Retail Container Traffic Marks Lowest Level in Four Years
Washington, D.C. Year-over-year cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell for the 17th straight month in December, completing the slowest year since 2004 as the U.S. economic downturn continued, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released on Thursday by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
Volume for the year was estimated at 15.3 million 20-ft.-equivalent units, compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007. That would be a decline of 7.1% and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports.
One TEU is one 20-ft. container or its equivalent.
“Two thousand eight was a slow year for the ports for the simple reason that it was a slow year for retail sales,” said Jonathan Gold, VP, supply chain and customs policy, NRF. “We don’t expect a significant increase in traffic at the ports until retail sales return to normal levels, and even then retailers will be careful not to over-stock.”
U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.23 million TEU in November, the last month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 10.3% from the 2008 peak of 1.37 million TEU set in October and down 11.8% from Nov. 2007.
JCPenney brings back ‘doghouse’ campaign
PLANO, Texas JCPenney is bringing back its popular “doghouse” campaign to encourage men to buy the right gifts this Valentine’s Day. The company declared the week leading up to Valentine’s Day – Feb. 6-13 – as “Doghouse Prevention Week.” In recognition of the week – which has been trademarked by JCPenney – the retailer has reenergized its BewareoftheDoghouse.com viral campaign with new enhancements designed to make it easier for women to warn their bad-gift giving loved ones about the online “doghouse.”
JCPenney first launched BewareoftheDoghouse.com – a fun and interactive viral campaign that enabled women to comically reprimand their loved ones for bad gift choices – on Nov. 21, 2008. Throughout the holiday season, the campaign logged more than 7 million visitors to www.BewareoftheDoghouse.com and more than 14 million total video views. The online “Doghouse” quickly became a temporary home for more than 7,000 loved ones across the world and another 9,000 warnings were sent.
In support of “Doghouse Prevention Week,” JCPenney will introduce an enhanced “Beware of the Doghouse” online experience that boasts new features such as Valentine’s Day imagery, an easier gallery search function and enhanced usability of Facebook Connect where users can warn or select more “Doghouse” candidates as well as enhanced animation throughout the site. To promote the campaign, e-mails to previous “Doghouse” participants will be distributed and online banners will be featured on top jewelry consumer sites.
Destination Maternity to open more Motherhood Maternity shops at Babies’R’Us stores
PHILADELPHIA Destination Maternity announced that it is doubling the number of Motherhood Maternity apparel shops at Babies”R”Us, the nation’s. An additional 69 shops are opening in Babies”R”Us stores, bringing the total in-store shops to 138.
Destination Maternity has operated maternity apparel shops in select Babies”R”Us stores since 1999.
Ed Krell, CEO of Destination Maternity, commented, “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Babies”R”Us. Babies”R”Us is the one-stop shopping destination for new and expectant parents, and Destination Maternity is the authority on maternity apparel – the expansion of our partnership is a win-win for our respective companies and for expecting moms and their growing families!”