New federal rules that limit truckers to 70-hour work weeks are bad for the economy, NRF executive Jon Gold wrote in a blog post. "NRF believes that these changes will drive up retailer transportation costs and make trucking less safe due to the fact that more trucks will have to be added onto our already congested roadways to make up for those drivers on mandatory breaks," he wrote.
Mothercare, Clinton Cards and other UK retailers said they struggled last month because of severe weather. Next cited the weather as a contributing factor in its sales decline, and HMV said the snow was a factor in its profit warning.
Manufacturers are fighting for the power to set minimum pricing for online retailers. Amazon's official response: "Retailers like Amazon have the legal right to set their own prices independently, but some manufacturers place restrictions on how those prices may be communicated." The end result: Shoppers need to click through to the virtual cash register to find the pricing.
A recent survey of United Arab Emirates retailers found that most believe consumers are reducing their spending because of job losses, lower salaries and commissions. Some retailers also believe that local consumers are watching the global economy for trends and other clues.
A study by Retail Systems Research found that 56% of retailers say consumers who use multiple channels, including in-store, online and catalogues, are more profitable than are other shoppers. Creating an effective cross-channel experience and a way to use the information continue to be challenges for retailers, however.