|April 21, 2015|
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Published Commentary in VT newspaper - Vermont Civil recovery laws need repealing - 7 state civil demand statutes linked In addition to these criminal penalties, every state has "civil recovery" laws that let merchants sue for direct payment of yet more money. In Vermont, merchants can recover double the price tag (up to $300). In other words, merchants recover three times over: they get back their stolen item and then are paid twice its price. As written, these laws are unrelated to the merchant's actual damages, which are usually nonexistent (since the item is recovered). Instead, civil recovery laws are defended as a means to reimburse for losses caused by shoplifters who go uncaught. With such a justification, civil recovery laws are unique in their forthright unfairness.
And, rather than local small businesses, these laws overwhelmingly benefit the biggest corporate retailers. Everyday, big box chains churn out "demand letters" from the offices of their attorneys that, in no uncertain terms, solicit payment of the penalty and threaten costly litigation if the demand goes unheeded. The letters constitute an unmitigated scare tactic; most companies will never actually bother to sue, but file demand after demand in the hopes of collecting easy money from the unrepresented and legally uninitiated.
This law should be repealed, but it could also be changed in any number of ways. At a minimum, the Legislature could limit recovery to actual damages (as in Nebraska), or at least lower the exorbitant maximum penalties. But there are more creative solutions. For example, the statutes could bar civil recovery until after a criminal conviction, as in Virginia and New Mexico, thereby cloaking the suspect in the same presumption of innocence that protects criminal defendants. Or, as in West Virginia, the laws could eliminate duplicative punishment by barring subsequent civil recovery if the criminal fine is equal to or greater than the possible civil damages. Perhaps best of all, civil claims could be used in lieu of criminal prosecution altogether, an approach reflected in the Tennessee, New Hampshire, and South Carolina civil recovery statutes. This option avoids the stigma of theft convictions (which can devastate employment prospects) while compensating the merchant, punishing the perpetrator, and saving criminal justice resources. vtdigger.org
As U.S. migrates to EMV chip technology, payments industry must protect against redirection of fraud from in-store to card-not-present channel Randy Vanderhoof, EMV Migration Forum director said. "No single security mechanism can protect against all possible fraud scenarios. Instead, the best practice to protect against card-not-present fraud is to use a systematic, multi-layered approach using tools that work together to create a successful fraud reduction program." New EMV Migration Forum white paper, "Near-Term Solutions to Address the Growing Threat of Card-Not-Present Fraud," based its conclusion on historical precedence in other countries evolving to EMV. As EMV secures face-to-face or card present transaction card-not-present payments-Internet, mail order and telephone order-sometimes referred to as IMOTO become a weak link in the defenses against transaction fraud. cutimes.com
Chip-Card Rollout Has Banks, Retailers Scrambling - Could Cost Retailers Millions - Do You Know Your Actual Fraud Rate? Some 575 million of the new cards-representing about three-quarters of U.S. credit cards and about 40% of debit cards-are expected to be in the wallets of American consumers by year-end, making it the biggest rollout of new cards in decades. But challenges remain: Even though tens of millions of new cards have already been shipped to customers, only Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and a few other large retailers so far have upgraded their payment terminals to accept the new plastic. Target Corp. , which had a massive breach in late 2013, has upgraded its terminals and plans to start accepting chip cards in the late spring, according to a spokesman. wsj.com
The Trouble With Grading Employees
Performance ratings such as 'meets expectations' sap workers' morale, but firms aren't sure they can do without them. Can a year's worth of work be boiled down to a stock phrase like "meets expectations"? As companies reinvent management by slashing layers of hierarchy or freeing workers to set their own schedules, performance ratings-which grade workers on a 1-5 scale or with labels like "on target"-stubbornly hang on. Companies like Gap Inc., Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. abolished such ratings after leaders decided they deterred collaboration and stoked staffers' anxieties. Yet other companies are having a harder time letting go.
