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Friday, March 14 2014

As 2014 is now underway, and the economy is seeing sustained improvements, the retail industry is looking optimistic, and there are three trends that are driving change and dramatically re-shaping the industry by shifting demographics, globalization and technology. Each one, by itself is a powerful force. Collectively, they present opportunities, and challenges.

The worldwide growth of the middle class, most notably in emerging markets, offers tremendous business opportunities for developers and retailers to expand overseas, as new developments have flattened in mature markets over the last few years. Ernst & Young, back in 2011, forecasted that global middle class would reach five billion by 2030, with an increased spending power of U.S. $56 trillion, enough to match those of developed nations.

Posted by: AT 12:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 14 2014

If North American supply chains were looking for a theme song, the Carpenters' "Close To You" might be an appropriate choice, because everything from sourcing to DC site selection seems to be headed in that direction.

"From the emergence of near-shoring in Mexico to the continued growth of e-commerce, U.S. companies have more reasons than ever to hit the refresh button on their logistics strategies," said Will O'Shea, chief marketing officer of 3PD, the last-mile logistics division of XPO Logistics.

Expansion Solutions recently sat down with O'Shea to find out why the concept of close-to-home has become more attractive to many companies, particularly manufacturers and retailers - and why the last mile may now be the most important mile of all.

Posted by: Will O'Shea AT 11:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 14 2014

American wind energy powered through 2013, which turned out to be a year characterized by industry ramp up. With many major national players announcing new hires and expanding their operations, and big names in the technology sector adding wind to power their businesses, the industry is set for an exciting and productive 2014.

The more than 60 gigawatts of total installed wind power as of 2013 made up an important part of the U.S. power supply last year, with wind actively supporting the grid both in day-to-day operations and in times of extreme stress on the power system.

A key driver to American wind energy's success is that, remarkably, it is now 43 percent cheaper than it was in 2009, making the prospect of investing in U.S. wind power an attractive one, indeed.

Posted by: Peebles Squire and Carl Levesque AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 14 2014

Market Overview and Trends

As we continue to trend toward an information based economy the demand for data centers continues to grow.  Data centers provide storage of and access for the multitude of digital information we rely on every second for transactions, media, research, and applications.  The growth of mobile applications, cloud computing services, analysis of large datasets or "big data", and digital news media are all increasing the demand for data centers. Growth in the data center market is occurring globally and continues in North America. Forecasts by analyst firm Canalys reveal that "the market for data center IT infrastructure globally will grow 5% on average per annum to reach

$152 billion in 2016." 1 Additionally, Canalys forecasts that "North America will remain the biggest data center infrastructure market, though its share of total worldwide investment will fall from 43% in 2011 to 41% in 2016." 2

Posted by: Jim Damicis AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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