OPERATIONS

Retailer container traffic to see uptick in July

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 1.6% in July compared with the same month last year, and modest year-over-year increases are expected through the holiday season shipping cycle, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Whether consumers are going to have the confidence to spend during the next few months depends on what happens with employment, but retailers are being cautiously optimistic,” said NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold. “Sales can fluctuate from month to month, but these import numbers show that retailers are still expecting this year to be better than last year.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.34 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in May, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 4.1% from April and 2.3% from May 2011. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.

June remained at an estimated 1.34 million TEU, the same as May but up 4.7% from June 2011. July is forecast at 1.38 million TEU, up 1.6% from last year; August at 1.44 million TEU, up 6.2%; September at 1.45 million TEU, up 6.8%; October at 1.47 million TEU, up 12.6% over lower-than-usual numbers last year; and November at 1.3 million TEU, up 2%.

The first half of 2012 totaled an estimated 7.5 million TEU, up 2.6% from the same period last year. The total for 2011 was 15.1 million TEU, up 0.6% from 2010. NRF projects 2012 retail sales will grow 3.4% to $2.53 trillion.

Numbers in this month’s report reflect the addition of Miami to the list of ports covered.

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STORE SPACES

Bi-Lo installing energy-saving doors on open cases

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Supermarket operator Bi-Lo has installed insulated glass doors to previously open Hussman cases in three Bi-Lo stores in Tennesse. The retro-fit doors, RemiSafe, are from Remis America, a joint venture between, DEHCO, Inc., Elkhart, Ind., and Remis GmbH of Cologne, Germany.

“The doors help us achieve a number of things,” said Dennis Gibson, director of maintenance and energy services,” Bi-Lo, Mauldlin, S.C. “They give us more control over case temperatures allowing us to save on energy and maintain product integrity. Not only that, our customers have made numerous positive comments about how much warmer and more comfortable our aisles are.”

Bi-Lo plans on installing the Remis doors in approximately 35 stores this year, with several more in Tennessee already scheduled. The doors cut energy costs up to 80% while also greatly reducing retailers’ carbon footprint, according to Remis America.

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News

Best Buy Canada selects Stibo Systems to fuel its multichannel efforts

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Stibo Systems announced that Best Buy Canada has selected Stibo Systems to optimize its customer’s online and mobile e-commerce experience.

Best Buy Canada, which operates roughly 225 consumer electronics stores under the brands Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, and Future Shop, will use Stibo Systems’ Step platform to support their multichannel efforts and to streamline item setup and data management for the English-Canadian and French-Canadian versions of www.bestbuy.ca and www.futureshop.ca.

“Creating an impressive multichannel experience for our customers is Best Buy Canada’s number one goal, and we remain committed to meeting their needs both online and in the store,” said Robert Pearson, VP e-commerce at Best Buy Canada. “Leveraging Stibo Systems’ deep experience and its proven Master Data Management platform, we can ensure success in achieving our e-commerce objectives and more importantly, continue to meet the unique and growing needs of our customers.”

Using Stibo Systems’ technology and services, Best Buy Canada will drive more accurate and consistent product information into all channels and model complex product bundles such as cell phone packages which often consist of a combination of products, parts, and services. Further, by creating a central repository for its product information, the big-box retailer will support its rapidly growing marketplace and increase its online SKU count while removing the time intensive processes typically associated with manual product on-boarding. In future phases, the system will expand to also manage Best Buy’s store-side data including both supply chain and packaging information.

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Nov-28-2012 01:49 pm

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