75% of retailers have still not implemented EMV technology chainwide
Even months after the Oct. 1 deadline, a number of retailers are still slow to
enable the technology to read new EMV computer chip-based credit cards,
according to a ConsumerWorld.org survey. Of the 48 retailers surveyed, 75
percent have not enabled the chip reading technology chainwide, even though
some already have the slot reading terminals. Only 11 of the retailers have the
new terminals and have enabled the chip reading technology chainwide. Those
retailers include Target, Walgreens, Home Depot, Macy's and Best Buy. Kroger,
Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Petsmart and CVS are among the retailers
surveyed that have the new terminals, but have not made the new chip reading
technology operational. The retailers were questioned and observed with in-store
spot checks between Dec. 1-5.
One of the large retailers from the survey, which has fully implemented the
system, said it is a very complicated and expensive process to properly
interface with all the card networks, which could be why stores with the card
slot terminals have not yet enabled the system.
Other reasons provided by the retailers in the survey include they are still
testing the software, stores got specifications late from some of the card
networks, some card networks are slow to certify retailers' systems, stores
didn't want to make system changes during the busy holiday shopping season, some
need to change the module inside the card-slot reader, and some are only
partially through rolling out the system to stores.
Staples lays off hundreds at corporate office - "It was a bloodbath," says
Staples Inc. on Monday laid off hundreds of corporate employees, according to
multiple sources familiar with the situation. "It was a bloodbath," says one
source, who adds that pink slips were handed to both senior and junior employees
at its headquarters in Framingham, Mass. The job cuts were confirmed by a
current employee and a former employee, both of whom asked for anonymity due to
job and severance concerns.
Staples spokesman Mark Cautela would not comment on layoffs, pointing only to a
press release issued Monday in which chief executive Ron Sargent said the
company was "streamlining."
This was a move that analysts said suggests the company is preparing for the
likelihood its planned merger with Office Depot Inc. won't win regulatory
approval. Staples efforts to merge with rival Office Depot, which would join
the top two office supplies retailers in the country, has been thwarted by the
Federal Trade Commission, which last month filed a lawsuit calling the deal
anticompetitive. Last week, Staples and Office Depot said they would extend
their expiring merger agreement until May, demonstrating their desire to
complete a deal. Court proceedings could begin in March.
Looking to Cut Costs, Sprint Slashes 2,500 Jobs
Sprint Corp has axed at least 2,500 jobs across six customer care centers and
its Kansas headquarters as part of its plan to cut $2.5 billion in costs, a
company spokeswoman said on Monday. The job cuts, mostly in customer service,
also include 574 positions at Sprint's headquarters at Overland Park, Kansas,
Sprint spokeswoman Michelle Boyd said.
Report: Many retailers could face moves from activist investors
Many retailers have come under scrutiny by activist investors who see potential
in their dipping stocks and their real estate holdings, reports CNBC. Macy's is
under pressure from hedge fund Starboard Value, for example, and, after
resisting calls to form a real estate investment trust with its portfolio, the
department store is exploring ways to capitalize on many of its properties.
Sears has already spun off its property to a REIT, but Fairholme Capital, which
added another 276,100 shares to its portfolio of Sears stock early this year,
may also want that struggling retailer to make another move. According to CNBC,
Retail Metrics forecasts say home furnishings retailers are especially
vulnerable among low-performing retailers, down 14%, followed by footwear, down
12%. And as we've reported, department stores and teen apparel retailers, with
few exceptions, face low performance expectations-leaving retailers of many
persuasions vulnerable to activists.
Survey: Top 10 Business Risks
Concern over natural disasters among risk managers and insurance experts has
declined after a year of less-severe catastrophes around the globe and
increasing concern over other risks. Insurance and asset manager Allianz SE
released its Annual Risk Barometer, based on answers from 824 respondents, with
business interruption, market developments and cyber incidents at the top of the
list of concerns last year.
