March retail sales in U.K. drop more than forecast
London — A Thursday report by Bloomberg said that retail sales in the U.K. fell a more-than-expected 0.8% (excluding fuel) in March compared to February, impacted by unseasonably cold weather and a still-sluggish economy.
Sales in February increased 2.1%.
“The outlook for household demand remains weak,” Simon Hayes, an economist at Barclays Plc in London, told Bloomberg. “It is hard to see a sustained recovery taking hold until the caution around household income prospects lifts.”
Sales at food stores rose 0.9% in March, apparel and footwear declined 3.1%, while household goods plunged 6.2%, led by a drop in demand for electrical appliances and hardware materials.
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Study: 76% of women prefer in-store shopping over smartphone
Boston — Research findings released Thursday by mobile-retail marketer Swirl found that a full 76% of women prefer shopping in stores over shopping via their smartphones.
“What Women Want When Apparel Shopping,” which polled 1,000 women shoppers, also revealed that 53% of women have between one and five shopping apps on their smartphones. Yet, still, they opt for the store experience.
According to Swirl, retailers would be well served to focus their mobile strategies more on enhancing the in-store shopping experience than enabling online sales transactions on mobile phones.
Other study highlights include:
- Only 1% of women prefer to buy apparel using mobile apps and sites compared to 76% who prefer shopping in-store;
- When ranking what they like least about shopping in-store, women said crowds (84%), transportation and parking (70%), and interacting with sales associates (45%) were the least-liked aspects of shopping in-store.
- Women are more likely to seek style advice from family or friends who are shopping with them (37%) than from a retailer’s mobile app/site (9%).
- Even when an item is unavailable in store, only 22% of women will use that retailer’s mobile app or site to buy the item.
- 50% of the women polled would willingly share their phone’s location and other personal information with a retailer in return for an in-store credit, gift, flash sale or early access to new styles. For 47% of women, the price tag for sharing location information is just $5.
- Women are almost twice as likely to value a personalized offer delivered to their smartphone while shopping in a store (58%), than being reminded of an in-store sale by a sales associate (33%) or making a purchase from an online flash sale site (31%).
"Women overwhelmingly prefer to shop for clothes and fashion in retail stores rather than online via their smartphones or laptops," said Hilmi Ozguc, Swirl’s CEO. "That is not going to change dramatically anytime soon. Retailers have a huge opportunity to use mobile technology to influence shoppers by delivering personalized content and offers where and when they matter most – while customers are shopping in their stores."
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Diamond Foods turns to Transplace
Third party logistics provider Transplace was selected by Diamond Foods to improve operational efficiencies and supply chain visibility.
Diamond Food wills use Transplace’s Transportation Management System and gain access to the company’s web-based technology and business intelligence analytics to help the company optimize its transportation network, view shipments in real-time, reduce transportation costs and support long-term business goals.
"With the Transplace SaaS solution, Diamond Foods now has optimal technology to support real-time visibility, planning, procurement and execution management across our portfolio of brands," said Diamond’s vp of supply chain, Jeff Sites. "Its TMS also allows for us to collaborate with Transplace’s customer network and take advantage of cross customer co-loading opportunities."
Diamond foods said it is gaining the ability to effectively manage all inbound and outbound transportation from domestic vendors to its distribution centers and cross-docks, and to all customer locations. Using real-time reports, Diamond Foods said it will be able to make better informed decisions in order to run its business both competitively and cost-effectively.
"After a rigorous selection process, we selected Transplace based on its leadership in the market, knowledgeable and experienced team, and comprehensive reporting capabilities and suite of services, which will help our company grow and gain market share," said Gabe Sandoval, director of logistics, Diamond Foods.
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