Target to Test Same-day Delivery

“Target will test same-day delivery next month in three markets, the discount department store merchant said May 21 during its first-quarter earnings call. Chief Merchandise and Supply Chain Officer Kathryn Tesija said that following a successful ship-from-store test in Minneapolis, Target plans to launch the same-day delivery pilot program in that market, as well as the Boston and Miami markets.” [Source: Multichannel Merchant]

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Amazon to Deploy Thousands of Robots in Fulfillment Centers

“Amazon.com Inc. will put thousands more robots into its warehouses by the end of the year, CEO Jeff Bezos said this week at the e-retailer’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle. Amazon has some 1,300 robots working in its fulfillment centers now. That will increase to at least 10,000 by the end of 2014, a spokeswoman for the e-retailer says without providing further detail.” [Source: Internet Retailer]

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Ecommerce Sites May Feel Burden of New FedEx Shipping Charges

“FedEx Corp. is changing the way it charges to ship bulky packages, jolting e-commerce companies with price increases for delivering items as diverse as diapers, shoes and paper towels. Instead of charging by weight alone, all ground packages will now be priced according to size. In effect, that will mean a price increase on more than a third of its U.S. ground shipments. The big question now is whether United Parcel Service Inc. will follow the pricing move. Many analysts think it will. The two companies have historically matched price increases rather than seize the chance for a competitive advantage.” [Source: Wall Street Journal]

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A Peek Into Wayfair’s Operations

“Wayfair is an e-commerce site selling home furnishings. But with 1,600 employees, its physical presence is rapidly outgrowing its space in an obelisklike skyscraper in Boston’s Back Bay–which happens to be a former hub of the Christian Science church. Long gone are the white shag carpets, wood paneling and executive-floor elevators that once allowed church higher-ups to avoid hoi polloi. Flat-panel TVs on each of 12 floors beam not messages of faith healing but maps of the U.S. and Europe that light up whenever there’s a sale. Within seconds Katherine from Decatur, Tex. buys a $49 tungsten wedding ring, Jen adds a $94 cherrywood bar stool to her lounge in upstate New York, and Jenna in Connecticut picks up a $102 gray Parsons kitchen chair.” [Source: Forbes Magazine]

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Nordstrom Rack Launches Website, Mobile Apps

“Budget shoppers can now shop online using Nordstrom Rack’s new website and mobile app for iPhones and other Apple devices. Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. announced Monday the launch of the new site, which combines the outlet’s offerings with the company’s flash sale business HauteLook. The discount arm of the Seattle-based upscale retailer has 150 locations around the U.S. and plans to open stores in Canada in 2017. The company operates 117 full-line stores. Nordstrom Rack generated $2.7 billion in sales in 2013, about 22 percent of the company’s overall sales.” [Source: Puget Sound Business Journal]

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Indian Online Retailer Flipkart Offers Same-Day Delivery in 10 Cities

“The ongoing battle for supremacy in the Indian online retail industry already has a clear winner — the customer — as companies trip over each other to provide the best and most innovative service. The latest salvo has come from Flipkart, the market leader, which on Monday launches same-day delivery across all categories in 10 cities. The importance of customer service, especially in last-mile delivery, is apparent as the Bangalore-based online marketplace has launched three new services in April.” [Source: Times of India]

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Burberry Opens Virtual Storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall

“In an unusual move that highlights what a force Alibaba has become on the global eCommerce scene, British luxury brand Burberry has opened a virtual storefront on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall shopping site. The move allows Burberry to stake its claim in the highly lucrative and exploding Chinese eCommerce scene while at the same time combatting the grey market that luxury brands like Burberry face in China. Luxury goods are often bought outside of China at a lower rate and then resold at a profit within the east-Asian country.” [Source: PYMNTS]

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Different Approaches to Digital Fragrance Finders

“LET ME BEGIN with a disclaimer: I am not your average fragrance consumer. I have been a beauty editor for 10 years, which has afforded me unprecedented access to hundreds of perfumes, often before they come to market. My fragrance affections being fleeting, however, I still find myself in search of that elusive “signature scent”: an early love affair with a cyprus-tinged men’s scent from L’Occitane preceded a brief fling with Costume National’s Scent Sheer, which I recently followed with a multiparty tryst starring Acqua di Parma’s Colonia, Byredo’s Seven Veils and Frédéric Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur.” [Continue reading at Wall Street Journal]

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Will Home Depot’s Ecommerce Strategy Be the Key to Its Survival or Demise?

“After news broke that The Home Depot is moving from being a primarily brick-and-mortar operation to more of an e-commerce format, investors are probably wondering what this means for the business. According to an interview conducted by Frank Blake, the company’s CEO, opening new retail locations does not make sense due to a combination of growing competition and market saturation. Moving forward, Home Depot’s decision to operate electronically could mean a great deal of profit not only for it, but also for shipping companies like FedEx and UPS.” [Source: The Motley Fool]

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