From Kohl's to Home Depot, here's a look at the stories we're reading this week:

๐Ÿ’ง PepsiCo Buys Soda Stream
๐Ÿ›’ Kohl's: "Exceeding Our Expectations
๐Ÿ”ง Home Depot Invests In Experience
๐Ÿ“ฑ Software For The Deskless
๐Ÿš— Beefing Up Curbside Pickup
๐ŸŒŽ Picturing Amazon's Global Dominance
๐Ÿ‘— Nordstrom's L.A. Test Ground
๐Ÿšš Amazon Go Competitor Sets Launch

News โšก๏ธ

๐Ÿ’งPepsiCo Buys SodaStream
If you look back at their formative years, Pepsi's roots were firmly entrenched in medicine.

According to Darcy O'Neil, the author of "Fix the Pumps," the soda industry -- originally founded by a German scientist in the 1700s, was built upon the belief that fizzy drinks were the elixir of life.

โ€œThere was a belief that volcanic mineral carbonated water was healthy,โ€ explains Oโ€™Neil. โ€œThen people realized they could add lemon and some sugar to it, and that was the first soda.โ€

In many ways, the news of PepsiCo's $3.2 billion purchase of SodaStream brings the company full-circle. Many competitors in the soda industry have invested heavily in bottled water, but increasingly, consumers are looking for healthier alternatives, and some are even looking for those options that aren't in a plastic bottle. This puts PepsiCo at a potential advantage in a beverage marketplace that may see some changes in the next five or 10 years.

According to Yahoo! Finance, SodaStream offers their sparking water canisters, exchangeable carbon-dioxide cylinders, and reusable carbonation bottles to more than 12.5 million households.

๐Ÿ’ฆ Thirsty for more? Learn all about the early days of soda in The New York Times.

๐Ÿ›’ Kohl's: "Exceeding Our Expectations
Sales at established Kohlโ€™s Department Stores rose 3.1 percent in the second quarter, another positive sign that the Menomonee Falls-based retailer is on a solid upward path.

The results beat analyst expectations ($1.64/share), up 42 percent from last year to $1.76. The positive news also included one of retail's most important metric: same-store sales. Those numbers were up for the fourth consecutive gain.

Kohlโ€™s earned $292 million in the quarter, an increase of 40 percent over the $208 million the company earned in the second quarter of 2017.

The results "exceeded our expectations on both the top and bottom lines," CEO Michelle Gass told analysts on today's conference call.

๐Ÿ“– Read more via: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

๐Ÿ”ง Home Depot Invests In Experience
Have you been finding it much easier to locate product on the shelves of your local Home Depot lately?

We certainly have. Searching for product on mobile devices now indicate specific store locations which can be tracked down using easily-navigable in-store signage.

So far the retailer has implemented a way-finding sign and store refresh package in over 500 stores year-to-date, ahead of its initial plan, as part of its store investments. It is also in the process of rolling out redesigned front end areas and buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) lockers.

"The greatest penetration of stores will get our new way-finding and sign package, which really brightens up the store and makes navigation of the store much easier," said Marc Brown, SVP, Store Operations. "We also do, call it a general environmental clean-up of the stores, spiff the floors, add lighting, paint, remodel restrooms, breakrooms for the associates, etc."

Home Depot's customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) are trending up as the retail rolls out these changes, Brown noted.

๐Ÿ”จLearn more about how Home Depot is revitalizing their experiences in Retail Info Systems (RIS).

The Big Idea ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ“ฑSoftware For The Deskless
Slack and a host of other work productivity software continues to garner headlines, but the reality is this technology rarely solves work challenges for the deskless worker.

Today, the allocation of funding for tech companies that works to build tech for desk workers is $300 billion. Interestingly, only 1 percent of that goes to deskless workers who comprise the majority of the global workforce representing an array of verticals including agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail.

Advances in mobile technology, wearables and even drones have ushered in a new wave of products that are now catching the attention of IT buyers, and there's plenty of opportunity to get involved.

โ„น๏ธ See what LinkedIn is reporting about the future of work for the deskless workers.

๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ Stores Beef Up Curbside Pickup
Parking lots for American retailers are getting a makeover.

While some regional grocers have rolled out curbside pickup and other retailers have experimented with revitalized parking and pickup options, it appears that these swift product delivery methods are about to have their moment.

๐Ÿ“– Read how Amazon (Whole Foods), Nike, Target, and Walmart are embracing parking lot pickup in Business Insider.

๐ŸŒŽ Amazon's Global Dominance [Infographic]
Amazon is big. We know that.

But, just how big?

Amazon holds almost half of the massive $252.7 billion market โ€“ thatโ€™s more than double the market share of the next nine companies (including eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, etc.). Combined.

Visual Capitalist breaks that down with a very interesting chart.

๐Ÿ‘€ Check out the infographic at Visual Capitalist.

Heard From Around The Web ๐Ÿ’ฌ

๐Ÿ‘— Nordstrom's LA Proving Ground
Los Angeles is a very strategic market for Nordstrom.

This is especially true for the retailer's work to drive sales and customer loyalty.

According to Glossy, Nordstrom has found that customers who shop both online and in stores spend five times more than customers who only shop one or the other, and that customer profitability doubles, per its most recent earnings. Itโ€™s been investing in its e-commerce platform by launching capabilities like buy online, pick up in store, and in the second quarter for financial 2018, sales for that channel rose by 25 percent. (The company doesnโ€™t break out specific revenue figures for its e-commerce business.) Overall, comparable sales were up 7 percent over last year.

To make the most of customer dollars, the company is putting resources behind new store strategies that can complement that growing online business, a targeted marketing approach segmented by region, and an improved and localized supply chain that can speed up the production cycle and make it work more efficiently.

๐Ÿ“– Read the report at Glossy.

๐Ÿšš Amazon Go Competitor Eyes Launch
Eight months after Amazon opened its first cashier-less Go store in Seattle, a Bay Area startup is seeking to steal some marketshare.

Using sophisticated camera movements and an elaborate shelf sensor system for product tracking, San Francisco-based startup Zippin has launched a small public demo that is expected to grow into a full-sized, AI-enabled convenience store by mid-September.

According to VentureBeat, as with Amazon Go and competitors like Inokyo, which opened a cashierless store in Mountain View, California last week, to shop at the Zippin store you must first download an app that gives you a QR code and then scan the code when you enter the store.

๐Ÿ›’ Read the news at Retail Dive.