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Tesco tests out drive-through delivery

Add / Remove Retailers are experimenting with numerous different ways to blend online and off for their customers, as we’ve already seen on several occasions. Curbside pickup of online orders has been the theme at both Sears and French hypermarket chain E.Leclerc, while Shutl and several others have been pushing the bounds of near-instant home […]

Mobile children’s shoe shop is on call for parents

Add / Remove We’ve written about several retailers who have eschewed a bricks and mortar presence in favour of going mobile, including roaming restaurants that bring cuisine to consumers curbside, and a roaming eyewear store that visits customers at work. Our latest spotting? Hippity Hop Shoes is a mobile children’s shoe shop in Berkhamsted in […]

Vending machine rewards mental agility

Add / Remove Hard on the heels of our story about the world’s first smile-activated vending machine comes word of a similarly paradigm-busting innovation: a machine that dispenses free spring water drinks to those who can prove their mental prowess. No mere smile earns a reward from the Smart Vending Machine, which was launched recently […]

More near-instant e-commerce delivery

Add / Remove It’s been a few years since we wrote about quick-delivery e-commerce companies MaxDelivery, Lickety Ship and Zifty, but recently we came across a new contender in the field. Launched last December, London-based Shutl also gives online shoppers a way to get their goods delivered almost immediately. Users of Shutl can choose to […]

Design your own custom-made beef jerky

Add / Remove Rather than list all the products we’ve seen offered in customized form over the years, it’s getting to the point now where we might be better off listing the ones we *haven’t* seen served up in personalized versions. One example? Beef jerky — until recently, that is. New Jersey-based Slant Shack Jerky […]

Facebook and Twitter mugs display pics of online friends

Add / Remove If users of social media are interested in buying notebooks embellished with their online tweets or Facebook feed, doesn’t it stand to reason that they’d want a mug featuring the profile pictures of their online friends? California-based CrowdedInk apparently thinks so, for it launched a “Friends” mug in precisely that vein. CrowdedInk’s […]

Planeshop launches at Glasgow Airport, first brand is K-Swiss

Add / Remove Last September, we wrote about Planeshop, an innovative new airport retail concept developed by the pop-up retail pioneers who launched Vacant. Planeshop’s principle is simple: it lets different brands take turns running its permanent store. Now, 11 months later, Planeshop is opening in a former departure lounge at Glasgow Airport. The first […]

Microloans for clean energy in the developing world

Add / Remove One-third of the world’s population today has no access to any form of modern energy, relying instead on highly polluting fuels like wood and kerosene. Working on the premise that reliable energy is a key to fighting poverty — and that it needs to be clean — Energy in Common is a […]

Labels for kids’ gear use codes to track lost items online

Add / Remove We’ve seen myriad tech-enabled lost and found services in recent years, most of them aimed at protecting expensive and hard-to-replace gear. Bringing the concept into a realm where the goods may be less valuable but the losses more frequent, Canadian Oliver’s Labels offers labels for kids’ items along with an online lost […]

Marketplace for reclaimed building materials tracks each piece’s story

Add / Remove Fueled by the need for both economy and sustainability, deconstruction increasingly makes sense as a solution for old, vacant buildings. We’ve already seen Buffalo ReUse’s approach to that topic, and recently we came across another example that tracks and highlights the story behind each reclaimed piece. Based in Syracuse, NY, D-Build does […]

Matchmaking site for platonic friendships

Add / Remove Much the way Meet Joe uses an offline approach to help users find people to hang out with on the weekend, so Companion Tree helps forge platonic friendships among like-minded consumers. Also steering far clear of the overcrowded dating space, Seattle-based Companion Tree offers a variety of simple tools to help find […]

Coffee roaster offers custom blends for continuous fundraising

Add / Remove In most fundraising schemes, the group raising the money buys something to sell at a profit—wrapping paper, for example, or chocolate bars. California-based Newhall Coffee, however, now offers a program that lets groups sell custom, branded java blends on an ongoing basis and receive quarterly donations in return. Launched last month, Newhall […]

Five innovative hotel concepts

Add / Remove With supply outstripping demand, competition is intense in the hotel industry, so hoteliers are always on the lookout for a distinctive new feature or promotional scheme to attract travellers to their accommodation rather than elsewhere. And it’s not always just a case of making the rooms look nice. Here are five examples […]

Frito-Lay shows consumers where their chips came from

Add / Remove There’s nothing like the conversion of a big brand to prove that a trend has taken hold. Case in point: Frito-Lay, which apparently aims to boost its chips’ (still) made here appeal with an online Chip Tracker that lets customers see where their snacks originated. “Lay’s chips are made from potatoes grown […]

Curated by moms, an online calendar of kids’ activities

Add / Remove We’ve seen a few different planners that help families keep track of their kids’ activities — either online or off — but the fact remains that finding those activities in the first place can be difficult. New York’s BusyBeesNYC approaches that problem with a customized service that finds and schedules classes and […]

In tourism areas, a fixed camera mount for group photos

Add / Remove Digital photography may have advanced considerably in recent years, but the fact remains that most group photos still lack the person holding the camera. Enter the fotopol, a camera mount for tourist spots that lets visitors get everyone in the picture. Australian fotopol sells two models of its camera mounts. The fotopol […]

Clothing line makes treatment easier for dialysis & infusion patients

Add / Remove Launched in April, Libre Clothing produces garments with hidden zipper access points specifically designed to make it easier and more comfortable for patients to undergo chemotherapy, dialysis or other treatments requiring intravenous lines, catheters or infusion tubes. The clothing range includes men’s half-zip pullover sweaters priced at USD 54.99 and unisex half-zip […]