Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be the future of fashion retail
More and more consumers are turning to online shopping and leaving brick-and-mortar stores vulnerable. As a result, companies are looking for new ways to retail their products and enhance the in-store experience with technologies like artificial intelligence. On Wednesday, Alibaba Group unveiled its pilot project of a “FashionAI” concept store that will be open for a limited time at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. American clothing brand Guess is also working with Alibaba as the pilot store, showcasing its clothing lines.
The FashionAI idea uses a range of technologies from machine learning to computer vision through innovations such as smart mirrors. The smart mirrors display product information when shoppers touch a nearby piece of clothing. Each item of clothing has an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag so the smart mirrors can spot popular fashion trends among shoppers. This makes it easier for the mirrors to make outfit recommendations in line with current trends and lead consumers to the suggested items in the store. Guess intends on improving its stores with FashionAI technology in the near future as the technology helps to better understand and cater to consumers’ fashion needs.
To find out more about this concept, click here.
Tesco and Carrefour team up for better deals
The supermarket industry has recently become even more competitive – with the rise of Amazon as well as discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. There have also been surprising mergers like Sainsbury’s and Asda. On Monday, Tesco, Britain’s biggest grocer, and Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, announced they are adding to the pressure by forming a three-year strategic alliance to source products from suppliers at better deals for over 19,000 of their stores. This arrangement would enable the supermarkets to lower prices, provide more choice and improve the quality of the product ranges for customers.
With this partnership, Tesco and Carrefour aim to reduce costs through their increased buying power. Both companies plan to decrease the amount of branded products available in their stores and increase their own-brand ranges which they will purchase together. Moreover, the strategic alliance will help the grocery retailers secure better contracts from multinationals, such as Unilever and Nescafé. Each company will work with their suppliers at a regional and national level to obtain a better position in the industry.
To read more about this strategic alliance, click here.
Solar panels for trucks
The trucking industry has been undergoing some major developments, from autonomous electric trucks to platooning systems. This week, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) released a report in relation to how solar panels can assist with trucking activities. Today, the needs of trucks have escalated because of increased freight tracking requirements, idle reduction regulations and increased driver comfort demands. As a result, truck batteries are struggling to power the trucks like they used to and solar panels are seen as a potential solution to these new challenges.
Solar panels won’t help reduce fuel costs but they can keep the truck’s batteries at a higher charge level and extend the battery life by up to 2 hours in the best case scenario. This could reduce the amount of jump starts and increase savings over the years as logistic providers won’t have to purchase an additional battery or pay for roadside service calls when the battery dies.
More information can be found here.
Have a great weekend!