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March 6, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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Albert Boscov to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Retailers' Association Hall of Fame.  Boscov will be the very first inductee. The 83-year-old Boscov's path to the hall of fame began when he was a child, learning from his father Solomon in the elder Boscov's original store that opened in 1911. Albert Boscov built the chain from that single store location when he joined the company in 1954 to the 41 stores currently in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Boscov's employs 7,000 and the company has annual revenues of $1 billion. It is one of Pennsylvania's oldest and best known family-owned department store chains. (Source

Publix denies rumors of buying Harris Teeter. 
Last month Reuters and other news sources stated that Publix, Kroger and Royal Ahold were all looking at the possible purchase of the 208 store Harris Teeter chain. On Monday, Publix spokesman Maria Brous brushed off the idea. Publix is in the midst of its first expansion into North Carolina, with plans to open two stores in the Charlotte area in 2014. (Source

Best Buy ends 2005 program of working from home. 
The Best Buy program of Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) which enabled non-store associates to work from home or a flexible schedule has come to an end as of Monday. The Best Buy program was used by up to 4,000 non-store associates and was the subject of a featured article in BusinessWeek, for the company’s forward thinking. Going forward the associates will need the permission of their manager to adjust their schedule. (Source

Billionaire Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel jean store speaks to Forbes about the map to his success.  Location was very important for Rosso as he started his brand, so he opened his first Diesel store opposite a Levi store on Lexington Ave. in New York City. Rosso believed he had a better designed product and wanted everyone to see. Russo owns 100% of the company, moving the company from just jeans to a full line of fashion and home goods. (Source

Staples 4Q hit by charges, forecast misses Wall Street expectations. 
Costs related to Staples turnaround plan helped drive down the office supplier's fourth-quarter net income by 72 percent. Its quarterly revenue and financial outlook for the year missed Wall Street's expectations. Its earnings report comes two weeks after Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax said they would combine to better compete against their larger rival as well as Internet retailers like and discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Last year Staples launched a strategic plan that includes investing more in its online and mobile efforts, adding more products beyond office supplies, and beefing up its services business. For the period ended Feb. 2, the chain earned $78.1 million, or 12 cents per share. That's down from $283.6 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier. (Source

Kohl’s opens 9 new stores today in 7 states: remodeling 30. 
The Kohl’s opening today brings the store count to 1,155. Stores open Wednesday in Decatur, Ala., Danville, Ill., Ames, Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Minot, N.D., Sherwood, Ore., Hermitage, Pa., Spring Township, Pa. and Denton, Texas. (Source

Google tests same day delivery in San Francisco; Service designed to compete with Amazon Prime.  Google Inc. began testing a same-day delivery service with retailers in recent weeks, the latest move into Inc's e-commerce turf by the world's largest Internet search company. Google Shopping Express helps local retail stores sell products online and have the items delivered to shoppers the same day. Google arranges for third parties, such as couriers, to pick the products up from local stores and deliver the items to shoppers. Neither the stores nor Google handle the deliveries. The service is currently being tested in San Francisco. (Source

One of the World Largest Malls sits empty in China.  The New South China Mall in Dongguan sits empty after being heralded as one of the world’s largest at its opening in 2005. The location of the mall is blamed for its demise; over 7 million square feet of space was supposed to have over 100,000 visitors per day. (Source

1,500 Fake Hermes handbags seized at California ports.  United States Customs and Border Protection officers have seized 1,500 counterfeit Hermes leather handbags at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex. The customs agency says in a statement Tuesday that if the bags were genuine they would have had a total value in the millions of dollars. The merchandise bearing fake Hermes trademarks arrived from China in two shipments that were seized in February. (Source

Customer cashes checks at a Walmart in Yelm, WA, says he received 5 counterfeit $100 bills.  Abel Everson cashed three checks for a total of $800; he left the store then returned a short time later to purchase a money order. When Everson looked at the hundred dollar bill, he noticed that the image on the bill just didn’t seem right. Everson looked at the rest of his change and found four more counterfeit hundreds. Video surveillance supported the customer’s story and Walmart made good on the $500. The US Secret Service is looking into the matter. (Source

A man who asked to see $40,000 diamond in Westfarms mall on Tuesday then ran off with it is being sought by police.  The man walked into Michael's Jewelers late morning Tuesday, pretended to be a customer and asked the clerk to see a specific diamond, police said. As soon as the clerk handed him the diamond he fled. He got into a black, four-door Chevy Cruze with Florida license plate N274GA, that was driven by another man. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Meriden on Monday. Could this be the same person the Daily reported on yesterday who stole the $70K ring last week?  (Source (Source

