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March 14, 2014

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News Brief
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MasterCard, Visa to push EMV; NRF calls for use of PINs  MasterCard and Visa alliance aimed at migrating the U.S. payment system to EMV drew criticism from a major retailer group. Soon after MasterCard and Visa announced a partnership to enhance payment security by accelerating the adoption of EMV chip technology, the National Federation of Retailers (NRF) took their plans to task. NRF General Counsel Mallory Duncan said, "We remain insistent that US retailers' customers be given the same protections as consumers in more than 80 countries who have both a chip and a PIN securing their credit and debit cards." NRF expressed concern that the group's initial plans won't go far enough because they don't include the use of a PIN in conjunction with the EMV chip-based cards as is the norm in Europe. MasterCard and Visa have differed on the use of PINs with the chips, with MasterCard favoring a chip and PIN system. "EMV chip cards are an effective deterrent to counterfeit card fraud, which is the largest category of fraud," Randy Vanderhoof, the executive director of the Smart Card Alliance and director of the EMV Migration Forum, told SCMagazine.com in an email correspondence. (Source scmagazine.com)

UK grocer Morrisons payroll data breach theft
With 370 stores and 114,000 employees this large UK retailer launched an investigation after data was stolen from its payroll system which included the names, addresses and bank account details of some of its staff. The supermarket said it had learned last night that the data had been stolen and published on the internet with a disc also sent to a newspaper. The supermarket added that it was liaising with the police and the “highest level” of cyber crime authorities. (Source theretailbulletin.com)

McDonald’s Workers File Multiple Class-Action Lawsuits Alleging Widespread Wage Theft Attorneys representing McDonald’s workers in California, Michigan and New York this week filed class action lawsuits in federal and state courts claiming the fast food giant is systematically stealing employees’ wages by forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards, and not paying them overtime, among other practices. The suits, which were filed Wednesday and today, demand McDonald’s pay back these wages and stop its illegal theft of workers’ pay. (Source businesswire.com)

Nine retailers closing the most stores
Brick-and-mortar retailers have been suffering from slow economic activity for years, as well as from increased competition from online retailers. The rise in store closings is a prominent sign of their struggles. To determine the retailers closing the most stores, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed large retailers that have publicly announced store closings for 2014, or are in the middle of a multi-year plan to trim locations. In addition, we also reviewed company earnings and SEC filings. These are the retailers closing the most stores. 1. Abercrombie & Fitch 2. Barnes & Noble 3. Aeropostale 4. J.C. Penney 5. Office Depot 6. RadioShack 7. Sears Holdings 8. Staples 9. Toys "R" Us (Source wbir.com)

Report says Target dropped prices 20 percent during data breach  "Our data suggests that, faced with a loss of customer trust, mounting inventory and a shrinking pre-Christmas shopping window, Target may have taken a dramatic price decrease approach to attract price-sensitive shoppers and minimize the impact of lower sales," said Jenn Markey, VP of marketing for 360pi. "It appears to us that this pricing strategy did not completely mitigate the financial impact of the breach, as Target's fourth quarter profit decreased by 46 percent while Walmart's fell only 21 percent." (Source retailcustomerexperiene.com)

How Real Is Loyalty and Rewards Fraud?
According to Colloquy, there is more than $48B in outstanding value across all these types of rewards and loyalty programs in the United States. And where there is attention and high financial value, there’s also a high-risk for fraud. In the case of rewards tied to payment cards, a fraudster will prefer to access any available lines of credit or immediate funds availability, which all carry a substantially higher value proposition and opportunity than the rewards currency value.” Friendly Fraud” — Resulting in Real Costs - the majority of fraud cases in the loyalty and rewards space are what’s known as “friendly fraud.” In other words, there is a direct connection or relationship between the victim and the offender. For example, a daughter or son infiltrates a parent’s account and cashes-in the outstanding rewards balance. Larger cases generally have been simple employee theft. The move to digital rewards programs has dramatically lessened fraud losses, although it hasn’t made them fraud proof. Employees know the ins and outs of how the systems work, and have access to the data they need to manipulate them. In fact, in one prominent case, an IT employee in London rigged an account with points that would have required more than $10 million in purchases to accumulate, according to Consumer Insight Group. Before being caught and taken to court, the individual cashed-in for the equivalent of $13,000. order to limit liability and overall risk, financial institutions and retailers must safeguard their reward programs. That includes program guidelines, controls and a monitoring process. Here are some examples. Exception reporting that highlights unusual activity, such as: A surge in employee access and time spent on the customer loyalty database - A variance in redemption activities - Repeated unsuccessful login attempts to the rewards website - New shipping addresses or other uncommon updates to customer profiles - User-defined roles that limit or restrict access - Ongoing audits and security reviews. (Source paymentsleader.com)

