Potential nor’easter threatens to exacerbate shipping delays, warn USPS and retailers

The U.S. Postal Service and retail giant Target are warning of potential shipping delays from a nor’easter due to hit this week, on top of record package volume and lower-than-usual staffing levels due to Covid-19.

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More than 47 million people are under some sort of winter storm watch or warning as heavy snow is expected to blanket parts of the Northeast this week.


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The severe weather, which began Sunday in the Pacific Northwest, is forecast to produce not only significant snow in the Northeast, but also freezing rain and ice across portions of central Virginia and North Carolina.

The storm comes as the nation enters what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks for shipping holiday gifts. Buyers have ramped up their online shopping during the pandemic this year, straining logistics systems that have also had to take additional precautions to protect essential

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Friends switch lottery retailers after 40 years, win big

Dec. 14 (UPI) — A pair of Australian friends who have played the lottery together for about 40 years finally scored a jackpot of more than $650,000 after they changed the store from which they make their purchases.

A member of the two-person lottery team from Cambridge Park, New South Wales, told The Lott officials that they have been longtime lottery partners.

“We’ve been playing for about 40 years. We started off working together and became mates. We’ve been playing Lotto together ever since,” the man said.

He said he was shocked when his wife checked the weekend’s Saturday Lotto numbers.

“My wife checked the ticket on Saturday night. She came in and woke me up and told me we’d won. I thought she was having me on,” the winner said. “We just can’t believe it. We were only saying the other day we thought we were due for a

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Retailers and food groups demand soya traders halt Brazil deforestation

International retailers, food groups and investors including Tesco, McDonald’s, Unilever and Lidl have called on leading soyabean traders to stop trading the commodity linked to deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado region, an important biodiversity hotspot which, along with the Amazon rainforest, has been at the centre of the country’s agribusiness boom. 

In letters to Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus Company as well as Cofco International and Glencore affiliated Viterra, 160 signatories of the Cerrado Manifesto Statement of Support (Sos), have demanded that the traders refuse trading soya from areas deforested after 2020 in the Cerrado. The signatories warned that they would impose sanctions if the traders failed to commit themselves to the cut-off date.

Along with the Sos’s call to traders, Tesco confirmed its offer of £10m to tackle deforestation caused by soya production in the region made before talks with the traders broke down late last year. The

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Retailers’ best e-commerce asset may be their brick-and-mortar stores

Dive Brief:

  • In yet another trend accelerated by the pandemic, BOPIS services have surged, with 40% of retailers now offering the service, compared to just a quarter last year, according to an emailed report from omnichannel platform NewStore. More than half (55%) offer in-store returns of online purchases, the firm found.

  • In part thanks to the expansion of Google My Business, smaller retailers are increasingly offering such services, with about 40% of online purchases picked up at local stores, according to omnichannel firm Uberall.

  • Growth in such services has spiked 75% year over year, with BOPIS growth at Walmart and Target outpacing their robust online sales growth, according to 1010data. The trend is fueled in part by concerns about timely holiday fulfillment on the part of just over half of U.S. consumers, according to marketplace platform Feedvisor.

Dive Insight:

The pandemic has obviously fueled e-commerce. During May, a period

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Retailers have to figure out how to handle all our online returns

What happens if the federal government does not provide more money to state and local governments in the next round of coronavirus relief?

Unlike the federal government, most state and local governments are bound by balanced budget requirements, meaning that when revenues decline, they’re forced to either reduce spending or increase taxes. Without federal assistance, the revenue drop would likely result in more job losses, said Tracy Gordon, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. State and local governments employ more workers than any other sector, Gordon said.

What will it take to persuade people to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

There’s a saying in public health that vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations save lives. A recent Pew Research poll shows 60% of Americans would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if one were available today. That’s an improvement, but 21% still said they do not intend to

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Why traditional retailers have the checkout blues


Cara Salvatore loves a local corner bodega in Brooklyn, its specialty food items, and the cashiers who work there. But the writer and online entrepreneur rarely goes there anymore because its aisles feel too narrow and cramped to maintain social distance from other people. Instead, Mx. Salvatore’s purchases happen online – for just about everything.

