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Amazon Counter launches in the US for in-store order pickups

It's in Amazon's interest to make it as painless as possible to get your orders, which is why the company has gone so far as to open your door to place boxes inside. Now, there's another way to get your latest box of Amazon junk. With Amazon Counter, you can pick up shipments from staffed retail locations around the US.

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You'll soon be able to return Amazon impulse buys at your local Kohl's

You've almost certainly kept things you've ordered on Amazon that you didn't necessarily want to save yourself the hassle of returning them, but an expanded partnership between the online retailer and department store Kohl's could soon save you from that fate. Beginning in July, you'll be able to return Amazon purchases to any Kohl's location.

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Google reportedly drops plans to open Chicago retail store

Google makes more hardware than it did in the past, so it has naturally considered opening retail stores from time to time. The company has purchased shipping containers and renovated lofts, only to cancel its plans. The only initiatives that have come to fruition are a few pop-up stores. Last year, we heard Google was on the verge of opening its first permanent flagship retail store in Chicago. Now, it looks like the deal has fallen through.

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Samsung Galaxy Fold will come to 15 countries in Europe, starting at a whopping €2,000

Samsung likes to push the boundaries of what's possible on mobile phones. After pioneering big screens with the Note series and later, curved screens with the Galaxy Round and the Note Edge, Samsung is back at it with its folding device. If you're based in (mostly Western) Europe, you can pre-order the Galaxy Fold starting April 26, or buy it when it launches in retail on May 3. Today, the Korean company announced its retail partners and the 15 countries it'll sell the phone in.

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Google is opening pop-up shops in NYC and Chicago through the end of the year

According to a recent blog post by the Google Retail Team, two new pop-up retail shops will be opened in New York City and Chicago, starting October 18th. The shops will last through December 31st, giving you a bit over two months minimum to check out Google's hardware in a "fully Google-made experiential space."

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The Google Store now supports returning gifts

People always say "it's the thought that counts" when someone gets a bad gift. But hey, the gift kind of matters, too. That's why most stores let you return gifts. Now, the Google Store does that as well. It's not the easiest process, and you won't get the cash. Still, it's better than staring at that Home Mini you don't need forever.

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Instagram rolls out native payments in the app

Instagram usually makes a big deal about new features, even when they're minor. Yet, it hasn't said a word about its new payments feature, which appears to be rolling out widely in the US. Just head to your Instagram settings, and you'll probably see a new option to add a credit or debit card. There's not much you can buy with it yet, but the possibilities are almost endless.

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Target stores are switching from iOS to Android sales floor devices

If you've spent any amount of time in one of Target's 1,800 US stores, it's likely you've seen an employee using a dressed-up iPod Touch to look up stock info. It's been that way since 2014, but the retailer is now switching to Android for all its essential sales floor activities. These aren't any devices you've ever seen, though. Target is using an enterprise-oriented Zebra TC51.

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Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Amazon began its existence as an online entity that siphoned business away from brick-and-mortar stores, but there's only so much you can do online. Amazon has been tinkering with more real world services like Prime Now local deliveries and its experimental grocery store in Seattle. Now, Amazon is taking a shortcut to building out its own presence; it's buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Coincidentally, that's about what I spent the last time I went to Whole Foods.

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As expected, the Galaxy Tab S3 will cost around $600 in the US according to Best Buy

When we had our hands-on look at the latest Samsung tablet, we guessed that it would be priced to compete with the 10-inch version of the iPad Pro, if only because its included stylus and sold-separately keyboard seemed intended to appeal to that same "productive" tablet niche. Thanks to an early listing from Best Buy (since Samsung still hasn't given us a straight answer), we now know that yes, indeed it will. The Galaxy Tab S3 starts at $599.99 USD for the Wi-Fi model.

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