SUPPLY CHAIN

Macy’s to build new fulfillment center

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – Macy’s will build a major direct-to-consumer fulfillment center near Owasso in Tulsa County, Okla., to support continued sales growth driven by Macy’s omni-channel strategy. The company is expected to invest more than $170 million in the facility, including the latest technology in material handling equipment and warehouse management systems.

Construction of the 1.3 million-sq.-ft. facility is expected to begin in spring 2014, with operations starting in April 2015 and the first orders shipping in summer 2015. When fully operational, the Tulsa fulfillment center is expected to employ approximately 1,500 full- and part-time associates year-round. In addition, another 1,000 or more temporary seasonal associates are expected to be hired each year to handle a significantly higher level of online orders from customers during the holiday shopping season

“The rapid growth of Macy’s direct-to-customer shipments, rooted in our omni-channel approach to business, requires us to continue to strategically add fulfillment capacity so our customers can receive their orders quickly and efficiently,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s, Inc. “Customers today are shopping whenever, however and wherever they prefer, via stores, desktops and mobile devices, and we continue to invest to meet the customer demand. We have rolled out fulfillment capability to 500 Macy’s stores nationwide, as well as built three major fulfillment centers over the past seven years. Our new Tulsa County facility will represent another significant expansion of our shipping capacity, particularly to customers in central and southern regions of the United States.”

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FINANCE

Target.com experiences digital growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target says that online traffic continues to grow at double-digit rates, with mobile sales growing more than 100% for the holiday period. Target.com experienced two of the strongest days of sales in its history on Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

In addition, Target was recently ranked as the most-browsed retailer on mobile over the past six months, according to a new report from Mobiquity.

Cartwheel, Target’s omni-channel promotional program, has gained more than 1 million new users this holiday season, and now 4 million customers have signed up since Cartwheel launched in May. The average savings per guest has increased by more than 40%, and since launch, Cartwheel users have saved more than $25 million. Cartwheel users will also have a one-day sale on Dec. 19 when nearly 40 items, from toys and apparel to cookware, will have special offers with discounts ranging from 10 to 60% off. Also, Target.com’s new buy online, pickup in store service, will be available for holiday shopping through 2 p.m. local time on Dec. 24.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Shoppers expect top holiday deals in December

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – More than half (54%) of shoppers believe the best holiday discounts will be in December and 83% will continue to comparison shop for gifts throughout the month. PriceGrabber has released results from its December Winter Holiday Shopping Survey, of 3,299 U.S. online shopping consumers, that shows 87% of consumers will conduct most of their holiday shopping in December this year (compared to 78% in 2012).

When December shoppers were asked why they will complete most of their holiday shopping within the month, 54% indicated it’s when they will find the best discounts. Twenty-six percent said they use them to get gift ideas. About 25% indicated they have procrastinated on their holiday shopping and will wait until the last minute to shop.

According to the survey, 48% plan to "showroom" and inspect merchandise in a physical retail store and later purchase it online for less money. When asked why, 40% said they prefer to test the product in person to see if they like it then search online for the lowest price.

In addition, 25% of "showroomers" indicated they like to make side-by-side comparisons of products in-person before deciding to purchase online, and 42% of "showroomers" said they are simply trying to save money on holiday gifts this year and are searching for the best price. Busy shoppers savvy to the perks of shopping online like to browse first and then buy the item later when they have time, said 36% of those surveyed.

Furthermore, 61% of shoppers plan to take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 18th to order online and have their gifts delivered in time for Christmas. Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, remains popular with last minute shoppers as 51 % plan to take advantage of one-day sales before the holiday.

"Last minute shoppers will get some of the best deals on gifts this December, especially on toys and electronics," said Rojeh Avanesian, senior VP of marketing and sales of PriceGrabber.com. "Holiday shoppers can expect to see extended online and in-store promotions throughout December as retailers try to push their inventory."

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