1. Amazon smashes earnings in Q1
Amazon blew past analyst expectations reporting a net income of $3.56 billion and earnings per share of $7.09 for the first quarter of 2019. The company’s revenue growth has slowed down a bit but it continues to benefit from ever-increasing profit margins. AWS remains the company’s star performer. Amazon offered guidance of as much as $1.6 billion below Wall Street’s $4.2 billion expectations. As CNBC notes, that could well point to the company’s intentions of making additional investments going forward.
2. Walmart brings AI to a real store
Walmart officially revealed its Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) concept in its Levittown store Thursday. The company says it outfitted the IRL store with 100 servers, more than 400 graphics processing units (GPUs), 150,000 feet of cable, 10 cooling towers, cameras, sensors, and real-time analytics software. The technology will alert staff about items in need of restocking, aging produce that needs replacing, shelves that require clean-up, potential safety hazards such as spills, or when available shopping carts are running low.
3. Vue.ai raises $17M in Series B
Vue.ai, the retail arm of Indian AI startup Mad Street Den has announced $17 million in Series B funding. The investment was backed by Falcon Edge Capital with participation from Japan’s Global Brain and Sequoia Capital India. This round brings the total funds raised to $27.5 million, the bulk of which CEO and Mad Street Den co-founder Ashwini Asokan said will be used to expand its workforce and acquire new clients.
4. CMA blocks Sainsbury’s-Asda merger
The UK’s competition regulator has blocked the proposed £12 billion mergers of Sainsbury’s and Asda, delivering a blow to the grocery giants’ attempted bid to overtake market leader Tesco. The CMA said the deal would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at many petrol stations across the UK. Sainsbury’s and Walmart-owned Asda, responded to the decision by mutually agreeing to terminate the proposed deal
5. IndoChino goes to Australia
Indochino has reportedly laid the groundwork for retail expansion in Australia, where customers can now purchase an item from the brand’s web site in localized currency, receive customer service and messaging targeted to their market and full support services. “Australia is Indochino’s first official launch outside of North America with local currency and duty-free shipping, paving the way for future brick-and-mortar locations to open across the nation as the company explores international expansion opportunities,” the company stated.