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NRF calls for ports to remain open despite contract rejection

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation expressed disappointment on Friday over the failure of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association to reach a contract agreement.

An eight-day strike in November and December 2012 shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before the parties agreed on a tentative new contract with the help of a federal mediator. But union members on Wednesday voted down the contract.

“We are extremely disappointed by this vote and strongly urge the parties to work through their differences without any kind of disruption. Ratification of a contract is needed to give retailers and other industries that rely on these ports the predictability they need to make long-term plans and get back to growing their businesses and creating jobs. The shutdown during the holiday shopping season was more than just a fight between labor and management – it threatened to impact consumers’ shopping plans at the most crucial time of the year. We can’t afford to see another shutdown. As labor and management work to resolve this situation, uninterrupted operation of the ports should be their top priority. Too many jobs across the country depend on these ports to let any interference with operations be considered an acceptable way of doing business,” said NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold in a prepared statement.

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Claire’s names new marketing head

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO — Claire’s Stores has named Dina Keenan as global SVP/chief marketing officer.

Keenan recently joined the company, and is a proven marketing executive with more than 20 years of global experience in marketing strategy, brand development, advertising and retail. Her unique cross-disciplinary background comprises both agency and client side experience including The Integer Group, Bath & Body Works, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons & Spas and Bozell Worldwide. The CMO position reports into Jim Fielding, CEO.

Jim Fielding, CEO of Claire’s Store’s Inc. commented, "We are very pleased to announce that Dina Keenan has joined Claire’s as global chief marketing officer. Dina possesses a compelling combination of leadership skills and marketing acumen, both of which will play a critical role in helping us achieve our future growth objectives. She also truly understands the power of branding across multiple platforms and brings a fresh perspective to continuing our conversation with our Claire’s and Icing friends. I am thrilled to have her join the talented senior management team at Claire’s."

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Consumers in love with last-minute V-Day shopping

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO — Most Valentine’s Day celebrants plan to shop a week or less before the holiday, and many wait until Feb. 13 or 14 to make their final purchases, according to research by the NPD Group, a leading global information company.

The "SnackTrack Holidays Valentine’s Day Profile" found 78% of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day plan to shop a week or less before the holiday. Women do not begin their Valentine’s Day shopping much earlier than men; 1-in-3 female buyers (32%) wraps up her shopping Feb. 13 or 14, while 47% of men made their final Valentine’s Day purchase on those days.

An estimated 185 million individuals — including 70 million women and 59 million men — celebrate Valentine’s Day. While a nearly universal 92% of celebrating adults indicated plans to get someone a Valentine’s Day gift, 80% actually followed through and gave one, NPD’s snacking research reported. Outpacing greeting cards, the most common gift was candy, given by 38% of adults and 47% of teen gifters. By a wide margin, the leading candy was boxed chocolates, given by 55% of adult candy buyers and 45% of teens. Supermarkets and discount stores are the primary channels for Valentine’s Day purchases. Consumers say that they choose these channels for convenience purposes.

“With the shopping cycle more compressed for Valentine’s Day than for Christmas, there is a heightened need for a simplified shopping experience,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “Having Valentine’s Day items all in one spot and offering all-in-one bundles of cards and gifts will help these last-minute shoppers.”

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