Dutch May retail sales surge as lockdown fuels home improvement run

AMSTERDAM, June 30 (Reuters) – Retail sales in the Netherlands increased at the fastest rate in 14 years in May, as a partial lockdown continued to fuel a run on home improvement and interior design.

Turnover in Dutch stores was up 8.2% from the year before, the national statistics office said on Tuesday, offering a bright spot in what looks set to become the worst quarter on record for the Dutch economy.

Though stores stayed open with social distancing rules, cafes, restaurants and other public places in the Netherlands were shut from mid-March until June to contain the coronavirus, while people were urged to work from home as much as possible.

Confined to their homes, many seemed to find time for improvements, sending sales at do-it-yourself stores up 29% in May, after an already record-breaking 26% increase in April. Food stores and sellers of consumer electronics also reported double-digit sales

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Computers tracking fraud forced to adapt to public’s new lockdown spending

Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, closing down economies and travel in a way no-one had thought possible, humans had to adapt fast.

But it was not just people who needed to learn a new way of life, with the artificial intelligence systems upon which so much industry survives also requiring a little helping hand to come to terms with the dramatic shifts.

It has emerged that many AI systems which control inventory, marketing, retail and even fraud needed tweaking because they could not compute why the lives on which they made their predictions had changed so much.

Fraud detection services were among those that had to be told that a surge in purchase of power tools were simply people doing lockdown DIY.

And as top searches on Amazon switched from Lego and phone chargers to hand sanitizer and face masks, the company appeared

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