Top Things You Missed IN Retail

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UK food retailer Co-operative Group (aka the Co-op) has implemented Algolia technology to help handle Covid-19 pandemic driven online demand.

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Digital signage producer Creative Realities and restaurant concept Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, have teamed up to launch the fast casual brand's digitized design-optimized menu board, according to a company press release.

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During the pandemic’s peak, Build-A-Bear Workshop successfully evolved its brick-and-mortar business to offer more flexible and efficient fulfillment services so it could capitalize on surging ecommerce demand. Over a four-week period, Build-A-Bear turned its store locations into micro-fulfillment centers so it could maintain store operations, keep associates working and create a bright spot for consumers navigating uncertainty and stress.

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Nissan Stadium in the US has announced that five Zippin powered checkout-free stores will launch in time for the Tennessee Titans pre-season this summer.

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Scribbler, a U.K. chain of greeting card stores, has teamed up with Fujifilm, a Tokyo based photography technology provider, to offer an instant greetings card kiosk that allows greetings cards to be printed on-demand.

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DoorDash confirmed that it is shutting down Chowbotics after acquiring the robotics company in Feb. 2021. Chowbotics, which is known for Sally the salad-making robot, will cease operations on Aug. 31, 2022, according to a statement released by DoorDash, and first reported on by food robotics substack, OttoMate.

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Tool and homeware supplier Helton Tool & Home has signed up with Brightpearl’s retail operating system as it looks to transform its multi-channel operations.

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Morrisons is adopting Worldline’s Lane/3000 PIN Pad as a core part of its in-store payment system.

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A new partnership by Pilot Co. will facilitate the creation of a coast-to-coast electric-vehicle charging network in perhaps one of the most ambitious undertakings by a single retailer. The Pilot Co. has partnered with automobile manufacturer General Motors and charging network EVgo to build out a network of 350-kilowatt EV chargers at many its travel-center locations across the United States.

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The beauty retailer is implementing the commercetools MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless) architecture as its next-generation commerce solution. Sephora is aiming to unify its in-store and online shopping experiences for customers, bolster omnichannel offerings, and increase personalization throughout its digital experiences.

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Emerging DTC brand Eco Pea Co. — which creates environmentally friendly bamboo diapers and wipes — has partnered with Radial to scale its fulfillment and transportation operations.

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Texas A&M Athletics, hospitality partner Levy, and Levy’s design studio, DBK Studio, are jointly equipping three food and beverage stores at the university’s football stadium, Kyle Field, with licensed Amazon “Just Walk Out” technology.

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The Walt Disney Company has announced the six companies that will be joining the 2022 Disney Accelerator.

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Givex Information Technology Group Ltd. is pleased to announce that GivexPOS, mobile app, gift card and loyalty client BarBurrito Restaurants Inc. has become the largest Mexican restaurant chain in Canada.

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Givex is very happy to announce the successful installation of its leading-edge restaurant technology platform in 40 Milestones restaurants Canada-wide. With this latest round of installations, Givex has implemented its end-to-end technology solution in more than a third of Foodtastic's 650 restaurants across 21 brands.

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International meal kit company HelloFresh has chosen Domo’s fully integrated cloud-native platform to power its growing HR operations with transparent and efficient access to business intelligence and analytics.

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Australian ski resort puts guests on the slope faster with Zebra's Rugged B10 Tablets. Challenge: To implement a durable and reliable solution that validates and manages the resort’s on –slope ticketing system, while withstanding freezing and wet conditions in an alpine environment.

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Aldi Nord will this week open an Aldi Shop & Go store in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

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Between staffing shortages, rising labor costs, supply chain disruptions, heightened compliance requirements and record-high inflation, food retailers are facing a myriad of market challenges with ripple effects that directly influence consumer behaviors. Maintaining brand loyalty, for example, has become a critical challenge across the industry. A recent Wall Street Journal report indicated that nearly 70% of U.S. shoppers said they’ve purchased a new or different brand since the onset of the pandemic. One spoiled product is all it takes for a food retail customer to switch to an industry competitor…for good.

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The 10,000 employees at Hooters and Hoots' Wings are now able to complete their open enrollment through the app, eliminating the prior cumbersome process of having a manager enter each employee’s information into the system one at a time.

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The world's largest home improvement retailer is tapping the Aruba Edge Services Platform, via Hewlett Packard Enterprise's GreenLake, for a full network refresh to enhance the customer and associate experience.

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The specialty apparel retailer is deploying the MakerSights collaborative assortment management solution, integrated with the PTC FlexPLM V12 product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, at its J. Crew and Madewell banners.

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Loblaw Cos. Ltd., with more than 2,500 stores across Canada and 2021 total sales of CAD $52.3 billion (all monetary values in this article are in Canadian dollars), has completed several successful reinventions in its 103-year history, through even the rockiest financial times. You would think that with inflation in Canada at a historic rate of 7.7%, the grocer, a private label pioneer, would be laser-focused on expanding its store brands now that consumers are switching away from national brands to save money.

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A leading North American specialty arts & crafts retailer is successfully reactivating customer email addresses for marketing purposes.

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A global specialty apparel/accessories retailer is using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate Canadian customer service interactions in English and French.

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Circle K, a gas and convenience store chain in Norway, will upgrade to digital menu boards, provided by Visual Art, at all its 86 stations.

