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Retail container traffic to be up 11% in March

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Monday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to be up 11% in March, as compared with the same month last year.

The monthly Global Port Tracker indicated that the U.S. ports it follows handled 1.2 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in January, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was up 5% from December and 12% from January 2010. It was the fourteenth month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.

“These numbers show solid increases over last year and are evidence that our nation’s economic recovery is continuing to build momentum,” NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Increases in imports are a clear sign that retailers expect sales to continue to climb in the next several months.”

February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, was estimated at 1.12 million TEU, which would represent an increase of 12% over February 2010. March is forecast at 1.19 million TEU, up 11% from a year ago; April at 1.24 million TEU, up 9%; May at 1.32 million TEU, up 5%; June at 1.39 million TEU, up 5%; and July at 1.45 million TEU, up 5%.

The first half of 2011 is forecast at 7.5 million TEU, up 9% from the first half of 2010. For the full year, 2010 totaled 14.7 million TEU, a 16% increase over 2009.

Last year’s percentages were high because 2009’s 12.7 million TEU was the lowest level seen since 2003.

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LVMH acquires Bulgari for $5.2 billion

BY CSA STAFF

Paris — A report released Monday by Reuters said that French luxury group LVMH will acquire Italian luxury jeweler Bulgari for $5.2 billion.

The offer, according to the report, is a 60% premium to Bulgari’s average share price, and indicates that the bounce-back of the luxury market could occur at a faster rate than Wall Street anticipated.

Rival bidders included the Richemont group and PPR, according to Reuters.

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Cabela’s implements Reflexis Task Manager and StoreWalk

BY CSA STAFF

Dedham, Mass. — Workforce management solution-provider Reflexis Systems said Monday that Sidney, Neb.-based Cabela’s has implemented Reflexis Task Manager and StoreWalk to increase efficiency and improve the store-level execution of its retail strategy.

The Reflexis cloud computing solutions, according to the company, enable retailers to streamline corporate-to-store communication, ensure consistent execution of in-store merchandising and promotional plans, and improve compliance with safety and operational policies.

“Store managers and employees now view a list of prioritized tasks in one system, instead of planning, replying, and following up via e-mail, voice mail, and other communication,” said Marlon Giese, Cabela’s retail communication manager. “The task management system also enables us to monitor job completion and compliance levels in our stores, which was not really possible by e-mail alone.”

With support from Reflexis, Cabela’s tailored the solution to fit its business needs, including using only minimal internal information technology resources. Giese called the solutions intuitive, low-maintenance and user-friendly, which made it possible for the company to implement them during the busiest time of the year.

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