Innovation Labs

Report: to Build Domestic Robots
April 23, 2018 at 2:58 pm is reportedly working on an an ambitious, top-secret plan to build domestic robots. According to a report in Bloomberg, the project is code named “Vesta,” after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family, and is being overseen by Gregg Zehr, who runs Amazon’s Lab126 hardware research and development division. Lab126 is responsible for…

How Retailers are Turning to Digital Transformation Strategies to Revitalize the In-Store Experience
April 9, 2018 at 10:13 am

The retail industry has a major impact on the U.S. economy. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), one in four American jobs are supported by the retail industry. Despite the retail industry’s prominent position in the economy, traditional brick-and-mortal retailers are under a pressure unlike any other industry to digitally transform their businesses. With…

Wal-Mart Developing Personal Shopping Services, Cashier-Free Stores
December 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Wal-Mart's Code Eight, the first portfolio company in its newly launched incubator, Store No. 8, has started testing personal shopping services for moms in New York City, Recode reports. The  service is targeted to “busy NYC moms ” who are "high net worth urban consumers" and will enable them to get product recommendations and make purchases simply through text messaging. The…

How Will V-Commerce Arrive? Consumers Show the Way
November 16, 2017 at 8:21 am

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) bring the potential for entirely new shopping experiences and new kinds of added value. They are the gateways to “v-commerce,” a blend of brick-and-mortar retailing and e-commerce. L.E.K. Consulting recently surveyed 1,000 consumers who were aware of AR and VR technology. The results offer an initial look at…

Lowe's and b8ta Collaborate on ‘Smart Home’ Shopping
November 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

Lowe's is expanding its "Smart Home powered by b8ta" connected-home shopping experience to 70 stores nationwide. The store-within-a-store concept, which was developed in partnership with software-powered retailer b8ta, features a curated selection of smart home products — e.g., security systems, thermostats, cameras, lighting equipment, speakers — that shoppers learn about and try before making a…

Sephora Names Mary Beth Laughton EVP, US Omni Retail
October 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Beauty retailer Sephora has promoted Mary Beth Laughton to executive vice president of U.S. omni retail. Previously, Laughton was senior vice president of digital. “Mary Beth is a visionary and strategist with a deep understanding of how customers are evolving,” said Calvin McDonald, chief executive officer and president of Sephora Americas. “During her time at…

Music to the Ears of Retailers
August 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Imagine you’re watching a music video and the artist is wearing a top or pair of shoes that you really like. You could get inspired and search for “black-and-white striped blazer” or “leather jacket with cloth hood.” However, those searches can yield thousands of results without giving you the exact item you saw in the…

Kill Your Innovation Lab, Accelerate Everything
July 19, 2017 at 10:27 am

Several months after murdering his wife, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen boarded a transatlantic steamer. The year was 1910, and as far as getaways went back then, Crippen’s plan to flee the jurisdiction and start a new life on another continent was an excellent one. What he didn’t count on, however, was a relatively new technology…

The End is Near: How Big Companies Win by Plotting Their Own Demise
July 14, 2017 at 9:51 am

In the real world, the big usually eat the small. The strong eat the weak. The fast outstrip the slow. But in startup culture, disruption and innovation are inextricably linked with smaller companies backed by private funding. In the typical narrative, large, publicly traded companies are cast as defenders of the status quo — and…

The Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers
May 16, 2017 at 10:39 am

Total Retail is excited to present its seventh annual ranking of the 100 fastest-growing publicly traded retailers. This year’s list, as in years past, is based on companies’ year-over-year net sales growth, comparing the 2016 fiscal year to the 2015 fiscal year.