Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9% this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “The contract talks are over, but the tentative agreement still has to be ratified and it’s going to take months to get back to normal on the West Coast,” said NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy. “Retailers’ immediate priority is to make sure spring merchandise reaches store shelves in time.”
Amazon.com is dropping its first-ever printed holiday toy catalog to millions of customers starting this month, according to a report on CNBC. The catalog features 70 pages of cozily-clad kids surrounded by toys such as action figures, board games and Barbies, as well as high-end items such as Bose audio gear and PlayStations. The book is similar in style to traditional marketing catalogs, but with some twists. For example, no prices are listed. Shoppers have to go Amazon’s website to find out how much the products actually cost. (This was reportedly done by design: The lack of published prices enables Amazon to change its pricing to stay competitive as the season heats up.) In addition, some of the featured toys come with a QR code, allowing readers to instantly scan and shop for more products. Readers can also scan the product images in the catalog with their Amazon app to get more information and add them to their shopping cart. Digital versions of the catalog are available on Kindle and in PDF form online.
Total Retail’s Take: Let’s face it: Amazon’s holiday toy catalog, which has a distinct retro look, is designed to appeal to consumers who were used to receiving catalogs from the now defunct Toys”R”Us this time of year. Amazon isn’t the only company looking to cash in on Toys”R”Us’ absence this holiday season. Walmart, Target and Kohl’s, for example, are all beefing up their toy catalogs to get a bigger piece of the nation’s $3.3 billion toy market. Walmart is boosting its in-store toy merchandise by 30 percent and online toy merchandise by 40 percent. Furthermore, it’s also hosting about 2,000 events to promote the new products. Target is expanding its toy collection, too, nearly doubling the category vs. last year. It has expanded its toy sections and remodeled 100 stores to account for an increase in toy shoppers this season.
more at source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/amazon-to-mail-holiday-toy-catalog-for-first-time/