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Dan Berthiaume

Senior Editor, Technology


September 2020

Amazon is seemingly involved in every major global technology trend – why isn’t it pursuing a deal with TikTok?
Convenience retailers are increasingly adopting cashierless checkout, on-demand delivery, and targeted merchandising programs in response to the impact of COVID-19.
America’s two biggest retailers are becoming increasingly alike.

August 2020

As summer 2020 draws to a close, it is time to look back on how COVID-19 helped shape some key developments in retail technology.
Kroger may be positioning itself to become a major retail technology platform.
Especially as COVID-19 disrupts consumer shopping patterns, retailers must ensure they do not alienate customers with dissatisfying technology experiences.
A Microsoft acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. subsidiary would hasten the short video platform’s evolution as a mainstream retail solution.
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September 2020

Amazon is reportedly bringing its new Amazon Fresh grocery format to Whittier, Calif.

Gap Inc. is introducing a new corporate loyalty program that will be individually branded for its four major store banners.

The Coupon Bureau is developing a universal digital coupon.

The Kroger Co. is launching a new Wellness Experience platform, and pop star Jewel is helping spread the news.

Amazon is introducing a new initiative to help customers discover and shop for sustainable products.

A leading specialty beauty retailer is the latest non-grocer to collaborate with Instacart for same-day online delivery.

Walmart is entering into a new partnership which will provide advanced measurement of its TV advertising efforts.

The largest used car dealer in the U.S. has integrated its in-store and online channels nationwide.

A leading warehouse club chain is the latest retailer to offer telehealth services to its customers.

Customer data of less than 200 retailers using the Shopify e-commerce platform may have been exposed in a security incident.

Amazon may not yet be directly competing with Peloton.

QuickChek Corp. is rolling out a mobile scan-based loyalty program.

A Midwest/Mid-Atlantic supermarket retailer is equipping its curbside pickup program with mobile location services.

Haber Holding is enabling omnichannel shopping by centralizing its view of inventory and fulfillment.

An internal Amazon email reportedly indicates the e-tail giant will hold the 2020 edition of its Prime Day online sales extravaganza in mid-October.

Walmart’s latest drone initiative is designed to speed up the delivery of at-home COVID-19 test kits to consumers’ homes.

Lowe’s Companies is expanding a new self-service option for customers picking up online orders at its stores.

Eligible retailers who participate in Walmart Marketplace will be invited to apply for lines of credit offered by Goldman Sachs.

Amazon is partnering with a Peloton competitor to enter the digital fitness market.

RetailMeNot is presenting its second annual Cash Back national retail holiday, and expects more than 300 retailers to join the celebration.

A survey indicates e-commerce retailers have a chance for a profitable holiday season — if they provide the right reasons to shop them.

Walmart is bringing its omnichannel retail capabilities to TikTok.

The Kroger Co. is rolling out an artificial intelligence (AI) solution designed to alert customers of self-checkout errors.

Another major retailer aims to eliminate carbon emissions from its operations in the next 20 years.

A U.S. upscale fashion brand is launching an online store on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform.

Designer Brands Inc., parent of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, is moving forward with its “shop-in-shop” pilot with Hy-Vee.

A San Francisco-based online grocer is making its proprietary Grocery OS on-demand delivery software available for other grocers to integrate nationwide.

A regional Midwestern discount chain is minimizing the spread of COVID-19 with a text-accessible pharmacy customer experience.

Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global e-commerce platform has chosen nine U.S. small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to participate in Singles Day.

Five sustainable technology companies are the initial recipients of distributions from a $2 billion venture investment program overseen by Amazon.

Walmart’s new membership program is looking to “plus up” some of the birthdays, vacations, and other special events canceled due to COVID-19.

An increasing number of big-name retailers are shuttering stores on Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be losing sales.

The saga of whether TikTok will remain operational in the U.S. continues with the Trump administration announcing a Sept. 20 shutdown.

Sam’s Club is expediting the process of paying for fuel.

Amazon made its annual Career Day hiring event national and virtual this year and the response was enthusiastic – and then some.

