Afternoon Coffee: Gas Rationing, Holiday Shopping, Fashion Retailing, GMO Food in National Spotlight

Holiday shopping woes...
A Storm-Battered Supply Chain Threatens Holiday Shopping -- In addition to shutting down shipping terminals and submerging warehouses, the storm also tangled up deliveries because of downed power lines, closed roads and scarce gasoline in parts of New York and New Jersey. The supply chain is backing up at a crucial time, just as retailers normally bring their final shipments into stores for the holiday shopping season, which retailers depend on for annual profitability.

"...a line in the Bronx was three miles long, a National Guard spokesman said."
A Slow Return to Normal Skips the Gas Station -- His plight mirrored that of thousands of others in New York and New Jersey, who, despite the best efforts of the government, were left without gas. Epic lines, frustration, disappointment and some confusion were the order of the day. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, and the Pentagon made an all-out effort to speed gas to the troubled region. Mr. Christie ordered odd- and even-day gas rationing. Mr. Cuomo waved a tax for fuel barges, and told New Yorkers they could get 10 gallons of gas without charge from fuel trucks across the region provided by the federal government. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said police officers had to be sent to service stations to keep order. But little seemed to work.

H&M's unique Uniqlo+Zara approach.
The Future Of Fashion Retailing -- The H&M Approach (Part 3 of 3) -- H&M, the Swedish fashion group with more than $17 billion in annual sales, has an approach that is a hybrid of the Uniqlo and Zara models. It manages to merge a commitment to longevity while staying responsive to fashion trends. What are the keys to its success?

"...as people wonder what the potential impacts could be on the environment and our health."
GMO Food Debate In The National Spotlight -- Unfortunately, not all Americans are confident that food companies will act with public health in mind without greater legal enforcement from the FDA. If the proposition passes in California, as it is projected to, the current 70% of food items in your average grocery store containing GMOs would have to be relabeled. And because California is historically a leader in American legislative action, it's likely that national reform would soon follow.

- Sheena Moore

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