Brussels Terrorist Attacks Seen Impacting Retail, Luxury Sectors
Europe's Retail in Crisis
Terror struck in the heart of the European continent again on Tuesday, setting
the world on edge and dealing another blow to the retail and luxury sectors,
already smarting from withering tourism.
Everything is closed - stores, metro stations. Now, streets are empty; it's
silence. Like in Paris, life will gradually resume."
While the news of the Belgian bombs will eventually fall off the front pages in
the coming days, the cloud of fear will remain, with tourists - already scared
off by the November atrocities in Paris - expected to steer clear of the
Continent once again.
George Wallace, chief executive officer of the consultancy MHE Retail.
"Terrorism is now beginning to impact domestic shoppers who would have once said
to their children, 'Let's go to Westfield [mall] today and have lunch.' Now they
won't do that.
"Terrorism is now front-of-mind for so many people that major shopping malls are
a red alert. Instead of Westfield, they'll go to Selfridges or buy online.
Spending will carry on but in different places."
Westfield's London mall, which houses the Yoox Net-a-porter headquarters and
more than 250 major retailers, almost fell victim to a suicide bomb last year.
Wallace also warned that brands with expensive retail rents to pay in the larger
cities would probably see their like-for-like sales suffer, "and those rents
could come back to bite." He pointed out that falling like-for-like sales are
not good for sentiment, investor confidence or share prices, and it's a
"nervous" time on a number of levels.
The most recent figures from Global Blue, a tax refund company that tracks
tourist flows and spend in regions including Europe and Asia Pacific, show that
spending in Europe was negative for the second month in a row, or minus 2
percent in February after an 8.4 percent fall in January.
Domino's temporarily close all 30 units in Belgium after terrorist attacks
Starbucks Corp. and Domino's have temporarily closed all of their units in
Belgium after a series of terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday. Domino's
also closed its 30 units in Belgium, said Tim McIntyre, the pizza chain's vice
president, communications and public relations, although all Domino's employees
in Belgium are safe. The units will reopen once authorities say it's okay to
McDonald's has 74 restaurants in Belgium, but only one has closed following the
attack. Pizza Hut has roughly 100 units in Belgium but has not responded to
questions about closures.
NYPD increasing police presence after Brussels explosions
Police have specialized counterterrorism officers working with heavy weapons
teams, specialized dog teams that can detect suicide vests and officers with
portable radiation detection devices deployed around the city. They are also
conducting bag checks at subway entrances.
High-profile areas like Times Square will see an increased police presence, and
police are monitoring locations relevant to Brussels and Paris, like their
The Port Authority Police Department also increased security at its three area
airports -- John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty -- and bridges,
tunnels and bus terminal. It placed high-visibility anti-terrorist patrols
throughout the Port Authority Trans-Hudson system and the World Trade Center
Chargebacks - Chip-Card Payment System Delays Frustrate Retailers
Waiting For Certification of Terminals
Avi Kaner, co-owner of Morton Williams supermarkets in New York, with a stack of
chargebacks from credit and debit card companies that he says he is required to
pay even though the chain spent $700,000 to update terminals to accept embedded
digital chip cards.
The cost of waiting for payment systems to be certified, retailers say, is
piling up. Until recently, banks covered much of the cost of fraudulent
purchases. Since Oct. 1, though, merchants that cannot accept chip cards have
had to shoulder the cost of fraud, and banks have not been shy about passing
along the bill. The delay, he said, pointing to a tall pile of paperwork, has
cost him thousands of dollars in payments for fraudulent purchases.
The long delays are just the latest black eye for the deployment of the new
systems. Some consumers have not yet received new cards. Many merchants have not
bought the updated equipment. And even when the cards and the terminals have
been updated, they have generated confusion and slow lines.
Banks say that retailers waited till the last minute to update their terminals.
Retailers point to financial ties between the banks and the companies that
provide certification, saying there is no motivation to move faster.
Mallory Duncan, general counsel at the National Retail Federation, a trade
group, said that the payments industry was unprepared to handle the flood of
requests that came in around the Oct. 1 deadline.
"They didn't allow for enough time or people to perform this certification," Mr.
Duncan said. "Merchants have gotten slammed because they weren't able to
get certified, because the networks failed to provide the necessary resources to
do that." nytimes.com
McDonalds Procurement Manager Testifies Against Office Depot - Staples Merger
Amazon Not Serving Large Business Customers
Cervone defended his position that the company would be disadvantaged if the
combined Staples wanted to raise prices. He said many McDonald's restaurants
rely on Office Depot's brick-and-mortar stores for last-minute purchases like
printer toner and that creating a patchwork of regional vendors would raise
McDonald's administrative costs. Cervone also said he didn't feel that
Amazon.com Inc.'s new Amazon Business platform could replace the company's
reliance on brick-and-mortar stores for its last-minute purchases, or its
needs for order tracking, control and specialized pricing.
