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Retail

Microsoft takes aim at Amazon with push for checkout-free retail

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, in a nascent challenge to Amazon.com automated grocery shop, six people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is developing systems that track what shoppers add to their carts, the people say. Microsoft has shown sample technology to retailers from around the world and has had talks with Walmart about a potential collaboration, three of the people said. Microsoft’s…

Toys ‘R’ Us seeks bankruptcy to survive retail upheaval

Toys ‘R’ Us, the largest US toy store chain, which filed for bankruptcy late Monday, will ask a judge on Tuesday for permission to borrow money so that it can start paying suppliers to ensure it has Lego building blocks and Barbie dolls for the holiday season. The Chapter 11 filing, to restructure $5 billion of long-term debt, is among the largest ever by a specialty retailer and casts doubt over the future of the company’s 64,000 employees and nearly 1,600 stores, which remain open. The collapse came swiftly.…

Retail US gasoline prices surge as refineries warn of shortages after Harvey

NEW YORK: Retail US gasoline prices rose 2.8 percent from Friday to Saturday as refineries warned customers about fuel-supply shortages caused by Hurricane Harvey. They were at $2.59 a gallon, according to motorists advocacy group AAA. It represents a 16.7 percent rise in the average price from a year ago. Prices have risen more than 17.5 cents since Aug. 23, before the storm began. Average prices in Texas, the epicenter of the storm, rose more than 3 percent from Friday to Saturday, and are up 12 percent from a…