NRF: Retail adds 27,800 jobs in June
Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) calculated retail industry employment gains (excluding autos and gasoline) of 27,800 jobs in June 2014, compared to the prior month and 230,800 year-over-year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary showed that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in June, better than analysts’ and economists’ expectations.
The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% as a result, while the civilian labor participation rate remained unchanged at 62.8%.
"Details in the national jobs report were uniformly positive and showed that the labor market continues to provide more muscle to a growing economy," said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. "It should be noted that this is the strongest three-month trend since early 2012. The momentum in the labor market and retail job growth will translate into stronger expectations for the second half of 2014. This report sets the stage for job gains as we head into the busier retail season."
EBay expands omnichannel fulfillment partnership with U.K. chain Argos
San Jose, Calif. – EBay and U.K. general merchandise retailer Argos have entered an agreement to extend their offering of Click & Collect services via Argos stores. This extension will enable shoppers to select products from a much wider range of EBay sellers for collection from about 650 Argos stores.
Buyers choose “Click and Collect at Argos” as the delivery option in their Bay checkout and select their most convenient Argos store. Buyers receive a message when their item is ready for collection in their selected Argos store and proceed to a dedicated collection point in the store. Eligible sellers will be enrolled in the service and need to prepare orders for despatch as normal with EBay’s technology taking care of the rest.
The Click & Collect partnership commenced in September 2013 with 50 Bay sellers offering a selected range of products for collection in 150 Argos stores. It is anticipated that by the end of 2014 around 65,000 eBay sellers will offer items for collection at Argos, rising to around 80,000 in 2015. Argos will make the Click & Collect service available in about 650 of its stores.
Moody’s: Physical stores key to retailers’ online growth strategy
New York — A physical store presence is key to most retailers for their online growth strategy, according to a new report by Moody’s Investor Services. Based on existing data, Moody’s estimate online sales as a percent of total retail sales are just 6% today, and will increase to 7.1% by 2016, and potentially reach a double-digit (mid-teens) share of the total retail sales pie in about five years.
Even though most groups in the retail industry have made significant strides in building an e-commerce presence in recent years, the report found, most of the 13 sub-sectors in the report still derive a surprisingly small percent of their overall sales from online channels.
“Despite the apparent popularity of the Internet to the U.S. consumer, most retail sectors are still far from fully leveraging this potential,” the report states.
Here are some highlights of the Moody’s report, which was written by Moody’s VP, senior analyst Charles O’Shea:
• Online Presence is a longer-term credit-positive for U.S. retail. A viable online channel is becoming more critical for brick-and-mortar retailers to maintain and strengthen their competitive positions.
“In our view, online sales is a cost-effective way to maximize existing physical locations and to leverage distribution capability,” O’Shea states. “We believe the successful development of this channel will ultimately be a credit positive for retailers.”
• Mass store closings are unlikely as companies increase online presence. Moody’s sees little evidence online growth is causing more retailers to close large numbers of physical store locations to save on unnecessary costs.
Extensive store networks give shoppers the option to see and touch the product that they may have researched online, which is one of the reasons store networks will remain a crucial link in the online logistics chain, the report finds. Points of distribution for ship-from-store capability will also remain important.
Online growth among retail sectors will vary widely. Some sectors have made tremendous strides in building a viable online presence, in particular the music, video and digital content group, which we expect will double its online sales penetration to 70% by 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, the food, beer and wine group has barely moved the online needle and will likely not grow beyond 1% penetration by 2016.
• Growth may be greater than public data suggests. Moody’s findings are drawn primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce, which uses historical data-based surveys rather than direct reporting from companies, which means findings are far from comprehensive.
“Many companies do not report their online business and there is little consistency with respect to individual disclosures of what actually constitutes an online sale,” O’Shea states. “We think these constraints suggest that the volume of online sales are actually larger than what available data sources suggest.”