Even with the global market turmoil this week over fears of China’s market downturn, I have to admit that my mind has been mostly turned inward. Not even an oncoming Hurricane/Tropical Storm Erika is able to turn my focus outward. So pardon this mini-ramble.
One of the effects of pregnancy which I didn’t really experience nor comprehend on my first pregnancy is the urge to nest. Probably because of a new home, I find myself scrambling to put my mark on the new house, which has meant that I’ve also been preoccupied with online furniture stores, home decor tips, etc. which I continue to collate in order to share here later.
Anyway, what I largely found is this: that IKEA rocks in furniture logistics and inventory management (major understatement); that online furniture stores are ready for major disruption and; that I’m highly price sensitive to shipping and returns costs way more than the item price itself. And so, I found myself looking at Craigslist (an oldie but goodie) and despite a late pregnancy, crazy enough to buy on Craigslist and refinish said furniture myself. I would do a lot more except picking up heavier items by myself is a bit impossible – car-space wise and muscle wise.
As always, tech has an answer and pretty soon, there will be an app for that (beyond San Francisco area, I hope). Summer 2015 Y-Combinator graduate Lugg, an app for on-demand short-distance moves that has been operating in the San Francisco Bay area just raised $3.8M to grow its team and expand to new cities. The app connects the user to a local mover with the appropriately-sized vehicle to help lug around an IKEA or Craigslist purchase. Like Uber, payment is handled within the app. At $30 as base fare, plus $0.75 per minute while unloading and loading, and $2 per mile, I would have been more than happy to use this app. Maybe by the time I have the energy to refinish furniture again, Lugg or something similar would be available in my neighborhood. Or, I could also opt to buy from a couple of other startups such as: Greycork Loft, similar to IKEA but with faster set-up, even cheaper and with free shipping; or Campaign, also less assembly time, high quality and with free shipping.
Here are this week’s most relevant news in tech and retail:
- Physicist Stephen Hawking believes he has solved the Black Hole Paradox
- China concerns brought Apple stock down by 10% on Monday, recovers after CEO Tim Cook’s email to “Mad Money” TV host Jim Cramer
- Hong Kong-based drone maker Yuneec draws $60M investment from Intel
- Facebook starts testing a personal assistant service called “M” within the Messenger app
- Tesla agrees to buy lithium from mine in Mexico for its Gigafactory
- Amazon expands Prime Now, offers alcohol to US customers for the first time; Amazon scales back on development of consumer devices
- Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale posts loss for eleventh straight quarter with heavy discounts and store closings
- Best Buy posts better than expected profit for Q2, says Apple Watch has been a smash hit
- Tiffany forecasts surprise 2-5% decline in full-year profit while posting a 15% drop in quarterly earnings, blames strong dollar and high costs
- Walmart gets aggressive with early start to holiday season layaway, program begins on August 28 for “Toy Week”