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March 7, 2013

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News Brief
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Wal-Mart to open 115 small-format Neighborhood Market stores in '13 and 500 by '16  Going up against dollar stores, supermarkets and drug stores the new smaller stores will play a key role in the company's future. "They compete really well against multiple channels," Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. said. “Five hundred is by no means the end. It’s merely just the beginning of what we think the opportunity might be for this format.” “We’ll add about 125 new supercenters this year.” (Source chainstorage.com)

Retailers report modest sales gains for February  Fifteen retailers reported on Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year — a key indicator of retail health — rose an average of 1.7 percent. That number comes from the International Council of Shopping Centers. It is a sharp slowdown from the 4.5 percent pace in January when shoppers splurged on holiday clearances. (Source msn.com)

The Ron Johnson - J.C. Penney Disaster Timeline  After probably the worst quarterly results ever and stock down 46% rumors of impending mass layoffs and a major lawsuit pitting him against Martha Stewart analysts think Johnson has only six months left before the board — or shareholders — force him to leave. Here's how it got so bad, so fast - the 17 critical events. Great read for the retail student. (Source businessinsider.com)

What's next for Best Buy - After founders leveraged buyout collapse's  The founder remains Best Buy's largest shareholder with approx. 20% stake. But Friday the company released a statement closing the door on the buyout process. Last month, however, US News & World Report named Best Buy as the retailer most vulnerable to "showrooming." To combat the trend, Best Buy recently announced it will match competitor prices for most items, including those purchased online from Amazon.com, Buy.com and Apple.com. Such efforts are not likely to sustain the company, however. Michael Pachter, a research analyst said. Best Buy's sizable physical retail footprint demands approximately 10% higher prices than pure-play e-commerce companies. "Best Buy can't be competitively priced. Store operating costs are approximately $5 billion on $50 billion annual revenues - that's a 10% cost disadvantage compared to companies like Amazon. The numbers don't add up." (Source readwrite.com)

Hot Topic selling itself for $592M to Sycamore  Hot Topic's shareholders still have to approve the deal. All of Hot Topic's directors voted for it. The company has about 800 stores in North America. This is the same investment group that bought Talbots last August. (Source msn.com)

"There is no amnesty coming, and E-verify will become mandatory, so start maintaining those I-9 forms now for each employee." An attorney who specializes in labor employment law warned retailers to be careful about the actions they take prior to passage of reformed immigration laws, which he said could come before the end of the year. "Make sure your pay procedures are in order because the Department of Labor is looking for employers who are not paying properly." Assess your current policies on letters you write for employees who may have to provide proof they have been U.S. residents for a certain period, probably seven years." (Source supermarketnews.com)

Settlement reached in Shoplifter, Fry's Electronics Lawsuit moment before jurors were to return with damages  San Diego man who suffered brain damage when an electronics store security guard assaulted him after shoplifting agrees on settlement in his civil case. He stole a $35 laser pointer in September 2010 and his attorneys claimed the former IT and computer repair specialist said he was jumped by a store security guard and thrown head-first onto the concrete, causing traumatic brain injury. ury foreperson Camille Davidson said that they had decided to give Hoopfer $10 million total for medical costs, pain and suffering -- plus lost earnings. Jurors had also agreed to go on to a second phase of the trial where they would decide additional punitive damages. The jury believed the Fry’s security guard was wrong to take Hoopfer to the ground without first asking him to give up the item. In the lawsuit, Hoopfer’s attorneys said life-time care for her client would cost more than $5 million. The plaintiff sought an additional $20-25 million for emotional damage in addition to pain and suffering. Fry’s also cited expert testimony claiming that he is not actually brain damaged. The defense had offered to pay a maximum $100,000 settlement before the case went to the jury. (Source nbcsandiego.com)

Lowe's gets into the home automation/home security product business, teams up with Verizon Wireless stores in 10 Eastern and Southern states Lowe’s also plans by the end of the year to dramatically expand the number of its own stores that sell Iris—from 500 stores currently to all of its approximately 1,700 retail stores nationwide, according to Kevin Meagher, Lowe’s VP of Smart Home. (Source securitysystemsnews.com)

