The U.S. Postal Service ended the first three months of its 2013 fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2012) with a net loss of $1.3 billion. Continued growth in Shipping and Package revenue (+4.7%) and increased efficiency helped mitigate but could not fully offset the financial effects of continued First-Class Mail volume declines and costs that are beyond Postal Service management control. As a result, the Postal Service recently announced it would move forward with accelerated cost-cutting actions necessary to help maintain liquidity because Congress has not passed comprehensive postal reform legislation.
ComScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, released its Full Year and Q4 2012 U.S. retail ecommerce sales estimates. For the full year, U.S. retail ecommerce sales reached $186.2 billion, an increase of 15%– the strongest annual growth rate since before the recession. Q4 2012 sales grew 14 percent year-over-year to $56.8 billion, marking the first ever $50 billion quarter.
Channel Intelligence, an ecommerce data service company, announced on its blog that they have been acquired by Google for $125 million. According to Mashable, the deal “is part of an ongoing effort to improve on the Google Shopping experience” and could “provide sellers with better tools to manage and market their products across the web.”
After teaming up with Kenshoo Social, a social marketing platform, to create an integrated Facebook marketing campaign, online retailer, Zappos, generated approximately 85,000 visits to its website in just two months.
U.S. retail and consumer merger & acquisition (M&A) activity in 2012 was primarily driven by corporations spinning off businesses, private equity (PE) investment in retail, increased cross border activity and expansion into e-commerce, according to PwC’s US retail and consumer M&A insights 2012 Year in Review and 2013 Outlook report released today.
The National Retail Federation said that few, if any, merchants are expected to surcharge customers for using a credit card as theoretically allowed under a controversial proposed lawsuit settlement with Visa and MasterCard being debated in the courts.
Apparel and accessories seller GUESS will leverage VendorNet’s StoreNet technology to implement omnichannel retail capabilities, specifically fulfillment of online sales from its brick and mortar locations.
Amazon.com today announced plans to open three new fulfillment centers in the state of Texas, creating more than 1,000 jobs. The sites, which will utilize advanced technology to help fulfill customer orders, will be located in the cities of Coppell, Haslet and Schertz.
Amazon.com’s net sales increased 27% to $61.09 billion for the year ending Dec. 31, compared with $48.08 billion in 2011. Excluding the $854 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales grew 29% compared with 2011.
Results of the e-tailing group’s 15th Annual Mystery Shopping Study, conducted during the fourth quarter of 2012, have been released and nine merchants, including Zappos, Saks Fifth Avenue, Zappos and Office Depot have been recognize for excelling at online customer service.