Four trends driving high tech manufacturers to collaborate with non-high tech companies

July 27, 2017 Leave a comment
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July 27, 2017 Leave a comment


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July 27, 2017

Today’s Rundown

  1. Retail jobs at risk in the face of automation
  2. Video ad watching up 19%
  3. Retail Roundup—Raley’s adds health positions; Abercrombie sells on Tmall

Featured Story

Retail jobs at risk in the face of automation

Nearly 16 million people work in retail in the U.S., and it’s estimated that almost half could lose their jobs to robots over the next decade. A new study shows that 7.5 million retail jobs are expected to be automated in the next 10 years, with cashiers most likely to be affected.

Top Stories

Video ad watching up 19%

Consumers’ response to video advertising is on the rise and was up 19% in the latest quarter, according to a new second-quarter benchmark report from Extreme Reach.

Retail Roundup—Raley’s adds health positions; Abercrombie sells on Tmall

Raley’s Supermarket focuses on wellness, Abercrombie & Fitch adds more brands on China’s Tmall site, an activist investor sells its stake in Whole Foods, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.


[eBook] Creating a Unified, Personalized Shopping Experience with Live Data

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Holiday Email Marketing Guide: How Day of the Week and Offer Type Impact Email Performance

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment


The holiday season is often the busiest and most lucrative time of the year for many brands. In 2016, holiday sales increased
by 4 percent over 2015, generating revenue of $658.3 billion.1

In addition, online sales increased by 12.6% year-over-year which
shows that holiday shopping is transforming with the shift to ecommerce. To help brands capitalize on trends as they plan
their 2017 holiday email marketing initiatives, Yes Lifecycle Marketing analyzed almost 8 billion emails sent in Q4 2016 via its Yesmail360 platform. Our analysis uncovered insights spanning email engagement and conversion rates and identified key
takeaways that can help brands drive sales during the 2017 holiday season.

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July 25, 2017 Leave a comment