IKEA looks at smaller store as it continues to expand in India and China.  Everything from the size of the store to the size of the furniture and beds they carry needed to be studied to match the needs of the customers, one size does not fit all. Understanding the differences in the culture and how a person uses their space are translated into merchandising at IKEA. A balcony of an apartment may be used for relaxing here in the United States, but in other cultures that area can be used for food storage of even as a laundry. Understanding the concept of ‘do it yourself’ is different in China; Home Depot found that out when the stores failed to capture the interest of the people. (Source theglobeandmail.com)

What retailers need to know about patent trolls- just another form of fraud -for the retail student it's an important read  A relatively new phenomenon impacting retailers. Firms whose business model focuses on buying obscure patents for things they didn’t invent and then threatening to sue companies who use technology with even vague ties to the patent. patent trolls are causing significant headaches for retailers because they often file claims that are so exorbitant it’s cheaper to settle rather than litigate. Another form of fraud hits our world. (Source nrf.com)

With Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection and see no hurry to fill jobs - The Long Wait for Candidates!  American employers have a variety of job vacancies, piles of cash and countless well-qualified candidates. But despite a slowly improving economy, many companies remain reluctant to actually hire, stringing job applicants along for weeks or months before they make a decision. Editors note: Interesting article that can in fact even be applied to the LP industry as retailers can take forever to fill jobs in hopes of finding that perfect executive. The last 4 years of an overabundance of executives and the current state of the economy gives them the ability to sit and just wait until they feel they've exhausted the market. Especially in the first quarter when they're waiting to see if there's anymore cuts coming from other retailers. Now this changes the closer we get to the fourth quarter, as August and September are usually the speed months for filling jobs right before the holiday push. (Source nytimes.com)

Maine kills Bill taking felony threshold from $1,000 to $5,000  The committee heard loud and clear from our members that increasing the felony threshold would only serve as a cost of living increase for criminals. (Source retailmaine.org)

A game of cat and mouse - Mobile POS 
"Mobile POS is a potential nightmare for thwarting theft," says Derek Rodner, vice president for Agilence. This technology raises a lot of questions, such as how do you audit what is happening at the POS when the POS is anywhere? How do you validate what shoppers are placing in their cart has actually been scanned? When a customer is leaving the store, how do you know they bought anything when there are no longer printed receipts?” he says. It will be a major challenge for loss prevention experts to address and currently there are no easy solutions, short of watching all of the video, he adds. (Source groceryheadquarters.com)

Grocers statewide in Washington echo reusable bag problems as shoplifting spikes  In the eight months since enacting a ban on plastic bags in stores, Seattle merchants have lost untold thousands of dollars in merchandise, industry experts said from increased shoplifting. "Across the United States we have seen these bag bans, and the shoplifting has always had a substantial leap," said Jan Gee, president of the Washington Food Industry Association, "and so it was not a surprise to us." In fact, one in five Seattle businesses say increased shoplifting due to the bag ban is a problem. (Source seattlepi.com)

New "All hands on deck" philosophy at Yahoo - the beginning of a new counter wave against popular working from home  With Yahoo's new CEO seeing nearly empty parking lots and entire floors because some employees were working as little as possible and leaving early and with 200 or so working at home and a few who had even begun their own start-ups on the side the new CEO said that's enough. As last week she abolished work-from-home policy, saying that to create a new culture of innovation and collaboration at the company, employees had to report to work. So the pendulum begins to swing back. (Source nytimes.com)

Sport Chalet explosion in Los Angeles still under investigation, not believed to be suspicious. The apparent gas explosion last week at the Sports Chalet store in La Canada Flintridge, California injured two employees. The employees both suffered from flash burns. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson Explosive Detail is investigating the incident, which officials said didn’t appear to be suspicious. Officials from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health have also launched an investigation. (Source lacanadaonline.com)