Plenty of managers like ratings for the same reason employees loathe them-the grades are informed less by data than by the boss's judgment. The irony is that ratings remain subjective as companies have more ways than ever before to track staff performance. At Deloitte LLP, the company recently overhauled its performance-management system after realizing that ratings revealed more about the manager assigning the ratings than the employees themselves.
Jean Martin, a director at research and advisory firm Corporate Executive Board who works with companies on performance management systems, said executives are "giving the numbers too much power" by endlessly debating their worth. An analysis of 30,000 employees by her organization shows ratings don't have a direct impact on performance, she said. Others say they have evidence showing that workers contribute less after receiving a poor rating. And the hangover from a bad rating can last for months.
Companies that have gotten rid of ratings say their employees feel better about their jobs, and actually listen to managers' feedback instead of obsessing over a number.
The Gap's new approach dumps ratings in favor of monthly coaching sessions and frequent employee-manager conversations. But HR executives had to convince leaders that the move wasn't "sacrilegious," according to Eric Severson, the company's co-head of human resources. Holly Bonds, a 17-year veteran of the company, said it was strange at first; she was used to scanning her review for her rating and bonus number. She now talks more frequently with her manager, so she has a better idea of where she stands, a process that she's found less stressful than worrying about her rating. "I haven't missed it," she said. wsj.com
Levi Strauss and Lululemon detail RFID expansions Levi Strauss & Co., which first piloted RFID at a handful in stores in Mexico in 2004, is now using the technology in 67 stores for point of sale, receiving and inventory accuracy use cases. The retailer currently consumes about 60 million tags annually for tagging of men's jeans. Ernesto Hochkoeppler, director of logistics planning and PM for Levi's, said that number should reach 80 million this year, and exceed 100 million units in 18 months as the retailer begins to tag men's shorts and more women's lines. He added that Levi's is exploring integrated source tagging. "It is in our road map to get away from hang tags.
Lululemon began its road to deployment two years ago with a two-store pilot. Today, the specialty retailer is piloting at 13 locations and is preparing for a full rollout to its North American stores this fiscal year. Lululemon, says tags are applied at the retailer's distribution centers for the 13 pilot locations. However, he says that source tagging is already occurring at the point of manufacture for garments due to arrive at stores later this year. By the end of the year, all items stocked by Lululemon will carry RFID tags. mobilepaymentstoday.com
Labor group seeks injunction against Walmart relating to the closure of five stores for plumbing issues - lays off 2,200 The UFCW wants the NLRB to force Walmart to rehire 2,200 store employees who are currently on paid leave while the stores are closed for what the retailer said are necessary plumbing repairs. The UFCW claims the stores were actually shut down to punish employees who protested for higher pay and benefits. "Each of these five locations had more than 100 plumbing problems reported over the last two years, the most out of our more than 5,000 stores in the U.S." After two months, full-time employees who do not find a job at another Wal-Mart store may be eligible for severance. Part-time employees will not receive any severance. chainstoreage.com
Clothing manufacturer American Apparel has been sued by workers after an Easter week mass firing The complaint filed on April 16 by the fired employees of the multi-million dollar fashion upstart charges that American Apparel failed to comply with the WARN Act that prohibits surprise mass firings by companies that have more than 100 employees. American Apparel claims to have more than 10,000 workers. prnewswire.com
Former American Apparel director of manufacturing accounting analysis and audit files lawsuit for retaliatory firing - Claims embezzlement by CFO Nisenbaum alleges in his complaint that he was fired in a retaliatory move for issues he brought to management relating to former chief financial officer John Luttrell. The company had hired Nisenbaum to act as part of a system of checks and balances to then-cfo Luttrell and reported to founder and ousted chief executive officer Dov Charney, according to the court filing. The lawsuit lays out a number of allegations against Luttrell, among them the mismanagement of a $220 million bond financing deal in 2013. The complaint also blames Luttrell for the rocky launch of the company's distribution center in La Mirada, Calif., which the complaint said ended up losing the company between $30 million and $40 million due to failures on the part of a new billing system and embezzlement, among other issues. The lawsuit follows a complaint made by three other former company employees that was filed last week and seeks class action status. wwd.com
