Retail container traffic to be up 15% in June
Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said Friday that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to be up 15% in June, compared with the same month a year ago.
The monthly Global Port Tracker report also said that double-digit increases should continue into the fall as the U.S. economy recovers.
“Cargo import numbers are up but retailers are looking closely at other economic indicators to make sure they are sourcing the appropriate amount of merchandise based on consumer demand,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Job creation remains a key factor that’s going to affect consumer spending and retail sales.”
U.S. ports handled 1.15 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in April, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was up 7% from March and up 16% from April 2009. It was also the fifth month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year monthly declines. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.
May was estimated at 1.16 million TEU, a 12% increase over last year as spring products hit store shelves and summer merchandise followed close behind. June is forecast to remain at 1.16 million TEU but the figure would be up 15% from last year. July is forecast at 1.23 million TEU, up 11% from last year; August at 1.27 million TEU, up 10%; September at 1.31 million TEU, up 15%; and October — traditionally the busiest month of the year — at 1.34 million TEU, up 12%. The strong year-over-year increases are partly due to easy comparisons against unusually low numbers last year.
The first half of 2010 is expected to total 6.6 million TEU, up 12% from the same period last year.
Target to help raise awareness for summer food program
ST. PAUL, Minn. Target is sponsoring the 2010 Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program, which helps raise awareness for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program campaign, created by Second Harvest Heartland.
Target, along with the Minnesota Vikings, has pledged $300,000 to the effort. The Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program, Presented by Target, has already secured more than 40 additional Summer Food Service Program meal sites, bringing the total number of summer meal sites in Minnesota to more than 450, according to a press release.
“Target has long been involved in the fight to end hunger both locally and nationally,” said Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations with Target. “We are pleased to join with the Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and all of Minnesota’s Feeding America food banks in an effort to positively impact child hunger in Minnesota.”
TRU sales up in Q1, but loss widens
WAYNE, N.J. Toys”R”Us reported that net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were $2.608 billion, an increase of 5.3% compared with $2.477 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Comparable-store net sales grew by 1.9% in the domestic segment, while comparable-store net sales declined by 1.4% in the international segment.
The company reported a net loss of $55 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared with a net loss of $35 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.
“We are very pleased with our operating results for the first quarter, driven by the team’s continued discipline in planning and achieving sales increases, expense control and margin enhancement,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys”R”Us. “As we move forward, our focus remains on delivering differentiated product offerings, providing unique value and exceptional service to our customers, and preparing our stores for the all-important holiday selling season.”