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April 10, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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Aeropostale kickback trial begins for former chief merchandising officer accused of taking $25M in kickbacks  Federal prosecutors have charged Mr. Finazzo with conspiring with Long Island-based t-shirt vendor South Bay Apparel Inc. to get higher prices on graphic t-shirts and steal millions in a kickback scheme. According to the charges, Mr. Finazzo directed more than $350 million in business to South Bay over a 10-year period starting in 1996 and received $25 million in kickbacks. Mr. Finazzo is being tried on 16 counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. He was fired from Aéropostale in 2006 after the company learned of his "web of deceit," said Mr. Paes, alluding to Mr. Finazzo's financial relationship with Douglas Dey, the owner of South Bay and a close friend of the clothing executive. Mr. Dey, who was also brought up on conspiracy charges, pleaded guilty in September. (Source

Wal-Mart donates $1.6M to support fire safety in Bangladesh 
Walmart has announced a $1.6 million donation to the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), a U.S. based NGO, to establish the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Academy in Bangladesh. (Source

J.C. Penney options may include sale or break up of retailer 
With Ullman back does he continue with Johnson's plan or go back to being a more traditional retailer? Does he have the time with 25% sales decreases? “People may attack the board, as well, for how this happened. This was a high-profile hire. For it to unravel this quickly is kind of terrifying.” (Source

CPI Corp. to lay off 4,300, spin off Canadian operations 
Struggling portrait studio operator CPI Corp. expects to lay off more than 4,300 employees as a result of shutting down its operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to a regulatory filing Monday. Sears and Wal-Mart lose their portrait studios. (Source

New automated cash handling systems at UK retailer Morrisons will eliminate 700 jobs  Morrisons is planning to cut nearly 700 jobs as it looks to install new cash-handling systems in its 490 stores. The supermarket said the introduction of the new systems is part of an ongoing programme to improve its "competitiveness". Morrisons has started a four week consultation with 689 cash office managers and supervisors about proposals to replace manual cash counting in its back offices with automated cash handling systems. (Source

East coast and Gulf of Mexico dock workers ratify 6 yr. contract 
The contract between the longshoremen and the U.S. Maritime Alliance originally expired Sept. 30, 2012. Federal mediators negotiated extensions to avert possible strikes that could have crippled operations at major ports along the East Coast. (Source Associated Press)

Risks to retailers through point of sale systems 
The McAfee report reveals that POS systems are updated too infrequently, creating vast windows of opportunities for criminals to find and exploit vulnerabilities. Once a new vulnerability is located, businesses using the same types of systems can be easily identified and targeted for attack. The vulnerabilities with POS systems that are not regularly updated increase the likelihood that consumers’ cardholder and personal data is at risk. McAfee's complete report is available here - (Source

32 code violations found after Bellevue Macy's escalator accident that injured 7 
The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries said Monday its investigation of an escalator malfunction that injured seven people at Bellevue Square Mall Macy's last December uncovered 32 code violations, 15 of which were directly related to the accident. (Source

Supply chain the new tempting attraction for hackers 
The attractiveness of company supply chains to hackers is growing, say security experts interviewed by CSO. "It's a case of the hackers identifying the weakest link and breaking in. Criminals are seeing the supply chain as a means of accessing information they wouldn't otherwise be able to get from a large, proficiently run, well secured global organization," de Crespigny added. In a report released Tuesday, the ISF noted that while sharing information with suppliers is essential for the supply chain to function, it also creates risks. "Of all the supply chain risks," the report noted, "information risk is the least well managed. (Source

Use your iPhone for biometric scanning 
AOptix unveiled AOptix Stratus, the first comprehensive mobile identity solution “Made for iPhone” delivering iris, fingerprint, voice, and face recognition in a truly integrated solution. (Source

