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IKEA given approval to open stores in India

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A Monday report by Bloomberg said that IKEA has received the go-ahead from the Indian government to open outlets in the country, making it perhaps the first major foreign retailer to set up its own stores in the region.

The Swedish furniture retailer was cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, according to a statement by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. The approval is a turnaround for the Indian government which last year barred Ikea from operating cafes and limited retail wares it could sell in stores.

IKEA still awaits approval from the Indian Cabinet to proceed with its plan to invest up to $2 billion to set up stores, according to the report.

“We consider this as a very positive development,’’ Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA’s manager for India, told Bloomberg in an emailed statement. ‘‘We are now waiting for approval from the Cabinet and subsequently a notification so that we can initiate the process of establishing Ikea stores in the country.” 

IKEA has announced it would open 25 stores in India.

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Feb-18-2013 02:14 pm

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Study: Marketers to increase spend, hiring in 2013

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Survey results released Monday by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive found that almost 70% of companies plan to spend more on data-related marketing initiatives in 2013, with a heavy emphasis on hiring. 

More than half of the respondents surveyed said they plan on adding new employees to oversee their data efforts this year, including analysts and executives.

"In 2013, brands should be taking a disciplined approach to building out their data operations,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, an Infogroup company. “Data collection has almost been the easy part; the new challenge will be connecting the dots between different types of data across multiple channels.”

According to the survey, most marketers have successfully implemented data-collection tools, but in 2013 they will focus on putting technology and people in place to use their customer information in a more sophisticated and targeted way. For example, 45% of marketers identified analyzing or applying customer information as the biggest data-related challenge they will face this year. Only 11% said data collection will be their most difficult task.

Among the report’s key findings around data-related spending and hiring:

  • 68% of marketers said they expect their data-related expenditures to increase greatly or slightly in 2013; only 3% said they expect data-related expenditures to decrease;
  • 56% plan on hiring new employees to handle data collection or analysis, with the most common position being a data analyst (20%); and
  • 5% said they plan on hiring an executive to oversee data initiatives.

Companies are also starting to realize the need for more timely use of customer data to drive more personalized marketing campaigns. More than half of the survey respondents said they have already started implementing real-time data and plan to make greater use of it in 2013.

Another 30% said they plan on using it for the first time or consider using it.

The study also provided additional insights into 2013 data and marketing trends. 

Among the findings: 

  • Almost 80% of marketers plan to make greater use of customers’ social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013; 
  • The majority of marketers use insights from customer data to drive marketing campaigns on their website (83%), email (72%) and social media (59%);
  • Less than half use customer data to drive marketing campaigns through the offline channels of direct mail (47%), print (32%) and telemarketing (30%);
  • Almost half the respondents said their website is the best source of gathering customer data, followed by email (19%) and social media (12%); and
  • More than 25% of marketers admit they don’t know when they performed quality control on their customer data.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 18, 2013

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.

Lumber: Slow trading in the SPF lumber market kept mill order files from moving more fully into the first days of February. With availability more plentiful for some items, including 2×4 #2&Btr, in the week of Jan. 21, traders began to wonder who would blink first — buyers or mills. Weather was a factor in the Southern Pine lumber market, influencing both production and consumption. Major producers reported having modest inventories for this time of the year. Mills still carried order files. The sales pace in Coastal species lumber slowed. Mills continued to carry decent order files, which helped buoy prices. Rising log prices remained a concern. Inland species dimension lumber sales activity was slower, partly because of buyers absorbing previous purchases into their systems and a lack of products for producers to sell. Those producers that had good tallies of Fir-Larch narrows were able to write business at published levels or higher. A quiet market continues to exist in Ponderosa Pine industrials. Volumes sold were light, and prices were mostly firm but unchanged. Ponderosa Pine board producers reported an active week of sales for low grades for both domestic usage and export markets. Light inventories at Inland mills kept buyers’ choices to a minimum. Western Red Cedar sales remained steady. Producers filled in order files for the first quarter and some extended files into April and May.

Panels: Activity in OSB markets was muted in most regions. Producers relied on mill order files out to the middle of February in some instances to keep list prices firm. Secondaries sold some volumes slightly below replacement costs. Sales activity at Southern Pine plywood mills was slower, but producers were still able to fill in order files extending into the front half of February. Quieter trading left prices at or very near prior levels. Sales activity in the Western Fir plywood market was quiet, but mill order files contributed to some higher quotes. Mill order files extended as far out as Feb. 11, but some availability continued to exist for the week of Jan. 21. Order files continued to be the strength of major Canadian plywood producers, as sales volumes remained light. Activity for off-grades slowed and prices were softer. Selects remained strong with order files out to late February. Eastern markets were quiet. Buyers in the West looked towards next week’s trade show for a direction in the market. Particleboard sales activity in both the East and West was steady. Producers kept order files at a somewhat comfortable distance, while buyers reported having little difficulty covering needs in a timely manner. Moulding manufacturers continued to purchase strong volumes of MDF, absorbing any extra volumes they could find.

For more on RISI, click here.

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