Best Buy said yesterday it would open a technology development center in Seattle, taking the top floor of the Seattle Times Building. Set to begin operations in late spring, the office will employ more than 50 engineers, product managers, web architects and developers in the next year and is expected to expand to more than 100 e-commerce professionals over time. Best Buy looked at several cities before settling on Seattle because of its technology base, talent, cloud engineering and e-commerce strengths.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon.com don't have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts. The unanimous decision is a victory for the growing number of retailers and other companies that routinely screen workers to prevent employee theft. The justices said federal law doesn't require companies to pay employees for the extra time because it's unrelated to their primary job duties.
Amazon.com employee Rejinaldo Rosales used to wander stacks of shelves to pick up merchandise for orders before finally returning to his station to place them in bins and send them to their next stop. But this summer, squat orange robots, called Kiva, began zooming around the shelves instead, picking up goods and carrying them to Rosales at his station. The result? What used to take hours of walking can happen in mere minutes instead. While walking the aisles was "good cardio," the new system lets him get through more orders since he stands in one place, Rosales said.
Website "flash sales" are fueling lightning-fast growth for online retailer Zulily, and central Ohio has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. Zulily was founded in 2010 in Seattle and sells apparel, decor items and other merchandise via short-term "events." Sales are growing at warp speed, going from nothing several years ago to a projected $1.2 billion this year. As a result of the spectacular growth, Zulily has been adding employees at a fast clip. In Columbus, a market it quietly entered in 2012 with a distribution center in Obetz, the company has grown to 1,110 employees.
It's never too early to start preparing your warehouse for a surge in orders throughout the holiday season. You'll be ready to tackle any bottlenecks in the months leading up to and during the holiday season by following this easy checklist:
How small retailers (both online and brick-and-mortar) can compete with Amazon and its vast resources, cheap pricing and fast delivery.
Asos, the U.K.'s largest online-only fashion retailer, suspended taking orders after a fire at its warehouse in northern England that handles all its shipping. Ten engines were needed to battle the blaze at the Barnsley site, the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service said in a statement on its website. An investigation into the cause of the fire, which affected several floors of the 60,000-square meter (650,000 square foot) depot, will begin today, it said. "There's substantial fire damage, and it's too unsafe for anyone to go in," Asos said on its Facebook page.
As online evolves and e-commerce grows, Home Depot's vision of interconnected retail continues to morph. The retailer is leveraging its brick-and-mortar presence, blended with its virtual assets to better optimize the new technology and new shopping behaviors. "That really is from our company's perspective the center point of our strategy," said Kevin Hofmann, senior vice president and president of online for Home Depot, at the Goldman Sachs Dotcommerce Conference. "Interconnected retail isn't a tangential distraction; we're convinced that this is the future."
For a retail company with a profoundly simple business model and interior layout, there always seems to be interesting Costco secrets floating around the internet. How many rotisserie chickens does Costco sell in a given year? Hey, did you know that Costco sells caskets and really pricey bling online? So as a means to join this Costco cult underworld of facts and figures, Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi has dug through his notes on the company compiled through seven years of client coverage.