Across Nigeria, low-cost Chinese goods are everywhere, evidence of Beijing's growing dominance in global trade. The trade flow has helped keep life affordable for millions of Nigerian families, at a time when the country is struggling with economic stagnation and plunging prices, as well as the deadly costs of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Despite the well-publicized slowdown in economic growth, overall consumer sentiment in China can still be described as cautiously optimistic. More precisely, caution characterizes the lower end of the consumer market, while optimism envelops the high end. China, in other words, has become a two-speed consumer market. The optimistic, "high-speed" consumer market disproportionately consists of middle- to upper-middle-class and affluent households. These consumers also make up the bulk of the digital class of active online shoppers.
Seeing what is happening to their customers and feeling the heat from possible threats, technology companies are increasing spending on security for their own systems, according to a survey of chief financial officers. Meanwhile, incentives to spend big on security are still in short supply for retailers and other private companies.
XPO Logistics Inc., a freight brokerage and transportation services provider, has acquired UX Specialized Logistics, a North American provider of last-mile logistics services for retail chains and e-commerce companies.
The emergence of Big Data poses significant challenges to retail supply chains. But it also offers the opportunity to gain new insights into customer demand. Annibal Sodero, assistant professor at the Walton College of Business University of Arkansas, explains.
Companies are desperate for new talent to help them achieve supply-chain excellence, as they grapple with ever-larger volumes of data and increasing unpredictability in consumer markets. A SupplyChainBrain Roundtable discussion with Benji Green, director of global supply chain operations with Avaya; Trevor Miles, executive vice president of thought leadership with Kinaxis, and Roddy Martin, managing director of Accenture Supply Chain Strategies.
Even in the age of recycling, forward and reverse supply chains have tended to be treated as separate disciplines. Now the world's largest retailer is partnering with major consumer goods manufacturers to help erase that distinction.