Here’s how you’ll shop in 2030

BY ELIZABETH SEGRAN


If the fashion industry cleans up its act.

If you’re worried about the planet, clothes shopping can feel like navigating a minefield. There are so many things to worry about when buying a T-shirt—from the carbon emissions to the wastewater generated during its manufacturing. But imagine a world where fashion labels cleaned up their act and the industry actually made the planet greener?

That’s the premise of a new report from Bain and Positive Luxury, a company that offers sustainability certifications to brands. The report explores the many initiatives brands are currently working on to become more eco-friendly and considers what the world would be like in 2030 if these became norms. At a time when many consumers are just beginning to reckon with the fashion industry’s devastating impact on the planet, the report offers a hopeful glimpse into the future—if the industry makes some changes.

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Meet The Billionaire Founder Of South Korea’s Amazon That’s About To Go Public

Bom Kim, founder and chief executive officer

By Ralph Jennings

Coupang is preparing for a U.S. listing that could value the South Korean e-commerce giant at more than $50 billion. It’s another milestone for Coupang’s 42-year-old billionaire founder Bom Kim, who has been leading the company since 2010.

Dubbed the Amazon of South Korea, Coupang’s IPO would be the largest U.S. listing by a foreign company since Alibaba’s blockbuster debut in 2014.

Coupang has grown by cutting prices and speeding up deliveries. It offers same-day and next-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise. It delivers prepared foods through the name Coupang Eats and offers video streaming under the label Coupang Play.

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AI Go Debuts Hybrid Autonomous Shopping in Shanghai C-Store

By Jessie Dowd

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The AI-powered autonomous shopping experience just got bigger, in the form of a 4,000-square-foot hybrid convenience market called AI Go in Shanghai. The store combines a manned checkout with the use of computer vision as part of checkout-free shopping powered by AiFiSolutions.

Stocking 2,000 SKUs ranging from fresh meats to snacks, this store represents the largest deployment to date of the AiFiAutonomous Store Platform OASIS. Consumers shopping autonomously check in using an AiFi app, or they can continue to shop as usual with a cashier at checkout.

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The death of the department store and the American middle class

By Jason Del Rey

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The collapse of America’s middle class crushed department stores. Amazon and the pandemic are the final blows.

In a New Jersey suburb seven miles west of Midtown Manhattan, the American Dream is on shaky ground.

The Dream in question isn’t the mythological notion that upward social mobility is within reach for all hardworking Americans. It’s a $5 billion, 3 million-square-foot shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford featuring an indoor ski slope, an ice-skating rink, and a Nickelodeon-branded amusement park. The complex finally opened last fall, but it’s now facing huge new challenges.

The development’s complicated 17-year history, marked by ownership changes, false starts, and broken promises, had already put American Dream in a precarious situation. The Covid-19pandemic hitting in March made things much worse. Whether the mall makes it in the long term will hinge in part on how it deals with the collapse of three of the marquee department stores that were to anchor the complex and draw foot traffic — Barneys New York, Lord & Taylor, and Century 21 — which all have gone bankrupt and closed, or are planning to close all their stores in the US.More than half of all mall-based department stores will close by the end of 2021

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Autonomous delivery startup Nuro hits $5 billion valuation on fresh funding of $500 million

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Nuro R2 delivery bot

Nuro, the autonomous delivery startup founded by two former Google engineers, has raised $500 million, suggesting that investors still have an appetite for long-term pursuits such as robotics and automated vehicle technology. Nuro now has a post-money valuation of $5 billion.

The Series C round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., with participation from new investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company and Baillie Gifford. The round also includes existing investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 1 and Greylock.

Nuro was founded in June 2016 by former Google engineers Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu. While the startup was initially bootstrapped by Ferguson and Zhu, it has never struggled to attract investors. Nuro’s Series A funding round of $92 million, which officially closed in June 2017, included Greylock, Banyan and gave NetEase founder Ding Lei (aka William Ding) a seat on Nuro’s board. But it was the monster $940 million investment made by the SoftBank Vision Fund in February 2019 that catapulted Nuro ahead of numerous other startups attempting to commercialize autonomous vehicle technology. Nuro had a $2.7 billion valuation following the SoftBank investment, meaning its value doubled in about 18 months. That money has helped it grow to more than 650 employees.

