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Walmart Acquires Virtual Dressing Room Firm Zeekit

| Mike O'Brien

Making a bigger push into selling fashion online, Walmart said it is acquiring Israeli virtual dressing room provider Zeekit for an undisclosed sum. The owner of acquired fashion brands Eloquii, Moosejaw and Bonobos is looking to make the online clothing shopping experience more fun, while also cutting down on returns.

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Walmart Concerned About Slipping Grocery Position

| Mike O'Brien

When it comes to the grocery wars, Walmart execs are concerned about the company’s tenuous number one position as well as losing share to fierce competitors, according to brutal self-assessments in a leaked memo and presentation from February obtained by Recode. There are also worries that Instacart is pulling even on e-grocery.

MCM Outlook 2021: Past the Pivots to Ecommerce Operations Efficiency

| Mike O'Brien

Now that the challenges of the lockdown era are behind, and disruptions have solidified into new consumer behaviors and business practices, what’s next for ecommerce operations? In our annual MCM Outlook report, we talk to retail leaders and industry experts to drill down into how companies are faring and what’s working.

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Walmart, Target Stepping Up Last-Mile Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Target both announced plans Thursday to improve last-mile fulfillment and delivery from their stores, taking alternate routes via an investment in self-driving car project Cruise, and a new sortation facility powered by acquired technologies from Grand Junction and Deliv, respectively.

Best Buy Pilots Subscription Program

| Mike O'Brien

Best Buy Beta is being piloted at select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and eastern Pennsylvania, expanding to Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee. Members will get discounts, unlimited Geek Squad tech support, up to two years of protection, free standard shipping and delivery and free installation on most products.

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Walmart Removes $35 Minimum for Same-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

In a move surprising no one except for the timing, Walmart announced it’s dropping the $35 minimum order threshold for shoppers to qualify for same-day delivery with its Walmart Express service, just months after doing the same for members of its Walmart+ subscription program. Walmart’s ecommerce growth “fell” to 69% in Q4.

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Ahold Delhaize Steps Up Automation Efforts

| Mike O'Brien

Ahold Delhaize, the Netherlands-based grocery conglomerate that owns Stop & Shop, Giant and other U.S. chains, plans to pilot micro-fulfillment technology at one of Giant’s fulfillment centers in Philadelphia as it competes with Kroger’s e-fulfillment model using tech partner Ocado.

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Walmart Expands Store-Based Grocery Fulfillment Automation

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is taking another huge leap forward in its attempt to dominate grocery sales, launching an aggressive plan to increase the number of stores using micro fulfillment via automation and robotics to speed orders to local customers as it builds on the digital legacy of the departing Marc Lore. Dozens of such locations are planned.

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Sustainability Efforts in Shipping Logistics

| Noah Rue

Shipping logistics affect all of our lives in ways we tend not to think about. Transportation of goods across the world shapes what we buy, wear and use. Shipping influences the cost of goods, world trade and especially companies’ environmental impact. Here are some key aspects of sustainability efforts in shipping logistics.

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Will Dark Stores Outlast the Pandemic?

| Mike Chou

Dark stores, even as a temporarily approach, can help offset the cost of underperforming stores and the expense of freight and logistics, especially in more densely populated areas. It also takes online fulfillment out of store operations, allowing retailers to concentrate on customer service and minimizing inventory confusion.