Digital delivery of the new Travel Goods Showcase means you get immediate access to the latest news, like the second half of the 2-part series on COVID-19 and the Travel Goods Business; and an updated Trends story from The 2020 Travel Goods Show. Learn how retailers are banking on road trips and leveraging customer outreach, while manufacturers are coping with new products and operational shifts – and pick up smart moves you can emulate as we all learn to navigate this ever-changing sea.
U.S. Travel Goods Imports Significantly Down in First Five Months of 2020 as Trade Shifts Away from China
According to new data published last week, U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 4202 – luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, totes, etc.) fell 20.6% (by volume) in the first five months of 2020. In addition to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on the industry, the latest import numbers show the accelerating trend away from China. In the first five months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 38.5%, with China accounting for only 55.8% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (28.7%), #3 Cambodia (52.1%), and #4 Burma (Myanmar) (230.3%) surged in the first five months of 2020. In fact, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now account for 19.0% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by Cambodia at 8.2% of all U.S. travel goods imports. U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
U.S. Government Warns Companies of Nexus with China’s Xinjiang Province and Allegations of Forced Labor
Last week, the U.S. government issued a business advisory warning companies to review any nexus their supply chains might have with Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a province in northwestern China. The business advisory and accompanying letter highlight allegations of forced labor in supply chains with a nexus with XUAR.
President Donald Trump said last week that he isn’t thinking about a possible next stage of the U.S. trade deal with China, adding that the relationship between the two nations has been “severely damaged” by the coronavirus pandemic. “They could have stopped the plague. They could have stopped it. They didn’t stop it,” Trump said on Air Force One en route to Florida, according to reporters present on the plane. READ MORE
The Trump administration announced Friday a 25% tariff on $1.3 billion worth of French handbags, cosmetics and soaps in retaliation for a digital services tax on U.S. internet giants, but said it would suspend imposing them for up to six months. READ MORE
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended widespread use of face masks to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the minimalist medical mask quickly got reimagined as a fashion accessory. Then model Naomi Campbell – a famous germaphobe – and musician Erykah Badu stepped it up a notch, sporting custom hazmat suits for stylish social distancing. Now, with the novel coronavirus pandemic showing no sign of slowing, travelers are taking note. READ MORE
THE POINTS GUY
When the coronavirus first came to the U.S., many travelers began wondering what would happen to their hard-earned elite status. It took some time, but airlines and hotels across the board extended status for another year in recognition of the fact that travel isn’t returning to normal anytime soon. As part of the extension spree, airlines and hotels also announced that they’d be extending the validity of travel certificates. READ MORE
In the past few months, countries around Europe have been emerging from their coronavirus-imposed lockdowns. As they’ve done so, shoppers have returned to spending. In May, total retail trade jumped 17.8% in the Euro area of 19 countries compared to the month before, according to official statistics released last week. READ MORE
A pot of money meant to help prop up small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic has run out of funds. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance program, a federal measure offering grants of up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs, has ended after reaching the $20 billion funding limit allowed by Congress, the Small Business Administration announced Saturday. READ MORE
If You Can’t Answer ‘Yes’ to 3 Simple Questions, Your Leadership Intelligence is Lower Than You Think
The best of leaders in the most desirable companies aren’t characters in some rose-colored Hollywood script. In these turbulent times, they are real human beings with a wholehearted commitment to their people. To know whether you fit the bill of a leader, ask yourself three simple questions. READ MORE
TRAVEL + LEISURE
Whether you’re prepared to plan a vacation or you’re simply curious about what’s going on south of the border, here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Cancun right now. READ MORE
As retailers across the country reopen, many are grappling with a tough question: how to provide a quality experience with minimum physical contact between customers and products. There were already a number of contactless solutions out on the market before the pandemic began. For example, contactless payments and curbside pick-up have been a part of the retail landscape for years. But the pandemic has forced retailers to get creative and fast-track the launch of additional contactless alternatives to everyday retail practices. READ MORE
GOOD NEWS NETWORK
These grandmas deserve a Grammy for their photo remakes of classic rock albums. After so many months in lock-down with no family visiting their senior care home in north London, their activities coordinator came up with a gem of an idea. Robert Speker, charged with keeping them entertained during the COVID crisis, decided to use his photography skills to recreate album covers. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- Major Retailers to States: Mandate Face Masks Now (ABC NEWS)
- I’m a U.S. Citizen. Where in the World Can I Go? (THE NEW YORK TIMES)
- Adventures in Alternative Work Arrangements (HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW)
- Deal Alert: Book a Private Room on Amtrak, Bring a Buddy for Free (MSN)
- Hard-hit Industries Clamor for Regulations During Pandemic (THE WASHINGTON POST)