Think brick-and-mortar retail is doomed in an increasingly digital world? Visit Sephora, where consumers line up to sample the dizzying array of beauty products. Watch as a bunch of excited kids go through the rounds at Build-A-Bear-Workshop. Listen as a pharmacist at Walgreens gives some advice to a harried mom whose kids are coming down with something. Stop in at H-E-B, Whole Foods Market or some other great supermarket and breathe in the tantalizing aromas. Fool around with the latest gadgets at Apple or one of the new generation of AT&T and Verizon stores.
Wal-Mart is reportedly halting its Indian expansion plans, at least for now. According to the Financial Times, Wal-Mart has not opened any new cash-and-carry stores in India since October 2013 or any new convenience stores there since November 2013.
In five years, buying local will beat online. That is one of five predictions that appear on IBM’s eight annual “IBM 5 in 5” forecast, which the company describes as a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years.
Infosys and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have co-developed TradeEdge, a new cloud-based, insights-driven sales platform, which provides visibility to global brands across the demand chain, from distributors to consumers.
The National Labor Relations Board has reportedly determined that Wal-Mart acted illegally when it disciplined and fired employees who had been involved in strikes and other labor protest activities. According to the New York Times, the board investigated actions taken last year against about 100 Wal-Mart employees in stores across 12 states including California, Colorado, Texas and Massachusetts.
Walmart on Friday kicked off its online holiday deals, a month earlier than usual, and announced that it is offering free shipping on about 99% of its online items this year for orders over $50. (Last year, only about 15% of its assortment qualified for free shipping).
Gearing up for the holidays, Wal-Mart announced that it expects to promote more than 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility this year, including 25,000 promotions during its fourth quarter.
Wal-Mart Stores detailed a number of moves, including opening smaller stores in the United States, cutting back on overseas growth and increasing its investments in technology and e-commerce, on the occasion of the company’s 20th annual investor meeting.