Ontario Telus Mobility store robbed of $70,000 in merchandise by two armed with a gun and machete.  On Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. two suspects, one carrying a handgun and the other a machete-style knife, entered the Telus Mobility store in Peterborough. (Peterborough is approximately 200 miles northeast of Toronto) Once inside the suspects demanded that the two store employees hand over thousands of dollars in cell phones and tablets. Once the suspects were given the merchandise they fled the store. The store estimates the loss at $70,000, no one was injured. (Source thepeterboroughexaminer.com)

South Dakota jewel theft suspect waives extradition from Florida.  A man suspected of stealing a $30,000 bracelet from an Aberdeen store has waived extradition to South Dakota following his arrest in Florida. Twenty-8-year-old Maykel Correoso, of Miami, is charged with petty theft in Naples, Fla., for allegedly trying to steal clothing from three stores. He will be sent to Aberdeen, South Dakota to face the charge against him there after his Florida case is done. Correoso is accused of walking into a Riddle's Jewelry store in an Aberdeen mall last Nov. 1, asking an employee to show him a bracelet, then snatching it and fleeing. (Source ksfy.com)


Gucci store in London smashed open with a Mercedes.  About 50 designer bags, some said to be worth as much as $60,000 have been stolen in a smash and grab raid on a flagship designer store in London. Police said a black Mercedes, which is thought to have been stolen, reversed into the Gucci store in Sloane Street at about 10pm on Wednesday. The three suspects then stole handbags before fleeing in a blue Audi A4. No arrests have yet been made. Security guards were in the shop at the time but were said to be unhurt. (Source metro.co.uk)

Columbus, Ohio cell phone burglary caught on tape, suspect arrested quickly.  Sometimes you just run out of time. The burglar of this cell phone burglary appeared that he took just a little to long to decide what to steal, when police responded to the alarm he was still in the store. The suspect did try to outrun the officers but was quickly apprehended. (Source abc6onyourside.com)

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

PetSmart 4Q up 4.6% with revenue up 15%
American Eagle 4Q up 4% with net revenue up 9%, for the year up 9% and 11% respectively
Kroger 4Q up 3% with revenue up 13%
Trans World Entertainment 4Q down 3% with total revenue down 15%
Big Lots U.S. stores 4Q down 3.5% with net sales up 4.4%
Staples 4Q down 5% with revenue up 3% and reported a loss of $210.7M for the full year

February Same Store Sales Results

Costco up 6%
Limited Brands up 3%
Gap up 3%
TJX up 1%
Ross Stores down 1%
The Buckle down 1.1%
Rite Aid pharmacy down 4.7% front end down 1.3%
Zumiez down 8.9%
Perfumaina down 9.2

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WG Security Products

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Press Release
 

March 5, 2013

Dear Valued Customer,

I am writing to tell you about a promising new development for our company. Following an extensive review of Checkpoint’s portfolio in 2012, the company’s Board of Directors determined that the US and Canada based CheckView® business will better serve its customers as an independent, entrepreneurial and more focused organization.

An investment banker has been engaged to assist in the sale of the CheckView business and discussions are taking place with a potential buyer interested in leveraging the expertise, customer relationships, retail monitoring center and other assets residing in CheckView in a strong and nimble stand-alone platform.

Checkpoint will continue to pursue its redefined strategy to provide solutions that improve merchandise availability in retail stores. I am confident that this planned divestiture will enable focused attention and investment in both the CheckView business and Checkpoint’s core businesses, which in turn will yield the best results for you.

Please be assured that Checkpoint is dedicated to support CheckView throughout the sale process and that the CheckView team is 100% committed to ensure an orderly transition with full continuity of service. As a customer you can simply expect business as usual, or better, from us.

Your sales representative will be contacting you within 24 hours to answer any questions you have in connection with the planned sale.

