Retail sales were lagging long before the government shutdown, but the hit that the economy took from the closure didn't help things at all. Now, the National Retail Federation, the industry's top trade group, said that shoppers this year planned to reduce spending on presents and holiday preparations.
In retail, the holidays are the best of times and the worst of times. The trick to troubleshooting shipping issues is to manage for the best scenario but expect the worst, especially during peak intervals.
Shoppers in the United States plan on spending an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, representing an 11-percent increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture's annual holiday shopping survey. The forecast uptick is more optimistic than other holiday surveys released to date.
Many of the key priorities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are "strikingly similar" to those of Walmart, executives of the retail giant's Asia Pacific arm say. That includes supporting the economic empowerment of women, increasing speed and efficiency in supply chain and sourcing operations, adding new stores and infrastructure, playing a leadership role in food security and sustainability - all shared goals not only critical to Walmart's success but to people, communities and entire economies alike.
Staples, reportedly the world's second-largest internet retailer, has completed the acquisition of Runa, a California software company that helps online retailers increase sales by personalizing the shopping experience.
Mike Kilgore, chief executive officer of CHAINalytics, explains the practice of horizontal collaboration, and talks about how it can lead to more efficient use of manufacturing and logistics resources.
Walmart has decided to offer products with fewer harmful chemicals, increase the use of recycled materials, reduce fertilizer use in agriculture, and increase energy efficiency in the products its stores carry. The new standards apply to Walmart stores in the United States and elsewhere around the world.