REAL ESTATE

Cabela’s to open in New Brunswick

BY Marianne Wilson

Sidney, Neb. — Cabela’s Inc. announced today plans to open a store in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

The 50,000-sq.-ft. is scheduled to open in 2015, and will be located in a new development being developed by Cordova Realty. It will be Cabela’s first location in the greater Atlantic Canada area.

“Thousands of outdoorsmen and women across New Brunswick have supported Cabela’s through our catalogues and website for many, many years,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “To finally bring those loyal customers the extraordinary Cabela’s retail experience is gratifying and speaks to how we feel about Atlantic Canada.”

In addition to thousands of quality outdoor products, the store will include a mountain replica, museum-quality wildlife displays and an indoor archery range, among other unique features.

Currently, Cabela’s operates 50 stores across North America, including four in Canada – Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan; Edmonton, Alberta; and Winnipeg. The company has announced plans to open an additional 18 locations across North America over the next two years, including a second Edmonton location in spring 2014; a Barrie, Ontario, location in summer 2014; and a Nanaimo, British Columbia, location in fall 2014.

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FINANCE

Retail imports up 6.5% in October

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports grew 6.5% in October over the same month last year despite the government shutdown, and year-over-year increases are expected to continue for the remainder of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers place their orders for merchandise months ahead of time, so cargo arriving at the ports in October and for most of the rest of the year was ordered long before anybody ever heard of a shutdown,” VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “The question at this point isn’t how much merchandise arrived but how much consumers bought, and how they are going to react as economic talks continue in Washington. Lawmakers need to take steps that build confidence, not continue the uncertainty.”

While some government workers involved with clearing cargo were furloughed during the 16-day shutdown, U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors remained on the job and no major disruptions of cargo handling were reported. The cargo numbers come as NRF is predicting that this year’s holiday sales will grow 3.9% over last year to a total of $602.1 billion.

Cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with sales because they count only the number of cargo containers, not the value of the merchandise inside them. August, September and October are the months when most of the holiday season’s merchandise is brought into the country. The 4.35 million cargo containers handled during those months combined represent a 4.3% increase over last year and account for 26.8% of all retail imports for the entire year.



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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Toys ‘R’ Us unveils enhanced websites with new social shopping feature

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us unveiled redesigned and updated e-commerce sites for Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, with a fresh design and layout, revamped navigation and other new features. In addition, the sites have introduced social shopping – allowing customers to organize their most-wanted items in shareable toy and baby boards, while also viewing the most popular and trending products on the sites.

“Our e-commerce websites receive more than 450 million visits annually, and we are proud to introduce a new look and enhanced functionalities to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Fred Argir, senior VP, chief digital officer, Toys “R” Us. “Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com are the go-to destinations for a broad assortment of toys and juvenile products, and we have implemented helpful, interactive features, such as a new social shopping component that provides customers with insight into the most popular and trending products, plus improved navigation capabilities, that will make it easier to find the right gift for a child or expectant parent.”

New and enhanced features on Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com include:

  • Toy and baby boards: Shoppers can now organize their most-wanted items in toy and baby “boards,” one of the newest advancements in social shopping. This feature allows shoppers to gather an assortment of products into a themed “board,” which can then be shared with family and friends via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Users can also invite their friends to create boards.
  • Clean and simple homepage and site navigation: Upon their first visit to the revamped sites, customers will notice that the homepage features cleaner design and layout, with a larger space for current featured products and promotions. In addition, shoppers can move seamlessly between Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com with the brands presented in tabs at the top left of the page.
  • Bigger, brighter images on product detail pages.
  • Live chat, which connects customers directly with an “R”Us representative while shopping online.

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