Top 10 “most-productive” malls, most sales per square foot, in 2013
1. Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, Fla.: $2,793 US/sq. ft.
2. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas: $1,750 US/sq. ft.
3. The Grove, Los Angeles: $1,400 US/sq. ft.
4. Pacific Centre, Vancouver: $1,335/sq. ft.
5. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto: $1,300/sq. ft.
6. Toronto Eaton Centre: $1,275/sq. ft.
7. Mall at Millennia, Orlando, Fla.: $1,250 US/sq. ft.
8. Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver: $1,132/sq. ft.
9. The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills, N.J., $1,110 US/sq. ft.
10. Chinook Centre, Calgary: $1,108/sq. ft. (Source retail-insider.com)

Stein Mart to open 10 stores

Retailer Ann Inc. eliminating about corporate 100 positions - 10% of cor. workforce

Bed Bath & Beyond asks vendors to cut chemicals

Colorado's Legal Pot Growers Grumble About RFID Tagging  Under the state’s rules, pot merchants, who must grow most of what they sell, have to put a microchip on each plant so it can be recorded and monitored in Colorado’s. A canary-yellow tag placed on each plant emits a radio frequency identification signal (RFID) that allows officials consulting a statewide database to track crops from bud to blunt. Tags with 24-digit IDs are staked into the soil or wrapped around individual plants while they grow in the dirt or hydroponically. The tags travel with the plants through a growhouse to harvest and as the pot flowers are dried and cured for flavor. For shipment to stores, each strain gets grouped into a batch that receives matching RFID tags, which remain on the packages until sale. During scheduled and unscheduled visits to dispensaries or growhouses, state officials use RFID scanners and electronic inventories to ensure that none of the plants go missing. Each plant tag costs 45¢; the batch package tag is 25¢. Growers say costs add up. For many, the bigger frustration is having to enter the data twice: once into their own accounting databases and again into the MITS system, which isn’t compatible with most other programs. (Source businessweek.com)

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Quarterly Same Store Sales Results
Ulta Beauty Q4 up 9.2% with 14.4%
Mattress Firm Q4 up 6.5% with net sales up 20.8%
Hibbett Sports Q4 down 1.7% with net sales down 0.2%
Brown Shoe - Famous Footwear division Q4 down 1.8% with sales down 8.6%
The Buckle Q4 down 2.8% with net sales down 6%
Sears Hometown and Outlet Q4 down 3.4% with net sales don 4.5%
Citi Trends Q4 down 3.5% with sales down 10.5%
Aeropostale Q4 down 15% with net sales down 16%

The votes are in! 2013 Thought Challenge Award Winners to be Announced Next Week

Our Thought Challenge Awards Committee of Senior LP & Safety leaders from throughout North America have finished reviewing last year's submissions. Stay tuned to the D&D Daily as we announce our top three Award Winners from 2013! With $8,500 in prize money up for grabs (1st place=$5,000; 2nd place=$2,500; 3rd place=$1,000), we are excited to recognize the Best of our 2013 Thought Challenge Competition.

3rd Place Winner ... coming Monday
2nd Place Winner ... coming Tuesday
1st Place Winner ... coming Wednesday
Who will take home the gold?

