On July 14, Home Depot and MakerBot, global leader in 3D printing industry, announced a partnership, introducing innovative, high-quality 3D printers to the DYI retail environment. Home Depot is supplying 12 stores in California, Illinois, and New York with
Nearly 2,000 Home Depot stores in the U.S. began offering a wide range of connected home devices that run on the Wink platform on July 7. The Wink platform unites close to 60 devices, creating the broadest set of connected home products in one ecosystem, with 15 leading manufacturers of home products ranging from light bulbs and locks to window shades, irrigation systems and water heaters, according to Wink and Home Depot.
The connected home space is getting crowded with Staples Connect, the newest platform looking to simplify peoples’ lives by putting them in constant contact with their home or business. Staples plans to roll out its Staples Connect home automation platform to 500 stores and will offer lower prices on the Connect Hub and feature new wearable products and support from some big technology names. Staples Connect was introduced in the fall of 2013 in select stores and online as a home and office automation platform, competing with Google's Nest, Lowe's Iris system and Home Depot's new Wink platform.
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."
Leveraging mobility and new digital technologies is a smart move for the retail industry, especially as it seeks to engage younger consumers accustomed to using mobile devices to communicate, browse and play. But as with any new endeavor, retailers should proceed with caution and pay heed to the following:
Earlier this month, a dozen or so gun rights activists walked into San Antonio-area outlets of Sonic and Chili's with long rifles strapped across their backs. In both instances, managers of the burger joint and Tex-Mex chain acted quickly, requesting that these members of Second Amendment advocacy group Open Carry Texas leave their premises. After Mother Jones found and posted videos of these two incidents, Sonic and Chili's reacted, although both stopped short of joining Starbucks, Chipotle and Jack In The Box in asking customers to leave guns at home.
Publishing content is a unique breed of marketing and promotion. Unlike traditional means such as banner ads, live events, offers, etc., content marketing isn't directly promotional. Rather, it's about coming up with content that informs, entertains or inspires your audience. So how exactly can you use content marketing to your advantage? Below are a few best practices and examples of what you can do to take your e-commerce content marketing to the next level:
eBay Now is a same-day delivery service, but not for items offered on eBay.com by its millions of sellers — at least not yet. Instead, the eBay Now service is exclusively for local brick-and-mortar retailers in certain cities: San Francisco and the Peninsula, San Jose, parts of New York City, Chicago, and Dallas. While Best Buy, AutoZone and Toys"R"Us were among the first retailers to participate in eBay Now, the list of retailers now participating include the following featured stores: Home Depot; Office Depot; Walgreens; GNC; Radio Shack; Macys; Microsoft; Guitar Center; Bloomingdale's; and Urban Outfitters.
Talk about deja vu. It's been only four months since shoppers dodged elbows and raced through the aisles to capture Black Friday's best deals, but the sales are making a comeback at Wal-Mart for spring as the big-box retailer looks to take a bite out of the growing home improvement sector. On Friday, Wal-Mart is slashing prices and debuting deeper offerings in its outdoor living and lawn and garden segments. The move puts pressure on home improvement leaders Home Depot and Lowe's, which consider the critical spring selling season their version of Christmas.
Lowe's said Wednesday it plans to hire about 25,000 seasonal employees at its U.S. stores during its spring busy season, down from 45,000 workers last year. Lowe's and peer Home Depot have been rare bright spots in the retail sector as they continue to benefit from the U.S. housing recovery. Rising home prices and improvements in home construction and new home sales have led homeowners to open their wallets for remodeling projects or big-ticket items. Last week, Home Depot said it will hire 80,000 workers in the U.S. in preparation for spring, matching last year's hiring level.