The New York Times
The New York Times

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Your Tuesday Evening Briefing
Good evening. Here’s the latest.
Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency
1. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote that allowed the Senate to begin debate on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Senator John McCain, above, made a dramatic return to Washington, casting a crucial vote despite his diagnosis of brain cancer.
In a speech afterward, he said even though he voted today to debate the bill, he would not support the current version without major changes and cautioned his colleagues to ignore “bombastic” pundits. Here’s how each senator voted.
Tom Brenner/The New York Times
2. At the White House, President Trump met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon. But attention was focused, not surprisingly, on Mr. Trump’s attacks on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Watch Mr. Trump’s news conference.
Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met with investigators from the Senate Intelligence Committee. And the Senate Judiciary committee issued a subpoena for him to appear at a hearing on Wednesday.
We scoured the internet for the best political writing from the right and left on Mr. Sessions, Jared Kushner and other names in the news this week.
Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
3. There was an uproar over President Trump’s speech on Monday night at the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in West Virginia.
The quadrennial event, above, attracts tens of thousands of people, and very often, presidents, who usually speak about service, values and citizenship. But Mr. Trump used the speech to rail against “fake news” and recount his election victory.
Scouting offices were besieged with phone calls and some alumni were warning they would withhold support from the group, though others said they liked the speech. The Scouts issued a statement that the group was “wholly nonpartisan.”
Ryan David Brown for The New York Times
4. Ryan Zinke, the enthusiastic new interior secretary, above center, has been traveling across millions of acres of national parks and wilderness since his appointment. “No one loves public lands more than I do,” he says.
Back at Interior Department headquarters, political appointees with ties to the oil and gas industry are rolling up their sleeves. They’re working quickly to roll back the conservation efforts put in effect by the Obama administration.
We took a look at what they’ve done so far, and what’s coming next.
Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times
5. As the government has increased security on the Mexican border, drug cartels have been forced to get creative.
We took a look at the surprising ways smugglers try to get contraband into the U.S. About two million pounds of illegal drugs were seized at the border last year.
Drugs were hidden in vehicles, tucked inside limes and watermelons, carried through tunnels, stashed on trucks and speedboats, and even catapulted across the border. This video shows the weirdest places contraband was found. Above, a Customs and Border Protection agent searched a vehicle.
6. A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players — and all but one were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.
C.T.E. causes myriad symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, depression and dementia. The problems can arise years after the blows to the head have stopped. The brains were from players of all ages and all positions on the field.
“It is no longer debatable whether or not there is a problem in football — there is a problem,” said the pathologist, Dr. Ann McKee, whose findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
James Brooks/Associated Press
7. Employees at a Wisconsin technology company are volunteering to have microchips implanted in their hands to make unlocking doors and paying for food easier.
The program — a partnership between the firm, Three Square Market, and the Swedish company Biohax International — is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S.
It raises a variety of questions, both privacy- and health-related, but that didn’t seem to dampen the employees’ enthusiasm. “I like to jump on the bandwagon with these kind of things early,” one engineer explained.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
8. The high-end fashion company Michael Kors is buying the shoe brand Jimmy Choo for about $1.2 billion.
Jimmy Choo could give Michael Kors — once the runaway leader of the “accessible luxury market” that has been vulnerable to declining sales — a new avenue for growth with its upmarket aura.
In other business news, the ride-sharing service Lyft is rolling out a “Taco Mode” that will allow you to add a stop at Taco Bell between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. They call it “experience innovation.”
Whitten Sabbatini for The New York Times
9. We finally got around to attending the Procrastination Research Conference in Chicago. (O.K., and we published this a few days ago, but it’s still plenty relevant.)
Our reporter said the most interesting fact she learned was that only 20 percent of people are true procrastinators — and that’s a number that holds steady around the world.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t fight the urge. We asked readers for tips on how to beat procrastination, and compiled our own findings here.
Comedy Central
10. Finally, the late-night hosts were forced to bid farewell to one of their favorite punch lines: Sean Spicer, who resigned as White House press secretary on Friday.
“He wanted to spend more time not answering his family’s questions,” Stephen Colbert quipped. Also worth a watch: “The Daily Show” compiled some of their favorite moments from his press briefings, while “The Tonight Show” had him singing “I Will Survive.”
Have a great night.
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Sensing Weakness, Uber’s Asian Rivals Make $2.5 Billion Play

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

JULY 24, 2017

The ride-hailing company Grab is competing with Uber for dominance in Southeast Asia. CreditEdgar Su/Reuters

HONG KONG — In East Asia, Uber’s biggest rivals smell blood.

Grab, the Singapore-based ride-sharing company competing with Uber for dominance in Southeast Asia, said on Monday that it expected to raise $2.5 billion in a new fund-raising round, in part with the help of the onetime major Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, which outmaneuvered its American rival in China.

The round will include a combined $2 billion from Didi and the Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank that would value Grab at more than $6 billion, according to a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to speak on the record.

In laying down such a big pile of cash, Didi and SoftBank are betting that they can repeat what they pulled off in China, where Uber ultimately sold its operations to Didi in exchange for a 17 percent equity stake. More recently, Uber made a similar move in Russia, forming a partnership with Yandex.Taxi to cut down on competition there.

With a big, young, tech-savvy population, Southeast Asia has been an enticing market for tech companies, though large cultural and language differences across the region complicate matters. Analysts generally point to Grab as the market leader, but Uber remains competitive in several markets. In some places, local rivals have also mounted challenges.

Now well-stocked with cash and focused exclusively on the region, Grab is aiming to push out Uber. In part, it is likely hoping to capitalize on recent turmoil: Last month, a shareholder revolt at Uber led to Travis Kalanick’s stepping down as chief executive, as Uber was exposed as having a workplace culture that included sexual harassment and discrimination, and policies that pushed the envelope in dealing with law enforcement and even partners.

The investment also raises questions about Uber’s partnership with Didi. While the two are now partners in China, the investment announced Monday makes it clear that elsewhere, Didi still views Uber as a competitor. In the statement, Didi’s founder and chief executive, Cheng Wei, pointedly showed which side he was on, saying Grab had established “clear leadership in Southeast Asia’s internet economy.”

