Online retail news in brief (31 January 2018)



In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.

Does the public distrust AI?

Oxford Researcher Vyacheslav Polonski has published an article explaining the distrust that the public feels for artificial intelligence. He also offers how their attitude might change:

  • Experience — the more that people encounter and use AI, the more comfortable they will feel with it
  • Companies should be transparent about their algorithms, and help the public understand how AI makes its decisions
  • Companies can offer the freedom for shoppers to modify algorithms slightly, which has been shown to improve their satisfaction levels with the decision sit makes

House of Fraser owner urges Brexit clarity

Sanpower chairman and House of Fraser owner Yuan Yafei has publicly expressed a desire for a ‘definite signal’ from the Prime Minister on the type of Brexit that she and the government are aiming for.

Yafei has stated he is optimistic for Brexit, but would like greater clarity.

Well, there may be a little more of that available…

Leaked government paper not optimistic for post-Brexit economy

A Whitehall report has leaked, revealing the government’s projections that the UK economy will grow more slowly outside of the European Union, whatever kind of Brexit deal they can negotiate.

According to the paper, growth over the next 15 years could be 8% lower than if the UK were to remain in the EU, 5% lower with a trade deal, or 2% lower if the UK were to remain in the Single Market.

Some of the more pro-Brexit ministers and MPs were quick to dismiss the report as incomplete and leaked by a soft-Brexiteer or Remainer.

Chairman of the European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg, called the economic modelling of the report inaccurate and “highly speculative”.

Zara opens click and collect store

Zara has opened its first store dedicated to click and collect orders. The 2,150 square foot pop-up, based in Westfield Stratford, will operate until Zara’s flagship store reopens in May following renovation.

The store will also have glass on the top floor which displays products as shoppers approach, and mirrors with information screens to offer product recommendations.

Shell trials self-scan checkout technology

Shell has introduced a checkout system purported to be 15 times faster than conventional self-service checkouts.

The one-store trial is part of a six-week pilot, and allows shoppers to scan all items in a basket at once, using radio frequency ID chips.

Nutella Riots hit France

When Intermarché supermarkets in France offered 70% off Nutella, desperate shoppers turned to violence in competition for the spread.

One witness reported: “They are like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand.”

Nutella expressed regret at the violence, and was clear that the decision to run the promotion was ‘unilaterally’ taken by Intermarché.

Les acheteurs émeutiers


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