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Adobe bids farewell to Flash Player in its final update

Don’t expect any new features, though….

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A few short weeks before we finally bid Flash adieu, Adobe has rolled out one final Flash Player update. Rather than the detailed feature changes that we typically read about in patch notes, Adobe used the opportunity to give the software a fond sendoff.

“Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China,” Adobe wrote. “We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades. We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video. We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.”

Source: https://www.engadget.com/adobe-flash-player-final-update-192103665.html

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Reuters

Disneyland Paris to re-open on June 17

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

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The logo of Disneyland Paris is seen in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris, as the theme park prepares to reopen its doors to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/disneyland-paris-re-open-june-17-2021-05-17/

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ZDNET

How Crocs used robots to rule the comfort economy

Sweatpants and comfortable kicks have had a heck of a run during the pandemic. You can thank the robots.

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Over the last year, Crocs emerged as a stay-at-home comfort essential and experienced unprecedented demand. As a result, the company quickly outgrew their distribution center and moved their e-commerce fulfillment into a larger pop-up warehouse. Included in the design was a recommendation to bring in automation to improve throughput, mitigate the risk of labor challenges and optimize capacity.

That’s where the robots, and in particular the automation solutions of a firm called 6 River Systems (6RS), come in.

Since implementing 6RS’ wall-to-wall fulfillment solution, including its collaborative mobile robot Chuck, Crocs has seen a 182% pick rate improvement. This increase in throughput was critical during the 2020 holiday peak season, and allowed Crocs to handle up to 4ok units per day, ensuring they were meeting heightened customer expectations.

Robots have become essential to scaling, and the solutions can now be brought online with unprecedented speed and minimal downtime. I spoke with Jerome Dubois, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of 6RS, to learn more about why warehouse automation was an essential component to scaling Crocs’ fulfillment operation and what the future holds for operations optimization.

GN: The setup and integration in the Crocs case seems quick. How does 6RS prioritize reducing downtime and how is it possible the automation solution is up and running so quickly?

Jerome Dubois: Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crocs has quickly become a comfort essential while most daily activities have been confined to our homes. As a result, their ecommerce demand took off in 2020 beyond the retailer’s expectations, and Crocs realized the need for a second distribution center to fulfill this heightened demand.

The Crocs’ team tapped our wall-to-wall fulfillment solution, powered by our autonomous mobile robot (AMR) Chuck, to help support fulfillment operations. Chuck is a collaborative mobile robot that uses machine learning and AI to guide associates through their work zones to help them minimize walking, stay on task and work more efficiently. Chuck, along with our cloud-based software and partner integrations, supports the entire fulfillment process.

The full design, integration and deployment for Crocs was completed in under 3 months just before holiday peak 2020. When go-live took place in early October 2020, the site ramped from first pick to full volume in just two days.

To achieve this, our team has an extensive, collaborative planning stage for any deployment. We develop a detailed plan before hitting the ground, which includes warehouse design and mapping, clear business objectives and a roadmap for achieving them. When designing a warehouse plan, every decision can have a significant impact on operational efficiency. Once a clear plan is in place that is tailored to that warehouse, implementation is usually quick and seamless. This timeline is fairly typical for our implementations as we prioritize our clients’ time and help them achieve results as quickly as possible.

GN: What’s the sweet spot for 6RS in terms of manufacturing capacity and ROI. In other words, at what size would implementation start to make sense?

Jerome Dubois: In most cases, 6 River Systems can accommodate several different capacities due to the flexibility that our wall-to-wall fulfillment system provides. The system allows for Chucks to be added or removed based on demand and available labor. The solution can be used in all put-away, picking, counting, replenishment and sorting tasks, helping associates work faster while also reducing picking errors. The power of our solution really shows in warehouses over 20,000 square feet that average a unit volume greater than 15,000 per day. These warehouses typically have over 5,000 SKUs with associates picking for at least 8 hours per day. On average, customers of all sizes improve pick rates by 2-3x and see ROI in less than a year.

GN: Are there other customers you can speak about publicly that might resonate with readers?

Jerome Dubois: One of our customers that might resonate with readers is Office Depot, a household name in the office supply space and one of the largest suppliers in the U.S. When Office Depot’s demand began shifting across e-commerce, B2B and retail, Office Depot found itself fulfilling more customer orders that contain fewer items per package. The company turned to 6 River Systems to help address the challenges of increased order volume and varied consumer purchasing behaviors by implementing Chucks. As a result, Office Depot improved warehouse safety, engaged and rallied its staff, reduced needless walking and sped up training with 6RS and Chuck. They eliminated warehouse injuries by 100% and reduced associate training time down to just one day. Full case study here.