Former Rite Aid assistant store manager sues for $154,500 for losing her job for grabbing shoplifter bag in a "tug of war" Marvel Sartwell, 45, says she followed all of the training she'd received, which consisted only of being told that as a manager, she should try to recover Rite Aid's merchandise if at all possible, according to her lawsuit filed this month in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Sartwell claims that Rite Aid fired her for violating its "Shoplifting Apprehension Policy," even though she'd never seen a copy of the policy before the April 12, 2014, encounter. According to the lawsuit, Sartwell and the store manager saw a woman stuff some items in a bag, then walk past the register and security towers toward the doors without paying. Sartwell grabbed the woman's bag and told the woman to give up the goods, but the woman responded by pushing Sartwell twice in the chest, the suit states. "Plaintiff moved the shoplifter from the door to the register and instructed the cashier Cassandra to call the police," the suit says. "The shoplifter then pulled a switchblade knife on Plaintiff, so Plaintiff let go of the bag and the shoplifter left the store with defendants' merchandise." The suit says Sartwell and the cashier followed the woman outside and snapped photos of the car she got in and its license plates. Six days later, Sartwell was fired -- in part for telling the cashier to call police, then talking to them after they arrived, her suit states. Sartwell had worked for Rite Aid for nearly seven years, according to her suit. Her suit also alleges age discrimination, saying that she was repeatedly passed over for promotions, which were given to younger employees. oregonlive.com
Monroeville Mall, Pitts., PA., seeks more ways to boost security - after two shooting incidents in two months The incident Friday night may stoke interest in earlier proposals to install cameras on mall property. Previously, officials have pondered installing license-plate recognition cameras, which would log the tags of cars entering the mall property. Monroeville Mayor Gregory Erosenko, said he might press for conventional surveillance cameras in the future, though he declined to discuss details. While District Attorney Stephen Zappala faulted the absence of cameras after a February shooting at the mall, a spokesperson said Monday that the office had no comment yet about this past weekend's events. Installing cameras "is still a conversation we're entertaining," said mall spokeswoman Stacey Keating. She said mall security had improved in recent months, an assessment local officials shared. Still, she said, "We don't believe cameras would have made a difference" in what she called this weekend's "unfortunate, isolated incident." post-gazette.com
Home Depot, seeing green, renews 'Spring Black Friday' adds 'Cyber Week' - Turning Spring into Christmas
Primark leasing second floor of two Sears stores - Burlington Mall & South Shore Plaza - bringing total to 7
Will banks & merchants be ready by October for Chip & Signature? RILA wants Chip & PIN
American Eagle closing Distribution Center near Pittsburgh; 200 workers cut in July
Golden Corral wipes away evidence after Orlando worker loses 4 fingers to meat grinder An employee of a Golden Corral restaurant in Orlando, Florida, lost four fingers when his left hand got caught in a meat grinder, authorities said Friday. Restaurant staff cleaned the area, rinsed the grinder, and threw away the remains of the fingers and ground pork by the time police and firefighters arrived Thursday morning, the Orlando Sentinel reported. oshatoday.com
The New Relevant in AP: The Journey to Redefined Excellence Retail is dynamically changing. Threats are becoming more complex. What is your AP survival plan on how to stay relevant? Learn firsthand from frontline retail professionals who have made non-traditional strides in professional AP development and also gain unique perspective from a four star general about how your journey to the future of AP can be started today. When you leave the session, you'll possess new ideas about how to chart your personal course forward. rila.org
Quarterly Same Store Sales Results
Brinker International Q3 up 1.7% with sales up 3%
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As technology has evolved to the point where everyone is interconnected and has the ability to access virtually any information, there's more exposure than ever before to our data, our assets and our organizations. The Insider Threat is often an overlooked and under-valued subject for retailers, however, Charles Delgado, VP Asset Protection, Meijer, tells us why it isn't just a corporate IT problem but something Loss Prevention members in the field should be cognizant of as well. Learn why EMV technology is shifting the threat from outside hackers to low-level employees coming in just to identify retailers' vulnerabilities.