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Co-op and Starship Technologies have partnered with North Northamptonshire Council to roll-out autonomous grocery delivery to residents across Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden in Northamptonshire.

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Foxwoods will be using SevenRooms technology and tablets to further optimize table management at both restaurants. The remodeled Golden Dragon restaurant will open this winter and will use an updated POS and table management.

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Flooid (formerly PCMS Group), agreed with the retailer in 2007 to supply software to run PoS and self-checkouts across the M&S store estate, and will now extend this to include access to its unified commerce basket services platform, which enables retailers to build omnichannel experiences in house or with other partners.

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Waitrose has more than doubled its range on Deliveroo with over 2,000 lines now available.

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99 Cents Only Stores is launching a new app to enable connected in-store shopping experiences with multi-language capabilities at all 382 locations in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. The app, which was created in partnership with Swiftly, aims to provide customers with enhanced mobile shopping experiences and generate new advertising revenue for the retailer.

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Innovation continues to be a key aspect of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s DNA. An early leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging in Europe, the company's EV network on that continent consisted of more than 1,100 charging units at the end of the fourth quarter of Couche-Tard's 2022 fiscal year — an 11-percent increase from the prior quarter. The units cover more than 250 stations primarily in Scandinavia countries.

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Parkland USA is enhancing its employee training process, better preparing them to for a successful career with the company, which is in a long-term growth phase. The company partnered with Ready Training Inc. (RTO), a full-service provider of online training solutions, to provide training content services to Parkland's retail locations throughout the United States.

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Wings and Rings , a club-level sports restaurant chain serving signature wings and other chef-inspired menu items, has begun a piloted test of Flippy 2 in its Crestview Hills, Kentucky location. Built on the Miso Platform, Flippy 2 leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision and data analytics to maximize efficiency in the commercial kitchen.

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Wow Bao, a fast casual concept based in Chicago that has offered self-serve kiosks since 2009, will deploy Automated Retail Technologies' Just Baked Hot Food kiosks, according to a press release.

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Yesway has selected GSP for retail marketing services, including store profile management and point-of-purchase (POP) design and production services, for 408 Yesway and Allsup’s convenience stores in nine states.

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Cincinnati-based Kroger said Wednesday that it has piloted the Boost subscription in four divisions and seen a rising number of new members and a “significant increase” in delivery sales versus non-Boost divisions, leading the company to launch the program nationally.

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Workforce scheduling company, Rotageek, has added Lakeland, a chain of British kitchenware stores in the United Kingdom, to its client list.

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With NetSuite in place, FishUSA was able to unify its operations, including accounting, financials, inventory management, CRM, and ecommerce business system. As a result, NetSuite has provided FishUSA with the visibility and control needed to manage its expanding operations and gain a clear and real-time view into its financial health.

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After evaluating several systems including Microsoft Dynamics and Epicor, Big Ray’s selected Oracle NetSuite. With NetSuite, Big Ray’s will be able to manage its financials, inventory and order management, point-of-sale, and ecommerce processes on a single system.

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Toonstar has become the official Web3 partner for Hot Topic. It will be the US retailer’s preferred Web3 provider to produce NFTs and other digital activations for both original projects and Hot Topic developed IP.

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The Kroger Co. has opened another in-store “restaurant hub” with partner Kitchen United MIX. Located at 5665 East Mockingbird La. in Dallas, the so-called “virtual food court” allows customers to place orders online, through a mobile device or via an in-person ordering kiosk using Kitchen United’s MIX platform and then pick up their meals on-site or have them delivered.

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Blendid, a robotic foodservice solutions provider, and Jamba, a provider of on-the-go freshly blended fruit and vegetable smoothies, made-to-order bowls, fresh-squeezed juices and shots, boosts and bites, have announced plans to expand Jamba by Blendid autonomous robotic kiosk locations to Love's Travel Stops.

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Moxy Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, announced today the launch of the "Moxy Universe, Play Beyond" augmented reality experience in Asia Pacific. Designed for the young-at-heart, Moxy boldly breaks the rules of a conventional hotel stay, bringing its "Play On" experiences from the hotel to the virtual world through the Moxy Universe.

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Sam's Club has joined Unlock Potential,a hiring program designed to provide real career opportunities for young people at the greatest risk of incarceration. Funded by Walmart through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity, the program works with companies to use employment to promote racial equity, disrupt the prison pipeline and inclusively create the next generation of business leaders.

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RangeMe, a subsidiary of Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM), said Tuesday that Save A Lot will have access to more than 200,000 suppliers, with the end goal of sourcing novel private- and national-brand products, increasing selection and providing continued value for its consumers.

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Buy now pay later firm Afterpay has announced a partnership with beauty retailer Sephora, enabling US customers to pay both online and in-store in four instalments.

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As it builds out its digital space, Vallarta Supermarkets is implementing a new platform for e-commerce and picking. The West Coast retailer has tapped Stor.ai to provide solutions for online shopping, delivery and fulfillment.

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On Thursday, July 21, Walmart and drone operator DroneUp are formally kicking off their delivery partnership in a public event hosted at a Walmart store in Arkansas. This showcase will serve as an open house to formally launch DroneUp's flight services such as inspection, mapping and aerial imaging in the Northwest Arkansas market. The event will highlight all three hub locations operating from Walmart's store with drone demos.

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