Retailer News

MIF Regulation Brings Payment Complications

PDF Print E-mail
MIF Regulation Brings Payment Complications

The Smart Payment Association (SPA) points out the the EU's "MIF Regulation" eliminates the "honour all card" rule from June 2016-- bringing about complications to both retailers and consumers making use of prepaid, credit or debit cards.

Article 10, clause 5 of the MIF Regulation (aka EU Regulation 2015/751 - on Interchange Fees for Card-Based Payment Transactions) states "issuers shall ensure that their payment instruments are electronically identifiable and, in the case of newly issued card-based payment instruments, also visibly identifiable, enabling payees and payers to unequivocally identify which brands and categories of prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards or commercial cards are chosen by the payer.”  Fair enough, but how will it actually work? The EU offers no guidelines to the the range of issues involved in the complex implementation, as listed below.

Continue reading...

    RadioShack Returns to Roots

    PDF Print E-mail
    RadioShack Returns to Roots

    CEO Ron Garriques says he’s returning RadioShack to its roots as “the neighborhood source” for electronics.

    But is is too late? RadioShack lost most of 2015, fighting bankruptcy and finding buyer (a group lead by Standard General). The company downsized from 7000 to 1700 (but 1400 of those are co-managed by Sprint), It also kept more than 500 of its approximately 850 independent franchised RadioShack dealers following its bankruptcy sale.

    Black Friday in USA marks the transformation as the chain described its pre-Thanksgiving sale as “a thank you to our loyal customers — particularly those who don’t like to get trampled at big-box stores on Black Friday.”

    “We know the past year has been difficult on the RadioShack community, with our shelves recently missing that one-off electronics component, cable or connector you needed or that mini drone you were searching for,” acknowledged CEO Ron Garriques in an interview with USA Today. “But now we are stronger than ever and fully restocked with over 20 million new units and proud to return to our roots as the neighborhood source for affordable and cutting-edge electronics.”

    “I think you'll find a cleaned up, brighter, fun experience” in the stores, he told the newspaper.

    Continue reading...

    Indiegogo Teams Up With Retailers

    PDF Print E-mail
    Indiegogo Teams Up With Retailers

    Indiegogo makes it easier for entrepreneurs to sell products in brick-and-mortar outlets as it announces partnerships with US retailers Target and Brookstone.

    The Target partnership involves the showcase of 3 successfully crowdfunded devices-- namely the Oomi smart home control platform, the Nanoleaf voice-controlled lighting kit and the Butterfly wireless home security camera-- at its experimental Open House store in San Francisco.

    Meanwhile Brookstone offers "special access to resources and expertise" to products relevant to the technology, wellness, home and travel focus areas. It will also sell 9 crowdfunded devices, such as the Axent Wear cat ear headphones, AIRTAME wireless display device and the Beddit sleep monitor, in a "Funded with Indiegogo" section.

    Continue reading...

    Singapore Gets Solar-Powered Apple Store

    PDF Print E-mail
    Singapore Gets Solar-Powered Apple Store

    Bloomberg reports Apple is set to further use cleaner energy sources in Singapore-- an upcoming Store and office buiilings in the city-state will be fully solar-powered.

    The power comes through a partnership with Sunseap Group, with solar panels on the rooftops of 800 buildings providing enough power for a 2500-person corporate campus and a retail outlet.

    "We're thrilled to be working with Sunseap and the government of Singapore to pioneer new ways to bring solar energy to the country and bring Apple even closer to our goal of powering our facilities around the world with 100% renewable energy," an Apple statement reads.

    Continue reading...

    Fnac Buys Darty

    PDF Print E-mail
    Fnac Buys Darty

    Book & music chain Fnac buys electronics chain Darty for £558 million-- a move the two companies say creates a "key player" in the European CE retail landscape.

    The takeover creates a mega-retail group with sales reaching more than €7 billion and earnings of around €270m (after an estimated annual savings of around €85m).

    Darty refused an offer worth £533m earlier in November, leading to Fnac sweetening the deal with a higher price per share (105p, as opposed to the earlier 101p).

    The two companies combined have 380 stores in France and over 200 outlets in other countries (including Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Brazil).

    In addition to the Darty electronics chain in France, Darty operates Vanden Borre stores in Belgium and BCC in the Netherlands. The company sold its unprofitable Comet chain in UK in 2012.

