FINANCE

Stein Mart Q3 loss widens after correcting for overstated profit margins

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. reported Friday that its third-quarter loss widened after correcting for a computer problem that caused an error in prior results.

The retailer posted a revised loss of $3.1 million for the quarter, instead of the $1.8 million loss previously reported. That loss compares to a profit of $4.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

NRF concerned over longer breaks for truck drivers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation said it was pleased with the decision by federal regulators to allow truck drivers to continue driving 11 hours a day, but expressed concern over a new requirement for longer weekly breaks.

“We’re pleased that regulators have seen the wisdom of keeping the current 11-hour limit, but longer overnight breaks create the potential for more big trucks to be mixing with passenger cars during congested daylight hours,” NRF senior VP government relations David French said. “These new regulations will still drive up costs for businesses and consumers while making our highways and city streets more dangerous rather than safer. This is a case where something that might sound good on paper doesn’t work in the real world.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Friday rejected a controversial proposal to reduce the current 11-hour “hours of service” daily limit for drivers to a 10-hour limit. But the agency adopted a proposal that the 34 hours of time off currently required between each week of driving include at least two 1 a.m.-5 a.m. periods of nighttime rest.

Supporters of the shorter daily limit and new weekly “restart” requirement have argued that they would result in fewer fatigued drivers on the road and help reduce accidents, according to NRF. But French said the 11-hour daily limit and existing weekly provision have improved highway safety since it took effect in 2004. Retailers also regularly use overnight deliveries in order to avoid delays and greater safety risks during daytime traffic.

“The current regulations have allowed U.S. retailers to achieve significant efficiencies within their supply chains and distribution networks while keeping safety as their top priority,” French said. “We believe the new restart requirement will have a significant impact on the industry, especially those who rely on overnight or early morning deliveries.”

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M.Mate says:
Jun-26-2012 11:32 am

That is a good rule to drive
That is a good rule to drive for the 11 hour time period as this will surely help in overcoming the problem of accidents on road and drivers will get more time to do rest and do their duties more effectively without meeting some serious issues on road. Regards, whiplash blog

M.Mate says:
Jun-26-2012 11:32 am

That is a good rule to drive for the 11 hour time period as this will surely help in overcoming the problem of accidents on road and drivers will get more time to do rest and do their duties more effectively without meeting some serious issues on road. Regards, whiplash blog

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OPERATIONS

Shopatron predicts factors that will impact retail shopping in 2012

BY Allison Cerra

San Luis Obispo, Calif. — An e-commerce solution for branded manufacturers on Friday released a new forecast on how retail shopping will be influenced by the Internet, in addition to mobile and social networking.

From January to December 2011, the percentage of visits to Shopatron brand partner stores from mobile devices grew from 6.5% to 12.2%, the company said, adding that it has projected that number will grow 18% to 20% by the end of next year. Additionally, Shopatron also predicted social networking will have a stronger influence on retail purchasing behavior in 2012, with the number of Shopatron clients using the company’s online marketing services to invest in Facebook ads or Facebook shops increasing from about 50% to 70%-75% by the end of 2012.

"We have seen rapid growth in mobile this year, with visits to our mobile optimized client stores approaching double what we saw at the beginning of the year," Shopatron online marketing manager Greg Squires said. "And we expect that number to nearly double again in 2012. With this level of traffic, we recommend that brands pay special attention to their mobile presence and mobile marketing tactics in the coming year."

Added Shopatron senior VP marketing Mark Grondin: “There’s an undeniable shift happening. Consumers are being conditioned to expect that they can shop anywhere, anytime and any way they like. Not just in stores, but also on their computers, their phones, their tablets, their TVs and soon on their refrigerators. Brands and retailers that don’t accommodate them are going to lose sales and loyalty."

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