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Weekly Insights Mar 11, 2016

Executive Summary

  • The US housing market looks set for a strong run in 2016–2017, so do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement stores should be enjoying boom times. But shoppers in mature markets are shifting more toward “do it for me” (DIFM) services, where they pay tradespeople to do home maintenance rather than doing it themselves. A key driver of the DIFM trend is the aging of populations in Western Europe and North America.
  • Customers of some of the biggest US banks will finally be able to send money to another person’s account instantaneously by mobile phone. A new system called clearXchange will allow customers to transfer money in a flash to other people’s accounts at member banks.
  • Aldi UK began selling its nonfood Specialbuys online, marking a further move into e-commerce in the UK, following the launch of an online wine store in January. The new online offering features the short-term special deals that Aldi offers in its UK stores twice a week in categories such as apparel, DIY and electronics.
  • Toyota is working on a device to help give blind and visually impaired people greater mobility. The device, designed to be worn around the shoulders, uses cameras, speakers and vibration motors to communicate information to the user. The user interacts with the device through voice recognition and buttons.

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