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Julia Rose, founder of Instagram-based luxury handbag reseller Julia Rose Boston, about how a shift in its e-commerce infrastructure has enabled her company to streamline the shopping experience while enhancing personalization.

Office Depot is partnering with digital education platform Brit + Co to present an online course for prospective female entrepreneurs.

Bed Bath & Beyond is obtaining a better omnichannel view of the customer with Google Cloud.

Express Inc. is introducing the Dream Big Project, a crowdsourced initiative to support small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

A home improvement giant and a “Shark Tank” star are offering small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) a chance to get national distribution.

Dunkin’ keeps widening the range of options for customers to place on-demand delivery orders.

Dressbarn may have shuttered its stores, but customers now have an in-person option for returning purchases.

Amazon is more than doubling the reach of its Future Engineer initiative.

CVS Health is developing integrated subscription plans for the new Apple Fitness+ digital fitness experience.

Amazon unveiled Luxury Stores, a mobile shopping experience for select U.S. Prime members.

A Texas-based regional grocer is joining the burgeoning trend of supporting omnichannel services with automated micro-fulfillment technology.

fed ex delivery

FedEx is offering a new location awareness tool for packages in its supply chain, with an eye toward eventual COVID-19 vaccine shipments.

Microsoft’s bid for the U.S. business of TikTok, which includes Walmart as a minority investor, has been rejected.

Canadian Tire Corp. is tracking the success of its customer experience efforts across channels, in real-time.

Amazon is once again expanding its workforce in response to the continuing surge in online shopping brought on by the pandemic.

Consumers are willing to shop for holiday presents, but the price needs to be right.

Walmart’s latest drone pilot will provide on-demand delivery of select health-and-wellness products.

The overall pace of e-commerce sales cooled in August as more stores opened and summer waned, but mobile and BOPIS commerce boomed.

eBay is preventing fraudulent sales of luxury watches and offering new purchasing and marketing services for the category.

Beauty is skin deep, but Charlotte Tilbury is diving far below the surface of its customer data.

A onetime leader in the online PC sales market is back – with help from Walmart.

Fiona Tan

Wayfair’s newest global head of technology spent the last six years in executive technology and engineering leadership roles at Walmart.

Fashion retailers are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect holiday sales, with many unsure how to prepare.

Amazon is reportedly running a three-week early Black Friday online sales event beginning Oct. 26.

Amazon has reportedly opened its second Amazon Go cashierless grocery store.

Help Chain Store Age recognize the women helping to transform the retail industry through technology.

Walmart is entering a partnership to help remove carbon dioxide from its supply chain. 

Despite the many changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers may follow traditional habits when it comes to holiday shopping.

A leading vitamins and supplements retailer is compressing delivery times and optimizing order orchestration and fulfillment.

Amazon’s latest supply chain facility is located in Beaumont, Calif.

eBay is bringing its managed payments service to sellers in three additional countries next year.

The world’s largest convenience store retailer keeps giving customers more options to stay home.

Amazon is making Bellevue, Wash., a major center for corporate growth.

Scheels is equipping store associates with a mobile POS/CRM solution.

Walmart is inviting about 850 U.S. entrepreneurs to virtually pitch their products in its seventh annual Open Call competition.

Amazon’s Launchpad program aids startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in verticals including health & personal care, home, and grocery.

August 2020

The struggling department store retailer is bringing its “Style on the go” omnichannel shopping program to more stores.

Amazon’s planned fleet of Prime Air delivery drones are reportedly taking a major step toward operational launch.

PayPal is unveiling “Pay in 4,” a short-term installment payment plan for customers in the U.S.

A wholesale distributor for independent grocers is performing demand forecasting, order management, and forward buying with a single platform.

A $22 billion workforce management technology provider will be known as UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group).

Amazon’s European delivery fleet will have reduced emissions and increased style.

Walmart sees e-commerce and advertising potential in TikTok and reportedly sought to partner with Google in a purchase.

Consumers buying gifts for movie buffs have a new option from

Sally Beauty interior

Sally Beauty Holdings’ first-ever credit card offering includes extra perks for members of its loyalty program.

Two quick-service retailers and a c-store chain will test a frictionless, AI-based payment and drive-thru technology from Mastercard.

