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eBay exec appointed to GS1 U.S. board of governors

BY CSA STAFF

Amit Menipaz, general manager of structured data at eBay, and John Inwright, president and CEO of Quality Supply Chain Co-op, the co-op for Wendy’s, have been appointed to the GS1 U.S. board of governors.

Menipaz and Inwright will help guide the GS1 U.S. strategy to drive adoption and use of GS1 standards in the online retail and foodservice industries, respectively. GS1 U.S. is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to improve supply-chain business processes through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards, touted as the most widely used information standards in the world.

Menipaz manages multiple teams across the United States, Israel and China to classify eBay’s inventory globally. His team provides the structured data solutions for eBay’s connected commerce strategy, and the platform for sharing product data and inventory across all geographies, business units and devices. He has also led innovations in social, mobile and local commerce; built a new team dedicated to generating inventory insights and driving algorithmic identification of competitive offers across sites; and led the global roadmap for eBay’s consumer and business seller experiences. He has worked with GS1 U.S. to pioneer digital standards, and to share with the industry how GS1 standards can transform and drive efficiencies for the online market.

"In today’s online marketplace, the bar for meeting consumer expectations is rising every day," said Menipaz. "In order to make informed decisions, customers need product data that they can trust; however, too much of the current digital information about products is either inconsistent or incorrect. Joining the GS1 U.S. board of governors creates an opportunity to drive positive change in the online retail market by helping the industry to leverage standards that can deliver better experiences for consumers, improve bottom line results for retailers, and support entirely new online/offline business models for everyone."

Inwright is a veteran of the foodservice industry, and has served as president and CEO of QSCC, the exclusive supply chain manager for all Wendy’s restaurants in North America, since its formation in 2010. Prior to his role at QSCC, he was EVP and GM for Nice-Pak Professional, and had served as chief procurement officer at U.S. Foodservice, one of the country’s largest broad-line foodservice distributors. Inwright is a member of the Foodservice GS1 U.S. Standards Initiative Executive Leadership Committee and co-chairs the Supply Chain Sub-Committee of the National Council of Chain Restaurants. He has also served on sub-committees for two of the world’s leading corporate think tanks, the Conference Board and the Corporate Executive Board.

"GS1 U.S. is proactively working with the U.S. foodservice community to implement and effectively utilize GS1 Standards to enhance efficiencies, improve product information for trading partners and consumers, and establish a foundation for food safety and traceability," said Inwright. "By working together with other industry leaders, I look forward to helping the foodservice industry create a safer, more efficient and more effective supply chain."

"The expertise and leadership that Amit and John have demonstrated in their own organizations will bring tremendous value to GS1 U.S.,” said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO of GS1 U.S. “Their innovation and vision will strategically position GS1 U.S. to help industries across 25 sectors, including retail and foodservice, to better leverage standards to enhance supply chain efficiencies and growth."

The GS1 U.S. board of governors includes executives from the Coca-Cola Company, Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Johnson & Johnson, J.M. Smucker, Kroger, Macy’s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McKesson, Premier, Procter & Gamble, Publix, Unilever, Walmart, Wakefern Food Corporation and Wegmans.

Click here for a complete list.

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November retail sales better than expected

BY CSA STAFF

Retail sales in November increased a better-than-expected 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The figure includes categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Analysts were expecting sales to rise 0.6% in last month. The latest retail sales numbers were 4.7% above November 2012 numbers.

Sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. Some of the biggest gains were by furniture, electronics and building materials retailers.

“Once again, consumers have demonstrated their ability to drive the economy forward,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Although this holiday season will remain challenging for some retailers, today’s sales report bodes well for a solid holiday sales season, and may provide the foundation for accelerating economic growth and momentum in the New Year.”

The November retail sales report also included the following data:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 9.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 1.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.0% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Health and personal care stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.4% unadjusted year-over-year.


  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 2.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.5% unadjusted year-over-year.


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Amazon is top U.S. retailer for holiday on Pinterest

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Amazon.com is the most popular U.S. online retail site when it comes to having web content shared on Pinterest, the pin-board style social network, in the run up to Christmas 2013. The findings come from a study by digital marketing software and services specialist Searchmetrics.

In a study of ten top U.S. retail sites, images and pages from Amazon.com are being shared most frequently on Pinterest, with Walmart and Apple taking second and third positions respectively.

Content from Amazon.com currently generates the highest average number of pins (shares) per week (16,360) on Pinterest, followed by Walmart.com (5,778) with Apple.com (3,871) taking third place.

In total 1,740,314 links to content on Amazon.com were found to have been pinned (shared) by Pinterest users at the time of the study (w/e November 29, 2013). Apple.com had received a total of 1,111,959 pins, followed by Walmart.com with a total of 529,992 pins identified.

To make it easier for people to share their online content, all of the ten retail sites in the study were found to have set up their own official Pinterest pages4 although the sears.com Pinterest page currently appears to be inactive with no content actually uploaded to the virtual ‘boards’ that have been created. QVC.com, led the way, with the highest number of Pinterest followers, with 42,683 compared to Walmart.com with 33,337 followers.

Many retailers have set up festive Pinterest boards and promotions to generate interest in their products in the Christmas run up. Walmart.com has set up ten separate holiday 
boards, covering entertaining, baking, gifts, dressing the tree and festive decorating. These include pins of festive content from other sites, including recipes and make up tips from shoppers’ own blogs, as well as promoting stock from its own site.

“Pinterest provides a powerful way of sharing content that increases engagement and helps retail brands develop closer relationships with their customers. While Amazon.com leads the way due to its strong online presence, retailers such as QVC seem to be investing heavily in using Pinterest to connect with consumers,” explained Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics, which collects weekly data including an analysis of links shared on Pinterest and other social networks as part of its search and social analytics software.

“Successful use of Pinterest is not just about pushing your own content but being social and trying to share content that your followers on Pinterest might find useful or entertaining – even if it doesn’t produce a sale for you. Walmart seems to be particularly good at this, explaining why it has gained a significant number of followers on the social network. We’re also seeing retailers starting to get creative by running festive themed Pinterest boards and promotions linking their Pinterest with their other promotional activity such as band sponsorship as well coordinating with their other social channels,” added Tober.

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