Amber and Joe
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Bill Titus, Managing Director, PwC. An
agent of change for the LP industry for many years, Bill talks about current
opportunities and challenges for LP executives when it comes to omnichannel, big
data and cybersecurity.
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Massive eBay e-Commerce Flaw Affects 200,000 Sites - Exposes Credit Cards
A flaw in eBay's Magento web commerce platform, used by many well-known online
stores, will allow hackers to access credit card information and other customer
financial and personal data. The vulnerability leaves millions of credit cards
and online shoppers at risk. The flaw, which is a remote code execution
vulnerability, bypasses all security mechanisms and gives control of the store
and its complete database, allowing credit card theft and administrative access
into the system. "The vulnerability we uncovered represents a significant threat
not to just one store, but to all of the retail brands that use the Magento
platform for their online stores-which represents about 30% of the ecommerce
market," Tal added. Check Point privately disclosed these vulnerabilities
together with a list of suggested fixes to eBay prior to public disclosure.
Store owners and administrators are urged to apply the patch that eBay has
prepared, immediately. infosecurity-magazine.com
Fencing Operation busted in Chicago - $40k worth of stolen baby formula, razor
blades, over the counter meds - Walgreens Jerry Biggs on video
Chicago-area police executed search warrants on two homes, a business and three
banking institutions Monday in what investigators called a major fencing bust
aimed at recovering thousands of dollars-worth of stolen merchandise. Police
arrested three people, seized more than $100,000 in cash, and recovered
approximately $40,000 worth of stolen baby formula, razor blades,
over-the-counter medications and other goods sold at stores like Target, CVS and
The River Forest Police Department organized the operation, which stretched from the suburbs to the city of Chicago. The Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police, Cook County State's Attorney, USDA and Department of Homeland Security provided assistance. Security representatives from retail stores, including Walgreens, helped police recover evidence from the JJ Food Mart at 285 North Pulaski in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.
In their analysis this was one of the larger ones so it was a good one to take down," said Officer Ben Laird of the River Forest Police Department. nbcchicago.com
California Shoplifting Crew Continuing to Steal High End Sunglasses From Lenscrafters stores in Fayette County, GA Police are searching for suspected shoplifters they said are taking high-end sunglasses from local stores. Officers say they have stolen from the Lenscrafters store in Fayetteville twice lately. A man and a woman and a man and a pregnant, woman, with a 5-year-old child, got away with more than $7,000 in high-end shades. Police said the man stuffed 23 pairs of sunglasses in his pockets. They said the couples that police call the "California crew, traveled all the way from the west coast to commit the crimes. Police said the same couple hit a Lenscrafters in Fayetteville, Dunwoody, and Chicago. wsbtv.com
Police seek information on 2 shoplifters possibly involved in organized retail
crime hitting Belk in Johnson City According to the release, JCPD
officers responded to a shoplifting incident at Belk on 2011 N. Roan St.
on Sunday. Two individuals entered the store and filled laundry bags with
clothing. Police believe the two to be a part of an organized retail theft
group, the release said. The investigation on the case is ongoing, and the JCPD
is seeking any information on the incident.
Suspects steal 39 iPads from Paulding County, Ga., Walmart - Again - Crew
working metro Atlanta The suspects struck at 4:30 in the morning, when
no one was working in the electronics section. Paulding County Sheriff's Cpl.
Ashley Henson said the suspects began by taking a two-drawer filing cabinet from
the office supply section. They then broke into a locked cabinet full of iPads
and hid 39 of the electronics in the cabinet's box. Henson said similar
incidents have been reported at Target and Walmart stores across metro Atlanta.
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Mystery Deepens After 1 Gold Bar Found From $4.9M Highway Heist - Found in South
Florida - The South Florida Connection One of the gold bars stolen in
a highway heist last month has been found in South Florida, according to the
FBI. "This confirms that there is a South Florida nexus to this crime,"
Justin E. Fleck, supervisory special agent of the squad leading the
investigation, said in an FBI news release Monday. "We believe that additional
gold bars from the robbery may still be in South Florida and we continue to need
the public's help in solving this crime." Two suspects made off with
approximately $4.9 million in gold bars after holding up an unmarked van on
March 1 in North Carolina, authorities have said. The van was transporting about
$10 million in precious metals from Florida to Massachusetts.
