By Corinne Clements

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s installment of TraQing News! From fire-proof batteries to retail technology, here are some of our favorite articles from last week to get you back into the swing of working:

lithiumBatteries with built-in flame retardant could prevent fiery mishaps | Mariella Moon: Lithium-ion batteries, upon which we depend to power much of our technology, have an unfortunate tendency to be volatile and kind of explodey. Science has come up with a potential solution to keep electronics from meeting a fiery end. By adding a flame retardant to the batteries themselves, battery fires can be put out quickly with minimal damage to the tech it was powering.

This Invisible Joint Is Making Ikea’s Furniture Stronger And Easier To Build | Diana Budds: Ikea furniture is a mainstay in many first time homes and apartments (including the apartment of yours truly). Its flat-pack nature means that some pieces don’t have the structural integrity that some other furniture brands might have. However, with lots of experimentation and engineering, that’s beginning to change. Ikea has developed a new joint for furniture that’s not only more stable, but also simpler to put together- score one for not crying over directions!

Amazon inspires ‘oh shit’ moment in the retail world | Ben Fox Rubin: Robots, Virtual Reality, and RFID oh my! Amazon’s introduction of their cashier-less concept store, Amazon Go, has got retailers in a race to keep consumers coming to their brick-and-mortar stores. To that end, they’re exploring new technology to entice and enchant shoppers. So while it remains to be seen whether we’ll ever have Amazon Go stores in the “wild”, the changes it’s inspiring are real and coming to a retailer near you.shopping-cart-152462_1280

Houzz Stat: Spending on the Kitchen | Erin Carlyle: Ah, the kitchen- the heart of the home. Americans renovating their kitchens have spoken, and countertops, backsplashes and sinks are what they most want to change out and spend money on, per a recent survey from Houzz.

If articles like these have whetted your appetite for more consumer durables industry news, follow @TraQline on twitter and The Stevenson Company on LinkedIn! See an article you think we should feature in our weekly round up? Let us know by tweeting us and tag it with #TraQingNews.

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We’ll see you next week!