ECOMMERCE

Study: Online shopping leveling out

BY Katherine Boccaccio

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Denver — Study results released Monday by The Integer Group showed that, although online shopping has increased over the last three years, overall it has leveled out.

According to The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C Research, online shopping is level and steady, but boomers continue to increase their online purchases – up 4.5% since 2011.

Millennials, on the other hand, are backing off, as the study revealed that Millennials who said they are purchasing more online is down 7% from 2011.

"Millennials may be feeling the pinch of a still-slow economy and making the decision to watch spending more closely,” said Craig Elston, SVP, insight & strategy, Integer Group. “It could also be that we are starting to reach a plateau in online-shopping adoption."

Even though many shoppers in the survey noted that they are shopping about the same amount online as they were three months ago, there are some interesting shifts in purchase categories, according to the survey.

Since January 2012, online purchase of health and beauty has increased significantly among shoppers aged 50 to 64, growing nearly 12%. The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who say they’ve purchased any products online, even once, has dropped in all categories except books, music, and tickets. Overall, none of these categories saw major growth from 2011 to 2012.

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OPERATIONS

Gordmans appoints EVP, merchandising chief

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Omaha, Neb. — Apparel and home décor chain Gordmans announced Monday it has appointed Michael Morand as EVP and chief merchandising officer.

Morand has served as Gordmans’ EVP planning, allocation and analysis since 2008. In his new position, he will lead the combined merchandising and planning team and drive the retailer’s continued expansion in both new and existing markets.

Prior to joining Gordmans in 2007, Morand held senior-level positions in merchandising, strategic planning, allocation and marketing for several operating divisions of May Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc.), including Robinsons-May, Famous Barr and Lord & Taylor.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Report: Retail imports to increase 8.5% in February

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Friday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates estimated that retail imports will increase 8.5% in February, after a contract deal between the East Coast and Gulf Coast dockworkers is finalized.

The monthly Global Port Tracker report said that, had a key West Coast agreement also been settled, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports would possibly have seen an additional rise.

“We were very happy to see a deal on a tentative contract for the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports but we are urging the parties to quickly work out any outstanding issues and ratify the agreement as soon as possible,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “We were disappointed that the LA/Long Beach clerical workers’ contract wasn’t ratified, but are encouraging the parties to work through their differences without a disruption.”



The International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance reached tentative agreement February 1 on a contract that avoided a strike that could have shut down East Coast and Gulf Coast ports from Maine to Texas. The agreement is subject to reaching supplemental local agreements and ratification by union members. Last Wednesday, however, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 63 Office Clerical Unit voted down a tentative agreement with the Harbor Employers Association that ended an eight-day strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in November and December 2012.



U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.32 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in December, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 2.8% from November and up 8% from December 2011. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent. The numbers for December brought 2012 to a total of 15.8 million TEU, up 2.9% from 2011. January was estimated at 1.34 million TEU, up 4.6% from January 2012.

February is forecast at 1.18 million TEU, up 8.5% from last year; March at 1.29 million TEU, up 3.6%; April at 1.36 million TEU, up 4.4%, May at 1.45 million TEU, up 6.2%, and June at 1.45 million TEU, up 4.9%. The six months of data projections for 2013 should bring the first half of the year to 8.1 million TEU, up 5.3% from the first half of 2012.



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