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Security concerns hinders 80% of consumers from making payments on mobile devices, survey says  The survey results, covering consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Spain, appear in Bain's "The Consumer View of Mobile Payments" study. While more than half of consumers on average, and more than 70 percent in Western Europe, are aware of mobile payment options, only a quarter of those surveyed are willing to use their mobile device for in-store payments, the survey found. The key to persuading more consumers to switch over from debit and credit cards to mobile payments is to convince them about the benefits of mobile payments such as faster checkouts, discounts, promotions and access to real-time balances and location-based marketing offers, the study argues. (Source mobilepaymentstoday.com)

Assessing Bitcoin's Retail Future - "It won't happen anytime in the near future" & Warren Buffet says - 'Stay Away - It's a mirage'  While status as a mainstream payment system might be a ways off — if ever — Bitcoin may soon have a larger place in the retail world. The stateless, electronic currency — not governed by a central bank — can be acquired through a number of central Bitcoin exchanges and then spent either directly or indirectly at retailers or through third-party services or service providers. There are major issues with it, however, ranging from questions of its legality to how widely accepted it will be to who the founder is. The perils of the currency were illustrated late last month when the largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, suddenly filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and its owner disappeared. The exchange at the time reportedly had about 850,000 Bitcoins worth about $474 million and it is now questionable whether investors will ever get their money back. “It’s actually a currency in the sense that it’s traded, it has volatility, it’s subject to global and economic drivers — but it doesn’t have any physical manifestation,” Klassen Jamjoum explained, adding that Bitcoin differs from Google Wallet, for example, which is linked to a user’s bank account. "Retailers can see it as a way to add to a mix of services and convenience they provide to consumers, but the extent that it will become a mainstream payment won’t happen anytime in the near future,” (Source wwd.com)

Canadian Push
Sponsored by Vector Security
New Cargo Theft Program - Insurance Bureau of Canada joins forces with Canadian Trucking Alliance, police forces to announce details - Tuesday, March 18  Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is joining forces with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and Peel Regional Police to announce details about the launch of a national program to combat the huge and growing problem of cargo theft (i.e., stealing trucks or trailers full of merchandise). The increase of cargo theft across the country has become a significant issue in transportation hubs such as southern Ontario, Montreal and Vancouver. A 2011 study commissioned by the CTA pegged the cost of cargo crime at $5 billion per year and linked cargo theft to organized crime, which uses the proceeds of cargo theft to fund their other illegal activities. In 2011, IBC's Investigative Services began a pilot reporting project with member insurers and the CTA to collect, analyze and share cargo loss information with law enforcement agencies primarily in Ontario and Quebec. The project was an important first step in gathering consistent information on these crimes and led to several significant recoveries of stolen trailers and consumer goods. Building upon this success, IBC will provide details about the national expansion of the Cargo Reporting Program and how it will further help to recover stolen goods and bring cargo theft criminals to justice. (Source digitaljournal.com)

In the wake of Safeway purchase, Sobeys' moves to cut $200M in costs and 50 jobs  Sobeys is looking to cut costs by eliminating jobs, a distribution centre and a factory as it starts to digest the massive acquisition of Canada Safeway. The news came Thursday after Sobeys parent company, Empire, released third-quarter results that saw a sharp decline in profits and amid controversy over a pre-Christmas letter sent to vendors demanding a retroactive one per cent rollback in the prices that Sobeys pays to them. Some 50 jobs will also be eliminated across two Sobeys offices, in Calgary and near Ottawa, as part of ongoing efforts to centralize back-end services such as accounting and data management. Poulin told analysts that he is confident of finding $200 million in cost savings over the next three years through the acquisition of Canada Safeway. Sobeys took ownership of Safeway last fall. It has since started to integrate parts of the two organizations. Sobeys’ SAP functionality, for instance, is being adopted in Safeway’s IT systems. (Source canadiangrocer.com)

Sobey's 3rd quarter negative performance attributed to "shrink" associated mainly with Sobeys' fresh retail inventory  Gross margin in Q3 at Sobeys grew 158 basis points to 24.51 per cent compared to 22.93 per cent in the year-ago quarter. The increase was largely due to the Safeway takeover. Excluding Safeway, gross margin would have fallen 40 basis points to 22.53. The decline was attributed to an increase in shrink associated mainly with Sobeys’ fresh retail inventory, plus new commercial programs that are part of the retailer’s “Eat Better, Feel Better, Do Better” strategy, a weaker Canadian dollar, and the highly promotional environment of the Canadian grocery industry at the moment. Poulin explained that it’s common when launching new fresh programs to experience higher shrink at first. (Source canadiangrocer.com)

