US retail sales rose 0.5% in July from the previous month, topping economists' forecast for a 0.1% rise, and sales were up 6.4% from July 2017, according to the Commerce Department. Spending was up strongly in several sectors including food retail, apparel and restaurants, and Amazon Prime Day helped fuel a 0.8% jump in online and mail-order sales.
While fall is generally when new smartphones hit the market, some consumers reported that they aren't anticipating any new releases, per a PCMag survey. However, about 42% of consumers reported being excited to see Apple's latest offerings, while 24% were focused on the Galaxy Note9 from Samsung.
The transforming grocery landscape, led by unprecedented advancements in technology, has left food retailers of all shapes and sizes addressing new challenges. Earlier this year, FMI identified five emerging issues that have the greatest potential to affect the food industry in the next three to five years. One of the issues identified is how artificial intelligence and technology will alter the food industry and the role of humans throughout its processes. Top-of-mind for attendees at the Energy and Store Development (E&SD) Conference will be how technology, operations, design trends and store formats are evolving to better serve the demands of consumers’ modern lifestyles. Read more.
Barb Renner, vice chairman and US consumer products leader at Deloitte, chats with Rick Stein about what’s going on in the perimeter of the supermarket. They delve into how it all starts with the consumer, traditional drivers and evolving drivers in health and wellness. As Rick and Barb prepare for the new FreshForward event, they discuss pressing topics including global food production, food waste, being connected and blurring the lines of foodservice with convenience. Listen to Dig Deeper: Evolving Consumer, Global Food Production, Blurring Lines of Foodservice & Food Waste.
Together, meal kits and multicookers could provide food retailers with their next great sales growth. While meal kit online sales continue to grow, some e-commerce providers have begun to struggle a bit and it's becoming clear that the traditional brick-and-mortar store may be one of the best places for consumers to purchase them. Simultaneously, the world is quickly falling in love with multicookers. Read more.
Healthy Dining CEO Anita Jones-Mueller offers an overview of the recent UK Calorie Reduction Summit, which focused on the challenge of fighting obesity by promoting healthy eating. Jones-Mueller shared the saga of the more than eight years it took to get US menu labeling rules up and running and how the US and the UK can increase consumer adoption of healthy eating.
Subscribers to Pandora's Premium service will be able to use the Google Assistant to play on-demand music. While this service was previously available on Google smart speakers, it was limited to standard automated stations.
Sprint has partnered with LG for the creation of 5G smartphones, which are expected in early 2019. Also, the company intends to launch 5G networks in major metro areas, including Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.
Verizon is shifting the focus in its stores from phones to phone accessories, having overhauled 200 locations to make accessories more prominent. These Next Gen stores are designed to encourage handling of cases, which represent a higher profit margin for the carrier than phone sales do.
Samsung's competition could ramp up, as Apple may offer three new lower-cost phones and add Apple Pencil support, putting them in direct competition with the Galaxy Note 9. Apple may be receiving components from suppliers at a lower cost and may be using those lower prices to compete in price-conscious markets.