EMarketer is predicting that global e-commerce will top $2 trillion this year and exceed $4 trillion by 2020, with market share rising from less than 9% to 14.6%. "While the pace of growth for overall retail sales is subdued, the digital portion of sales continues to expand rapidly," the researchers wrote in their analysis.
Exporters are concerned about China's move to add the US to its list of Zika-infected countries, which will require fumigation for all shipping containers heading to China at a cost of up to $200 per unit. Unclear requirements on where the fumigation should take place could delay shipments, leading to lost business.
Welspun India plans to make changes to its supply chain as it works to overcome accusations of selling fake Egyptian-cotton sheets to retailers, including Target. Target cut ties with the supplier, while J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart and Bed Bath & Beyond plan to do their own investigations.
Amazon's wireless automated-ordering device known as the Dash button isn't being used by many of its owners, but distributors can learn from Amazon's customer-focused testing of innovative products, Dirk Beveridge says. "Traditionally, distributors have been caught by the tyranny of the 'urgent,' even though they know that customers will be buying differently three years from now," says Beveridge, author of "INNOVATE! How Successful Distributors Lead Change in Disruptive Times."
Distributors can easily cut costs by focusing on indirect spending that can account for up to half of a company's purchases, Michael Wilson writes. He outlines a seven-point plan to help distributors identify indirect expenditures, secure discounts and find hidden cost-saving opportunities.
A Republican congressman plans to introduce a legal framework for cross-border sales tax that resolves an ongoing dispute between physical retailers, state governments and e-commerce retailers. The law would tax purchases based on the tax base of the retailer and a single rate chosen by the consumer's state.
FedEx and UPS' average cumulative list rate increases for ground delivery service have been the same over the past 10 years. Shippers comparing prices between the two companies "focus on ground only, giving the carriers more pricing flexibility in other services," said Jack Ampuja, president of Supply Chain Optimizers.
Apple is expanding into the clean-energy business, buying large amounts of hydroelectric, solar and wind power as it seeks to green its operations. However, the company would far prefer to buy clean energy straight from the grid, sustainability chief Lisa Jackson, says.
Staples is emphasizing business-to-business opportunities and incorporating services, among other tactics, as part of its strategic overhaul, says interim CEO Shira Goodman. The company is looking to operate only stores that make money while emphasizing its delivery offerings.
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