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Report: Retail container traffic to be up 9% in November

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. A report released Friday said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is continuing to wind down as the year comes to an end, but still is expected to be up 9% in November as compared with the same month last year.

According to the monthly Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, U.S. ports handled 1.34 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in September, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 6% from August but up 17% from September 2009. It was the tenth month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.

October was estimated at 1.29 million TEU, a 9% increase over last year. November is forecast at 1.19 million TEU, up 9% from last year, and December at 1.1 million TEU, up 1%.

“Retailers know shoppers still have the economy in mind, so they are being very mindful with inventory levels this year,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP supply chain and customs policy. “The cargo numbers show that retailers are expecting a much better holiday season than they have seen over the past two years, but the industry is still being cautious.”

January 2011 is forecast at 1.08 million TEU, up 7% from 2010. But February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.06 million TEU, down 5% from last year, and March is forecast at 1.04 million TEU, down 10%.

January 2011 is forecast at 1.08 million TEU, up 7% from 2010. But February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.06 million TEU, down 5% from last year, and March is forecast at 1.04 million TEU, down 10%.

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Club comps advance in October

BY CSA STAFF

Costco and BJ’s produced solid same-store sales during October , with Costco up 3% at its U.S. clubs BJ’s advancing 2.2%, excluding favorable effects of gasoline or currency exchange rates.

Total sale as Costco increased 11% to $6.3 billion compared to the prior year period as the company benefitted from consolidating the results of a Mexican joint venture into its results at the beginning of its fiscal year.

 

Sales at BJ’s advanced 6.3% to nearly $813 million.

 

If the favorable effects of rising gasoline prices and currency exchange, in Costco’s case, are included in same-store sales, Costco’s U.S. business generated a 4% increase while BJ’s recorded a 3.7% gain.

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Big Lots reports 3Q sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots is reporting third quarter retail sales for the fiscal quarter ended Oct. 30 of $1.04 billion, an increase of 2.4% compared with $1.02 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2009. Comparable-store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 0.7% for the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Commenting on sales for the quarter, Steve Fishman, chairman, CEO and president stated, “While sales results were solid during the first half of the quarter, we began to experience more volatile and inconsistent sales trends in late September lasting through October.  Our customers were very selective but were still willing to spend money where they saw tremendous values as evidenced by the continued strength in certain of our higher ticket, discretionary categories.”

 

Fishman continued, “From a merchandising perspective, furniture and home continued to be leading categories in our store, with furniture in particular comping up in the low double digits.  We were also encouraged by high-single digit comps in our seasonal category and early performance of our holiday toy business as each of these strategies are critical components of our fourth quarter holiday plans.”

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