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JustStyle weekly roundup

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment
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A Widening Gap Within Brick and Mortar

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment


Back-to-school shopping patterns signal deeper chasm between winners, losers

Author: Andria Cheng

July 20, 2017

Emerging shopping patterns in the back-to-school season underscore changing dynamics within the brick-and-mortar sector, and a widening gap between haves and have-nots.

The brick-and-mortar have-nots? Traditional department stores and clothing retailers. The percentages of both parents and students who plan to shop at either of those channels declined sharply over 2016 levels, according to a Deloitte back-to-college study released this week.

Deloitte surveyed more than 1,000 students and parents each. The percentage of parents who plan to do school shopping in traditional department stores for their college-going kids plunged 17 percentage points to 34%, down from 51% in 2016.

That was the most dramatic decline for either retail format among both age groups, but in all cases the declines exceeded 10 percentage points—a troubling slide in a single year.

By contrast, stores like TJX Cos.’s TJ Maxx, already outperforming in the sector, were cited by many back-to-school shoppers, young and old. Some 31% of parents said they plan to do their back-to-college shopping in off-price stores, up 20 percentage points from a year earlier. Among students, the measure jumped an even larger  28 percentage points to 39%, the Deloitte survey showed.

Fast-fashion players like H&M and Forever 21, which have whittled away the market for traditional specialty clothing retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, appear to be grabbing an even bigger share of back-to-school sales. The percentage of students who said they will shop at fast fashion clothing retailers jumped 20 percentage points to 43%.

With consumers’ increased focus on convenience, and with chains like Walgreens making an increased back-to-school push and stocking items like backpacks and other school supplies, drugstores may also have a shot at winning some back-to-school share too: the percentage of college students who said they plan to do back-to-school shopping at drugstores surged 21 percentage points to 36%.

Meanwhile, mass merchants like Walmart and Target were favored by both parents and students. Some 72% of college-going students said they would shop at mass merchants, up 29 percentage points from a year earlier. The percentage of parents mentioning that channel jumped 20 percentage points to 73%.


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One possible explanation could be found in mass merchants’ aggressive back-to-school advertising spending. While this year’s data isn’t yet available, a Kantar Media study released this week found that Walmart and Target were the top 2 back-to-school advertisers between May 23 and Oct. 2 last year. Why is this relevant? US adults with school age kids 18 or younger are 62% more likely to consider advertising as the most important deciding factor in their buying decision, the study found.

As smartphone penetration rises and schools increasingly become more digital, it looks like electronics retailers also will play a bigger role in where consumers shop this back to school: the percentage of parents who cited shopping at home electronics stores jumped 10 percentage points to 33%, according to the Deloitte survey.

That’s also why non-traditional back-to-school players like AT&T are increasingly flexing their marketing muscle to compete for their share of consumers’ wallet: Kantar Media study found that AT&T upped its back-to-school spending last year eightfold to become the third-largest back-to-school advertiser in 2016, only after Walmart and Target. Meanwhile,   Best Buy increased its spending six times, Kantar Media study showed.

The Deloitte finding on where people will shop for college needs generally mirrors the trends observed in a recent survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation.

Among back-to-college shoppers, online was the undisputed winner and the biggest share gainer: 44% of shoppers said they will buy online, up from 37.5% in 2016, the Prosper Insights survey showed. The percentage of shoppers citing electronics stores also rose to 15.5% from 14.3% in 2016, albeit down from a peak of 21% in 2012. Indeed, while gadgets are increasingly coveted, electronics retailers from HHGregg to RadioShack have filed for bankruptcies after failing to compete against the likes of Amazon and bigger physical rivals like Best Buy.

Echoing the Deloitte survey, the Prosper Insights study also found year-over-year percentage declines among consumers doing back-to-college shopping at department stores, office-supplies retailers and clothing stores. In contrast to the Deloitte finding, the percentage of those shopping at discount stores in the Prosper Insights survey painted a less optimistic picture for the segment: it dropped to 40% this year from 43.7% in 2016 and down from nearly 54% in 2011.

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