SUPPLY CHAIN

Report: Holiday rush overwhelms UPS

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – A surge in last-minute online holiday shopping reportedly caused retailers including Amazon, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart to miss some deliveries scheduled to arrive before Christmas (Dec. 25). According to the Wall Street Journal, UPS had more than the anticipated 7.75 million packages enter its air network on Monday, Dec. 23.

As a result, Amazon had to notify some customers that deliveries would be late because it had not received packages from the delivery provider. Amazon is offering affected customers a $20 gift card and free shipping, while Kohl’s is offering free shipping and Groupon and Wal-Mart are offering $25 gift cards. UPS reportedly handles about 45% of all private deliveries in the U.S.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Study: One-in-three large retailers misses Christmas delivery deadline

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Eight of the 25 largest retailers (32%, or roughly one-in-three) failed to deliver at least one package ordered on the cutoff date to arrive before Christmas via standard shipping in a study performed by StellaService. The study involved placing three orders, one each in the East, West and Midwest regions, from each retailer.

Of 75 total orders, 12% missed the delivery estimate. All but one of these orders were shipped using UPS, which is the preferred carrier for most of the top 25 retailers. Some retailer-specific results include:

• Zappos, Nordstrom and Staples provided the latest cut-off for standard shipping, Dec. 23 (Zappos was the only to deliver in all three regions).

• QVC.com did not specify a cut-off date, so shoppers were forced to place orders much earlier than other sites with standard delivery estimates – Dec. 13.

• Two retailers, Apple and Pottery Barn, changed their cut-off dates/times for standard shipping to allow shoppers more time to order products. Apple extended by a full day and Pottery Barn extended from earlier in the day to midnight. Tiger Direct provided conflicting information on its site; actually changing the date from the 20th to the 18th and back to the 20th.

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News

Village Tea launches e-commerce site

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Village Tea Distribution Company Inc., in partnership with Village Tea Direct LLC, has launched the company’s updated e-commerce platform. The site features a more product-focused interface with consumers.

Village Tea Distribution Company sells tea products both through third-party retail partners and through direct online sales. Village Tea Direct owns and operates the retail and digital commerce channels for Village Tea Distribution. The new site was developed and is hosted by Blue Sky Group, a digital creative marketing company based in Warwick, R.I.

"We are extremely excited about our partnership with Village Tea Direct, said Janon Costley CEO, Village Tea Company Distribution. “Our relationship and the new look site will allow us to generate additional revenue streams while we focus our efforts on continuing to grow the brand as well as our wholesale platform.”

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