In the Precision Software News Round-Up: 12 October 2018, USPS wants to hike prices, Chinese imports to the US remain strong, Tesco wants an “Amazon tax” and the IMF downgrades growth forecast. Plus in the Precision Report we look at how retailers can thrive in an omni-channel world.
USPS WANTS TO RAISE PRICES
The US Postal Service has proposed a price hike on letters and parcels. The USPS board of governors has requested a 5 cent increase on 1-oz letters, up from 50 to 55 cents. In addition, the USPS wants to increase parcel fees. The proposal suggests a 9.3 percent hike for packages weighing over one pound, and a 12.3 percent increase for lighter packages. If the changes receive approval, they will go into effect next January. For more on this, please click here.
IMF CLAIMS TRADE WAR SLOWED GROWTH
This week, the International Monetary Fund warned that the trade tensions and tariffs have slowed down economic growth. The IMF forecasts that the global economy will grow 3.7 percent this year and next. This is down from the IMF’s July prediction of 3.9 percent. IMF officials also warned that the threat of higher trade barriers meant that it may need to downgrade growth forecasts during its next review. For more on this, please click here.
TESCO CHIEF CALLS FOR AN “AMAZON TAX”
This week Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis argued that a tax on online sales would help prevent further closures of bricks-and-mortar retail stores. Lewis called on UK chancellor Philip Hammond to introduce an “Amazon tax” of 2 percent on online sales. He also stated that the failure to tax digital firms properly was an “industry” issue. Lewis claimed it was time to “shift the burden of raising the country’s income” away from store chains. For more on this, please see The Guardian.
TARIFFS NOT SLOWING DOWN US IMPORTS FROM CHINA
US imports from China are at “near record levels” despite tariffs on billions of dollars of goods. That’s according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. The NRF also noted that as retailers cannot easily or quickly change their supply chains they will continue to import from China. Tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods stand are currently at 10 percent. Duties will rise to 25 percent from January 2019. US president Donald Trump has suggested that the US could impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. However, as yet, there has been no official announcement. For more on this, please see Supply Chain Dive.
The Precision Report
HOW RETAILERS CAN THRIVE IN AN OMNI-CHANNEL WORLD
Omni-channel is not the future of retail — it's the present. While retailers — and manufacturers — are doing a greater percentage of their sales online, internet giants have turned to bricks-and-mortar retail. A successful omni-channel strategy is one that puts customer convenience first. It should also allow a retailer to serve and track a customer from start to finish, across any channel. That includes all devices, as well as telephone calls, bricks-and-mortar, and delivery. To thrive in an omni-channel world, retailers need to look at the technological solutions that will allow them to drive growth, ensure customer satisfaction and control costs. To read the full report, please click here.