Half of America's TOP-10 Malls - in Canada with two Vancouver malls selling more per square foot than almost any other in North America  Pacific Centre ranks No. 4, Oakridge is No. 8 Pacific Centre and Oakridge malls both made the top-10 list of “most-productive” shopping malls in North America, meaning they have among the highest sales per square foot on the continent. The 2013 list, compiled by Retail Insider, pegged Pacific Centre at No. 4, at $1,335 sales per square foot. Oakridge was No. 8, at $1,132 per square foot. The top spot was held by Bal Harbour Shops, a privately owned luxury mall near Miami at a whopping $2,793 US in sales per square foot. Half the spots on the list are taken by Canadian malls, including two in Toronto and one in Calgary. (Source theprovince.com)

Nova Scotia man charged with credit card fraud

Moncton, New Brunswick Teen suspect in $15K diamond ring theft turns herself in 

Vehicle rips up inside of Winnipeg Easyhome furniture store 

Armed Robbery suspect leads RCMP in a high speed chase across Man-Sask border

Retail Fast Facts: February 2014

Total monthly retail sales changed by 2.1% over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 0.3% over the comparable month last year. Read more (Source retailcouncil.org)


Big Data
Sponsored by Verint
How CVS is using data from its 70 Million active card holders - the world's largest loyalty program  According to Judy Sansone, SVP Merchandising at CVS, 30 percent of the company's marketing spend is now being allocated to targeted marketing efforts and increasing each year, leveraging the world's largest loyalty program that boasts 70 million active card holders. CVS does extensive market research using traditional surveys, but also eye-tracking, shop-alongs, focus groups and virtual shopping sessions. The combination of this comprehensive approach to the customer has enabled CVS to become very customized in its approach to stores, assortment and layout. While it still prints 45 million mass circulars each week, CVS knows its average shopper buys only eight of the over 300 items advertised. This knowledge has led the drugstore chain to launch "My Weekly Ad," a customized version, which can be accessed at CVS.com and through the CVS mobile app. (Source retailwire.com)

What is omnichannel retail and who's best at it? Those that can use Big Data!  Many retailers dislike the phrase "omnichannel retailing", but over the last few years it has gained momentum as a term used to describe the way they must serve the modern, mobile-focused customer. So what exactly is it and which retailers are the closest to achieving it? An organization aiming to provide advice and guidance on the new retail environment, the International Omni Retailing Markets Association (IORMA), defines omnichannel retailing as "the structured world of the retailer meeting the unstructured world of the consumer", and Martin – who is a member of IORMA's board – says it is "astonishing" how many retailers still operate in channels, as opposed to putting the consumer at the heart of their strategies. He also argued that the omnichannel approach is the "purest form of retailing today", with his ideal scenario being a business that ensures each channel – be it store, eCommerce, mobile or social – is integrated from a customer data perspective. "My belief is that the power [in retail] will shift to data aggregators," he explained. "The likes of Google will be the main players as they have a holistic view of the data. If you're a retailer and not engaged with data aggregators, you'll lose." (Source essentialretail.com)

Multichannel retailing can be fragmented and complex - requires retailers to step back and take a fresh look at customer-facing  technologies 
"Retailers already had more data than they could deal with even before unstructured data from social interactions started pouring in, so it’s almost pointless to talk about “big” data," says Karen Shunk, VP of the Association for Retail Technology Standards. "We are concerned with helping retailers take the data they already have and turn it into useful information they can use to identify their best customers, acquire more of these good customers, and learn how to cultivate relationships with them that will maximize their value." One of the biggest challenges for retailers in multichannel is the fragmented nature of the systems they use in stores, for eCommerce, and for mobile commerce. This adds a layer of complexity to serving the customer that often leads to miscues in recognizing and engaging with the customer. "We believe that retailers, particularly in Europe and North America, are on the brink of a refresh cycle in PoS systems that will allow retailers to take a fresh look at their customer-facing technologies," Shunk says. "Reducing the complexity of these systems, and possibly moving to a single customer-interaction platform for in-store, eCommerce and mCommerce would allow retailers to offer an improved experience to consumers ... [It would also] supply associates with the same sort of information the customer has about selection, inventory and price." (Source essentialretail.com)

