SUPPLY CHAIN

Report: Shipping problems threaten merchandise deliveries

BY CSA STAFF

New York Shipping bottlenecks in and outside of the United States are causing delays in deliveries of a wide range of goods, USA Today reported. The squeeze has impacted retailers, distributors and manufacturers, and boosted transportation costs as much as 150%, according to the report.

The report said the tie-ups started early this year, with the delays most severe for ocean shipments of apparel, electronics and other goods made in Asia. It cited Lowe’s, which has experienced delays of one to three weeks in deliveries of such seasonal products as air-conditioners, and Urban Outfitters, where many clothing items arrived a week late in the spring.

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Tractor Supply reports 2Q sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. Tractor Supply Company reported that net sales for the second quarter 2010 increased 12.6% to $1.07 billion from $946.5 million in the second quarter of 2009. Same-store sales increased 6.1% compared with a same-store sales decrease of 2.7% in the second quarter of 2009. The company said it anticipates that net income for the second quarter will be approximately $75.6 million to $76.7 million, or $2.03 to $2.05 per diluted share, compared with $54.8 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, in the prior year’s second quarter.

Jim Wright, chairman and CEO, stated, “We are delighted with our second quarter performance. Consumable, usable and edible categories, such as pet food and animal feed, continued to be solid sales drivers and contributed to our 6.9% comp transaction count increase. We had expected favorable moisture levels and were able to take advantage of this with strategic inventory allocation and effective markdown management. As a result, we achieved strong same-store sales, higher gross margin, expense leverage and better-than-expected earnings.”

The company raised its expectations for fiscal 2010 net sales of $3.49 billion to $3.53 billion compared to its previous expectations of $3.44 billion to $3.50 billion. Same-store sales for the year are now expected to increase by 2.5% to 3.5%, up from the company’s prior guidance of 1% to 3%. The company said it now anticipates annual net income to range from $4 to $4.10 per diluted share compared with its previous guidance of $3.48 to $3.60 per diluted share. 

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Borders looks to corner e-book market

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders Group announced the launch of the Borders branded e-book store, powered by global e-reading service Kobo.

“The race to emerge as a retail leader within the digital category is just starting,” said Mike Edwards, CEO for Borders. “During the past several months, we’ve been carefully crafting a digital strategy, one that has great content and a device-neutral philosophy backed by the Borders brand as its cornerstones. We believe we are very well positioned to come out strong and to ultimately claim about a 17% e-book market share by this time next year.”

The company also announced that it is making available to consumers BlackBerry and Android e-reading applications, also powered by Kobo.

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