Heinen’s is relaunching its e-commerce program with help from Instacart.

Walmart is reportedly the latest player in the competition to purchase the U.S. business of the controversial Chinese social media platform TikTok.

Despite falling net sales, Abercrombie & Fitch had some good news in Q2 fiscal 2020.

On-demand fulfillment platform Ware2Go will supply real-time inventory information to advertisers on Google Shopping.

The future of brick-and-mortar grocery may be here, with the name Amazon Fresh.

Starbucks employees will not have to choose between working a shift and voting in the upcoming election.

Dollar Tree harvested some impressive results in Q2 fiscal 2020.

Amazon is expanding its healthcare offering into wearables.

Dollar General Corp. continued its financial momentum from the first quarter and elevated the position of its chief people officer.

Gap Inc. reported a net loss and declining net sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, and plans to shutter over 225 net stores globally.

Facebook is releasing new tools to help retailers and consumers conduct digital commerce on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The Michaels Companies Inc. is targeting small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurs with a tailored assortment and shopping services.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. reported net revenue growth of 9% in Q2 fiscal 2020, with online sales playing a major role.

Amazon’s film division is using celebrity influencers, a social action campaign, and an upcoming documentary to drive voter engagement.

Hibbett Sports is forming a new field leadership team made up of seven experienced industry executives.

Chico’s is rolling out an integrated marketing campaign called “The Art of Chic” in time for fall.

Walmart’s 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report describes progress in areas including emissions, waste reduction, and leadership diversity.

Amazon will reportedly provide a concessions-based e-commerce marketplace for select luxury brands.

Amazon leads in many aspects of omnichannel commerce, but not when it comes to online grocery delivery.

A new survey indicates retailers’ supply chain issues include aligning demand management activities with the growing popularity of e-commerce.

Several prominent national U.S. retailers received top ranking from shoppers for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A leading specialty health-and-wellness retailer now offers same-day delivery in partnership with Instacart.

Lowe’s Companies is upping its style quotient in a new partnership with New York Fashion Week.

A leading e-commerce platform is the latest digital retail entity to enable direct purchases via Instagram.

Kum & Go is aligning new product discovery with customer demand.

CVS pharmacy

CPG companies have gained another retail partner in their efforts to reach consumers with digital ads. CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, is introducing CVS Media Exchange (cMx).

Walmart Wellness Days

Walmart is offering a three-day online healthcare forum as COVID-19 limits in-store activities. The discount titan will hold “Walmart Wellness Days,” its first-ever virtual health event, from Friday, Aug. 28 – Sunday, Aug. 30.

Gavel striking

Crime did not pay for a group of defendants who sold counterfeit 3M N95 respirators on Amazon. The defendants - KM Brothers Inc., KMJ Trading Inc., Supreme Sunrise, Inc., and Mao Yu and third-party Zhiju USA, Inc.

A supermarket giant is offering a new digital resource to educate consumers about proper usage and handling

Jeff Wilke

The individual who was widely seen as a potential successor to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos should Bezos ever step down is leaving the company.

A leading wholesale club retailer is offering two new in-store pickup offerings that are becoming increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital wallet usage and online shopping are both surging across the globe.

Starbucks is offering a new digital traceability tool that gives customers a virtual view into where their coffee beans come from.

Hannaford Supermarkets is teaming up with Instacart to offer delivery of online orders in as little as one hour.

Alibaba 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global e-commerce platform is trying to help open the Chinese market to small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S.

A Target-owned online grocery service is no longer requiring customers to commit to an annual membership.

Four individuals accused of defrauding Amazon of millions of dollars are facing federal charges, in part due to actions taken by the e-tailer.

Target has expanded the availability of fresh and frozen grocery items for in-store and online pickup.

DoorDash continues expanding on its core on-demand restaurant delivery offering with a new grocery service.

Toys “R” Us has reportedly parted ways with Target as its partner in fulfilling digital purchases.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, retail frontline workers have improved knowledge in key areas via mobile training.

A leading identity resolution technology company is naming its current president as CEO.

