Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 24): Flipkart Re-enters Quick Commerce, Bark’s New Dog Toy Testing Lab

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 24): Flipkart Re-enters Quick Commerce, Bark’s New Dog Toy Testing Lab

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Decline in the US Retail Home Goods Market

Due to rising loan rates and reduced home sales, demand for large furniture and home renovation projects has declined, resulting in a drop in sales across the US retail home goods market in the first quarter. High-end retailers like RH, Williams-Sonoma, and Ethan Allen reported decreases in net revenue, while online home goods company Wayfair and major retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s also saw declines. The US Department of Commerce reported a 6.8% year-over-year drop in sales for furniture and home goods in May. Despite overall market challenges, some high-end retailers, like Williams-Sonoma and Arhaus, showed stock price growth due to factors like reduced shipping costs and increased store openings. The cost of home furnishings and bedding also saw a year-over-year decline in May, suggesting potential for market recovery as consumer interest resurfaces.

Target Partners with Shopify to Expand Marketplace

Target has teamed up with Shopify to boost its third-party marketplace, Target Plus. This collaboration aims to attract trendy brands and drive online traffic. Starting Monday, Shopify-affiliated companies can apply to join Target Plus. Target’s Chief Guest Experience Officer, Cara Sylvester, highlighted that this partnership will help discover popular items for Target’s online shoppers. Target, which has struggled with declining sales and e-commerce growth, hopes this initiative will accelerate its business recovery. Shopify, facing its own challenges, also stands to benefit from this partnership.


Flipkart’s New Quick Commerce Venture

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart is re-entering the quick commerce market with the launch of Flipkart Minutes, targeting 15-minute deliveries for groceries, electronics, and other essentials. This marks Flipkart’s third attempt in this sector, following previous unsuccessful efforts. The company is also expanding its grocery delivery network with a new center in Jaipur, capable of handling over 6,500 orders daily. Flipkart’s renewed focus on quick commerce aims to leverage its high-quality supply chain to compete with established platforms like Zepto and Blinkit. This expansion is part of Flipkart’s broader strategy to meet growing online grocery demand in India.

Poshmark Expands Live Shopping

Poshmark is enhancing its live shopping feature with Posh Party Live, allowing sellers and shoppers to interact in real-time through video on the app. These live events are themed, offering curated lists of items such as summer wear and luxury goods, hosted by selected party hosts who guide the events and auctions. Since its introduction, Poshmark has seen significant engagement growth, with over 1 million Posh Shows held and daily viewing times increasing by 51%. This move into live shopping aligns with Poshmark’s strategy to boost user engagement and sales, especially after its acquisition by Korean tech giant Naver.

Bark’s New Dog Toy Testing Lab

Pet retailer Bark has launched an advanced dog toy testing lab in collaboration with ASTM to standardize pet toy safety worldwide. The lab uses cutting-edge technology to simulate real-world use, focusing on factors like biting, dropping, and general wear and tear. Bark aims to share its findings with the industry to raise safety standards across all pet products, including car restraints and leashes. This initiative underscores Bark’s commitment to pet safety, despite facing financial challenges in recent years. The first ASTM-certified pet product safety standard from this lab is expected by early 2025.

On’s Warehouse Drone Initiative

Swiss sportswear brand On has partnered with AI manufacturer Verity to enhance warehouse operations through real-time inventory tracking using drones. This technology aims to minimize supply chain issues such as stock shortages and misplacements, initially implemented in one of On’s US facilities. The use of drones is part of On’s broader strategy to streamline operations and improve order fulfillment accuracy. This partnership with Verity reflects a growing trend among companies like Maersk, which also employs warehouse drones to optimize inventory management.


Bipartisan Bill Proposes AI Tools Training for Small Businesses

A new bipartisan bill aims to provide AI tools and training for small businesses to enhance their operations and competitiveness. This legislation seeks to bridge the technology gap and equip small enterprises with advanced AI capabilities. The bill proposes funding for AI training programs and tools, ensuring that small businesses can leverage AI for better decision-making, efficiency, and innovation. By fostering AI adoption, the bill intends to level the playing field between small and large companies, driving economic growth and technological advancement across the board.

Meta Opens Access to AI Projects for Wider Use

Meta has made its AI projects more accessible to the public, aiming to democratize AI technology. The company has opened up several of its AI tools and resources, allowing developers and researchers to utilize and build upon them. This move is part of Meta’s broader strategy to foster innovation and collaboration in the AI community. By providing open access to its AI projects, Meta hopes to accelerate advancements in the field and encourage a more inclusive and diverse range of AI applications.

Elon Musk’s xAI Partners with Nvidia and Dell for AI Supercomputer

Elon Musk’s AI company, xAI, has teamed up with Nvidia and Dell to develop a cutting-edge AI supercomputer. This partnership aims to create one of the most powerful AI computing systems, leveraging Nvidia’s advanced GPUs and Dell’s high-performance computing infrastructure. The AI supercomputer will support various research and development projects, pushing the boundaries of AI capabilities. This collaboration reflects the growing trend of tech giants joining forces to advance AI technology and infrastructure.

Music labels have initiated lawsuits against generative AI startups, accusing them of copyright infringement. These startups use AI to create music, raising concerns about intellectual property rights. The lawsuits highlight the tension between technological innovation and existing copyright laws. Music labels argue that AI-generated music often replicates copyrighted material, leading to potential revenue loss for artists and rights holders. This legal battle underscores the need for clear regulations and guidelines to address the complexities of AI-generated content and copyright protection.

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