The retail technology week in numbers
20…Amazon has narrowed the list of possible homes for its second North American HQ from 238 to 20. The candidates are (drum roll, please): Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, Montgomery County, MD, Nashville, TN, Newark, NJ, New York City, NY, Northern Virginia, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Raleigh, NC, Toronto, ON and Washington D.C.
3…Alibaba’s Hema venture is to open three stores in the Chinese city of Xian by the end of 2018. The New Retail supermarket’s expansion into the northwestern Chinese city follows an announcement that it will add 30 locations in Beijing by year-end, boosting its store count in the capital to 35.
2.5…Dynatrace has announced the findings of a series of benchmark tests that reveal how well retail websites (across the UK, US, France, Germany, China, Australia, Spain and the Nordic region) performed during the holiday shopping season. On average, global sites for consumers doing online shopping between Black Friday and 3rd January were visually complete and ready to use within 2.5 seconds.
82.44…Alibaba’s deep-learning model has topped humans for the first time in a reading comprehension test. The Chinese e-commerce giant’s Institute of Data Science and Technologies (iDST) reports that its deep neural network model scored 82.44 in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) on 11th January, beating the human score of 82.304 for providing exact answers to questions.
200…As Brits take advantage of new consumer rights introduced over the past five years, a survey by ParcelHero reveals at least 200 small e-tailers don’t expect to survive the massive growth in returns over the Christmas period.
495,000…Marks & Spencer is to open a new mechanised clothing and homeware logistics centre in Welham Green, Hertfordshire as the struggling retailer looks to shake-up its logistics network. The 495,000 sq ft facility, formerly a Tesco site, will go live early next year and serve 150 stores in the South East. It will be operated by a third-party logistics supplier, employing over 500 people.
16 million…Tesco has announced a grace period on changes to its biggest Clubcard rewards, following an angry response from customers on social media. The retailer has around 16 million active Clubcard customers. One grumbled on Twitter: "We had £89 saved up in vouchers - worth £356. Now they are worth £267. No advance warning, really really poor from @Tesco £tescoclubcard - been loyal Tesco customers for well over 10 years - because of clubcard. And what a load of BS about 'making it easier'."
It is now delaying changes until 10th June to give shoppers more time to adjust, noting that it had "listened to customers' feedback".
£100 million…London-based FinTech, Curve, has launched to UK consumers. Up until now the company, which offers a platform consolidating debit and credit cards into a single Curve Mastercard and app, was in Beta and only officially available to business users. The Curve card works like a normal bank card anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard cards - for contactless, chip and PIN, magstripe and ATM withdrawals. More than 100,000 people signed up during the Beta phase, spending over £100 million in more than 100 countries.
1,700…Alibaba is looking to open a logistics centre in France and up the number of French products on its e-commerce platforms. 1,700 French brands joined Alibaba in 2017, with their average growth being 53%.
£297.5 million…Dunelm reports that comparable sales rose 3.4% in its second quarter, comprising the 13-week period ended 30th December. Helped by YOY online growth of 30.5%, revenue was up 13.6% to £297.5 million.
52%...of retailers’ weekly or monthly promotions go to customers who would happily have paid full price. That’s according to a Revionics-commissioned survey conducted by Forrester Consulting.
777%...Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, owned by German-based shoe retailer The Deichmann Group, have implemented Salesforce Marketing Cloud, bringing consumer engagement data, campaigns and personnel from both companies onto a single CRM platform. The transition to the solution has enabled marketers to deliver intelligent, personalised consumer journeys at scale, resulting in an annual 777% ROI.