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Brexit’s Impact on Online Retail

While we’re still a bit unclear on Brexit’s full impact, it is sure to change the way people do business. This infographic from 2flow.ie analyses the impact Brexit could have on online retail and it is predicted to have a devastating effect. Retailers need to be ready is the main message from the infographic and […]

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US Inventory Levels Trend Down As 2016 Comes to a Close

A promising trend is emerging as US inventories fell for the month of October. Albeit the decline was small, the fact the trend has been ongoing since we last reviewed the US Census Bureau data in a previous blog post, Managing Inventory Levels, a Competitive Advantage, possibly means a good first quarter 2017 for the […]

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Managing Inventory Levels, a Competitive Advantage

As retailers announce quarterly earnings, a few are noting declines in inventory levels such as Walmart, down 6.5% on a comparable-store basis in the US and J.C. Penney reducing stocks by 1%; However, Target increased inventory by 4.5% during its second quarter as it noted it was investing in non-seasonal inventory to reduce the risk […]

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Perhaps Bigger is Not Better – Small Stores Make a Comeback

As retailers report fourth quarter earnings, a troubling but not so surprising story is emerging – brick & mortar retailers are in trouble. Declining foot traffic thanks to changing preferences and shifts towards online shopping are a part of the problem but perhaps part of the problem are the stores themselves. Remember the old adage […]

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More than Alibaba – China’s Retail Industry

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Consulting firm, McKinsey noted “over the course of the next decade, the global face of the retail industry will change dramatically. Emerging markets will continue to see spectacular growth, both in regards to new shoppers and per capita spending”. Indeed, the most prominent such market is that of China. Despite weakness in its economy, China […]

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The New Retail Industry

This week kicks off the “official” holiday shopping period here in the US and how traditional retailers versus online retailers fare will be closely monitored. However, an interesting comment from one analyst, Laura Kennedy, director of retail insight at Kantar Retail, noted, “Retailers have finally realized that shoppers don’t see the difference between going to […]

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Inventory Buildup Concerns

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Inventory issues were cited by several retailers during recent earnings calls. Indeed, rising inventory levels appear to be a concern across the overall industry. According to the US Census Bureau, US business inventories increased 0.8% in June from the previous month and are up 3.0% over June 2014. Meanwhile, there was minimal change in sales […]

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Retailer Target puts the spotlight on supply chain

Plagued by a huge security breach a couple of years ago and a botched attempt to enter the Canadian market, the US retailer Target perhaps took a wise step this past week in naming John Mulligan COO and responsible for the company’s supply chain. Mr. Mulligan will certainly be kept busy particularly as Target’s CEO […]

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Return to Sender

This is the final post in the “Retailers, Supply Chains and the Holiday Season” blog post series and it addresses one of the most difficult parts of the supply chain that retailers have to deal with each holiday season – returns. An article from the Wall Street Journal offers some interesting data surrounding returns: According […]

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Is the UK Holiday Season a Result of Over Promise and Under Deliver?

I can’t help but see the irony in what’s currently going on in the UK and what happened here in the US when UPS and FedEx were “overwhelmed” by a sudden deluge of packages right before Christmas Day last year. Online retailing has put the retail industry, the delivery companies and customers on edge. But […]

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