Sincerely,

Per Levin
President & Chief Sales Officer
Shrink Management & Merchandise Visibility Solutions
800-257-5540

 

ORC News
 

Police Close 'Store' 20 year Fencing Operation -- Probe Leads To The Arrests Of Two in Seattle  Yesterday morning, police hauled out an estimated $200,000 in stolen goods from a fencing operation in a White Center apartment, following a raid the night before. Police have been investigating the operation for six months. Police say the 51-year-old suspect had been in business for 20 years and had a steady stream of burglars and professional shoplifters from South King County and Seattle exchanging loot for quick cash. In the past few weeks, police have arrested nine Seattle-area residents on suspicion of burglary in connection with the fencing operation. A half-dozen others remain at large, although police say they have identified them. (Source nwsource.com)

Five member ORC ring busted hitting Fred Meyer stores and selling stolen loot on eBay  Investigators said five men have been charged with stealing more than $30,000 worth of appliances, DVDs and video games and then selling the items online through an eBay account. At least 10 Fred Meyer stores in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties had been hit. An investigation by the Renton Police Department has been ongoing for nearly a year. (Source kirotv.com)

Ulta store in Kentucky hit for $600.  South Central Crime Stoppers are working with Police to identify two women who shoplifted $600 worth of products from the store in the Greenwood Mall. (Source wbko.com)

ORC - Two men busted selling stolen electronics on Craigslist in El Paso  The El Paso County sheriff's Strike Team arrested a second man in connection to the sale of electronics stolen from stores and being sold via Craigslist online classified ads, officials said. Jesse Barrios, 25, was arrested Wednesday morning after he met with undercover deputies to allegedly sell the stolen goods, officials said. Barrios, of the 9800 block of Sayers Drive, faces a charge of organized retail theft. (Source elpasotimes.com)

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Identity Theft News
 
Facial recognition system nets 2,500 identity fraud arrests  New York state officials said Tuesday the DMV's use of facial recognition software for driver's licenses since 2010 has resulted in more than 2,500 arrests of those trying to steal someone else's identity or trying to get a second license. New York's DMV has investigated 13,000 possible cases of identity fraud using facial recognition, with 2,500 arrests resulting and "more than 5,000 individuals facing administrative action," according to the governor's office. (Source nbcnews.com)

Five Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tips from Security Executives  What your colleagues are saying about it and how they take action. A research paper that examines the findings from a new study on DLP by Symantec. The goal of the study is to understand how DLP programs impact the effectiveness of security executives, while also protecting corporate data. Symantec surveyed more than 130 CISOs, VPs, directors and managers responsible for the evaluation, selection, deployment and governance of their organization’s DLP solution. Key findings: Improved boardroom credibility; Increased executive visibility; Increased awareness of data loss risk. A must read for those interested in expanding your knowledge base. (Source idgenterprise.com)

Tips and Tools for Breach Investigations  Attorney Kim Peretti helped put TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez behind bars, and now she is helping organizations investigate and respond to their own data breaches. What tips and tools does she recommend. Her first piece of advice: Don't focus too narrowly. Often, investigators emphasize the origin of a breach, but fail to understand its true depth and scope - until it's too late. In a video interview about effective breach investigations, Peretti discusses: •Areas most frequently overlooked; •Lessons learned from recent investigations; •Technology tools to aid investigators. (Source govinfosecurity.com)

Hacker inmate takes IT classes in prison and the results were disastrous  Talk about prison teaching inmates how to become better criminals this one takes the cake. When the authorities catch up to a big-time cyber criminal, the last thing you’d expect them to do is give such an individual access to a computer. That’s just what happened at HMP Isis prison in South London where internet fraudster Nicholas Webber is being held. Prison authorities allowed Webber to take part in an IT course at the prison, and the results were predictably disastrous. The inmate used his terminal to access prison computer systems. While officials claim Webber was not able to inspect any sensitive information, others suggest the hack caused a “major panic” in the prison. The instructor was fired at the prison and at his other jobs at two Colleges. (Source geek.com)

 

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Turning Point for Civil Demand

A Paradigm Shift
Part 1

This is the first of a two part series on a concept being put forth to solve an issue facing retailers which is either happening now or it will be coming to your area soon. Lohra Miller is the CEO of Turning Point Retail. She has crafted much of this showcase and Civil Demand Associates has aligned itself with this process. She is a former prosecutor and district attorney so she brings a vast amount of experience to our industry. The following is based on her experience.

