TECHNOLOGY

Untuckit makes its move to mobile POS

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Untuckit is giving its stores a mobile makeover.

The fast-growing brand, whose signature shirts are made to be worn untucked, is adding a mobile POS system from Melbourne, Australia-based Proper Business Solutions, a move that will streamline front end transactions across all stores. The iPad-based system, which includes rugged cases and a universal adapter that enables the device to wirelessly interact with Verifone payment terminals, will enable associates to process in-store transactions, as well as place online orders for customers.

The new system will be available in all 40 stores in the United States, as well as 15 new stores expected to open this year, the company reported.

“We’re a fast-growing retail brand who always looks at how we can provide the most compelling experience for our shoppers, especially as we drive more foot traffic into our physical stores,” said Jason Lerman, director of operations, Untuckit. “The Proper Business Solutions were a natural fit to make our mobile POS systems come to life and equip us with the necessary hardware to match our software and take the pain and inefficiencies out of the point-of-sale process.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Target adds a twist to its newest accelerator program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Target is in search of new start-ups that can “make the world a better place.”

Called Target Incubator, the program is aimed at Gen Z entrepreneurs that run businesses that benefit people or the planet. This could be a product, service, technology, or even a new business model, according to Target’s website. Unlike the discounter’s other accelerator programs however, Target Incubator will have a virtual learning component.

Participants, which must have a majority (51%-plus) ownership in their company, will submit materials — such as a pitch deck, formal business plan, or launch schedule — on the retailer’s application portal by Oct. 29. Following a round of interviews, eight companies will be chosen on Dec. 5, and receive a $10,000 stipend from Target.

These candidates will also be required to complete one hour of virtual programming each week from late April through June, 2019. Then two members from each of company will relocate to Target’s Minneapolis headquarters for eight weeks from June through August. During this period, candidates will work with mentors from Target and other businesses, as well as attend tailored workshops, learning sessions, and team-building events, the site reported.

“We designed this new incubator for the Gen Z entrepreneur to provide them with a platform to test, learn and ultimately flourish,” the website said. “We want to support the next generation of innovators, change makers and leaders in a way that matters. They see the world differently, and therefore recognize solutions to problems differently. And we already see that they are taking action with new businesses.”

Target Incubator is the newest program in the discounter’s accelerator portfolio. The retailer also offers Target + Techstars, a program aimed at uncovering new tech start-up companies, and Target Takeoff, which is focused on supporting emerging businesses that solve problems in areas where the discounter hopes to grow its business.

This year’s Target Takeoff focused on beauty solutions. The program kicked off with a week-long retail boot camp at the company’s headquarters in April, and concluded in May, with startups participating in a product showcase with Target leaders.

The next Target + Techstars program, which launched in July, included 10 new retail tech companies that presented their concepts at a demo day on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

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Why did Amazon bail on an AI-based recruitment tool?

BY CSA Staff

Like humans, it seems even computers can show bias.

At least, this was the case at Amazon when machine-learning specialists detected that their recruiting engine was not partial to female candidates, according to Reuters.

The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the goal of automating the search for top talent. However, the company realized this system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way, the report said.

Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men.

Despite editing the programs to make them neutral, there was still no guarantee that the machines would not “learn” other ways to sort candidates that could prove discriminatory. As a result, Amazon disbanded the team by the start of last year, the report revealed.

Amazon’s recruiters looked at the recommendations generated by the tool when searching for new hires, but never relied solely on those rankings, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

To read more, click here.

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