Week in Review: Ho Ho Ho, the Holiday Season is Here!

UPS, United Parcel Service, FedEx, United States Postal Service, USPS, Shipping/Delivery, shipping, holiday forecast, holiday peak 2014, 2014 holiday, retail, ecommercePut down your pumpkin spice lattes, etailers… the 2015 Holiday Season is here!

Well, at least it’s here for those in the retail industry. How can we tell? Because consumers are all riled up when they see Christmas displays in stores (when do they expect people to buy Christmas decorations, Dec. 24?), and because the Multichannel Merchant editorial team has been bombarded with press releases, how-to articles and infographics about holiday season preparation.

And, by the way, we thank all of you who sent us this information to share with our audience. Although, in theory, merchants should have their holiday season completed by now, we all know this is the time to make any final tweaks and adjustments.

For example, this infographic from Listrak will help merchants better understand what the shopper expects when he or she buys online. This infographic from SLI Systems will help merchants fine-tune their mobile commerce efforts before it’s too late. And this article from Movable Ink CMO Miles Williams will help merchants up their email marketing game just in time for the peak season.

And we’re getting a gauge on holiday season hiring as well: Kohl’s anticipates 69,000 seasonal hires,Toys R Us will bring in 40,000 (which is 5,000 less than they hired last holiday season),  and UPS is bringing in 95,000 seasonal workers.

By the way, the holiday peak season represents up to 40% of a merchant’s annual retail sales. What’s learned in that crucible can also become part of a continuous distribution center improvement process.

Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and while you’re here, would you mind taking our reader’s survey? Your opinion counts, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card


share-this-icon-75X75Thirty-five catalog companies will be participating in CohereOne’s new catalog prospecting test during the fourth quarter…5 ways to bring your email marketing strategy out of the Jurassic period….Sports Authority partnered with Under Armour through its MapMyFitness platform to offer The League loyalty members… Teespring had added executive hires to its marketing leadership team… JCPenney can help you dress as stylish as Pro Football Hall of Famer turned TV star Michael Strahan… The latest report from IBM shows that email is the best way to reach the omnichannel customer…


Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Wayfair’s DwellStudio and Birch Lane to deliver 3D ecommerce experienceMacy’s Inc. now offers PayPal to customers online, in-store and on mobile… Cabela’s has reached out to GroupBy for help with its site search… Canine Companions for Independence and Henry Schein Animal Health have begun delivery of care packages to veterinarians for their customers who volunteer to raise canine companions puppies…

Shipping and delivery

shipping-delivery-75X75Target partners with Instacart to test grocery delivery… Tuxedo and men’s clothing rental company Generation Tux will open a distribution and customer service facility in Jeffersontown, KY… Consumer electronics retailer Monoprice has opened a 103,000-square-foot distribution center in Hebron, KY… Home Depot is laying off about 300 of its 325 employees at a distribution center in Hagerstown, MD, as it transitions from a direct online fulfillment center to one handling large bulk shipments… QVC plans to lay off 147 workers from a smaller distribution center at its headquarters in West Goshen, PA, which the company said has become inefficient to operate… Dollar General plans to build a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Janesville, WI… Ace Hardware plans to break ground next month on a $26 million, 400,000-square foot expansion to its distribution center in Wilton, NY… Stitch Fix will open a 365,000-square-foot distribution center in Phoenix…


global-ecommerce-icon-75X75Office Depot Inc., expands its geographical reach in Europe with new partners in Romania and Malta…Price comparison site ParcelHero says U.S.- and U.K.-based retailers are ready to embrace Singles Day… Amazon has added to its European distribution network with the opening of a new facility in Dobrovíz, Czechoslovakia… Ecommerce in Brazil reached R$ 19.6 billion in the first half of 2015, a nominal growth of 16% compared to the same period in 2014…


financials-icon-75X75Gnarley, dude – Quicksilver has filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S., but the company still sees a future for its core Quiksilver, Roxy women’s ware and DC shoe brands… Grainger reported its sales for August declined 2% vs. August 2014. Sales were flat on an organic basis consisting of 1 percentage point from volume offset by a 1 percentage point decline in price… ascena retail group’s net sales for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2015 decreased 1.1% to $1.170 billion, compared to $1.182 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, as positive combined comparable sales at Lane Bryantmaurices, and Catherines was offset by negative combined comparable sales at Justice and dressbarn.

… And more

newsShoe Carnival expands board with the appointment of two new directorsToys R Us Inc., named new executive vice president, global chief talent officer, and announced it is trimming its seasonal hires from 45,000 in 2014 to 40,000 this year… Walmart’s mobile chief joins PepsiCo to lead its new ecommerce push… Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg has been tapped to lead Razorfish’s Commerce and Content Practice.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.