IBM: Online consumer spending jumps 15% in Q2
Armonk, N.Y. — Online consumer spending rose a healthy 15% in the second quarter of this year compared to the second quarter of last year. The IBM Online Retail Sales Index shows that mobile sales reached 19.4% of total online sales, up 28% from last year. Online shopping growth substantially outpaced the 4.6% year-over-year increase of in-store sales during the second quarter.
Other highlights from the Index include a 55% year-over-year increase in online health and beauty sales and 56% rise in online home goods sales, as well as a 21% increase in online apparel sales driven by retailers reducing prices to clear space for back-to-school inventory. Average order value online reached $413.23, a 26$ increase from the second quarter of 2012, with the iPad generating more traffic than any other mobile device.
In addition, Index statistics demonstrate that the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reached nearly 27%, up more than 35% year-over-year. The iPad generated more traffic than any other mobile device at close to 11% of retail traffic, a 60% increase from last year. The iPhone closely followed, generating 10.5% of traffic, with Android devices generating 7.1%.
Amazon to hire 7,000 workers in DCs, customer service
Seattle — Amazon said it will hire more than 5,000 full-time workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers and 2,000 customer service staff, including part-time and seasonal employees, to meet growing customer demand.
The company said it will immediately begin hiring at 17 fulfillment centers for tasks that include picking items from warehouse shelves, packing them for delivery and operating new technology installed to streamline operations.
“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, VP of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon.
The announcement comes ahead of President Obama’s visit Tuesday to Amazon’s Chattanooga, Tenn., fulfillment center.
Americans’ egg consumption on the rise
The nation’s largest egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods, said it sold 243.3 million dozen eggs in its fourth quarter ended June 1, and moved closer to surpassing the 1 billion dozen threshold for the full fiscal year.
The 243.3 million dozen eggs sold in the fourth quarter was an increase of 6.3% from 228.8 million dozen sold in the fourth quarter the prior year. The full year total of 948.5 million dozen was a 7.3% increase from 884.3 million dozen the prior year.
The average selling price of a dozen eggs in the fourth quarter was $1.28, compared to $1.15 during the comparable period the prior year.
The combination of increased volume and higher average selling prices allowed Cal-Maine to grow fourth quarter net sales to $325.9 million compared to $275.2 million. Excluding several non-recurring charges, the company reported a profit of $13.2 million, or 55 cents a share, compared to $10.3 million, or 44 cents a share, the prior year.
Full year sales increased to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion and profits on an adjusted basis were $67.5 million, or $2.81 a share, compared to $62.7 million, or $2.64 a share.
“We were pleased with our results with our fourth quarter sales up 18% over the same period a year ago,” said Cal-Maine chairman, president and CEO Dolph Baker. “These results reflect higher volumes related to acquisitions with a 6% increase in eggs produced and sold compared with the same period a year ago. Notably, we achieved this growth even though we had an extra week of sales in the previous year’s fourth quarter.”
The company touted the performance of its specialty egg business where favorable demand trends are expected to continue.
“Overall, our average selling prices were up 7.9% in fiscal 2013,” Baker said regarding specialty eggs. “We expect specialty eggs, which have a higher retail selling price, will continue to gain market share over regular eggs as more consumers are willing to pay for these premium products.”