Best Buy identity thief hits a NY State Trooper and NY State Police cruiser attempting a get-a-way  A 39-year-old Long Island man was arrested Sunday after police said he struck a state trooper with his car outside of the Best Buy in the Cortlandt Town Center. Robert Bernhard, of Selden, was interviewed briefly after Best Buy store personnel pointed to him as a suspect of potential fraud. After the interview Bernhard police said he fled from a state trooper on foot, jumped into a getaway car and then struck the trooper with the car. Bernhard then began driving recklessly in the parking lot, nearly striking pedestrians, and finally crashed into a State Police patrol car, which was responding to assist. Bernhard was found to be in possession of five forged out-of-state drivers licenses as well as several thousand dollars in stolen Apple products from multiple Best Buy stores in the Tri-State area. (Source

Circle-K turns to Facebook to ID Shoplifters.  Loss Prevention Manager Carlos Estrada explains the new pilot program in use in several stores. Along with improve lighting and cameras, the “crime monitor” display near the register area allow fellow customers to see shoplifter caught in the act. 88-Crime fields the calls from customers helping to identify the shoplifting suspects for a possible reward. Surveillance photos of repeat offenders from Arizona and Nevada can also be seen on Circle K's Facebook page. (Source

Springfield man hides under an SUV after fighting with Walmart Loss Prevention.
Shane McReynolds attempted to steal over $900 worth of electronics from a Springfield, Missouri Walmart. When stopped by two Loss Prevention, McReynolds put up a fight and managed to escape. When Police arrived at the store they searched the parking area to find McReynolds hiding under an SUV. (Source

Three face life in prison for ID Fraud; murder committed of rival in Mexico City. 
A trial in a massive, long-running counterfeit-documentation scheme has ended in Chicago with three defendants now facing mandatory sentences of life in prison. The operation was centered in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood and lasted for 15 years until authorities dismantled it in 2007. Jurors Tuesday determined Julio Leija-Sanchez, his brother Manuel Leija-Sanchez and Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez should get mandatory life for racketeering conspiracy because it included murder. They returned with guilty verdicts on multiple counts Monday. Federal prosecutors say it was Salazar-Rodriguez who carried out the execution-style murder of a rival in Mexico City. At times, the counterfeiters sold 100 sets of fraudulent IDs a day, generating some $3 million in annual sales. A set went for around $200, and typically included a Social Security card and other forms of identification. (Source

Terminated Goodwill employee pleads guilty to arson of the store in Charlotte.  A former Goodwill employee accused of setting fire to the business after being fired appeared in court Tuesday for her plea hearing. Brittany Williams pleaded guilty to one count of arson and one count of an unregistered firearm, a Molotov cocktail. She faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a max of 20 years. Williams and two men are facing federal charges for the incident. The Goodwill store went up in flames in February 2012. Within weeks, former employee Williams was blamed for setting the two-alarm fire. The Loss Prevention Supervisor told investigators Williams was extremely angry when she was fired. (Source

Georgia woman sentenced to 5 years for attacking an LP agent at JC Penney with needle nose pliers.  Barbara Ann Wright of Milledgville was sentenced on Monday to five years and 10 years probation for the aggravated assault of a Loss Prevention agent during a struggle at the Macon Mall in 2011. Wright was being apprehended for shoplifting. During a struggle with LP she cut the agent with a pair of needle nosed pliers. (Source

Palm Desert man arrested in cell phone store burglary; two weeks ago busted for riding a motorcycle in the mall.  19-year-old Palm Desert man was arrested Monday for allegedly burglarizing a cell phone store. A burglar alarm went off about 2:30 a.m. at the Boost Mobile store in Palm Desert. Deputies detained Cody Riddle, who was walking in front of a nearby business, and found a 9mm handgun on the ground a feet away from him. A jacket with Riddle’s name on it, a pair of gloves and three phones were also found in the area. Riddle was stopped by Police on February 20th for riding his motorcycle inside the Westfield Mall apparently under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Riddle had a no-bail warrant for burglary, according to jail records. (Source

Florida Woman Pulls Gun at Walmart Over $1 Coupon. Officials in Crawfordville, Fla., say when Mary Frances Alday, 61, was told she couldn't use an Internet coupon at Walmart she got angry. Real angry. She allegedly was less than polite when she spoke to the store manager who denied the dollar-off coupon and then intentionally struck her with a shopping cart. Alday was escorted out of Walmart, but she went to her car, grabbed a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special and came back in the store and threatened employees with it. She left the scene but was later arrested during a traffic stop, and reportedly had to be tased to get her out of her 2011 Ford Escape. She also allegedly hit the investigating officer several times. Alday faces four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of battery, one count of battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest with violence. (Source


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Virginia Beach husband and wife pleaded guilty to $100K TJ Maxx theft.  The couple, Slavtcho Andonov and Tinka Andonova, were hired as an outside contractor to clean several TJ Maxx stores in the Virginia Beach area. The couple from Bulgaria, along with their daughter, were all arrested last August. The Andonova’s were denied bond because they are not United States citizens and could have been a flight risk. The couple will serve six months in prison. (Source