Amazon executive, starting his testimony Tuesday afternoon, said the company has
only won one bidding event for office supplies since its launch last year.
Amazon Business Vice President Prentis Wilson said the company has started
trying to ramp up new features to make itself more competitive for large
customers' business on office supplies, among other products. Wilson said the
company does not serve as the primary source for large customers.
Amazon could prevail in Target non-compete dispute
Former Amazon executive Arthur Valdez is scheduled to start a high-level supply
chain job at Target next week, but a lawsuit by the online retailer could
prevent him from doing so while having a chilling effect on other retailers
keen to poach talent from Amazon.
Several published reports on March 22 indicated that Amazon had filed suit
seeking to block Target's hiring of Valdez as the company's new executive VP and
chief supply chain and logistics officer. The hiring of Valdez, a 16 year Amazon
veteran, was announced on Feb. 29. He is scheduled to join Target on March 28,
reporting to COO John Mulligan, and seen as playing a key role in Target's
efforts to grow its online business.
The suit alleges that Valdez, who also previously worked at Walmart and Kmart,
"cannot lead Target's supply chain operations without referencing confidential
information learned and developed by him at Amazon to drive superior performance
in exactly the same areas."
There could be some merit to that claim and if Amazon prevails its victory would
not be without precedent.
Lumber Liquidators to Pay $2.5 Million to Settle California Air Safety
The beleaguered flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators is paying $2.5 million to
settle allegations that some of its products violated California's air safety
standards. The penalty announced on Tuesday was the latest that Lumber
Liquidators has absorbed for formerly selling laminate flooring made in China.
In this case, Lumber Liquidators faced allegations that the imported flooring
contained high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde that violated California's
air quality controls. The retailer, which last year suspended sales of the
products made in China, did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement
with the California Air Resources Board.
Starbucks to donate all unsold food
Starbucks Corp. announced a major initiative to help the nation's neediest
citizens. The coffee giant is launching FoodShare, a program to donate all
leftover ready-to-eat meals from its 7,600 U.S. company-operated stores to food
banks. In the first year alone, the program will be able to provide nearly 5
million meals, according to company estimates. But Starbucks has even bigger
plans. It intends to scale this program over the next five years and eventually
donate 100% of its leftover food from participating company-operated U.S.
stores. That amounts to almost 50 million meals by 2021.
University of Phoenix and the ASIS Foundation Award 10 Full-Tuition Scholarships
to Security Professionals
Scholarship program aids aspiring security management professionals in the
achievement of their educational and professional goals
Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix and the ASIS Foundation, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to elevating security practice through scholarship,
research and service, today announced the recipients of the full-tuition ASIS
Foundation Jeff Greipp Secure Your Future Scholarships to 10 security industry
professionals to pursue an undergraduate or master's degree at University of
Phoenix. The ASIS Foundation has teamed up with University of Phoenix for the
past five years to help provide education and training to prospective students,
awarding a total of 33 full-tuition scholarships to date. The 2016 University of
Phoenix ASIS Foundation Jeff Greipp Secure Your Future Scholarship recipients
|● Christopher A. Borba, ASIS Richmond Chapter,
|● Cynthia Burroughs, Broward County Government,
|● H. Dean Conner, ASIS Greater Charlotte Chapter,
MS, Administration of Justice and Security
|● Joseph B. Cyr, Jr., ASIS Western Massachusetts
Chapter, MIS with advanced certificate in Cyber Security
|● Jason Dury, ASIS National Capital Chapter, MBA,
|● Christopher M. Goetzman, ASIS National Capital
Chapter, BS, Criminal Justice Administration, concentration in
|● Victoria N. Ogbuehi, PCI, ASIS Abuja, Nigeria
Chapter, MS, Administration of Justice and Security, Global Homeland
|● Jeffrey W. Rolph, CPP, ASIS Detroit, BS,
Information Technology with advanced certificate in Cyber Security
|● Teresa Swarczinski, University of Michigan, MS,
Administration of Justice and Security
|● Jenn Williams, Allied Barton Security Services,
BS, Security Management with advanced certificate in Critical
Quarterly Same Store
Fred's Q4 comp's up 1.7%, sales up 10%, full yr
comp's up 1.5%, sales up 9%
Krispy Kreme Q4 domestic comp's up1.6%, sales up 4%, full yr domestic comp's up
3.9%, sales up 5.8%