Amazon, Best Buy to launch a line of smart TVs in US, Canada | Sources: Toys R Us nixes toy mogul's buyout bid | JD.com courts European luxury brands for Toplife platform
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19 April 2018
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Amazon, Best Buy to launch a line of smart TVs in US, Canada
Amazon, Best Buy to launch a line of smart TVs in US, Canada
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Best Buy and Amazon will deepen their partnership with the launch of a line of smart televisions that incorporates Alexa voice assistant features and Amazon's Fire TV. Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer for the new TVs at its stores in the US and Canada and online.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (18 Apr.) 
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Sources: Toys R Us nixes toy mogul's buyout bid
Sources: Toys R Us nixes toy mogul's buyout bid
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Toys R Us has turned down an $890 million bid by MGA Entertainment founder Isaac Larian for 274 US stores and the retailer's Canadian operations, sources said. The bid wasn't high enough to meet the minimum threshold for a bankruptcy court auction that was set to take place Wednesday.
NorthJersey (Woodland Park, N.J.) (free registration) (17 Apr.),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (17 Apr.) 
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Retail in Europe
JD.com courts European luxury brands for Toplife platform
JD.com courts European luxury brands for Toplife platform
(Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)
JD.com opened a Paris office earlier this year and will add a Milan location as part of the Chinese e-commerce company's push to court European brands for its Toplife luxury platform. Twenty brands have already signed on, including Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent.
Reuters (18 Apr.) 
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2018 Retail Editorial Calendar
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Retail in Asia
Report: Tariffs would drive up prices of TVs, printer ink
US prices for TVs, batteries, computer monitors and printer ink would rise about 23% if President Donald Trump imposes his proposed new tariffs on Chinese imports, according to a new study done for NRF and the Consumer Technology Association. "China's unfair trade practices must be addressed, but as this study shows, tariffs aren't the answer and will punish U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
USA Today (17 Apr.) 
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E-commerce Spotlight
Amazon app adds feature to speed international shopping
Amazon app adds feature to speed international shopping
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Consumers in remote parts of the world where imports are the only option can now easily shop Amazon with a new mobile app feature. International Shopping provides local pricing, duty and shipping information for eligible US goods.
Engadget (17 Apr.) 
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Technology Solutions
Robot learns to assemble IKEA furniture quickly
Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have created a robot that can assemble a flat-pack chair from IKEA in around nine minutes. Future iterations of the technology will incorporate artificial intelligence so the robot can interpret the assembly instructions by itself, said co-creator Quang-Cuong Pham.
New Scientist (free content) (18 Apr.),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (18 Apr.) 
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Spotlight on Consumer Electronics
Nokia drives increased interest in retro devices
Nokia drives increased interest in retro devices
Nokia 8110 (HMD Global)
With the return of Nokia-branded handsets last year from HMD Global, interest in classic devices has been renewed. Nokia makes the devices more appealing by offering some of today's technology, such as Google Assistant capabilities.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (17 Apr.) 
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NRF News
Retail sales increase 5% over last year
US retail sales during March increased 5% over last year, according to NRF's calculations, which exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says the increase reflects a strong job market, gains in wages, improvements in confidence, rising home values and sensible use of credit. Read more.
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The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy or too impatient. ... One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach -- waiting for a gift from the sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
author and aviator
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