Two women in Mesa accused of $4600 theft from area merchants.
Betty Jamerson and Lesha Mitchell were arrested in Mesa after hitting several Walgreens, a Safeway and stores inside the Chandler Fashion Center. When they exited the Walgreens store, they activated the store’s EAS system. The two were followed by an unmarked police car to Superstition Springs Mall, where officers tried to stop them. Jamerson ignored their commands and sped westbound on the U.S. 60 at speeds of up to 100 mph. Jamerson then exited the freeway, traveling upwards of 70 mph in a posted 45 mph zone. Both Jamerson and Mitchell fled from the vehicle but were quickly apprehended. Police said investigating officers recovered 11 bags of merchandise and 22 cell phones in boxes with anti-security devices still attached. Officers also recovered two small pry bars and a large, heavy-duty magnet, commonly used to deactivate security devices. Jamerson and Mitchell will face organized retail theft and unlawful use of theft detection device charge.

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Vendor Spotlight

5 Benefits of having a Reporting Solution for Specialty Stores

As we have mentioned before here in the ReThink Retail Blog, employees have a higher rate of committing fraud than shoplifters. This is a widespread issue in the grocery and drugstore industry, particularly due to the number of items purchased in a single order. However, apparel and other specialty stores have just as much to gain from using a reporting solution, because they are able to track more than just your transaction log. The data can provide you much needed insight into customer purchasing habits and the success of promotions.

What exactly are the benefits of Intelligence-based Reporting tools for specialty retailers you ask? It would take entirely too long to list them all out, so we narrowed it down to our top five:
1. Customer Purchasing Patterns. A reporting tool allows for visibility into the different combinations of purchases during a period of time. For example, are customers purchasing a certain color shirt continually? What about a specific style of shoes or sportswear? This information not only tells you what customers are buying, but what they have the potential to buy. Easily spot trends and predict what your customers will want before they even know they want it.
2. Increasing Security and Loss Prevention. Some tools can integrate security and alarms & access control along with the functions of the reporting tool. There are few tools that can do this, one of them being our own Retail 20/20 solution. The tools that do have this functionality allow you to monitor who has been in and out of the stock room, who has been in the store safe, and who has been in any other protected area of the store.
3. Tracking Operational Issues. All negative actions by employees aren’t necessarily fraud, often they can be training issues. Reporting tools allow you to monitor your employees’ performance in real-time, this way you can instantly know if they need more training or a talking to. Some reporting tools can also provide you with insight into scheduling and store traffic, giving you information to make the best management decisions.
4. Promotional analysis. Much like what we discussed in benefit #1, promotional analysis gives you valuable insight into the sales you run. Some tools will even keep trends on how much was sold, so the next time you run a promotion on the same product you can be sure the shelves won’t be bare. After a sale has started you can see if there are any issues in real-time, so you can fix them before they affect your bottom line.
5. Ease of Investigation. When you are trying to justify hard decisions, you need proper evidence and content. Reporting tools can provide case management integrations that are compliant to federal laws and regulations. This makes it easy to track multiple cases, and allows you to ensure that they are being handled properly from anywhere. With the detailed evidence provided by reporting tools, you can be sure the right decision was made.

When it comes down to it there are many reporting tools out there, and they can be very beneficial to specialty retailers. You already have a POS sale system and video cameras throughout your store, why not make them work for you. Our solution, Retail 20/20, works by combining the two in an easy to use web-based reporting solution. Retail 20/20 is able to integrate with any t-log, most cameras, and many other data inputs. Make your hardware work for you.

Derek Rodner
VP, Product Strategy
856-366-1200 x500



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When Words Fail Managers spend most of their time talking Like wrenches for the plumber, words are our most frequently used tools of communication. But words don't always do the job. In fact, they can do the opposite of what we intended: they can antagonize, inhibit, insult or threaten. (Know how to use all your tools)

The 2 Most Important Words in Business
Can you define your workplace culture with just two words? Be honest. They may be boring, stressful, phony or gossipy. Now get clear on the two words you want to define your workplace. If you don't decide now, your business may evolve on its own negatively. (Reflect the energy)

What Good Bosses Do With Bad Apples "Making subtraction a way of life isn't a theme raised in 'Good Boss, Bad Boss,' but as I began thinking about many of the main ideas, I realized that great bosses are always looking to remove bad or necessary things." (When in doubt, take it out)

What to Do When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work Whether intentional or an honest mistake, colleagues and bosses routinely take credit where it is most certainly not due, and your contributions can go unnoticed by those that matter. (Three tips to take credit)



Social networking sites have in essence dissolved any distance between the professional and the personal life of an executive. They enable employers to see every aspect of one's life at any given moment and can show historical patterns that resumes may not overcome in the future. What a person does on the net stays on the net, what is written will be read and, as time goes on, background checks will include social networks that go well beyond Linkedin. On the flip side, one could do well to maintain a sense of professionalism in every thing they do on the net and their profiles.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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