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Import cargo to increase 8.5% in September as strike worries mount

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 8.5% in September compared with the same month last year, and strong increases are expected into the holiday season despite talk of a possible strike at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are bringing in more merchandise for the holiday season this year. The question at some ports is whether longshoremen will be on the docks to unload it,” NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Regardless of what happens with contract talks, retailers have contingency plans in place to ensure that merchandise reaches store shelves in time and that there is no disruption for shoppers.”

Talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance broke down in August, and at least one major ILA local has authorized a strike if a new contract for East Coast and Gulf Coast ports isn’t agreed on by the time the current pact expires Sept. 30. Labor and management have agreed to meet again next week under the supervision of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Retailers are considering a variety of contingency plans, including diverting cargo to West Coast ports, which are represented by a separate union and not affected.

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.41 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in July, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 2.2% from June and 2.5% from July 2011. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

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Macy’s campaign channels sitcom fun

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Macy’s is paying homage to the TV sitcom with its new, "What’s in Store?" campaign.

The campaign, which debuted on Sept. 10, will consist of a series of comedic shorts featuring new Macy’s Herald Square store manager, Harold, as he collides with the many stars and wacky situations that make the “World’s Largest Store” a haven for the fun and fashionable.

“For more than 65 years, Macy’s has provided television viewers nationwide with unparalleled entertainment experiences. From the multiple Emmy-winning Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the No. 1 entertainment special on Independence Day – Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, to appearances on ‘Project Runway,’ ‘Fashion Star’ and more, Macy’s has been at the forefront of television entertainment and pop culture conversation,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “With What’s in Store?, we are taking the next step in bringing the magic of Macy’s closer to audiences everywhere as we collectively share in the remarkable and hilarious everyday situations that Harold and other store employees experience at the World’s Largest Store.”

The first “season” of What’s in Store? will unfold via a series of television spots and online content ranging in length from 15 to 60 seconds. A star-studded list of Macy’s stable of celebrity designers will make guest appearances along the way including I.N.C. spokesmodel Camila Alves, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, celebrity and Macy’s Culinary Council chef Marcus Samuelsson, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift and Donald Trump. Making an extra special guest appearance in the “pilot” episode will be sitcom legend, Florence Henderson.

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Brown Shoe reunites Sam & Libby brand with founders

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Brown Shoe Company has acquired the Sam & Libby brand and reunited it with its founders, Sam and Libby Edelman. For the last eight years, the brand was owned by The Jones Group.

“We feel very strongly that this brand belongs with Sam and Libby, the people who created it,” said Diane Sullivan, president and CEO of Brown Shoe Company. “We purchased Edelman Shoe two years ago and last month, we announced Libby’s return to Brown Shoe Company. The timing is perfect to bring the Sam & Libby brand back into the fold. The potential for the entire portfolio is exciting and certainly presents additional interesting opportunities for us to explore.”

“This represents closure for Libby and me, a full circle,” said Sam Edelman, founder of Edelman Shoe and division president for the Sam Edelman Division of Brown Shoe Company. “We now have the opportunity to see our vision realized as true lifestyle designers. It was very important to us to have Sam & Libby back in our stable of brands.”

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