Category Archives: Shopping

Tru Kids Brands Bringing Toys“R”Us Stores Back To The United States

Tru Kids Brands, the proud parent of the Toys“R”Us brand will bring Toys“R”Us stores back to the United States this holiday season. Tru Kids and b8ta, the software-powered experiential retailer have entered into a joint venture to launch a new store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces.

The first two new Toys“R”Us stores will open this holiday season, located in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Brand partners and experiences will be announced in the coming weeks.

The new Toys“R”Us stores will serve as must-visit destinations for kids to learn, play, and fall in love with the latest and most popular toys, and for parents to have fun with their children and ignite their own childlike sense of play. The stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey the Giraffe in the open playspace. 

Using b8ta’s innovative experiential retail model, brands will showcase their products in an interactive, playground-like environment, creating an entirely new retail experience centered around product discovery and engagement. Brands also will have the opportunity to design custom experiences and branded shops to help them create memorable experiences for parents and children. This experiential retail environment will leverage b8ta’s Retail as a Service (RaaS) platform, which enables brands to actively manage their in-store experiences and measure how offline experiences translate into online sales.

The companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S. over the course of 2020. To learn more about Toys“R”Us, and stay in the know about new store openings and offers, visit www.toysrus.com.

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Ford’s Self Braking Shopping Cart

For parents of young children, in terms of stress, the weekly trip to the supermarket is right up there with getting the kids to bed and meal times. And few moments are more worrying than seeing your child careen off at high speed on a shopping cart. 

Taking inspiration from its own Pre-Collison Assist technology, Ford has now come up with the “Self-Braking Shopping Cart”.

While just a design concept and probably cost prohibitive, this device could prevent a lot of bruised ankles and dinged bumpers.

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Funko Plans To Open Giant Toy Store In Hollywood In 2019

Funko, the ubiquitous pop-culture toy maker has plans to open up a nearly 40,000-square-foot store in Los Angeles later this year.

“So many people are looking for an experience when they shop — not just buying things,” Funko CEO Brian Mariotti told CNN Business in an interview. “This is retail times pop culture.”

Funko CEO Brian Mariotti

Funko is known for its vinyl figures that are based on popular movie, TV and comic book characters. It also reproduces real life athletes. The company has licenses with most big studios, including Disney (DIS) for its Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars characters, Warner Bros. for the DC Comics and Harry Potter franchises as well as Pokémon.

The LA store will be located on Hollywood Boulevard, not far from the famous TCL Chinese Theatre. It will neighbor a Shake Shack and SoulCycle — in other words, trendy. Mariotti said the company is targeting both tourists and local residents.

Funko already runs a retail outlet at its corporate headquarters in Everett, Washington. Mariotti said that when the company opened that store up, he thought it would be a hit with pop culture enthusiasts and Funko employees. The store wound up exceeding those expectations.

Mariotti said moms with young kids are big fans. Many customers are repeat visitors, too. That proved to Funko that it might be a good idea to set up shops in cities that could attract a mix of local fans and enthusiasts willing to travel to the store.

The new Hollywood location will let customers pose with life-size Funko figures and sit in a toy version of the Batmobile, he said.

He added that the company was still working with the building developer and local officials in Los Angeles, so the store won’t be ready for a while. But he hopes to open it in time for Halloween. Parts of the store are being built in Washington and shipped down to California.

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Amazon Go

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Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. Amazon created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With their “Just Walk Out” Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout!

The checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Their Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, your Amazon account will be charged and a receipt will be sent to you.

The future stores will roughly measure 1,800 square feet which is conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.

To get started, all you need is an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the free Amazon Go app.

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Amazon Go offers delicious ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by on-site chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries. The selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. You’ll find well-known brands plus special finds.

Currently there is a single store which is located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street. Amazon Go is currently open to Amazon employees in a Beta program, and will open to the public in early 2017.

Click HERE to be updated when an Amazon Go store is coming to your neighborhood.

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Amazon Opens A Physical Bookstore In Seattle

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Amazon got its start as an online bookseller, and now — over 20 years later — it’s decided to sell books the old-fashioned way. On Tuesday, Amazon will open a store in Seattle called Amazon Books. Not only is it one of Amazon’s first physical locations, but it’s also Amazon’s first physical bookstore. Amazon says that it won’t entirely be doing things like a traditional store, however; it’ll be relying on Amazon.com data — including customer ratings, sales totals, and Goodread’s popularity — to decide which books to stock. Curators will have some say, too.

In addition to selling books, Amazon is also going to be putting its devices on display. Visitors will be able to try Kindles, the Echo, the Fire TV, and Fire Tablets.

The store is located in Seattle’s University Village and will be open seven days a week, except for holidays. Amazon says that this is a permanent location — not just a pop-up shop.

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Amazon Announces Prime Day, A Global Shopping Event On July 15, 2015

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Amazon Prime Day is a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members. On Wednesday, July 15 new and existing members will be able to shop thousands of Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and will receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping. Members will find deals starting at midnight PST, with new deals starting throughout the day, as often as every ten minutes. Not a Prime member? Try Prime today and get immediate access to deals on July 15.

Prime members can find deals on products across categories including electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more. Members will enjoy deals on items perfect for summer adventures, their to-do list, family road trips, back to school supplies, and everyday essentials. Prime members can shop on any device, including smartphones and tablets and enjoy deals anytime, and anywhere.

Click HERE for more information.

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Amazon Dash Button

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Never worry about running out of your essentials again with the Amazon Dash Button (Free). This intelligent series of physical buttons link to your Amazon account, allowing you to instantly reorder a variety of products from well-known brands like Gillette, Gatorade, Clorox, and more with a single press. Running low on toilet paper? Press the Cottonelle button. Trash bags? Glad button. Laundry Detergent, simply press the Tide button.

The button comes with a reusable adhesive and a hook so you can hang, stick, or place it right where you need it. Keep Dash Button handy in the kitchen, bath, laundry, or anywhere you store your favorite products.

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The button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi network and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered.

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Magic, A Text Message-Based Service That Promises to Get Users Anything They Want (As Long As It’s Not Illegal)

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Magic is a new text message-based service by Mountain View, California based startup Plus Labs, Inc. with operators standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week that promises to get users anything they want as long as its not illegal.

In essence, a user sends a request for, say, groceries or plane tickets, and Magic goes to work, returning with a price that includes a built-in “tip.”

The service works anywhere in the United States and happily accepts Bitcoin.

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Apple Announces Product(RED) Gift Cards For Black Friday

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Apple has released information on the Product(RED) iTunes Gift Cards that it will be giving out with qualifying purchases on Black Friday, with a percentage of each Gift Card donated to the (RED) Global Fund. Qualifying products include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, all iPad Air and iPad mini models, iPod touch, iPod nano, Apple TV, all current iMac and MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, and Beats Headphones and Speakers. iPhone and iPad buyers will receive a $50 gift card, Mac buyers a $100 card, and iPod, Apple TV, and Beats buyers will receive a $25 card. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus purchases are limited to two gift cards per household, as are iPad Air and iPad mini purchases.

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IKEA Singapore Parodies The Apple iPad Launch Video For Their New 2015 Catalog

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IKEA Singapore has parodied the Apple iPad launch video for their new 2015 catalog. The video specifically calls attention to the fact that the catalog is a physical item, and invites interested parties to “experience the power of a bookbook.”

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