One-third of Fortune 100 companies could face an information crisis by 2017

72% of consumers don't believe corporations care about data protection

Retail Crime News
Sponsored by Sony

Restaurant worker kills owner in front of customers over posting his photo on internet in Palm Beach, Fla.  A restaurant worker stabbed and killed the business owner and seriously injured a co-worker Thursday night with horrified dinner customers fleeing the restaurant. According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office police report, Tilus Lebrun, 42, of 217 NW 15th Court in Pompano Beach told a Haitian PBSO deputy that he killed owner Dimitrios Karaloukas, 61, because he took a picture of him and posted it online. The emergency call came at about 7:30 p.m. from Jimmy the Greek Taverna Restaurant at 8221 Glades Road. Callers reported that an employee had fled the restaurant wearing a black apron while carrying a large knife. Deputies found Lebrun nearby on Glades Road. While in a deputy's cruiser, Lebrun asked him if he was Haitian, and when the deputy said yes, Leburn spoke to him in Creole saying "I killed him because he took my photograph on March 2 and posted it on the internet." (Source cbs12.com)

Booster Bag: Shoplifters Finding More Innovative Ways To Steal in Goodlettsville, TN  A teenager was caught using one of the bags on Wednesday at Rivergate Mall. The booster bag was inside it. Detective Carlisle said it helped her steal more than $500 worth of bras from Victoria's Secret. She's what police call a "professional shoplifter." "While a shoplifter just steals for themselves, a booster does it to provide for their family," said Detective Carlisle. "This is their income. They can make anywhere from a $1000 to $4000 a day," he said. These thieves generally like to blend in with other shoppers. A potential thief, also captured this week at Rivergate Mall, was carrying a bag from Abercrombie. "Although he did not shoplift that day he was arrested because he was in a possession of a booster bag," said Detective Carlisle. (Source newschannel5.com)

Stolen tools from Jacksonville, FL Walmart used to burglarize Verizon store  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help identifying a burglar who they believe stole tools from a Walmart to burglarize a nearby Verizon store. Patrol officers began investigating a burglary that happened around 4:16 a.m Tuesday at the Verizon store at 10400 San Jose Blvd. Authorities said the initial investigation revealed that an unknown individual forced entry into the store and used pliers to remove cellphones from the displays. The pliers were located at the scene. Additional information at the scene indicated that the pliers may have been obtained from a nearby Walmart. (Source news4jax.com)

San Bernardino, CA Arson Task Force offer reward To catch an Arsonist Who Torched Mobile Phone Store  Authorities have offered a reward to help nab an arson suspect who torched a mobile phone store in San Bernardino. Officials say the fire was set at Omar’s Wireless on January 23. The business is located in a strip mall on West Foothill Boulevard and Meridian Avenue. Adrianna Weingold, reporting for KCAL9, said investigators believe someone purposefully threw a Molotov cocktail into the building. “Putting other businesses at risk, as well as first responders lives at risk, is pretty serious to us,” said Investigator Steve Tracy with the San Bernardino Arson Task Force. (Source cbslocal.com)

Kay Outlet in the Folsom Premium Outlets, Folsom, CA hit with a $85,550.00 Smash and Grab  On March 12 at 8:45pm one suspect entered the store and smashed out 3 showcases with a small sledgehammer and second suspect stood at the door of the store. No one was injured.

Jared’s Diamond Switch backfires on greedy thief in Lexington  A female customer inquired about large diamonds to recreate a ring that had been stolen from her grandmother, she even gave the store manager her phone number. When the diamonds came in the manager contacted the customer who came into the store. During the viewing of the 2 stones valued at nearly $44,000.00 the customer switched the real stones or CZ and left the store. Upon testing the stones the manager realized the theft and contacted police. The customer was contacted and told the store had received more stones and she should come back. She did and was quickly arrested and the $44000.00 in diamonds were recovered.

