TECHNOLOGY

Sears in new partnership with Amazon

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holdings Corp. is taking its relationship with Amazon to a new level.

The department store retailer said that Sears Auto Centers will offer full-service tire installation and balancing for customers who purchase any brand of tires on Amazon.com. The service initially launched at 47 Sears Auto Centers in eight metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and New York. It will be rolled out to all 400 plus Sears Auto Centers nationwide during the coming weeks.

The deal is seen as a win-win for both retailers. It gives beleaguered Sears a new revenue stream and gives Amazon a way to serve up in-store services even though it lacks a national network of physical retail.

The partnership reflects the growing relationship between Sears and Amazon, which started when Sears began selling its Kenmore appliances on Amazon in July 2017. The brand is now distributed nationally on Amazon with over 250 products. And since December, select products from Sears’ DieHard brand have been sold on Amazon.com, with the lineup steadily expanding.

The collaboration means that Sears Auto will become the first nationwide auto service center to offer Amazon customers the ship-to-store tire solution integrated into the online retailer’s checkout process. To take advantage of the service, Amazon customers select their tires, the Sears Auto location and their preferred date and time for the tire installation. Sears will then contact the customer to confirm the appointment.

In addition, as part of the deal and for the first time, Sears’ DieHard all-season passenger tires will be sold on Amazon.

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M.Sapir says:
May-10-2018 12:12 pm

Sears has been a retail disaster. Not changing with retail trends and for the most part poor custom service. It’s a last ditch effort to stay relevant as Sears sells off it’s real estate. Most retailers buying tires want to come into physical stores to make their selection. Sears should move into hosting different retail stores under their umbrella like Fred Segal’s model, and let Amazon struggle for a physical presence. Michael Sapir, CEO, Sapir Real Estate Development.

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TECHNOLOGY

H&M reportedly taps technology to solve inventory problem

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

H&M is looking beyond markdowns to deplete its excess inventory, and offer more customized assortments.

By leveraging data in news ways, H&M expects to stay ahead of trends, as well as customize the selection and price of products in its stores, according to Business Insider, which cited the Wall Street Journal.

For example, the retailer is leveraging image recognition tools to analyze social media and fashion blogs for new styles and trends. This information will then be used to form its collections, Business Insider said.

In addition, H&M will use analytics to track what merchandise is bought and returned to each store to determine what resonates well with local customers. This will help the company customize its store assortments to ensure that it is stocking exactly what its customers want, according to the report.

The technologies are being tested in one Stockholm store. The processes helped cut the location’s total number of items by 40%, and replaced men’s, women’s, and children’s basics with more expensive items, the report said.

To read more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon setting up shop—inside model homes

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon wants to show prospective home owners just how its Alexa device and other solutions can fit into their everyday lives.

The tech giant announced it is opening “Amazon Experience Centers” within select Lennar model homes across the United States. The homes will be Alexa-enabled, which means customers can ask Alexa to control the television, lights, thermostat, shades, and more.

Customers can experience just how easy it can be to reorder household essentials with a press of an Amazon Dash Button, listen or watch Prime content with Fire TV or schedule on-demand home services through Amazon Home Services, according to Amazon. The centers are now open in Lennar model homes in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., with more to be added.

“We wanted customers to experience a real home environment that showcases the convenience of the Alexa smart home experience, great entertainment available with Prime, and Home Services,” said Nish Lathia, general manager, Amazon Services.

In the Lenar model-home setting, customers can experience how Alexa, Prime, and Amazon services come together to help them:

• Control smart home devices with just their voice;
• Control smart home devices with just their voice;
• Incorporate entertainment into their daily lives, and
• Save time by putting their home on auto-pilot.

The centers, which feature the latest products and experiences, are set up by Amazon experts, who are described by the company as employees specially trained on the latest technology and passionate about helping customers.

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