Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:04

5 Things Millennials Expect from Retailers

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Retailers love to talk about “Millennials” — but how successfully are they reaching this consumer group, and what can brands do to target young consumers more effectively? At Retail’s Digital Summit, Gabbi Baker of OgilvyOne Worldwide and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hunter Thomas — both Millennials themselves — went “beyond the meme” to offer proven tactics for engaging younger shoppers.

Although broadly defined as consumers aged 18-34, the Millennial group encompasses many different personas, all of which retailers need to address. From mavens (Millennial moms) to skeptics, one message definitely does not fit all. Therefore, retailers need to focus on what potential customers who fall into this bracket want from their shopping experiences, and tailor their offerings accordingly.

Baker and Thomas waded through mountains of research on the Millennial generation (much of which is contradictory) and drew on their own opinions to outline five things Millennials expect from retailers: read more

Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:56

Retail Industry Sees Solid Employment Gains in September

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The retail industry saw an increase of 10,000 jobs in September over August, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The gains came as the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy overall gained 156,000 jobs.

“What we saw in September were very decent gains that reflect the general conditions of the economy and our expectations of a strong second half of 2016,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “With modest gains spread across key business categories including, clothing, electronics and furniture, what we’re seeing is reasonable when taking into consideration the economy is in the range of full employment.”

On a three-month-average, retail jobs as calculated by NRF have increased by 11,000 positions over last year. On a year-over-year basis, retail jobs have increased by 194,000 positions. read more

Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:42

October Imports Spike ad Retailers Stock Up for Holidays

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WASHINGTON – October is expected to be the second-busiest month of the year for the nation’s major retail container ports as merchants stock up for the holiday shopping season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The holidays are nearly here, and from warehouses to store shelves, retailers are making sure they have the merchandise on hand to meet consumers’ demands,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “November and December are the busiest time for holiday shopping, but this is the month for the behind-the-scenes supply chain work that ensures shoppers will find what they want, where they want it, when they want it.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.71 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 5 percent from July and up 1.7 percent from August 2015, and has been the busiest month of the year so far. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

Volume dipped in September to an estimated 1.64 million TEU but was still up 0.9 percent from last year. October is forecast at 1.65 million TEU, up 6 percent from last year; November at 1.54 million TEU, up 3.9 percent, and December at 1.48 million TEU, up 3.4 percent. read more

Today, Governor Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm and recovery efforts. The application period is from today through November 11, 2016.

DEO is currently surveying businesses in the affected counties. To access the business survey, please go to and select “Hurricane Matthew” from the drop-down menu.

DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide an expedient cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees located in 67 counties affected by Hurricane Matthew can apply for short-term loans for up to $25,000. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to October 3, 2016, and demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

To complete an application by the Nov. 11 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office at 850-898-3489.

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