The top 10 2016 risks according to the survey (2015):
1. Business Interruption (1)
2. Market Developments (New)
3. Cyber Incidents (5)
4. Natural Catastrophes (2)
5. Changes in Legislation (4)
6. Macroeconomic Developments (New)
7. Loss of Reputation (6)
8. Fire, Explosion (3)
9. Political Risks (9)
10. Theft, Fraud and Corruption (10)
NJ Panel rules Burlington Coat Factory not liable for berry slip-and-fall
Burlington Coat Factory stayed free of liability in a personal injury case when
a state appeals panel ruled Tuesday that the retailer was unaware of a berry on
the floor of one of its New Jersey stores that caused a shopper to slip and
fall. While business owners owe a duty of care to provide a safe environment -
as set forth in the New Jersey Supreme Court's decisions in Nisivoccia v. Glass
Garden Inc. in 2003 and Hopkins v. Fox & Lazo Realtors in 1993 - they're
generally not liable for injuries caused by defects they didn't know about and
couldn't address, the three-judge panel ruled.
Tyco Completes Acquisition of Retail Analytics Leader ShopperTrak
Tyco International plc announced yesterday that it has completed its previously
announced acquisition of ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based leading global provider of
analytics for the retail industry, for approximately $175 million in cash.
ShopperTrak's solutions include perimeter traffic counting, in-store consumer
behavior analytics and industry benchmarking. Combining these capabilities with
its existing loss prevention, inventory intelligence and retail traffic
analytics solutions, Tyco now offers retailers a unique combination of insights
that they can use to make more informed decisions to improve their revenue and
Report: Under Armour Opening 200 New Stores in 2016
With one of its biggest partners shrinking the number of stores it operates,
Under Armour is making an aggressive bid this year to control its own future.
The Baltimore, Maryland- based athletic wear brand will open a whopping 200
stores in 2016, said Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank in a keynote
speech at the annual National Retail Federation conference last week. Plank did
not disclose what mix of formats those new 200 stores would comprise, and a
spokeswoman for the company did not return a request for comment. But the
composition is likely to be a mix of several store types. Globally, Under Armour
currently operates 144 owned factory stores, which sell more affordable workout
gear than is normally found at department stores, online and sporting goods
Third time's the charm?
- Circuit City returning this spring with new small-format stores
New York area retail vets Ronny Shmoel and Albert Liniado are betting that the
third time will be a charm for Circuit City. This time, what Circuit City has in
store is an ambitious, multi-tiered game plan that calls for retail outlets, web
sales, branded and private-label products, licensed kiosks, mobile shops and
franchise opportunities, all under the iconic red-and-white banner. The fun is
expected to begin in June when the company opens its first store, most likely in
the Dallas market, and relaunches CircuitCity.com. The stores themselves will
range from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, and will feature product zones that
present the assortment by category and brand. Shmoel, CEO of the enterprise,
expects to have 50 to 100 corporate-owned stores up and running by next year
and, eventually, an additional 100 to 200 franchised locations.
Abercrombie & Fitch closes most Indiana stores as sales drag
Abercrombie & Fitch has closed four of its five stores in Indiana, including
Indianapolis locations at Circle Centre and the Fashion Mall at Keystone. The
local stores closed over the weekend. The retailer, which targets the teen and
young adult market, also recently closed stores in Fort Wayne and Evansville.
The only remaining store in Indiana is at the Edinburgh Premium Outlets mall
about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
Apple turns to India, as Chinese market weakens
As red-hot sales in China show signs of cooling, Apple executives are touting
India's growing appetite for iPhones. In its earnings call in which the company
reported its first revenue drop in 13 years, the Indian market stood out as a
rare bright spot for Apple.
Nearly 300,000 civilian drones registered in U.S. in 30 days
Nearly 300,000 drones have been registered in the US in the last 30 days, the US
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revealed. Compulsory registration of
civilian drones in the US was introduced on 21 December covering all manner of
remote control flying systems from toys to aerial cameras. Any small unmanned
aircraft weighing between 250g and 25kg must be registered before being flown
outdoors, and pilots must be aged 13 or older. High profile incidents involving
drones have highlighted the need for safety and accountability. In 2013 one was
flown towards German chancellor Angela Merkel, and in May last year there were
attempts to fly over the White House, while in December one narrowly missed
downhill skiing champion Marcel Hirscher on the slope in Italy.
Same Store Sales Results
Coach Inc. Q2 North American comp's down 4% with total sales down 7%