinding systems as best-in-class examples of how to navigate large groups of people,” Whiteside said.

The retail chain’s revamped stores will also feature contactless checkout and payments with access to Walmart Pay, and Scan & Go, which will enable customers to use their mobile phones to scan items and pay.

The news comes a day after rival Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Report launched palm-scan signatures for payments at its stores.

Last week Walmart said it will hire 20,000 temporary workers to help with increased demand during the holiday season.

Walmart will use drones to deliver coronavirus diagnostic kits to customers’ residences, the company also said last week.

Walmart’s stock at last check was up by