Amazon reportedly making unlikely move to sell toys
Amazon will be going old-school this holiday season as it looks to win over former Toys “R” Us customers.
Taking a page from the now-defunct toy chain and from other traditional retailers, the online giant will print a toy catalog for the upcoming holiday season, Bloomberg reported. The catalog will be mailed to shoppers’ homes and also be available at Whole Foods Market stores.
This is not Amazon’s first try at a holiday toy guide. In 2007, the company published an online toy list that highlighted the most in-demand toys that season.
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JDA Software ramps up AI capabilities with acquisition
A new acquisition will enable JDA Software to bolster its supply chain solution offering with artificial intelligence (AI).
JDA will acquire Blue Yonder, a provider of AI solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to close in August, subject to competition agency approval.
Blue Yonder’s AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms enable retail companies to transform their core processes, and automate complex decisions that deliver higher profits and customer value. The company’s data science capabilities will allow JDA to more quickly embed new levels of actionable intelligence across all areas of its SaaS solution roadmap, which encompasses retail/supply chain planning, execution labor management and omnichannel delivery.
The transaction also complements JDA’s strategy of developing cognitive and connected solutions to power digital transformations for companies seeking to create a competitive advantage for their supply chains. The acquisition will also enable Blue Yonder to accelerate its growth, invest more resources to development and deliver even more innovation to customers at scale to help deliver on JDA’s vision for an autonomous supply chain.
“Major digital transformation of supply chains is underway and the ability to quickly access intelligent, actionable data and insights will determine the future winners and losers,” said JDA CEO Girish Rishi. “JDA’s end-to-end solution portfolio, coupled with Blue Yonder’s leading AI/ML capabilities, will enable customers to deliver more autonomous, profitable business decisions throughout their extended supply chains, unlocking the full business impact of intelligent data.”
Blue Yonder’s founder, Dr. Michael Feindt, will provide ongoing thought and innovation leadership to both companies. The company’s CEO Uwe Weiss will join JDA’s operating committee.
“With JDA’s global scope and reach, we have a terrific opportunity to drive the use of our AI solutions throughout the world’s largest and most complex supply chains, and to support companies in driving AI innovation and automated decisions in complex supply chains,” said Weiss.
eBay moves to counter Prime Day
eBay is taking a swing at Amazon by launching a week-long shopping event — and membership is not required.
Starting the week of July 16, eBay will feature exclusive deals on merchandise across categories, including electronics, home, fashion, and sporting goods. Discounts will apply to “hundreds of brands,” including merchandise from Apple, Samsung, Adidas, Dyson and KitchenAid, among others, the company said, with no blackout dates. Shoppers are also entitled to free shipping on all eBay Deals.
Unlike Amazon’s Prime Day event which is reserved for members of its Prime program, eBay’s sale is open to all of its 171 million active buyers worldwide. Other retailers are also expected to counter Prime Day with their own events.
The online marketplace is encouraging customers to comparison shop during the sale. If shoppers find an item being sold for less on an eligible competitor’s website, eBay will refund 110% of the price difference. To qualify for the price guarantee, eligible merchandise must be new, unopened and feature the “Best Price Guarantee” symbol. It must also be in-stock at eBay, as well as at online competitors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Jet, Sears, Target, Walmart, or Wayfair, according to eBay’s website.
eBay’s sale comes on the heels of Amazon officially announcing the date of its fourth annual Prime Day shopping event. The sale, which will launch at noon EST on July 16, will last 36 hours — the longest Prime Day event to date. Prime members globally can snag deals online, and for the first time, at Whole Foods Market stores across the United States.