Jerome Dubois: Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crocs has quickly become a comfort essential while most daily activities have been confined to our homes. As a result, their ecommerce demand took off in 2020 beyond the retailer’s expectations, and Crocs realized the need for a second distribution center to fulfill this heightened demand.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-crocs-used-robots-to-lead-the-comfort-economy/

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CNBC

Airbnb says first-quarter revenue rose 5% as vacationers return to travel

Airbnb’s net loss tripled, but the company expects its adjusted margin to improve in the second half of the year as travel restrictions ease up.

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Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky attends the Cannes Lions on June 20, 2016, in Cannes, France.

Richard Bord | Getty Images

Airbnb said revenue increased 5% in the first quarter, beating analysts’ estimates, as the rapid pace of vaccinations led to more travel. The company’s net loss tripled because of debt repayments and restructuring costs.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: Loss of $1.95 per share
  • Revenue: $886.9 million, vs. $714.4 million as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

The increase in year-over-year revenue followed a 22% decline in the fourth quarter.

The coronavirus pandemic considerably curtailed rental activity on Airbnb, but the business appears to be recovering as vaccines becomes more widely available and governments lift travel restrictions. The company reported 64.4 million nights and experiences booked, up 39% from the fourth quarter and up 13% year over year. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected 62.5 million nights and experiences booked.

Booking nights dropped in every quarter last year compared with the same period in 2019.

Gross booking value, Airbnb’s way of tracking host earnings, service fees, cleaning fees and taxes, totaled $10.3 billion, up 52% year over year and above the $7.87 billion FactSet consensus.

Airbnb’s net loss tripled as it repaid debt for loans it took out early in the pandemic, and as the company continued to pay restructuring fees following layoffs. It also had a $113 million impairment related to office space in San Francisco.

Its average daily rate rose 25% from the prior quarter to $160, reflecting an increase in the amount customers are spending for homes and experiences. Airbnb pointed to strength in bookings in North America, along with complete homes and locations outside cities, all of which tend to bring higher rates. The company said 24% of nights booked came from stays of at least 28 days, compared with 14% in 2019.

“The two trends I do think are going to invert are we are going to see a recovery of urban travel and a recovery of cross border,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on a conference call with analysts. “This has been our bread and butter before the pandemic, and I think those are significant tailwinds for us.”

Chesky talked about the potential to offer deals to travelers who can be flexible about when they travel.

“There’s a lot of other opportunities for us, I think, to point demand to where we have available supply, which will allow us to steadily increase occupancy,” he said.

Cancellation rates are now considerably lower than in 2020 but remain higher than they were in 2019, said Dave Stephenson, the company’s finance chief.

The company issued general commentary on the quarters ahead, saying that in the second quarter its adjusted earnings margin before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization could break even or be slightly positive. That margin was -7% in the first quarter, and it should be higher in the second half of the year than the first half, Airbnb said in a letter to shareholders.

“We expect revenue in Q2 2021 to be significantly higher than that of Q2 2020, given the impact of Covid- 19 on the prior year period, and to be at a similar level to that of Q2 2019,” the company said. “In Q2 2021, we expect the positive momentum of recovery experienced in Q1 2021 to be partially offset by the continued uncertainty of travel restrictions and lockdowns in EMEA.”

The company said it’s too soon to say whether the recovery in the first half of the year will keep the same pace in the second half.

“Although we have seen booking lead times start to lengthen when compared with Q4 2020, we continue to have limited visibility for growth trends in the second half of 2021,” Airbnb said. “With the increased availability of vaccines and the easing of some travel restrictions, there has been greater willingness by guests to search for and book travel later in the year. Offsetting this is the difficulty in predicting factors such as future Covid-19 outbreaks or travel restrictions globally, which impact the actual rate at which guests complete their stays (at which point we recognize revenue).”

Airbnb reported financials for the second time as a public company, having completed its IPO in December. Airbnb shares have fallen about 8% since the start of 2021, while the S&P 500 is up about 10% over the same period.

WATCH: Airbnb CEO on the campaign to attract more hosts as demand surges

  • Earnings: Loss of $1.95 per share
  • Revenue: $886.9 million, vs. $714.4 million as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/13/airbnb-abnb-earnings-q1-2021.html

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