Retail Roundup—Sears Hometown to close 100 stores; 44% of shoppers start on Amazon

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Almost half of all online shopping begins on Amazon. (Amazon)

Retail imports to hit record high

Imports at major U.S. container ports are expected to see record numbers this summer and fall, even with the continuing debate over trade and tariffs. According to a monthly Global Port Tracker report, consumers are still continuing to buy more, which translates to more goods coming into the country. (National Retail Federation)

Sears Hometown will shutter 100 locations

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which spun off by Sears Holdings in 2012, announced it will close up to 100 stores this quarter. The hardware and lawn retailers will make the cuts due to a $9.4 million loss for the first quarter of the fiscal year. (MarketWatch)

IHOP temporarily rebrands to IHOb

Traditional breakfast spot IHOP is rebranding to Ihob in order to highlight its new menu of hamburgers. Even a flagship IHOb restaurant in Hollywood, California, has been decked out to highlight the burgers and will host a launch party Monday evening. The steak burgers are available for a limited time and the brand has not said when the name will return to IHOP. (PR Newswire)

44% of online shoppers start at Amazon

According to recent NPR/Marist poll, 44% of e-commerce shoppers start on Amazon, even above the 33% who start their digital search on Google. And another 40% of shoppers said they buy something from Amazon at least once a month. (National Public Radio)