    Continue reading...

    A Tally Robot to Keep Stock of Retail Shelves

    PDF Print E-mail
    A Tally Robot to Keep Stock of Retail Shelves

    Global retailers lose nearly $450 billion due to out-of-stock items and empty shelves, Simbe Robotics says-- bringing about a need for Tally, the autonomous shelf auditing robot.

    The idea behind Tally is pretty straightforward. One or more Tally units roam around brick-and-mortar retail environments to keep track of the merchandise available on the shelves. The robots detect out-of-stock and low stocks, identify misplaced or incorrectly facing items and even validate price tags, all with vendor management and 3rd party supplier compliance.

    Tally operates "safely" during regular store hours, and even heads automatically to charging stations when low on power, Roomba-style. The actual unit is 96cm tall and weighs around 13kg.

    Continue reading...

    Google Gives Up on Retail Dream?

    PDF Print E-mail
    Google Gives Up on Retail Dream?

    Google fears to thread the New York retail waters occupied by Microsoft and Apple, as business site Crain's reports the search giant gave up on its first US flagship store.

    The space is located in Greene Street, SoHo, a popular shopping district with upscale tenants including Dior, Tiffany, Louis Vitton and Sonos. The 5442-square-foot building reportedly received $6 million in restoration and renovation from Google-- with works including a sunken portion of ground floor in the rear complete with soaring ceilings and glass skylights and a facade restored to its former glory.

    "This is going to be a space for a brand at the top of their field," a real estate broker involved with the building tells Crain's. "It's an extraordinary buildout-- architecturally there really is nothing else like it in SoHo," he added.

    Continue reading...

    Dixons Carphone Buys Infocare Workshop

    PDF Print E-mail
    Dixons Carphone Buys Infocare Workshop

    Elkjøp, the Dixons Carphone Nordic division, acquires regional service and repair specialist Infocare Workshop. The financial details of the acquisition are not available.

    Infocare Workshop has 4 repair sites located in  Kongsvinger (Norway), Helsinki (Finland) and Växsjö and Linköping (Sweden). It employs 300 people and completes 3-400000 repairs annually.

    As the retailer puts it the Infocare Workshop acquisition allows Dixons Carphone to own the complete end-to-end customer service journey in the region, with Elkjøp (under the KNOWHOW service brand) providing more consistent service repair levels.

    Continue reading...

    Microsoft Opens Flagship Store

    PDF Print E-mail
    Microsoft Opens Flagship Store

    Microsoft opens a flagship store in Fifth Avenue, New York-- the largest Microsoft retail location (and/or software and device showcase) to date featuring a 5-storey glass storefront.

    Located just a few blocks away from the iconic cube Apple Store, the New York Microsoft spans 22270 square feet across 5 floors. It "borrows" a lot from the Apple retail design playbook, with wooden tables carrying a variety of untethered devices (such as Surface Pro 4s, Surface Books and new Lumia phones) for customers to pick up and play around with. Visitors can also have a look at future devices held inside museum-style glass cases.

    Continue reading...

    A Table to Show Off Force Touch

    PDF Print E-mail
    A Table to Show Off Force Touch

    Apple has a novel means to market the Force Touch feature found in the iPhone 6 and 6s-- a table with a large interactive LCD display connected to 8 iPhones to demonstrate how such pressure sensitivity works.

    As seen on the video in the link, if a customers press on the swimming fish screensaver running on the iPhone they trigger a water ripple animation on the table. The animations are based on how hard the user presses the display, and serve as a neat way to visually explain a feature that is perhaps hard to understand.

    Continue reading...

    Dubai Apple Store Faces Delay

    PDF Print E-mail
    Dubai Apple Store Faces Delay

    The opening of the first Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gets pushed back by "at least a month" to October 2015, The National reports, even as the company plans to open more outlets in the region.

    The Dubai Mall of Emirates is to house the first UAE Apple Store. The company is also reportedly planning to open a second location in the Dubai Mall, as well an Abu Dhabi store.

    News of the store opening delay comes as Bloomberg reports Apple managed to get an exemption from UAE foreign ownership laws-- according to "two people with knowledge of the matter" Apple will get 100% of operation ownership in the region.

    Continue reading...

    Page 5 of 33