Thursday Tipsheet: UPS Blindsided | Costco: #1 Return Policy | Target: All OK in 2 Years?


“Christmas Meltdown:  UPS Blindsided by Late Web Buying Surge” by Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “UPS determined late Tuesday that it wouldn’t deliver some goods in time for Christmas, as a spike in last-minute shopping overwhelmed its system. “The volume of air packages in the UPS system did exceed capacity as demand was much greater than our forecast,” a UPS spokeswoman said.  Consumers were reporting missing deliveries from FedEx as well, although a FedEx spokesman said the company wasn’t experiencing significant delays.”  Read more


“UPS driver: 2013 ‘worst Christmas ever’ for delivery” by Natalie DiBlasio at USA Today.  “Social media exploded on Christmas with complaints about UPS and FedEx from customers furious about empty spots under their trees…”This has been the worst Christmas ever,” said Larry Ledet, 55, of Houston, who has been a UPS driver for 27 years…Even though Ledet and other UPS drivers have been pulling 60-hour weeks, thousands of holiday gifts didn’t arrive by Christmas.”  Read more


“It Never Ends:  8 in 10 Plan to Shop Year-End Sales After Holidays” by Tiffany Hsu & James Barragan at LA Times.  “Data firm ShopperTrak predicts that the after-holiday crowds will be the fifth-largest of the year…Wal-Mart, which expects Thursday to be one of its busiest shopping days of the year, said it is offering 25% to 50% off on thousands of items.”  Read more


“The Big Retail Brands That Drove Customers Away This Holiday (Costco #2, Lowe’s #5)” by Carol Tice at Forbes.  “As the 2013 holiday-shopping season winds down, which brands succeeded in hanging onto their customers, and which saw them stampede out the door to competitors?”  See the List / Read more


“Report:  Costco Has Top Return Policy (Target #6, Home Depot #7)” at  “A new investigation by GoBankingRates examined the return policies of more than 20 popular retail stores in the country. Its findings uncovered that a sizable number of retailers are offering some of the best return policies of 2013.”  See the Top Ten List


“E-commerce & its Dirty Little Secret:  Up to a third of all Internet sales get returned” by Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “The stakes get even higher during the holidays, when return volume peaks. So this year, chains are digging through past transactions to weed out chronic returners, train shoppers to make better decisions or stem buyer’s remorse.”  Read more


“Home Depot Drops to #2 in Radio Spots; Macy’s Jumps to #3” at Radio Ink.  “Home Depot had been radio’s best advertiser for many weeks until last week when it was edged out by GEICO by 944 commercials according to media Monitors. GEICO ran 31,932 commercials on radio last week, compared to Home Depot’s 30,988.”  Read more


“Blogger who broke Target data breach story now trying  to track down the hackers himself” by Julie Bort at Business Insider.  “He believes he’s found the real life identity of a Ukraine man that has, Krebs alleges, been involved with various underground markets that sell stolen credit cards. He’s even engaged in an online chat with the person, while also admitting that he has no idea if this particular guy “was involved in hacking Target,” Krebs writes, adding, “but it’s a good bet that he at least knows who was.”  Read more


“Professor:  Target Data Breach Fraud may last Years” at WLFI-8 (IN).  “”People have to be vigilant for the next six months, year, even up to two years,” Rogers said…because criminals have gotten smarter, the wait to see if you are affected may get longer…”They figure out the prime time they are going to get caught is usually within the first few days of this being made public,” Rogers said.”  Read more


“Target caught ‘flat-footed’; Strives to repair image” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “The fact remains that Target was behind when this first broke,” said Jason Maloni, who heads the data security and privacy team for the Levick strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C. “Anytime you are not controlling the release of information, you lose the opportunity to cast yourself in the role of the hero rather than the villain.”  Read more


“The Party’s Over:  Retailer Profits Not What They Used to Be During Holidays” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “But with the glaring lights of the Internet, endless promotions, and perks like free shipping and price matching, the holiday season isn’t the Big Kahuna it used to be. The period accounts for just 20 to 40 percent of annual sales, down from two-thirds a decade ago, according to the National Retail Federation.”  Read more 


“Prada CEO:  U.S. Department Stores are Too Low-Rent” by Kyle Stock at SF Gate.  “In the most recent quarter, 86 percent of its (Prada) revenue came directly through its stores and websites, up from 53 percent five years ago.”  Read more


“This Is What It Looks Like Inside an Amazon Warehouse” by Jason Del Ray at All Things D.  See the 26 Pics


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