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How artificial intelligence may be making you buy things

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If you are getting told off for spending too much on wine, maybe you can blame it on artificial intelligence

The shopping lists we used to scribble on the back of an envelope are increasingly already known by the supermarkets we frequent.

Firstly via the loyalty cards we scan at checkouts, and more and more so from our online baskets, our shopping habits are no longer a secret.

But now more retailers are using AI (artificial intelligence) – software systems that can learn for themselves – to try to automatically predict and encourage our very specific preferences and purchases like never before.

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Fashion Scoops : Dior is inviting people try on sneakers via augmented reality

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Dior’s new Snapchat lens dedicated to the B27sneakers

The reality of trying on shoes in a store?

Risk of embarrassing sock holes; risk of foot odor, or worse, risk of visible butt cleavage when bending over to tie up laces.

So how about augmented reality? Simply point your smart phone at your feet and instantly see how the shoes look, no matter where you are or what’s on your feet at the moment.

Dior is bringing the latter reality to life with a new Snapchat lens for its B27 men’s sneakers.

Launching today, it allows users to quickly try on six variations, and purchase directly from the Dior channel on Snapchat or on Dior.com.

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A DNA-based molecular tagging system that could take the place of printed barcodes

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A DNA-based molecular tagging system that could take the place of printed barcodes

University of Washington and Microsoft researchers have developed a DNA-based molecular tagging system. This GIF explains the process.

Many people have had the experience of being poked in the back by a plastic tag while trying on clothes in a store. That is just one example of radio frequency identification technology, which has become a mainstay not just in retail but also in manufacturing, logistics, transportation, health care and more. Other tagging systems include the scannable barcode and the QR code.

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Robot courier delivering food from shop to home

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From the last week of September onwards, customers of REDI shopping centre may have spotted a small, wheeled robot moving about on its own. Its task is to deliver meals on demand from K-Supermarket to the Majakka high-rise building. Customers can place an order via the building’s Asumi service on their computer or mobile device, and the delivery robot courier will take the products directly to the customer or to the collection point in the building’s shared facilities.

This is an ongoing robot delivery pilot in Kalasatama district in Helsinki implemented by technology company Dimalog in collaboration with Omron and service design agency Muotohiomo. The pilot is coordinated by the city of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki with its partners SRV and KONE. SRV is involved regarding the smart living services directed at Majakka residents, while KONE Oyj offers the lift interfaces for the delivery robot to move about in Majakka. Another essential partner is REDI’s K-Supermarket, which has the opportunity to test the robot in its services.

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Sam’s Club will deploy autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in all of its US locations

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The past six months have seen a fairly aggressive acceleration in the option of robotics and automation as companies look for ways to augment (and, likely, replace in some instances) human workers. The appeal is certainly clear during massive pandemic-fueled shutdowns.

Sam’s Club has been into robotic floor cleaning for a bit longer, having already deployed Tennant’s T7AMR scrubbers in a number of locations. But this week the Walmart -owned bulk retailer announced that it’s adding another 372 this year, bringing the technology to all of its 599 U.S. stores.

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Amazon wants you to yell at your TV to buy things

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Alphabet is wrangling mosquitoes, Apple’s bendy phone and other patents from Big Tech.

Another week in lockdown has passed, and while the present might still feel quite uncertain, the future looks as zany as ever, at least as far as patents go. Alphabet is trying to trap mosquitoes, Amazon wants you to buy stuff off of your TV screen, Apple is getting in on the flexible phone trend, and Microsoft is trying to figure out your heart health from your camera.

And remember: The big tech companies file all kinds of crazy patents for things, and though most never amount to anything, some end up defining the future.

 

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Whole Foods predicts top food trends for 2021

John Mackey discusses how supermarket chain has adjusted amid the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Expect veggie jerky, probiotic-packed sauerkraut and chickpea tofu in snack food aisles.

The future of snacking will be packed with immunity-boosting ingredients, like mushroom broth, fruit and veggie jerky and probiotic-fueled packs of roasted garlic sauerkraut.

More Americans are apparently looking to incorporate healthy supplements into their snacking habits, according to Whole Foods Market’s list of “Top 10 Food Trends for 2021,” released Monday.

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