Cops on surveillance training exercise bust two members of Florida's "Felony Lane Gang" by chance encounter  The timing of what would have been their latest burglary couldn't have been worse for two men with a slew of outstanding warrants out of Orange County. A team of detectives learning surveillance techniques during in-field training spotted them by chance, officials say. The "Felony Lane" gang smash-and-grab burglary scheme that targets places such as parks, schools, day cares and gyms — places where purses are often left in cars. The identification cards inside the purses are passed to female members of the theft rings, who then don wigs and cash fraudulent checks and make purchases before the victims have a chance to alert police. (Source

New Jersey State Police seize $124,000 in counterfeit merchandise during a traffic stop.  Stopped for a burned out tail light, two men are now in jail for possession of counterfeit merchandise valued at over $124,000. Moustapha Diaphila and Saikou Sy both will face charges in attempting to distribute counterfeit designer merchandise by Michael Kors, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. When the suspect’s car was pulled over, the Trooper noticed 11 garbage bags in the backseat of the car. Inside the bags were 278 counterfeit purses, wallets, belts and handbags. (Source

Pennsylvania man arrested with $5400 of counterfeit $50 bills, shopping in Allentown.  Garwood Police working in conjunction with the US Secret Service quickly stopped the suspect who was shopping in the Garwood Mall. When Police searched the suspect, Carlos Figueroa, he still had $5400 in counterfeit $50 bills on his person. During the initial investigation the suspect was observed inside GameStop and GNC and had already used the counterfeit money at Pet Valu and RadioShack. (Source

GameStop Robbed at Gunpoint in Holmdel, New Jersey. 
Holmdel Police are looking for an armed robber as of Monday night. A GameStop employee in Holmdel was robbed at gunpoint, according to police. The incident occurred at 6:15 p.m. No one was injured during the robbery. (Source

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Family Dollar Q2 up 2.9% with net sales up 17.7%
Tuesday Morning Q3 up 2.8% with total sales up 3.1%


2012 Thought Challenge Awards Committee

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Thought Challenge

Announcing the 2012 Thought Challenge Awards
First Place Winner!
Sandy Chandler

Traits of Great Leaders and Mentors

By Sandy Chandler, CPP, LPC
Divisional Director, Asset Protection
Rite Aid Corporation

With the holidays fast approaching (Q-4 sales and shrink potential) I think now is the best time to reflect and give thanks.

When I look at my career progression and what I have learned throughout the years, my hope is that I have taken on some of the traits of my great mentors and leaders.

Below are a few traits that come to mind when thinking about who has really contributed to my personal growth and development over the years.

Great Leaders and Mentors:
Ask the right questions. Mentors show you how to get results by asking the right questions and gaining insight on the current challenges.
Listen. Great mentors do more listening vs. talking. They have conversations with everyone they come in contact with. One of my best mentors will talk out loud about a situation, offering solutions and steps for follow-up. He also asks others for input so other team members can learn, and we provide the best solutions possible.
Care. Great mentors want to know all about you. Expressing general interest in your well-being.
Are humble. Great mentors do not have to celebrate their successes; they have earned the respect and recognition over the years through doing the right thing.
Have un-ending energy and passion. Great mentors have energy and a passion for their job. They love what they do, and their passion inspires others to do the same.
Are industry experts. Great leaders and mentors contribute to the well-being of the industry.
Admit their mistakes and let others make some as well. Great leaders admit their mistakes which in turn builds our trust, which helps others learn.
Recognize others. Great leaders recognize others through positive reinforcement, and do it often.
Lead by example. Leaders love to learn and share their knowledge with others.
Are great communicators. Great leaders communicate their clear focus and vision regularly, so there is never one doubt about where we are, where we need to be, where we are going, and what we want to accomplish.
Embrace change. Great leaders embrace new initiatives and execute.
Mentor others. Great leaders inspire their team members to be the best, and challenge us to learn and improve.

This thought challenge is dedicated to all of those great leaders and mentors out there (you know who you are) who continue to help us on our career paths.

I choose to take on these traits, because I see the positive results and how we can all make a difference in the lives of others. I challenge myself to be better.

