NRF/Hackett Associates Global Port Tracker report: August is expected to be the busiest month on record for imports

WASHINGTON, 2017-Aug-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Boosted by continuing sales growth, August is expected to be the busiest month on record for imports at the nation’s major retail container ports and 2017 is on track to set a new annual high, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today (August 9, 2017) by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are selling more and that means they need to import more,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “With sales showing year-over-year increases almost every month for a long time now, retail supply chains are working hard to keep up. These latest numbers are a good sign of what retailers expect in terms of consumer demand over the next few months.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.69 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 2 percent from May but up 7.5 percent from June 2016. July was estimated at 1.72 million TEU, up 5.6 percent from the same time last year. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

August is forecast at 1.75 million TEU, up 2.1 percent from last year. That would be the highest monthly volume recorded since NRF began tracking imports in 2000, topping the 1.73 million TEU seen in March 2015. The 1.7 million-plus numbers seen in May and July and now expected for August and October would represent four of the six busiest months in the report’s history.

September is forecast at 1.67 million TEU, up 4.7 percent from last year; October at 1.72 million TEU, up 3 percent; November at 1.62 million TEU, down 1.4 percent, and December at 1.59 million TEU, up 1.5 percent.

Those numbers would bring 2017 to a total of 19.7 million TEU, topping last year’s previous record of 18.8 million TEU by 4.9 percent. That compares with 2016’s 3.1 percent increase over 2015. While July numbers are not yet final, the first half of 2017 tentatively totaled 9.7 million TEU, up 7.4 percent from the same period in 2016.

The import numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales. Total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009, and retail sales as calculated by NRF – excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants – have increased year-over-year in all but three months since the beginning of 2010. Retail employment, despite recent short-term fluctuations, has increased by 1.5 million jobs during the same period.

NRF has forecast that 2017 retail sales – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – will increase between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016, driven by job and income growth coupled with low debt. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett noted that U.S. gross domestic product grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, more than double the 1.2 percent seen in the first quarter.

“This relatively strong growth underlies the robust level of imports we have forecast and witnessed,” Hackett said.

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. www.hackettassociates.com

Contact:
J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Asda Income Tracker: UK families had £201 in discretionary income to spend in August

LEEDS, England, 2016-Oct-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK families had £201 in discretionary income to spend in August according to the latest figures from the Asda Income Tracker, released today (30 September 2016).

The figures mark the 22nd consecutive month of double-digit growth in pound terms, with households benefiting from an extra £10 per week compared to the same period last year.

But whilst the positive figure suggests good news for spending power year on year, the data also shows that the rate of growth has slowed month on month in 2016, with disposable income staying largely flat for the past five months.

While essential item inflation has remained at near-zero levels and Consumer Price Inflation is holding steady at (0.6%), rising input costs and slowing wage growth mean that monthly spending power is not growing as quickly as seen previously.

Other factors impacting spending power are increased transport costs – up 0.9% over the month of August and an increase of 0.9% in food prices. Families searching for flights to warmer climates were disappointed with airfares rising for European routes. Meanwhile, manufacturer costs climbed at the fastest annual rate in almost five years, suggesting that further inflationary pressure could be around the corner.
The report also suggests that as prices are expected to continue to rise, headline inflation will move towards the Bank of England’s 2% target for 2017.

On the plus side, the report, compiled each month by CEBR, noted that a cut to interest rates helped to offset the rising costs and resulted in a further fall in monthly mortgage payments. And the uncertainty – triggered by the results of the EU referendum – doesn’t appear to have impacted shopper behaviour at the tills.

In the labour market, the picture also remained relatively positive, as the rate of unemployment across the UK held steady at 4.9% and wage growth remained well above the level of inflation. However, records show that regular earnings growth (excluding bonuses) dropped to the lowest level since the start of 2016 (2.1%), despite the introduction of the National Living Wage in April.

An Asda spokesperson said: “This month’s report is a mixed one for families. On the one hand it’s encouraging that we continue to see a rise in spending power, courtesy of low levels of essential item inflation, and cuts to interest rates. However, on the other hand, there are some trends beginning to emerge that consumers should be mindful of.

“With inflation predicted to creep up as we head towards 2017 and the potential for a continuation in the rising costs of some essentials, families will be watching their wallets with interest over the coming months.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “UK households have continued to help to drive economic activity in the months following the referendum, clearly supported by further robust increases in household spending power.

“However, whilst the initial turbulence has been navigated, improvements in household finances have slowed, a process that could accelerate if rising production costs begin to feed into prices at the tills.”

Source: ASDA

BRC – KPMG: UK online sales of Non-Food products grew 6.2% in August

London, 2016-Sep-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium. “Online echoed the performance of total sales this month, with growth slowing to just 6.2 per cent, well below the 12-month average of 11.1 per cent. People’s attention on screens turned to watching the Olympics rather than browsing, resulting in the lowest growth for online non-food sales since March 2013.

