US retail sales rose 0.4% in June from the previous month, beating analysts' forecasts and capping a four-month stretch of increases, according to the Commerce Department. Sales increased in 11 of 13 categories, and overall sales were up 3.4% from June of last year.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has formed a partnership with designer Stella McCartney's fashion brand. Through the deal, McCartney, who last year bought back a 50% stake from Kering, will keep majority ownership of her label, which has become known for its focus on sustainable fashion.
Increases in streaming services, artificial intelligence-enabled devices and in-vehicle technology are the main sources of 2.2% year-over-year growth in the US consumer technology market, which is on track to exceed $400 billion in retail revenue in 2019. The Consumer Technology Association's biannual US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report was based on US factory sales to dealers for more than 300 products.
Amazon warehouse workers in Shakopee, Minn., went on strike, along with another 2,000 employees at seven sites in Germany who walked off the job, to protest wages and working conditions. Employees and activists are also holding protests on Amazon's Prime Day in various locations throughout the US and Europe.
Food Lion will cut the ribbon on 92 renovated stores in South Carolina and North Carolina this week. Updates include expanded craft beer offerings, more local produce, streamlined checkout areas, new signage, added grab-and-go-items and walk-in produce coolers.
Using a new technique, Nestle has successfully produced a chocolate without added sugar, which the company will use in KitKat bars available in Japan this fall. The new chocolate instead uses white pulp from the outside of cocoa beans, which already contains natural sweetness.
Sweden-based furniture retailer IKEA will shutter its only US factory, an 11-year-old facility in Danville, Va., where about 300 employees make wood-based pieces for stores in North America. The company will shift the manufacturing operations to facilities in Europe.
Kinto, a Japanese home brand available on e-commerce sites and in kitchen specialty shops, is winning the praises of social media posters who love its minimalist style. Its many products include a pour-over coffee maker, ceramic rice cooker and double-wall travel tumbler.
Ford Motor and Volkswagen announced Friday that they will work together to develop autonomous and electrified vehicles, although both will remain "independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace," says Ford CEO Jim Hackett. The collaboration will be via the Pittsburgh-based startup Argo AI, which is testing autonomous cars in five US cities.
Automotive News' Jackie Charniga looks at how making dealership employees licensed insurance agents could boost F&I sales while providing an improved customer experience. "Selling auto insurance at the dealership reduces the lag between purchasing a car and insuring it, improving customer satisfaction," she writes.
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