Who inspires you? Have you thanked them lately for all that they do for you?

Just a thought

Congratulations to all our 2012 winners and thank you to all those that participated last year. Submit your Thought Challenge for 2013.



ORC ring of 6 busted hitting Walmart store in Bethlehem Township, PA. 
Police say six people in a Wal-Mart retail theft ring stole more than $57,000 in electronics. Herrera, Cherry and Lugo worked at the store and would pretend to ring up merchandise and steal various electronics including digital music players, computers, gaming systems, video games and cellphones, police said. On Feb. 2, police were contacted by Wal-Mart loss prevention officer Colleen Webster about thefts at the store that began Nov. 27. (Source

ORC gang member appears in Atlanta court for hitting Dillard's
An Atlanta woman who's been busted for shoplifting every year since 2006, appeared in court for her part if stealing from Dillard's on Douglas Boulevard on Feb. 4th. Her co-defendant Tydroid Stephon Huff appeared march 19th for the same charge. They had been recognized hitting the store multiple times and finally apprehended. (Source

Massive credit card fraud scheme hits Madera County, Cailf.  Authorities in the North Valley are warning merchants to beware of credit card fraud costing retailers thousands of dollars. Several businesses in Madera County have already fallen victim to this massive scheme. A total of $29,000 worth of transactions from December of 2012 to this past March all fraud -- all due to phony credit cards. Police believe this could be a ring operating and the investigation is ongoing. (Source

Three charged in multistate credit card fraud ring in Sayreville, N.J. 
The three defendants are accused of being part of a New Jersey-based multistate identity theft and credit card fraud ring that affected nearly 1,000 people across the United States. The three defendants are accused of being part of a New Jersey-based multistate identity theft and credit card fraud ring that affected nearly 1,000 people across the United States. The ring purchased victim identity information from online brokers, who sold information obtained by computer hackers from various sources throughout the United States. The stolen identities were used to open new credit card accounts or order replacement cards, authorities said. (Source

Armed shoplifters hit JC Penney at Lone Tree Mall in Colorado. 
Three shoplifters entered the JC Penney store at the Lone Tree Mall; one was carrying a concealed stolen handgun. The three concealed over $300 of cologne and were stopped by Loss Prevention. The armed suspect pulled up his shirt to reveal the gun while the other female suspect threw the bag of stolen goods at the detective and the three fled. The agent was able to catch and apprehend the female suspect who continued to fight with the agent. The weapon was located under a nearby car in the parking lot. The two male suspects are still being sought by police. (Source

Peabody, Mass. man remains behind bars pending trial on federal charges; faces 17 years for identity theft in 30 states.  William Dodge was the mastermind behind the identity fraud that affected hundreds of people in 30 states. Investigators believe Dodge cleared nearly $200,000 for himself from the frauds. Dodge worked with a group of thieves that obtained financial reports, made new identifications, and obtained store credit cards hitting J.C. Penney, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, Macy’s and T.J. Maxx. (Source

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Vendor Spotlight

New Shoplifting Protection Created for World's Best Wines

Checkpoint Systems Solution Allows
Bottles Worth Thousands to Be Available on Shelves

LONDON, UK, and THOROFARE, NJ – April 9, 2013 Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP), a leading global supplier of shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions for the retail industry, today announced that it has created an innovative solution to allow wine bottles, some costing up to 100,000 British pounds, to be securely open-displayed on retail shelves without damaging the bottle's appearance.

The Hedonism Wines team in Mayfair, London, UK, asked Checkpoint to create a special wrap designed to set off an alarm whenever a bottle is taken past a security antenna. Unlike most wine wrap tags available in supermarkets, the security device from Alpha, a Checkpoint brand, does not conceal the top of the bottle, allowing customers to inspect the cork. Most innovatively, the Alpha Steel Grip Bottle Wrap contains a rubber insert which prevents accidental damage to the bottle's foil -- saving the shop thousands of British pounds in replacements.

