UPS to Hire Up to 95,000 Seasonal Workers

“UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 workers to help deliver packages during the busy holiday season — an increase from last year, when the company was caught unprepared for a boom in online shopping. The Atlanta-based company said Tuesday that the positions will include package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers.” [Source: ABC News]

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Ecommerce Presents Challenges for UPS

“When United Parcel Service Inc. Chief Executive David Abney bought his first book from Amazon.com Inc. about 15 years ago, e-commerce seemed no more complicated than ordering from a catalog. “Pretty basic,” he says. Online sales have mushroomed since then into a huge business for the package-delivery company—and a big problem. Because of the ubiquity of free shipping, fierce competition from other delivery services and Amazon’s power to drive down shipping costs as it gets even more enormous, UPS’s average revenue on each Internet-related package it handles is dropping.” [Source: Wall Street Journal]

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Neiman Marcus Acquires MyTheresa.com

“Neiman Marcus Group has acquired the German fashion e-commerce platform Mytheresa.com and Theresa, its flagship Munich store. Owned up until now by its founders, Christoph and Susanne Botschen, and investment firm Acton Capital Partners, the brand will run as an ‘independent subsidiary of NMG based in Munich,’ a statement from the brand read this morning.” [Source: Vogue]

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Google and Barnes & Noble Launch Same-Day Book Delivery

“Google Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. have launched same-day book delivery to consumers in Manhattan, the San Francisco Bay area and West Los Angeles. The move represents the latest effort by a prominent retailer to entice online shoppers with same-day deliveries. Consumers can place orders for same-day delivery through Google Shopping Express. Launched last year, Google Shopping Express works with about 20 retailers. Besides Barnes & Noble, No. 28 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, they include Staples Inc., No. 3,; Target Corp., No. 18; Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., No. 34; Walgreen Co., No. 43; and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., No. 66.” [Source: Internet Retailer]

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UPS Invests $175 Million to Increase Holiday Capacity

“UPS announced on its Q2 earnings call this week that it was spending $175 million to increase its capacity during the holiday shopping season, including adding 50 new hub sorts at its existing facilities – bumping up capacity by 5% – and going from limited to full operations on Black Friday. Last year, UPS, FedEx and Amazon took a lot of heat for their role in holiday shipping delays that led to many items arriving after Christmas. The carriers blamed the mess on weeks of bad weather, higher ecommerce demand and a shorter holiday shopping season. UPS and Amazon offered refunds to customers who didn’t get their packages on time.” [Source: Multichannel Merchant]

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Target to Test Same-day Delivery

“Target will test same-day delivery next month in three markets, the discount department store merchant said May 21 during its first-quarter earnings call. Chief Merchandise and Supply Chain Officer Kathryn Tesija said that following a successful ship-from-store test in Minneapolis, Target plans to launch the same-day delivery pilot program in that market, as well as the Boston and Miami markets.” [Source: Multichannel Merchant]

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Amazon to Deploy Thousands of Robots in Fulfillment Centers

“Amazon.com Inc. will put thousands more robots into its warehouses by the end of the year, CEO Jeff Bezos said this week at the e-retailer’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle. Amazon has some 1,300 robots working in its fulfillment centers now. That will increase to at least 10,000 by the end of 2014, a spokeswoman for the e-retailer says without providing further detail.” [Source: Internet Retailer]

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Ecommerce Sites May Feel Burden of New FedEx Shipping Charges

“FedEx Corp. is changing the way it charges to ship bulky packages, jolting e-commerce companies with price increases for delivering items as diverse as diapers, shoes and paper towels. Instead of charging by weight alone, all ground packages will now be priced according to size. In effect, that will mean a price increase on more than a third of its U.S. ground shipments. The big question now is whether United Parcel Service Inc. will follow the pricing move. Many analysts think it will. The two companies have historically matched price increases rather than seize the chance for a competitive advantage.” [Source: Wall Street Journal]

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A Peek Into Wayfair’s Operations

“Wayfair is an e-commerce site selling home furnishings. But with 1,600 employees, its physical presence is rapidly outgrowing its space in an obelisklike skyscraper in Boston’s Back Bay–which happens to be a former hub of the Christian Science church. Long gone are the white shag carpets, wood paneling and executive-floor elevators that once allowed church higher-ups to avoid hoi polloi. Flat-panel TVs on each of 12 floors beam not messages of faith healing but maps of the U.S. and Europe that light up whenever there’s a sale. Within seconds Katherine from Decatur, Tex. buys a $49 tungsten wedding ring, Jen adds a $94 cherrywood bar stool to her lounge in upstate New York, and Jenna in Connecticut picks up a $102 gray Parsons kitchen chair.” [Source: Forbes Magazine]

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