Third-party sellers on the Amazon platform will reportedly face stricter delivery deadlines.

Instacart is providing virtual COVID-19 screenings and medical consultations for its shoppers, and also enacting new mask regulations. 

Heinen’s is supporting merchandising, ordering, and store operations in its fresh departments with a new artificial intelligence (AI) platform.

Two store banners of Tailored Brands are introducing free buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) programs.

Amazon is opening facilities across the Phoenix metro area to support customer fulfillment and delivery operations.

Amazon is looking to bulk up its tech and corporate workforce.

A luxury clothing and accessories company received the number one ranking for its online retail performance.

Amazon is leveraging machine learning (ML) to help retailers include completely new products and fresh content in their usual recommendations.

A footwear/apparel retailer is obtaining near-real-time customer insight to aid product development, assortment, pricing and marketing.

Customers across the country have a new option for home delivery of Peet’s Coffee beverages and food products.

Khronos 3D working group

An open standards non-profit is working to build industry consensus around 3D content creation, management and deployment for e-commerce. The 3D Commerce Group of the Khronos Group Inc.

shopper looking at cloud shopping cart logo

Pre-pandemic, consumers were using their debit cards online more than ever before. According to the 2020 Debit Issuer Study conducted by Oliver Wyman for Discover Financial Services, card-not-present (CNP) online debit transactions surged 21% yea

Amazon box

Amazon is opening a new fulfillment center and delivery station in Forney, Texas. The new one-million-square-foot fulfillment center, anticipated to launch in 2021, will create over 500 new full-time jobs.

Carvana car vending machine

An omnichannel platform for buying and selling used cars is rolling its newest automated order fulfillment location into Kentucky. Carvana is opening a “car vending machine” in Louisville, Kentucky.

EG Australia

EG Group is driving consistent store-level task execution with intelligence-based alerts. One of Australia’s fastest-growing convenience and fuel retailers is deploying the Real-Time Task Manager and Q-Walk solutions from Reflexis to simplify com

Postmates Food Mood Ring

Panera Bread is introducing a new contactless delivery service in partnership with Postmates.

Amazon is reportedly now legally responsible in California for defective products sold by third-party vendors on its site.

Yesway is virtually collaborating with suppliers through a new sourcing solution.

An online music retailer is providing a highly tailored shopping experience as more consumers turn to e-commerce. 

Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG) is the latest in an increasingly long line of retailers to launch contactless prescription delivery during COVID-19.

A specialty lighting retailer’s COVID-19 response has positioned it to meet increased e-commerce demand this holiday season.

Rich Minns

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Rich Minns, North America commerce leader, Capgemini, about how grocers can assess and overhaul their omnichannel offerings to meet the specific needs of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marshall Retail Group (MRG) is providing its in-store associates and shoppers with mobile customer service capabilities.

Gap is partnering with a range of teen leaders across the U.S. to promote positive social transformation.

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Fjallraven is sustainably managing safe, secure store openings and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Furniture is offering a highly personalized online shopping experience.

A specialty apparel retailer is expanding the rollout of robots in its distribution centers as COVID-19 increases the demand for e-commerce and necessitates distancing.


Amazon is teaming up with a U.K.-based cosmetics company in a product infringement lawsuit.

Lowe’s Cos. Inc. is launching a major construction program to support the need for fast fulfillment across channels.

Staples is asking customers to help reward outstanding teachers by sharing stories on Twitter and Instagram.

Circle K is retrofitting one of its stores with autonomous checkout technology.

Amazon will host a free digital conference aimed at U.S. small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Stop & Shop is enhancing its digital shopping experience with a new e-commerce platform and upgraded loyalty program.

Walmart sign

Walmart is reportedly testing out same-day delivery with Instacart at select stores in California and Oklahoma. According to CNBC, the discount giant is currently offering delivery of online orders via Instacart in the California markets of Los A

Ship Kroger screen

The Kroger Co. is integrating digital marketplace platform Mirakl into its Kroger Ship ship-to-home program. The leading supermarket retailer will offer Kroger Ship customers an extended aisle with more than 50,000 additional products.