The Hedonism Wines team said, “We sell bottles whose labels were designed by Picasso and Chagal, so you can imagine how important merchandise aesthetics and appearance are to us. This meant the solution had to be perfect. We invested a lot of time working with Checkpoint on the design and several types of rubber were tested until we finally arrived at the perfect solution for a bottle of wine that sometimes costs as much as a house.”

Some 50,000 customized wraps were manufactured, each bearing Hedonism's logo and colors. Seven months after delivery, the shop has not seen a single theft.

Per Levin, president & chief sales officer for Checkpoint’s Shrink Management & Merchandise Visibility Solutions business, said, “The aim was to create an innovative solution which was worthy of the premium merchandise Hedonism Wines offers. Retailers need new solutions to deter theft and ensure the merchandise is available for open display to enhance the shopping experience. It is even more critical at luxury stores where most of the merchandise requires a discreet but effective solution.”

George Cohen (for Checkpoint)
GCC, Inc.



Axonify. Read how Pep Boys reduced their shrink by 55% by overhauling their LP awareness program. Download.

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Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only

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LP Manager Kmart Lemoore, CA Sears Holdings Corp
LP Manager Sears Roanoke, VA Sears Holdings Corp
LP Manager Kmart Ashtabula, OH Sears Holdings Corp
LP Manager Kmart Willow Grove, PA Sears Holdings Corp
LP Manager Kmart Cheektowaga, NY Sears Holdings Corp
ETL Assets Protection Target Palatine, IL Target
ETL Assets Protection Target Los Banos, CA Target
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Sonora, CA Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Arlington Heights, IL Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Niskayuna, NY Lowe's
Mgr Safety & AP Lowe's Adairsville, GA Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Schenectady, NY Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Richmond, VA Lowe's
District Operations Mgr The Home Depot San Carlos, CA The Home Depot
District Operations Mgr The Home Depot Fort Collins, CO The Home Depot
LP Manager Macy's Greensboro, NC Macy's
LP Manager Macy's Burlington, WA Macy's
AP Manager Meijer Pleasant Prairie, WI Meijer

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Change Your Life in 30 Minutes  Everyone has busy, hectic schedules so how do you find the time to de-stress and take care of yourself? This executive started jogging every day, for a half an hour, and watched her career take off. Find what works for you and get rid of stress in your life. (Run Forrest, Run)

How to Reduce Stress at Your Desk  In case running isn't your cup of tea, there are now apps for your smartphone you can use to help with stress at work. One app will monitor your stress levels by showing your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. One even helps calm you down by playing gentle, calming music. Now you can relax at your desk, anytime. (There's an app for that)

Do Your Company a Favor-Go Away Vacation time can be so hard to find in the working world. Time doesn't allow for one, or there is just far too much to do to get away from the office.  However, taking that time away from your desk can be good for your company, allowing for you to see the 'the bigger picture'. (Find your a-ha moment)

Workplace Wellness Takes the Lead for Stress Awareness Month  So many things can lead to stress at our jobs-technology, while designed to be more user friendly and helpful, can increase stress with its ever-changing ways and our need to keep up with it.  Clearly, there's a need to de-stress but we have to continue to take that time to do so. (A Number 1 Priority)

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Being engaged in the business of your retailer is a critical element for every Loss Prevention executive. For decades, our industry has often been accused of being silo'ed and separate from the operators and the merchants. This separateness in many cases ultimately leads to a disconnect, a sense that we aren't part of the team. Which in actuality, regardless of your performance, it can lead to your job being eliminated or just you being replaced with someone new. So the real question is: How do you become engaged in the business and truly add value to the company's success beyond reducing shrink? And then having the courage to go make it happen. We all tend to stay in our comfort zones and remain safe. At least that's what we think. But at the end of the day, it's that comfort zone that can actually increase your risk. So the next time you're in a corporate meeting or traveling stores with your operators or merchants, go beyond with your comments and opinions – take a risk – add some value – help them run the business – you might be surprised.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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