Authorities Search For Two Police Impersonators Who Threatened Security Guard
Inside a Fresh Market in Juniata Park, PA It happened April 8 around
noon, when police say a security guard noticed two young guys as they entered
the Fresh Market and started walking quickly through the aisles. One was wearing
what appeared to be a bullet proof vest. The pair seemed agitated, so the
security guard approached them and asked if they needed help. Police say they
told him they were cops, and threatened to arrest him. Shortly afterwards, two
women, one with a cane, joined the argument, and the suspects left. Then, police
say, they returned, and again threatened the guard. When the second man pulled
his jacket away to take out a pair of handcuffs, the guard says he saw a gun
tucked into his waistband. Authorities say after a bystander intervened, the
suspects left the store and drove off.
Pasadena, CA Sears Asset Protection Agent Stabbed by shoplifter Sears
security guard was stabbed Monday night by a person suspected of robbing the
Pasadena store, authorities said. The stabbing was reported shortly after 8:20
p.m. at the Sears store in Pasadena Police Lt. John Luna said. The security
guard was taken to a hospital in stable condition, Luna said. Police did not
release the name of the alleged assailant, who was taken into custody.
Hong Kong Police bust alleged $1.9 Million credit card fraud syndicate
A Hong Kong syndicate alleged to have cheated local banks out of $1.9 million
through purchases made on credit cards they obtained with bogus identification
and bank documents, was smashed with the arrest of four suspects. Initial
investigation showed the gang used the credit cards for shopping and online
purchases of electronic products and luxury handbags and then sold them to cash
in. "Once they got the cards, they spent up to the limit and then called the
banks to get the limit raised," the source said. He said the syndicate, which
had been in operation since January, fraudulently obtained fewer than 10 credit
cards from several local banks, but each card had a high credit limit. "We
believe the cards were used in more than 100 transactions and the total amount
they stole reached about HK$1.5 million," the police said. Police believe four
Hongkongers arrested on Monday night at a To Kwa Wan apartment were the core
figures of the syndicate. Inside the flat, more than 10 fake identity cards,
five credit cards and some forged documents were confiscated along with more
than 20 credit card applications, which were ready to be sent.
New Britain, CT man fought with Police after stealing from Sears in Meriden mall
A New Britain man accused of shoplifting and resisting arrest at the Westfield
Meriden mall is due to appear in court next week. Juan Adorno, 29, of New
Britain was charged with sixth-degree larceny, interfering with an officer,
possession of a shoplifting device and second-degree breach of peace. Around 5
p.m. Friday, Adorno walked out of Sears with several bottles of cologne in his
pants, said Sgt. Darrin McKay. When confronted by store security, Adorno refused
to stop, McKay said. When two police officers arrived, Adorno resisted arrest.
An off-duty law enforcement officer from another agency helped police take
Adorno into custody, he said. He was found with a razor and pruning shears in
his possession. Police believe he used the tools to cut security tags from
UK: Shoplifter who spent $3 million on designer clothes, holidays and personal
enhancements says crimes were a 'necessity'.... as Government benefits couldn't
fund her lavish lifestyle A shameless shoplifter who has spent almost
$3 million on three breast augmentations, luxury holidays and designer outfits
has blamed her criminal habit on the Government - for not providing enough in
benefits. Mother-of-six Kim Farry, 54, who reportedly lives in a rent-free
council house in south west London and takes home $828 in benefits every month,
has made almost $75,000 a year through stealing. Appearing on ITV's This
Morning, Ms Farry, who currently receives $178 every two weeks in disability
living allowance for stress, $29 a week for child benefit and $86 in child tax
credits claimed her 44-year shoplifting spree had been a 'necessity' . The
shoplifter, who has been jailed seven times, claimed she is now trying change
her ways for the sake of 14-year-old daughter Paris.
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