SUPPLY CHAIN

RILA: Obama needs to take action on port strike

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Arlington, Va. — In a letter sent Wednesday, Retail Industry Leaders Association president Sandy Kennedy asked President Obama to take action to prevent a work stoppage at the East and Gulf Coast ports.

Negotiations on Dec. 18 did not produce a resolution between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, foreshadowing a shutdown of the Eastern and Gulf ports by the end of the year.

“RILA is extremely concerned about the potential short and long-term consequences to our members, their employees and customers as well as to the economy if cargo is stalled along the East and Gulf Coast ports,” said Kennedy. “If a work stoppage occurs at the end of the month, it will substantially affect the already delicate economy.”

In 2002, the West Coast work stoppage caused an estimated $15 billion in reported losses. Last month, an eight-day work stoppage at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach caused shipping delays for hundreds of millions of dollars in cargo. The 14 ports potentially affected by a strike account for 95% of all containerized shipments offloaded on the Eastern seaboard.

“In order to prevent another prolonged and damaging stoppage, we respectfully request you put the weight of the White House behind resolving this dispute and bringing the ILA and USMX back to the negotiating table,” Kennedy concluded.

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R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 05:03 am

The action to prevent work
The action to prevent work stoppage is very important. We should do our best to protect the workers from losing their job. - Rich Von Alvensleben

R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 05:03 am

The action to prevent work stoppage is very important. We should do our best to protect the workers from losing their job. - Rich Von Alvensleben

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News

Report: Green Week busiest online shopping week of season

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York – The Chase Holiday Pulse, released on Wednesday, shows that “Green Week” – from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16 – was the busiest seven-day period of the holiday shopping season in terms of transaction volume this year.

Online merchants saw high shopping volume – year-over-year sales and transaction for the same period were up 10.7% and 16.6% respectively – throughout the week as consumers acted to utilize free delivery offers before the holidays.

The number of settled transactions during Green Week exceeded Cyber Week (Nov. 26 to Dec. 2) by 1.3%. Comparatively, dollar sales were just a fraction (-0.9%) below this year’s Cyber Week sales results.

From Oct. 29 through Dec. 16, Pulse year-to-date sales are up 11.9% year-over-year while transactions grew by 22.1% year-over-year. Average ticket price is down year to date by 8.4% year-over-year.

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OPERATIONS

Motorola study: Most retail managers say consumers better informed than associates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Schaumburg, Ill. — A holiday shopping study released Wednesday by Motorola Solutions found that technology continues to radically transform the traditional holiday shopping experience, as 61% of surveyed retail managers believe that shoppers are better connected to information than in-store associates, increasing from nearly 59% in 2011 and 51% in 2010.

Surveyed shoppers echoed a similar sentiment – as nearly one-half (46%) of Gen Y shoppers, 38% of Gen X shoppers and 32% of Boomer shoppers felt better connected to product information than associates.

According to the study, the increasing utilization of shopping-related technologies is having an impact on the shopper experience across varied age demographics. Key findings include:

  • 64% of Gen Y and 52% of Gen X shoppers used their personal mobile device for shopping-related activities compared to only 37% of Boomer and less than 15% of pre-Boomer shoppers.
  • 46% of Gen Y and 36% of Gen X shoppers agreed that they can more readily locate information on their personal mobile device rather than asking a store associate for assistance. Only 19% of Boomer and less than 12% of pre-Boomer shoppers agreed.
  • 54% of Gen Y and 43% of Gen X shoppers were likely to access guest Wi-Fi for shopping-related activities. This compares with 34% of Boomer shoppers and 20% of pre-Boomer shoppers.
  • Boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending as the result of a helpful associate than by using self-service technology.
  • 47% of respondents asserted they have a better experience when sales associates use the latest technologies to assist them.
  • 48% reported that helpful store associates motivated them to spend more in-store.
  • More than half of 72% of shopping-related walkouts resulted in lost sales – an average loss per abandonment of $156.
  • 63% of store managers agree that they need more real-time information to better ensure customer satisfaction.

“It is clear that retailers who embrace technology to enable their store associates to directly engage shoppers are creating differentiation through customer service,” said Eduardo Conrado, SVP and chief marketing officer, Motorola Solutions. “With nearly one-half of surveyed shoppers stating that they have a better experience when retail associates use the latest technology, retailers’ adoption of the right technology that targets shoppers of various age groups will help drive greater customer satisfaction and increased sales opportunities.”

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Mar-16-2013 04:56 am

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Mar-16-2013 04:56 am

This is true, technology has been enhancing consumer's holiday shopping efforts, making it more easier and comfortable. - Rich Von Alvensleben

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Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

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