1. Walmart Goes Cashierless?!
That’s right, Amazon! Walmart will soon be opening a Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas without cashiers. It will be a quarter of the size of an average Sam’s Club store and will focus on selling fresh food and alcohol. The idea for the store stemmed from Sam’s Club “Scan and Go” app which allows users to scan barcodes and pay directly within the app. Employees will be called “member hosts,” and will direct customers throughout the store and provide assistance with the app. Shoppers at the new Dallas location will need a special Sam’s Club Now app with additional features, including shopping lists crafted from previous purchases, an interactive store map with route guidance, and augmented reality features for product information. Soon, 700 cameras will also be added to the store to “manage inventory in new ways.” Walmart is using this store to test their new technology in hopes it will establish them as the future of retail.
2. Record Sales for Halloween
2018 could be the biggest year yet for Halloween spending. Americans will collectively spend approximately $9B on costumes and decorations for the holiday this year, which is about $86.79 spent per person. The festivities aren’t just for kids either, as spending has similarly increased for adult and pet costumes. We all know Sparky loves being wrestled into that insanely cute Yoda costume. The rise in Halloween spending is in part due to the rise of social media, especially among millennials. If you didn’t Insta it, it didn’t happen. Pop-up party stores like Spirit Halloween have opened over 1.3K locations this year, and Party City has hired 35K seasonal employees for the Halloween season alone.
(Source: The Hustle)
3. Uber Adds Monthly Subscription Service
On Tuesday, Uber released their new monthly subscription service, Ride Pass. The service starts at $14.99 and is currently available in 5 U.S. cities including Denver, Austin, Miami, Orlando, and Los Angeles ($24.99 per month). Unfortunately, the service does not cover the cost of Uber fares. Think of it more like Amazon Prime – paying to be a part of a club to receive added benefits. It ensures that fares stay low during surges and poor weather conditions. Users in LA will receive additional benefits on scooters and bikes in the upcoming weeks. The release of Ride Pass is likely Uber’s way of competing with Lyft, who launched their monthly service plan of 30 rides per month for $299 earlier this month. As part of the plan, rides are capped at $15 and after the 30 rides, riders receive a 5% discounts on all rides.