Sunday, May 26, 2024

Farewell Tesco, hello Stockholm, Sweden: the biggest retail technology news stories of the week — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

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2. Rapid delivery big hitter Getir in crisis talks as it preps major ‘make or break’ restructuring move

Turkish ultrafast grocery delivery firm, Getir, is said to be working on a radical restructuring plan just two years after it was valued at just off $12 billion.

According to Sky News, Getir, which operates in five markets including the UK, is examining a number of options as part of talks with its leading investors.

Sky News report: “Sources said this weekend that this could involve a break-up of the rapid delivery group, an exit from a number of its remaining markets or some form of emergency restructuring mechanism.”

It added: “A source close to the company denied that any form of insolvency process was under consideration, saying that if it decided to exit a country it would do so in an orderly fashion.”

“Another insider added that the next few days were “make or break” for the company, with key decisions about Getir’s future expected to be taken as early as the next fortnight.”

AlixPartners, the restructuring firm, is understood to be advising on the situation at Getir, which is backed by the likes of Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global.

It was valued at $11.8 billion when it raised more than $750 million in a funding round in 2022.

Getir did not respond to our request for comment.

3. Furniture Village pays tribute to Chief Information Officer Mike Broughton who passed away earlier this month

UK retailer Furniture Village has announced the passing of its Chief Information Officer, Mike Broughton. 

In a LinkedIn post, it said: “Mike passed away peacefully on Friday 5th April surrounded by his family.”

“As many of you will know, Mike was a larger than life character who brought a wealth of experience, talent and good humour to our board.”

“He was an inspirational leader and mentor who always made time for his colleagues and encouraged everyone to fulfil their potential with his endless capacity for warmth, empathy and positivity. More than anything, he was a true gentleman.”

It concluded: “He leaves behind a lasting legacy and will be hugely missed by all his FV family. Our heartfelt condolences go to the Broughton family at this very sad time.”

Broughton worked at Furniture Village for just over six years.

His CV also included stints at Asda (as Senior Director IS), William Hill (as Chief Information Officer), and Barclays Bank (as Change Director).

4. Amazon hits back at media reports that its Just Walk Out technology relies on human reviewers watching from afar

Amazon has slammed “erroneous” media reports that its Just Walk Out checkout-free stores technology relies on human reviewers watching from afar.

Said reports claimed that, though it seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out actually relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labelling videos to ensure accurate checkouts.

The cashiers were simply moved off-site, leaving people to be essentially spied on while they shopped.

In an online post, Amazon countered: “Most AI systems, including the underlying machine learning models behind these technologies, are continuously improved by annotating synthetic (AI generated) and real shopping data.”

“Our associates are responsible for this labeling and annotation step. Associates don’t watch live video of shoppers to generate receipts – that’s taken care of automatically by the computer vision algorithms. This is no different than any other AI system that places a high value on accuracy, where human reviewers are common.”

It concluded: “We are excited about the future of AI powered, identity and checkout solutions like Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Dash Cart, and Amazon One. The future of retail will be transformed by AI, and we are just getting started.”

5. 2023 RTIH Innovation Awards winner and unified commerce firm NewStore hires Michael DeSimone as CEO

NewStore, a mobile first unified commerce platform for retailers, has announced the appointment of Michael DeSimone as CEO.

NewStore Founder Stephan Schambach will remain Chairman of the board.

“NewStore is the go to unified commerce platform for global enterprise retailers facing the challenge of outdated, siloed systems. Our unique ability to deliver seamless omnichannel experiences worldwide sets us apart,” says Schambach.

“Michael’s expertise will be instrumental in enhancing the company’s operations and offerings, ensuring our solutions, like our award winning Omnichannel PoS, evolve in line with the always changing demands of the retail market.”

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