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Retail Technology News: May update

Macy's Disney AR mirror
Macy's offers an AR mirror at its Disney shop-in-store in Herald Square.

Retailers in May focused technology efforts in areas including augmented reality, robotics, and mobile apps.

Here are some of the most noteworthy and innovative technology stories as reported by Chain Store Age in May, starting with the most recent. 

  • Walmart expands InHome delivery to five new states Walmart’s InHome online delivery service that brings foods directly into customer homes is available to 10 million additional households across the United States.
  • Forrester: Global e-commerce to approach $7 trillion by 2028 Total global online retail sales will grow to $6.8 trillion by 2028 from $4.4 trillion in 2023, representing an 8.9% compound annual growth rate, according to the Forrester "Global Retail E-commerce Forecast 2024 to 2028" report. 
  • Macy’s enables virtual AR try-on at in-store Disney shop An AR-enabled mirror installed in the Disney Princess Shop at the Herald Square Macy’s flagship showcases digital Disney dresses, providing customers with an immersive virtual try-on experience. The Zero10 AR Mirror solution runs on a supercomputer that leverages complex computer vision models in real time and renders clothing in 4k resolution. 
  • Michaels turns physical stores into omnichannel supply chain hubs The Michaels Companies is leveraging its brick-and-mortar stores to fill digital orders. The specialty arts and crafts retailer uses the cloud-based Manhattan Associates Active Omni unified commerce platform, including its order management system (OMS), to provide online shoppers as close to real-time fulfillment as possible.
  • Tractor Supply’s new DC serves as testing ground for robotics Tractor Supply Company has opened its 10th and largest distribution center yet, in Maumelle, Ark. The 1.1 million-sq.-ft. facility is Tractor Supply’s first to utilize autonomous mobile robots at scale for small-item fulfillment. It will serve as a testing facility for other robotics designed to help reduce costs and increase productivity.
  • eBay streamlines clothing resale with connected labels eBay is rolling out a new click-to-resell feature for select apparel products. The e-commerce marketplace is building the capability into Ceritlogo AI-based product smart tags to support its new “resell on eBay” feature that enables users to list their clothing on eBay in a couple of clicks of a button.
  • Best Buy revamps consumer app with AI, video Best Buy Co. Inc. is rolling out a number of new features for its consumer app. The home screen will be powered by AI and will deliver a distinct shopping experience based on consumer interests and shopping behavior. In addition, the app can now guide iPhone customers along their shopping journey and there is a new digital wallet feature.
  • Wendy’s tweaks McDonald’s with development of new promotional site Wendy’s launched, a website which acts as a real-time interactive map that directing customers to their closest participating Wendy’s restaurant serving up its Nuggs Party Pack meal. The web developer of "McBroken," a site that lists McDonald’s sites across the country and tells users whether their ice cream machines are working, broken or “inconclusive,” built the site.
  • Amazon debuts first-ever seasonal book promotion Amazon went back to its roots in what was a very busy month for targeted sales blockbusters at the e-tail giant. The company kicked off the summer reading season with its inaugural Amazon Book Sale, Wednesday, May 15 to Monday May 20, 2024 on a dedicated page on its e-commerce site
  • TikTok sues U.S. government over possible ban A provision of a foreign aid bill President Biden recently signed into law requires TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to divest its U.S. TikTok operation in 270 days, or else U.S. app stores and Internet hosting services will not be allowed to support TikTok or any other ByteDance apps. In response, TikTok and ByteDance filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit to review the constitutionality of the act.
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