SUPPLY CHAIN

Study: One-in-three large retailers misses Christmas delivery deadline

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Eight of the 25 largest retailers (32%, or roughly one-in-three) failed to deliver at least one package ordered on the cutoff date to arrive before Christmas via standard shipping in a study performed by StellaService. The study involved placing three orders, one each in the East, West and Midwest regions, from each retailer.

Of 75 total orders, 12% missed the delivery estimate. All but one of these orders were shipped using UPS, which is the preferred carrier for most of the top 25 retailers. Some retailer-specific results include:

• Zappos, Nordstrom and Staples provided the latest cut-off for standard shipping, Dec. 23 (Zappos was the only to deliver in all three regions).

• QVC.com did not specify a cut-off date, so shoppers were forced to place orders much earlier than other sites with standard delivery estimates – Dec. 13.

• Two retailers, Apple and Pottery Barn, changed their cut-off dates/times for standard shipping to allow shoppers more time to order products. Apple extended by a full day and Pottery Barn extended from earlier in the day to midnight. Tiger Direct provided conflicting information on its site; actually changing the date from the 20th to the 18th and back to the 20th.

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Village Tea launches e-commerce site

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Village Tea Distribution Company Inc., in partnership with Village Tea Direct LLC, has launched the company’s updated e-commerce platform. The site features a more product-focused interface with consumers.

Village Tea Distribution Company sells tea products both through third-party retail partners and through direct online sales. Village Tea Direct owns and operates the retail and digital commerce channels for Village Tea Distribution. The new site was developed and is hosted by Blue Sky Group, a digital creative marketing company based in Warwick, R.I.

"We are extremely excited about our partnership with Village Tea Direct, said Janon Costley CEO, Village Tea Company Distribution. “Our relationship and the new look site will allow us to generate additional revenue streams while we focus our efforts on continuing to grow the brand as well as our wholesale platform.”

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Cabot Creamery honors volunteers

BY CSA STAFF

Cabot Creamery is honoring 50 volunteers from across the United States with what it’s calling a “trip of a lifetime.” On Jan. 11, the volunteers will board the Celebrity Cruises Summit for an all-expense-paid, six-day, seven-night Caribbean cruise organized in their honor, courtesy of the 1,200 farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative.

The farmer-owners of Cabot have presented the Cabot Community Celebrity Award program since 2010 to recognize individuals from across the nation who have made a difference in their communities.

"For the past four years, the Cabot Community Celebrity Awards have honored the powerful achievements and contributions of select volunteers," said Rich Stammer, Cabot president and CEO. "Partnering with major market media and national organizations, we spotlight those who serve others with little thought of personal recognition, and reward them with the trip of a lifetime. Our Community Celebrity Awards seek to redefine what ‘true celebrity’ really means."

One of the 50 volunteers going on the cruise is Sean Evans, a resident of Moore, Okla., who founded Serve Moore after the tornados that devastated the town in May. He developed a website to help coordinate relief efforts, connecting resources and thousands of volunteers to bring aid and comfort to the victims of the storm.

Also going are Tawanda and Robert Jones from Camden, N.J., who founded the Sophisticated Sisters Drill Team to serve the children of one of America’s most consistently impoverished and crime-ridden cities. Since founding the group in 1986, the couple provided a constructive outlet that has helped guide the lives of more than 4,000 of the city’s children.

"There are so many stories here of everyday people doing remarkable things in their communities. Stories of people who spend their weekends building dream bedrooms for kids with cancer; who spend their nights collecting food and goods for the hungry and homeless; who spend their days mentoring a child growing up alone in poverty," said Stammer. "They truly deserve this."

The Cabot Community Celebrity Award Cruise departs San Juan, Puerto Rico and stops in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas, before returning to San Juan. Round trip airfare for the Cabot Community Celebrities and their guests is also included.

"We want them to exhale and let their worries and pressures escape, to relax, recharge, and celebrate, so they can go back to their communities refreshed and ready to do more," Stammer added. "And hopefully, inspire others to do the same."

Cabot is able to spotlight those who serve their communities by partnering with AARP Create the Good, Points of Light and working with an ever-growing list of highly conscious nonprofit organizations like Habitat For Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The DREAM Program.

Once again this year, several of Cabot’s Community Celebrity Award recipients were selected from local radio stations that help Cabot spread the word on the valuable work volunteers do each day across the nation. Still others were selected from Cabot community relations programs, like the Reward Volunteers iPhone App, the mobile app a computer widget that enables volunteers to track their time serving nonprofits and to win great prizes and cash for themselves and the organizations they serve.

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