“Online as a proportion of total non-food retail sales remains above 20 per cent, contributing positively to total non-food sales growth, while store sales registered a decline. Today’s figures are a reflection of a month of lower sales growth across the board as people focused their energies on outdoor leisure activities rather than shopping.

“The fact that online continues to be the key driver of sales growth is both testament to and a driver of innovation in the industry. Despite continuing uncertainty and swings in consumer confidence since the referendum retailers continue to invest in optimising their digital platforms, which have already become an integral part of the customer journey.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG
“While online sales were a more positive affair than the high street overall, e-channels experienced the slowest growth so far this year with non-food online sales up just 6.2% in the month.

“Health and beauty was the standout category as consumers stocked up on sun cream ready for exotic holidays abroad and Britain’s very own August scorcher. The warmer weather also encouraged parents to order outdoor toys online, helping to keep the kids out of mischief during the school summer break.

“In contrast, women’s footwear experienced negative growth in the month with shoppers reluctant to consider new Autumn collections in the summer heat. No doubt the category will improve as the weather cools in the coming months.

“With the summer holidays now coming to an end, ‘back to school’ marks the next opportunity for online retailers to grab the attention of shoppers.”

For Media Enquiries:
Zoe Maddison
British Retail Consortium
Tel: 0207 854 8924
Email: Zoe.Maddison@brc.org.uk

Source: British Retail Consortium

Poultry from the U.S. returns to Commissaries in South Korea this August

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Jul-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Commissary shoppers in South Korea will see uncooked poultry from the U.S. returning to commissary shelves starting in late August.

This news comes as a result of changes to South Korea’s poultry embargo that had restricted the entry of uncooked poultry from the U.S. nearly nonstop since December 2014. South Korea declared the embargo in 2014 after the U.S. announced the presence of avian influenza in live poultry flocks in Oregon and California, followed by additional outbreaks in other U.S. states.

“This is welcome news for everyone associated with commissaries – customers and employees alike,” said Wayne Walk, DeCA’s zone manager in South Korea. “We’re working with our suppliers to get frozen thighs, breasts, wings and whole chickens, eggs and other uncooked poultry products from the U.S. into stores as quickly as possible. We expect U.S. poultry to be fully stocked again by the end of September.”

During the embargo, commissaries sold uncooked fresh (not frozen) poultry and eggs from local sources in South Korea and uncooked frozen poultry from a source in Australia to meet customer demand. Commissaries will continue to carry fresh chicken products and eggs from local sources in South Korea.

Because the ordering window for turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas fell earlier in the year, it’s too late for commissaries to order turkeys from the U.S. for the 2016 holiday season. “Turkey suppliers required orders placed by the beginning of April,” said Jack McGregor, DeCA’s Pacific Area logistics chief. “We ordered turkeys in April from our known and reliable supplier in Australia that produces the Steggles brand.”

Commissaries have been offering uncooked frozen chicken from Steggles since August 2015, and nearly 8,000 Steggles brand turkeys were sold in commissaries in South Korea last year. “We worked throughout the embargo to provide our customers with substitute poultry products.” said Walk. “We’re pleased we can now add back these uncooked poultry and egg products from the U.S.”

About DeCA:
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Source: Commissary

MANGO’s first campaigns for AW16 launch globally at the end of August

Barcelona, 2016-Jul-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — MANGO is continuing with its strategy of launching a new print campaign every month in order to reveal the latest trends. The first of the 4 campaigns for AW16, to be launched globally at the end of August, features Roos Abels and Lexi Boling on the streets of New York.

MANGO is committed to continuing to innovate via digital platforms, and this campaign has gone further by putting social networks at its heart. Part of the campaign has already been revealed on the brand’s Snapchat (mango) and Instagram (@mango) platforms with a live broadcast of previously unseen footage from the photo shoot, which also reveals key garments being featured by MANGO during the first month of the upcoming season.

In addition, the brand will launch its official Spotify channel in late August, which will be updated each season with the songs featured in the Mango campaigns and stores, in order to create its own playlists.

MANGO currently has close to 16,500,000 followers across all of its social network platforms, a figure which is rising season after season.

MANGO was founded in 1984 and is today one of the leading fashion groups in the world. Based in its city of origin, Barcelona, the company has an extensive store network of 800,000 m2 in 110 countries.From its “El Hangar” Design Centre in Palau-solità i Plegamans, every year it designs 18,000 garments and accessories for wearing the season’s trends. The company, which owns the MANGO Woman, Man, Kids and Violeta lines, closed 2015 with sales of 2.327 billion euros, representing a 15% increase on 2014 and an EBITDA of 170 million euros. More information at www.mango.com

Contact:
press@mango.com
T. +34 938 602 222

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MANGO's first campaigns for AW16 launch globally at the end of August
MANGO’s first campaigns for AW16 launch globally at the end of August

 

Source: Mango