As a prosecutor for over 20 years I began and ended my career with retail theft trials. My first trial, anxious and new, went off without a hitch. The police officer and LPA both showed up whereupon the defendant immediately plead guilty. My last trial, while I was relaxed and confident, was a disaster. The police officer was stuck on a call and could not make it to court. The LPA had moved stores and did not receive a subpoena. An hour later, when I finally tracked my witnesses down, the case had been dismissed, I had been chewed out by the judge for wasting the court's precious time on a "$15 theft," and the defendant walked out court with a smirk on his face. He had just gotten away with his seventh retail theft charge.

Like retailers, police and prosecutors believe retail theft offenders should be held accountable for their actions. This includes not only accepting responsibility for their actions, but reforming their behavior and making restitution to the retailer. Most importantly, we understand that without accountability, the antisocial attitudes and behaviors of offenders will escalate in frequency and severity. As problems facing courts, communities and criminal justice professionals increase in complexity and size, the limitations of the existing system are both more evident and more critical. In fact, in recent years the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 60% of petty offenders are convicted.

Unfortunately, the voice most often lost in the chaotic criminal process belongs to the victim of the retail theft. The traditional system, which focuses upon punishing offenders, does little to help retailers recover losses due to the offender's actions. In response to this problem, most states passed civil recovery laws to allow retailers the ability to recover damages through a civil law suit. This method, while in theory gives retailers recourse to recover their losses, still faces many of the same challenges as criminal justice: The cost of enforcing a civil demand vastly outweighs the amount collected in an individual case. Without the integrity of enforcement, the culture created among offenders has resulted in decreasing collections nationwide. Just Google "I received a civil demand letter, what should I do?" and you will find page after page of responses telling the person to ignore the letter.

As any parent will tell you, and study after study has proven, in order to change behavior, consequences must be immediate, proportionate to the offense and consistent. Any solution crafted to address this problem must be based upon these three simple criteria. Turning Point Retail (TPR) has developed a unique and promising collaborative approach to offender accountability and behavior modification. TPR's technology quickly identifies appropriate offenders then offers them the opportunity to voluntarily pay restitution and attend a behavior modification program. By quickly resolving a large number of first-time offenders without using scarce criminal justice resources, the system then has the capacity to hold repeat and non compliant offenders accountable.

Contact:

Frank Luciano
818-787-7200
Frank@CivilDemand.net

 

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Your Career
 
How to Avoid Communication Pitfalls in the Workplace There is a large body of work concerning the way women's communication style differs from that of men. However, a more reliable way of looking at the issue of communication styles is to look at it from the point of view of personality. (What type are you?)

4 Steps to Fast, Effective Meetings How is your company's communication? Is it tight and efficient and aimed at driving results or increasing connection? Or do team members talk a lot without saying anything meaningful? Within companies there are usually only five types of communication. (Only two drive results)

How Do You Set Business Goals and Priorities? Are you trying to set a goal for your team and aren't sure where to start? Or maybe you don't know which task to start with first. Eric Ryan, cofounder of Method, answers this business question. (30 Second MBA)

What to Do Before You Reorganize There's no such thing as a perfect organizational structure. In fact, the more you move stuff around to reorganize, the more complexity and confusion you potentially create. Here are three approaches you can try to simplify your organization design. (It's like a Rubik's Cube)

 

Tip of the Day
Sponsored by Vector Security

Individual growth is an overly used phrase for something that is extremely difficult to truly accomplish. Corporate America tends to force it faster than many can absorb. Out of necessity or by design it requires a mental investment and a conscious effort on the part of the executive to truly grow beyond their current capabilities. Consequently, growth is oftentimes as a result of direct force or life-changing events. But it is a necessity if one expects to advance and stay current with the industry. Technology represents the Loss Prevention industry's biggest opportunity for growth and if one expects to be a leader tomorrow it would be wise to grow your technology education.

Just a thought,

Gus Downing


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