Christmas tree growers in Minnesota have new competition from Amazon this year, as the e-commerce giant is selling trees for about $110, with the promise of delivery in two to five days. Growers say they're not worried, however, because most people still prefer to pick out their trees in person.
Cargo volumes at major US container ports grew 13.6% in October from the same month in 2017 to a record 2.04 million 20-foot equivalent units, according to NRF's Global Port Tracker report. Retailers were stocking up ahead of tariff increases on goods from China, which have since been postponed, said Jonathan Gold, NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
Pinterest has teamed with Levi's to create Styled by Levi's, a tool that creates personalized Pinterest boards for fans of the Levi's brand. "This is bringing back the concept of discoverability. Before the internet, you'd go to your favorite boutique and someone pulled the best items for you," Levi's executive Brady Stewart said.
Online shoppers spent on clothing early in the holiday season, fueling record e-commerce sales even as in-store spending dipped 1.7%, according to ShopperTrak. The trend raises concerns about a potential surge in post-holiday returns of apparel because of poor fit.
Christmas tree prices are on the rise this year, amid an improved economy and the fallout from the recession years when farmers couldn't afford to plant as many trees. The average tree prices rose 30 cents to $75 last year, and prices are on track to grow by 5% to 10% this year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Mayor London Breed of San Francisco is proposing a set of legal and permitting changes that would make it easier for businesses to open in the city's vacant storefronts. Changes would include streamlining the approval process and making it easier to open pop-ups and serve food.
Rakuten and Walmart have teamed to debut an online store in Japan called Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store, which will sell about 1,200 products from US brands, including toys, apparel and outdoor goods. Walmart will fulfill orders in the US and Rakuten will handle the delivery.
Hong Kong-based developer Future Land Development Holdings will set aside more space for homegrown brands as it grows from 42 to 100 malls in 70 mainland China cities over the next two years. Local brands have strong growth potential because they understand the Chinese consumer, Jason Yu of Kantar Worldpanel China said.
Carrefour has created floating supermarkets stocked with snacks, sunscreen and other products at three Dubai beaches. People in small boats and on water scooters can order items in person, while those in large boats can phone in delivery orders.
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