Elderly man attacked during McDonalds robbery dies later in Gwinnett, GA

Shoplifting suspects threaten Mi. Walmart security with handgun in Rochester Hills, MI

Wasco, CA., Kmart security officer assaulted by shoplifters

Adult threatens Walmart Loss Prevention agent with Scissors as 12-Year-Old Points Toy Gun 

Thief steals a coffee maker from Sears in Toms River, NJ and hit Loss Prevention agent with car 

Suspect in Sartell, MN fatal shooting expected in court Friday

Thief at BJ’s Wholesale in Middleburg, Hts, OH returns stolen TV too big to fit in his car; turns in 2 employees 

Zales in Dallas, TX hit by a Distraction Team fled with a ¼ CT. T.W. white gold five stone men’s diamond wedding band and a ½ CT. T.W. white gold five stone men’s diamond wedding band, valued at $2,938.00

Dress store owner uses customers credit cards in W.Va.

Robberies and Burglaries


ORC News
Two Home Depot employees busted stealing "tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools and other merchandise" in Hollywood, Fla., store  In a series of brazen Saturday morning thefts, two Home Depot employees are accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools and other merchandise from a Hollywood store where they had worked for years, Broward sheriff's deputies said. Working with a truck-driving accomplice, David Clarke, 35, and Rory Nugent, 53, are accused of stealing goods ranging from water heaters and plumbing fixtures to bamboo flooring in a scheme that may have started years ago, according to sheriff's Detective William Upegui. Arrested on Saturday with Clarke and Nugent was Steven McFarlane, 41, a contract trucker who detectives said carted the goods from the Oakwood Plaza store at 3401 Oakwood Blvd. to a warehouse in Oakland Park. (Source sun-sentinel.com)

Organized theft targeted booze, North Face coats in Tacoma, Washington  Repeat shoplifter busted for ORC stealing thousands in liquor and clothing from Bellevue stores. Stealing North Face jackets from Macy's at Bellevue Square and liquor from Safeway. (Source kirotv.com)

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11 Simple Ways to Show Your Employees You Care  Leaders not only have the challenges of guiding their team and organization down the road of success, but they also have to decide how they want their employees to view them. Don't avoid making a connection with them, that's what they want the most. If they feel appreciated they are more likely to do more for you and the company! Use these tips to help show your employees that you care. (Relate to them)

The Importance of Giving Credit
Have you ever been in a situation where you came up with this amazing idea or you helped with this huge project, but weren't given the credit you were due? I'm sure most of us have been in that situation! Giving credit has more power than we realize, and it's important that that credit is reliably assigned to build a foundation on honesty and encouragement. (There's plenty of credit to go around)

Yes, You Do Have Time to Mentor - Here's How to Make the Most of it  There are certain things we wish we had more time for like reading that book, or taking a weekend trip to visit someone or just simply unwind, but if it matters to you, you can make time for it! Mentoring should be one of those things! Everyone can learn something from someone else especially when trying to grow in a career. Apply these guidelines to make mentoring a part of your life. (Be accessible)

How a Really Small Change Makes People Really Happy  In life, it's all about the small acts of kindness. These gestures, that may seem like they're nothing, can in fact make someone's day brighter, or just make someone feel more confident about themselves. It is the same way when trying to make an impression on someone whether it's a customer or coworkers. The smallest acts may have all the impact. (See what this driver did for his customers)

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Tip of the Day
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While most people try to avoid risk and corporate America actually labels it to be avoided at all cost ultimately life is filled with it. Risk taking is something everyone is faced with and without it life would become somewhat stagnate. Taking a risk once in a while is a healthy thing. It pushes people to do sometimes their most creative work and reach new levels. The problem becomes the fear of risk and hesitation. It seems like our society has become so risk avoidance driven that people are applauded for not taking it. When in actuality it is those who take risk that pave the road for all others to travel. As Joseph Campbell, a famous American mythologist once said, it is the darkest path in the woods that holds the most treasure. Next time you're faced with taking a risk give it some thought who knows your career may take off!

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