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Alibaba, Tencent rally troops amid $10 billion retail battle

“Key to the battle is China’s nearly $13 trillion mobile payment market, where Alibaba and Tencent are going head-to-head” reports businessinsider.com. The result: fewer and fewer retailers left without allegiance to either Tencent of Alibaba.”I think for payment (the retail push) is a very critical part because it’s almost a gateway,” said Yu. Alibaba invested $486 million this month in a retail-focused big data firm, saying the deal meant it could better “help brick-and-mortar retailers succeed in the digital age.”. Alibaba is China’s top e-commerce player and its affiliate Ant…

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CommonSense Robotics, which develops AI and robotics tech to help online grocery retailers expedite delivery, raises $20M Series A led by Playground Global

“CommonSense Robotics, an Israel-based startup developing AI and robotics tech to help online grocery retailers speed up fulfilment and delivery, has raised $20 million in Series A funding” writes Steve O’hear for techcrunch.com. Using what it describes as advanced robotics and AI, CommonSense Robotics claims to enable retailers — even relatively small ones — to offer one hour, on-demand grocery deliveries to consumers “at a profitable margin”.It brings the company’s total funding to $26 million. ‘The funds will be used to scale up CommonSense Robotics’ facility deployment rate, develop their…

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U.S. retail sales slump in January, and December’s initial gain was erased

“Excluding autos, retail sales were flat last month, the government said” writes Jeffry Bartash for marketwatch.com. Market reaction: Investors saw weaker retail sales and higher inflation as reflected in the latest report on consumer prices as bad news.Still, retail sales are healthy despite the January decline. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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Walmart builds its own cloud to try and grab a bigger slice of online shopping from Amazon

“The retailer’s online sales have been on a tear for the last three consecutive quarters, far outpacing wider industry growth levels” writes Rick Wilking for cnbc.com. Walmart’s online revenue climbed 50 percent year-over-year during the third quarter, helping it post its strongest-ever quarterly growth since 2009.He said Walmart, for example, is using cloud data to stock items frequently ordered by customers via voice shopping devices such as Google Home.”It has made a big difference to how fast we can grow our e-commerce business,” said Tim Kimmet, head of cloud operations…

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After slow start, banks and retailers lead stocks higher

“Its stock fell $5.31, or 7.4 percent, to $66.87 and Patterson sank $2.03, or 6.2 percent, to $30.89” reports foxbusiness.com. U.S. stocks are turning higher Tuesday as banks, retailers and technology companies post gains.The stock rose 12 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $3.47.Stocks have been making big swerves higher and lower recently, but so far, this is the calmest day on the stock market in almost two weeks. Source: foxbusiness.com Share This:

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Retailers endure gloomy start to year as families rein in spending

“The report showed that household spending fell by 1.2pc compared to the year before” writes James Titcomb for telegraph.co.uk. The spending slump followed a sharp 4pc decline in high street shopping and a slowdown for online retailers to just 1.5pc above last year.Britons cut their January spending on consumer goods for the first time in five years as concerns about household finances and the wider economy in the year ahead begin to bite.Worried households squeezed their January spending for the first time since 2013, as the lure of the annual…

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Lululemon may eat the dust of other sports apparel retailers after management woes

“By the time Lululemon sorts out its management changes, it will have already lost its growth momentum, making it harder to compete with other brands, he said” writes Finanzen Net Gmbh for businessinsider.com. After the abrupt departure of Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin last Monday, the management changes will likely slow down the company’s growth trajectory and keep it from remaining above its rivals in the sports apparel space, one Wall Street analyst said.Potdevin’s exit marks the second time a high-level executive left the company in the past few months. Source: businessinsider.com Share…

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Why Amazon’s Grocery Store May Not Be the Future of Retail

“Amazon has already benefited from the industry buzz around its concept store, which could very well set customer expectations for the in-store experience of the future” reports hbr.org. Does Amazon Go signal that smartphone apps and virtual carts will replace checkouts in grocery stores?. Most retailers will likely find the initial costs too high and benefits too uncertain to immediately follow in Amazon’s footsteps.But other retailers will most likely find the initial costs too high and benefits too uncertain to immediately follow in Amazon’s footsteps. Source: hbr.org Share This:

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