Amazon Project Zero

Amazon is spreading its “Project Zero” anti-counterfeiting program across the globe. Launched in the U.S.

buy button

E-commerce activity in July slowed down from the prior month but soared from the same month a year earlier.

Jack in the Box logo

A fast-food hamburger retailer has migrated its on-premises data centers to Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure. Jack in the Box Inc.

Sam's club app screens

Sam’s Club is reaching beyond traditional channels to boost installs of its consumer app. The warehouse club retailer, a subsidiary of Walmart, is working with Rakuten Advertising and mobile technology company Button to seamlessly route customers

Office Depot powered by Compucom

Office Depot and its CompuCom sister company are unveiling a new portfolio of IT services and solutions aimed at small-to-medium-businesses (SMBs). Office Depot’s new “powered by CompuCom” offering provides a collection of scalable technologies d

Woman crossing street with mask

CVS Health and Salesforce are offering integrated, complementary return to work and campus solutions. The drugstore retailer is entering a strategic relationship with Salesforce that will allow employers and universities to use each company’s COV

shopper looking at cloud shopping cart logo

Customers are increasing their appetite for omnichannel commerce as the pandemic continues. According to a new global survey of more than 2,500 consumers from Periscope by McKinsey, U.S.

The Yankee Candle Company smells an opportunity for predictable revenue.

Mobile and contactless payments are gaining popularity amid consumer concerns over touching surfaces during the pandemic. 

Jins Eyewear is the latest specialty eyewear retailer to enhance its online shopping experience with augmented reality technology.

Anyone with dreams of becoming a style influencer can take a shot at joining the Macy’s Style Crew. Launched with the department store chain’s employees in 2017, Style Crew is now being opened to the public across the country.

The Kroger Co. is piloting a variety of near-field communication (NFC)-enabled payment solutions in its QFC stores.

Amazon will open a fulfillment center and a delivery station in Florida in 2021.

Retailers who outperform their peers are much more likely to see a wide variety of remedial steps for COVID-19 as important.

A new survey suggests consumers are spending less than before the pandemic, but many are visiting physical stores.

Walmart will begin showing drive-in movies in the parking lots of select stores on Friday, Aug. 14 – with several special features.

Walmart shoppers will reportedly have to wait a little longer to join the discounter’s planned subscription service.

Instagram is unveiling a TikTok-like short video feature on its platform.

eBay is partnering with a personal loan platform to provide its U.S. sellers with access to funding.

The Knot is providing an online “one-stop shop” for couples planning their weddings.

A regional Midwestern grocer is the latest retailer to pilot federal benefit payments for online grocery purchases.

DoorDash is operating its own online storefronts, stocked by participating retailers.

A beauty giant is enabling customers to create, share and follow digital commerce-enabled wish lists.

The Michaels Companies Inc. is expanding its Michaels Rewards omnichannel loyalty program.

British regulatory authorities have reportedly cleared Amazon’s purchase of a minority stake in an online U.K. food delivery startup.

A mysterious Walmart tweet suggests some type of product release will accompany its drive-in movie events in August.

The Home Depot is enhancing its supply chain capabilities to keep up with customers’ growing expectations for convenience and speed. 

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has worked out a sale of its subsidiary to for $245 million.

A consumer electronics giant will leverage Google Cloud infrastructure and analytics services to support more personalized shopping experiences.

Swedish consumers may gain dedicated access to Amazon shopping services.

Fraudsters are pulling off e-commerce scams using popular social media platforms and search engines.

Microsoft is in direct contact with President Trump as it negotiates to buy the business of a popular – and controversial – Chinese social media platform in the U.S.

The Kroger Co. is providing brand advertisers access to its first-party purchase data and custom audience segments.

Walmart is offering advertisers on-demand visibility into how their campaigns are performing in-store and online.

Target is partnering with Minneapolis-based vocational training school Summit Academy OIC in an effort to advance racial equity in IT employment.

Global Payments Inc. is building an issuer processing platform on Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure.

Etsy is offering its proprietary digital payment service in seven additional countries.

Retailers with a strong online presence and personalization program have reason to be happy.

Best Buy is creating one-stop online resources for students and parents preparing for a return to remote learning. 

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