“I don’t love letting somebody else pick what produce I get,” Mx. Salvatore says. Even the writer’s parents in Maryland are grocery shopping online now, “which I never expected. They’re in their 70s!”

It’s a similar story in Tacoma, Washington, for Rick and Sarah Daniel, MBA graduates who are not working as they care for Mr. Daniel’s ailing parents. Men’s deodorant? A click away on Amazon Prime. Bulk household items from Costco? A monthly delivery via Instacart, an online delivery service. The only in-person shopping the couple still does is for fresh food. 


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The Evolution Of Layaway – How A Re-imagined Old Concept May Be A Life Raft For Retailers

Point of sale loans surge in popularity as consumers navigate holiday spending

It’s nothing revolutionary to say people are struggling as we navigate the turbulence of this holiday shopping season. With unemployment dipping slightly—but firmly standing 2 percent higher than last year—and shuttered retail nationwide amidst a surging pandemic, there is reason to fret.

The volatility of this shopping season is represented in the wildly variant predictions of spending trends. Some institutions have predicted growth of as much as 4 percent this year, while more conservative projections have spending holding flat or dipping slightly. Variables in everything from a new stimulus bill to vaccine disbursement can all have an affect, and the truth is we’re really not going to know until the dust settles.

There are some factors that we can count on, however. For one, the increase in unemployment will leave many sectors of the

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InterContinental Houston teams up with Rice Village retailers

InterContinental Houston – Medical Center aims to spread a little holiday cheer for both its guests and retailers in nearby Rice Village.

The hotel, at 6750 Main St. across from the Texas Medical Center, launched its Guest Perks Program in partnership with Rice Village, the historic pedestrian-oriented shopping district a little over a mile away at University Boulevard and Morningside Drive.

RELATED: Pop up shops find permanent home in The Village

The hotel has initially partnered with a dozen restaurants and shops on exclusive offers for its overnight guests. The participating retailers are Altar’d State, Athleta, Face Haus, Island Grill, J Landa, MAC Cosmetics, Madison Reed, Mendocino Farms, Sephora, Shake Shack, tasc Performance and White House Black Market.

RELATED: Houston hotels enter holiday season under crushing weight of pandemic, debt

“We are excited to offer this extra incentive and thank all those involved in the partnership between our hotel and

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Syracuse-area retailers, battered by Covid, find a strategy: appointment-only shopping

Syracuse, N.Y. — It didn’t take long for Caeresa Richardson to figure out how to attract customers hesitant to visit her new women’s clothing boutique in downtown Syracuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

a man standing in front of a computer: Caeresa Richardson poses in her women's fashion boutique, Gypsy Freedom, in downtown Syracuse.

© Rick Moriarty | [email protected]/Rick Moriarty | [email protected]/
Caeresa Richardson poses in her women’s fashion boutique, Gypsy Freedom, in downtown Syracuse.

Richardson offers private one-hour virtual and in-person shopping appointments at Gypsy Freedom, which she opened at 312 S. Salina St. in August. The private shopping opportunities have proven popular, she said.


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“Some customers don’t want to be around people,” she said. “With a private appointment, there’s not the risk that there’s a lot of people or we’re over capacity and now they’ll have to wait. They get that dedicated shopping hour.”

Retail experts say private shopping sessions are an example of the creative ways that brick-and-mortar retailers must find to survive during the pandemic, when

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Mi9 Retail Ranks #1 Top Vendor for Tier 1 Retailers on the RIS News 2021 Software LeaderBoard

MIAMI, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mi9 Retail, a software provider that enables retailers to automate and optimize merchandise management and demand planning, today announced that tier one retailers have recognized Mi9 as the #1 top vendor and #3 overall best retail software provider on RIS News’ 2021 Software LeaderBoard. Mi9 was also placed in 32 Top 10 categories, including customer satisfaction, quality of support and return on investment.

The annual RIS Software LeaderBoard evaluates technology vendors in head-to-head rankings and top-10 lists based on retailers’ satisfaction and the completeness of their solution set. Mi9 Retail has consistently ranked among the Top 10 in the overall best software provider category since 2014. This year’s report is the outcome of 714 evaluations submitted by 302 retailers who work with the 50 vendors identified in this report.

Among the 32 lists Mi9 Retail ranked in the Top 10, notable

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