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Study: U.S. retail sales hit $4.53 trillion in 2013; e-commerce at $264 billion

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Total U.S. retail sales during 2013 reportedly reached $4.53 trillion, a 4.2% increase from$4.35 billion in 2012. According to new data from EMarketer, e-commerce sales of $263.3 billion, up 16.9% from $225.3 billion the prior year, helped drive overall retail sales growth.

Non-e-commerce sales totaled about $4.27 billion, a 3.5% increase from $4.12 billion in 2012. In 2014, EMarketer predicts that e-commerce sales in rhe U.S. will grow 15.5% to total $304.1 billion, or 6.4% of total retail sales of $4.73 billion.

In terms of m-commerce, EMarketer reports sales from mobile devices including tablets and smartphones totaled $42.13 billion, a 70% jump from $24.78 billion the prior year. EMarketer forecasts m-commerce sales will grow another 37% to $57.79 billion in 2014. M-commerce represented 0.9% of U.S. retail sales in 2013 and is expected to comprise 1.2% of U.S. retail sales in 2014.

By 2017, EMarketer projects total U.S. retail sales of $5.55 trillion. That figure includes $491.5 billion of e-commerce sales and $132.69 billion in m-commerce sales.

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River’s End Trading Company names former Lands’ End exec as CEO

BY CSA STAFF

River’s End Trading Company, a supplier of apparel and accessories to the promotional products and ad specialty industries as well as the imprinted sportswear and uniform markets, has appointed former Lands’ End executive John Maher as CEO.

The company also announced a capital investment from GCI, a leading private equity firm. Financial terms were not released.

The company plans to leverage Maher’s apparel industry experience and leadership to grow its footprint and focus on customers and operational excellence. Maher has 30 years of experience with Lands’ End.

"I am excited to be part of the River’s End Trading team of employees, sales representatives and partners as we build on the solid foundation that has made the company a top corporate and golf apparel supplier,” said Maher. “It is a dynamic time for River’s End Trading Company. I look forward to leading the team, building strong partnerships, and delivering on our growth strategies."

The financial commitment from GCI supports the company’s growth, collection of top apparel brands, industry leading decoration services and creative brand building solutions. River’s End Trading Company will continue to expand both retail and private label brands including Page and Tuttle and River’s End.

"GCI’s investment in River’s End Trading Company aligns with our strategy to foster sustainable, mutually rewarding partnerships with passionate people who lead innovative companies. This partnership builds on GCI’s proud heritage of our founder Gary Comer, also the founder of Lands’ End," said Bill Schleicher, president and chief operating officer of GCI.

For more than 30 years, River’s End Trading Company has partnered with suppliers, distributors and brands by offering a full range of apparel and innovative decoration options to the promotional products, golf and uniform markets. Its brands include Columbia, Brooks Brothers, Page & Tuttle, Lacoste, Storm Creek, DRI-Duck and Forsyth Dress Shirts.

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Versatile Systems taps new financial chief

BY CSA STAFF

Versatile Systems, a multi-disciplinary technology company with solutions across the mobile, digital signage, IT infrastructure, software and hardware landscape, has appointed Vicki Turjan as chief financial officer.

The company is turning to Turjan to enhance its growth and increase operational efficiencies.

“Vicki is a highly seasoned financial executive with significant operational experience and a detailed knowledge of Versatile’s clients, suppliers and business,” said CEO Kenny Kahn. “Vicki has been with Versatile since 2000 most recently serving as the company’s vice president of finance and administration. I am confident that Vicki’s finance, planning and business knowledge will increase Versatile’s financial discipline as we execute our growth strategy. Throughout the past 90 days, we have strengthened our senior leadership team in core areas and Vicki is another great example of the best-in-class talent we have and are attracting to Versatile. We believe that we have significant opportunities to enhance our growth and create enhanced value for shareholders and other stakeholders. I look forward to working closely with Vicki and the rest of the management team to achieve our strategic objectives in 2014 and beyond.”

Kahn also thanked Kelley Boyer, previous interim chief financial officer, for her service and said she will continue to work with the company as a financial advisor.

Turjan has been with Versatile Systems since 2000 serving both as the company’s director of finance and VP of finance and administration. During that time she has been involved in directing significant financial aspects of the business including accounting practices, budgeting, financial planning, interface with the financial community, financial analysis and monitoring of financial performance. Prior to joining Versatile, she held multiple executive management positions in the television industry including roles with Hearst Argyle Corporation in Lancaster, Pa. Her experience also includes financial roles in the manufacturing sector. Turjan has an MBA degree from St. Francis University and an economics degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Versatile’s products are utilized by Fortune 500 companies, leading financial institutions and large and small retail organizations.

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