OPERATIONS

Planalytics issues post-Christmas weather outlook

BY CSA STAFF

Berwyn, Pa. — Planalytics has issued its weather outlook for the all-important days after Christmas when many consumers head to the stores to redeem gift cards and exchange presents. Here’s how the firm sees the forecast shaping up for the Northeast and South:

In the heavily populated northeast, the Planalytics team expects wintry weather from late Sunday December 26 through Tuesday December 28. The heaviest snow is likely going to occur from Providence, Boston and points north into Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. New York City and Philadelphia can expect light to moderate snowfall amounts beginning on the day after Christmas. Any snowfall should drive demand for need-based products such as snow throwers, ice melt, shovels, and wiper fluid, according to Planalytics.

Further south from Baltimore through Virginia and towards Atlanta, snowfall amounts will be lower, and there is an increased likelihood of a wintry mix. Still, businesses in the Southeast should be prepared for need based purchasing of winter items as the “threat of snow” in these locations often spur consumers to make purchases. Based on current model guidance, the exception to this is in Coastal Virginia and North Carolina where Planalytics expects locally heavy snow (and strong demand for snow removal products) in some markets such as Norfolk, Va.

Areas in the Southern tier (Dallas, New Orleans, and Tampa) can expect rain late week through Christmas and into early next week.

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FINANCE

Oxford acquires Lilly Pulitzer

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — Oxford Industries has acquired Sugartown Worldwide, the owner of the upscale women’s lifestyle brand Lilly Pulitzer, which sells to better specialty and department stores as well as through its stores and other direct to consumer channels.

Jim Bradbeer, president of the Lilly Pulitzer Group, said: "It is worth mentioning that we were not marketing the company when Oxford called us earlier this year. We have been approached by interested parties many times in the past but never felt that any were the right partner for us. We believe that joining forces with Oxford will enable us to best pursue our vision for the brand and to continue on our growth trajectory."

Oxford Industries is an international apparel design, sourcing and marketing company with a diverse portfolio of owned and licensed brands and a collection of private label apparel businesses. Oxford’s brands include Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman.

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OPERATIONS

Dillard’s to open Internet distribution center

BY CSA STAFF

Maumelle, Ark. — Dillard’s announced it will locate an Internet fulfillment center in Maumelle, Ark., to support the continuing growth of its online business. The company has signed an agreement to purchase the former Target distribution facility and will create over 300 new jobs in the Central Arkansas area.

The new center will utilize the latest in fulfillment and distribution technology, including the highly advanced use of robotics combined with improvements in ergonomics, noise reduction and safety. The environmentally friendly features of the new facility include less power consumption due to reduced conveyor usage, as well as advanced, energy-efficient lighting systems.

Dillard’s expects the Maumelle Internet fulfillment center to be fully operational in late 2012. The retailer currently operates six distribution centers, including one in Mabelvale, Ark., and an Internet fulfillment center in Nashville, Tenn.

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