Business

Online Marketplaces, Retailers Must Adapt To Higher Postal Rates

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates. 

Retailers, direct-to-consumer brands, marketplaces and marketplace sellers riding the lockdown-induced boom in cross-border e-commerce sales are going to get a massive wake-up call Wednesday as global postal rates into the U.S. start to soar as much as 150% or more.

The Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) decision to allow the U.S. to set its own inbound postage rates — and, in doing so, create a more even playing field for international postal rates which have been intrinsically locked in the past — is a turning point for a cross-border market forecast to rise to $627 billion by 2022, or 20% of e-commerce as a whole.   

For the Trump administration, the UPU’s stand-down is a triumph that ends a market distortion. China’s UPU status as a “developing” country meant it

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Four Ways Small Businesses Can Cuts Costs

While running a business is often a juggling act of different roles and tasks, the one constant is the job of managing the capital used to fund it all. Regardless of what larger social or economic issues might be at play at any given time, effectively managing your business’s expenses and investments is the best way to ensure that it can continue to grow and evolve in the future.

While there are a number of items that business owners monitor in order to more effectively allocate their capital, what follows are four areas that any business can target to cut unnecessary or wasteful spending.

Manage Resources Strategically

At its core, owning and operating a small business is about managing resources. From the talent on staff to the equipment and materials used in production, business owners are trained to make sure all of their resources are allocated optimally.

Of course, after

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Online orders soar for Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury's store
Sainsbury’s store

Shoppers flocked to Sainsbury’s website during the lockdown amid a scramble to avoid the high street.

Online sales more than doubled during the crisis as the supermarket increased its delivery slots from 370,000 to 650,000 a week and beefed up its click-and-collect service. These now account for 17pc of Sainsbury’s food business – up from 7pc last year. 

Simon Roberts, who was promoted to chief executive in January and took over from Mike Coupe last month, said the supermarket chain has changed fundamentally during the pandemic.

Speaking to journalists for the first time, he said: “It certainly has been a different four weeks than what I was expecting when I was appointed in January.”

Like-for-like sales which strip out the impact of new stores rose 8.2pc during the 16 weeks to June 27, with the warm weather also helping.

However, Mr Roberts said that sales are unlikely to

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How 1 store wants to make buying face masks fun

With coronavirus cases continuing to increase across the country, this one mall store wants to help by dedicating its shelves to personal protective equipment for adults and kids.

Shield Pals, which sells PPE like cloth masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and gowns, opened on June 27 at The Mall of Columbia in Columbia, Maryland, in a retail space formerly occupied by an Apple store.

Download the TODAY app for the latest coverage on the coronavirus outbreak.

“We wanted people to be able to look at the masks, and touch and feel them because so much of (mask buying) has been online that you don’t always know what you’re getting,” co-founder Chris McCormick told TODAY Style. “We just want to help people feel more comfortable about shopping and being out in public while staying safe.”

The store is believed to be the first retail PPE-only store in a U.S. mall, a

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Find & Support Black-Owned Businesses With These Apps & Websites

Following the police killing of George Floyd in May, protests have broken out across the country. We encourage everyone to join the fight by marching in local protests, signing online petitions, donating, and calling your elected officials, but there’s another way to fight systemic racial inequality, and that’s by putting your money where your mouth is. Make a commitment to support Black-owned businesses in your area.

Right now, Twitter users are asking their friends and followers to share their own or their favorite Black-owned businesses. While sifting through social media responses is one way to find spots to support, there are a lot of tweets containing the phrase “Black-owned businesses.” So if you’re looking to find a Black-owned business quickly — perhaps in time for take-out dinner tonight — there are also many useful resources online and in the app store that can help.

Ahead are top-ranking websites

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The best virtual escape rooms to play online with friends

iStock
iStock

We could all do with a bit of escapism from reality at the minute, as lockdown continues in the UK.

Escape rooms are very popular with groups who love a challenge, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, all of them in the UK have closed their doors for the foreseeable.

But during lockdown, escape rooms have come online instead to make socialising with your friends adrenaline-pumping.

Other games have become popular too while we spend more time at home. If you need some inspiration, we’ve rounded up the best apps that you can play games on with friends and family here.

As with physical escape rooms, the mission is as the name suggests – to escape the room – through a series of problem-solving missions and teamwork. Here are a few of our favourites.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers,

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ITV Studios, BMG Partner on Production Music Label and Online Platform

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Bertelsmann-backed BMG Music and ITV Studios have struck a partnership that will see the German music publisher become the go-to partner for the “Love Island” and “Bodyguard” producer-distributor’s business spanning production music, records, publishing and synch.

The deal includes a global music publishing and administration agreement for future commissioned music, as well as the launch of a joint venture production music label and the development of a customized online platform.

More from Variety

The BMG-created platform will be a top music delivery system serving as a one-stop shop for ITV Studios’ creative teams. The platform will host ITV’s commissioned music, music from the new joint venture production music label, as well as BMG Production Music’s broader catalogue offering. The portal will also provide a direct link for ITV Studios’ creative teams to browse and search across BMG’s synch catalogue.

Under the deal, ITV

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Pandemic forces small business to innovate

Shops
Shops

Three years of innovation has occurred in the space of just three months due to lockdown, according to a new report.

More than half a million businesses have changed or are altering their operating model, with a fifth of those surveyed by “Be The Business” introducing new services. 

Be The Business chief executive Tony Danker, who joins the CBI as director-general in November, said that the innovation seen over the past three months was “testament to the tenacity and latent entrepreneurial spirit of British business in the face of hostile economic conditions”. 

He credited the innovation of businesses for the early signs of an economic recovery, saying that the study “shows that a quick and strong recovery is down to the choices that business owners make in the next few months. We must give them cause to choose ambition over fear.”

However, the report highlights continuing concerns from businesses

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Edited Transcript of UHAL earnings conference call or presentation 28-May-20 3:00pm GMT

RENO Jul 1, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) — Edited Transcript of Amerco earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 3:00:00pm GMT

Zacks Investment Research, Inc. – Senior Special Situations Analyst

* James R. Wilen

Wilen Investment Management Corp. – President and Chief Compliance Officer

Good day, and welcome to the AMERCO Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Year-end Investor Conference Call and Webcast. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Sebastien Reyes. Please go ahead.

Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. Welcome to the AMERCO Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Year-End Investor Call.

Before we begin, I’d like to remind everyone that certain statements during this call, including, without limitation, statements regarding revenue, expenses, income and general growth of our business may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A … Read More

Sports Brands Need to Take Risks to Boost Business

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Plain vanilla is the kiss of death.

Sporting goods brands and retailers need to be willing to take some risks in their design and merchandising to lure consumers to buy.

“A plain vanilla assortment means boring and the same as last year,” said Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry analyst for NPD Group. “There’s no surer way to kill a retail business.”

So despite fears that have come to the forefront during the pandemic that are causing companies to want to play it safe, Powell said they need to “take some risk and offer a provocative and exciting assortment.”

Powell made those comments as part of a webinar titled “Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 and the Road to Recovery” for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association Tuesday afternoon.

Over the past few months, sports apparel and footwear have performed better than many

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