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July 12, 2013

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News Brief
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Some US States Strengthen Data Breach Notification Laws, Others Ignore Them
Vermont and North Dakota have decided to improve their data breach notification laws by closing some loopholes in their original bills. Vermont's original bill contained an exclusion for financial institutions, but now has been revised and made into a law. North Dakota has included medical information and health insurance information to be added to non-HIPAA covered entities in their Personally Identifiable Information list. Last week, however, Michigan's Department of Community Health, had to contact more than 49,000 people to warn them they were at risk of identity theft due to a server containing unencrypted names, SSN's, birthdates and cancer screening results being hacked. Michigan claims that the hacked organization wasn't a 'covered entity', and under HIPAA the Cancer Prevention and Control Section of the Department of Community Health doesn't meet the specific definition provided by Health and Human Services. (Source sophos.com)

Uniqlo opening 3 additional New York stores, 7 more nationwide.  Uniqlo is expanding its U.S. footprint. The Japanese apparel retailer, a division of Fast Company, will open 10 more U.S. stores this fall, in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California. The new locations, all in shopping centers, will bring the brand’s presence in the United States to a total of 17 sites. The 10 new Uniqlo locations include: Two stores in New Jersey: Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater, and Menlo Park Mall in Edison; Three stores in New York: Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn, Staten Island Mall in Staten Island and Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove; One store in Connecticut: Trumbull Shopping Center in Trumbull, Conn.; and Four stores in California: Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco, and Bay Street in Emeryville. (Source bizjournals.com)

RadioShack reportedly calling in the investment banks.  RadioShack Corp said on Friday that its balance sheet continues to be strong, with total liquidity of $820 million at the end of the first quarter, a day after a trade publication reported that the electronics retailer was considering hiring a financial adviser. On Thursday, Debtwire, citing unnamed sources, said RadioShack would entertain pitches from financial advisers in the coming weeks as it faces looming debt maturities, escalating cash burn and bloated inventories. RadioShack has been working on a turnaround plan under Chief Executive Joe Magnacca, who joined the company in February. Analysts say RadioShack has not done enough to rebrand itself as a destination for mobile phones or to cater to younger customers, who would rather buy online from the likes of Amazon.com Inc or at stores run by phone companies. (Source bloomberg.com)

Family Dollar Gains Market Share, but Profit Suffers.  Family Dollar Stores announced earnings on Wednesday and is currently trading higher by almost 8%. The company’s earnings were in-line with expectations, nothing special, but its stock obviously responded well to the numbers. The discount retailer saw sales rise by 9% to $2.57 billion in the quarter ending June 1st, but just a 2.9% increase to same store sales. Earlier in the year, Family Dollar projected that Q4 comparable sales would rise 2%-4% year-over-year. Now, the company is tightening that range, and guiding for growth of just 2% during its upcoming quarter. (Source drugstorenews.com)

Staples merge online with bricks and mortar; stock increases over last year.  Staples stock is up over 20% from last year, 40% increase over year to date. Staples President Demos Parneros sits down with CNN Money correspondent to discuss the moves and technologies that have helped turn the office business around. Smaller store footprints, increased omni-channel technology and solid performance from its online presence are a few reasons for increased profits. (Source cnn.com)

Retail stores post 3.9 percent sales gain in June, ICSC reports.  U.S. chain-store sales posted a gain of 3.9% for the fiscal month of June on a year-over-year basis, the strongest gain since January's 4.5%, according to a tally of comparable-store sales compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). For July, ICSC research anticipates that the upward trend will remain in the 3-3.5% range. (Source bizjournals.com)

Smithfield won't import Chinese pork.
Pork from China won't make its way into the U.S. if Smithfield Foods is acquired by China's Shuanghui International, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told lawmakers Wednesday. Shuanghui's planned purchase "will not result in any U.S. imports of food from China," Pope said in prepared remarks to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. "This is about exporting meat products from the U.S. to China." But the proposed deal has drawn skepticism from lawmakers and industry groups. As is common with high-profile mergers between Chinese and U.S. companies, there are concerns the takeover could be detrimental to American industry, intellectual property and potentially even national security. (Source cnn.com)

Grocery workers union in talks to rejoin AFL-CIO.   The United Food and Commercial Workers could be on the verge of rejoining AFL-CIO, the most senior of all organized labor’s umbrella organizations. UFCW is one of the country’s most-prolific unions, with 1.3 million workers. The union that represents food workers could vote on an organizational change next month. In 2005, UFCW, the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union and several other key players in the organized labor movement split from AFL-CIO and formed Change to Win. (Source bizjournals.com)

Lululemon addresses the sheer yoga pant issue, customers are buying the wrong size.  Customers continue to complain about how sheer the yoga pants are, even after Lululemon recalled 17 % of the pants earlier this year. Lululemon does not allow customers to try on products in the store, and states that if the yoga pants are to sheer, it is because the customer is purchasing the wrong size. (Source businessinsider.com)

America’s Aging Prison Population, the costs of life term sentencing.  Sentence to life in prison also includes the cost of maintaining health care for those very elderly prisoners who are to be granted the same mental care they could receive on the outside. A look a how one prison operates a hospice inside the gates to assist with the care of the elderly prison population. (Source usatoday.com)

Same Stores Sales Results
Gap Inc rose 7%
Costco up 6%
Destination Maternity 3Q revenue up 2%
Stein Mart same stores sales up 6.5%
Family Dollar up 2.9%
Cato up 1%
L Brands sales were flat
Rite Aid increase .7%
Fred's Inc up 4.5%
Bebe Q4 retail sales down 8.5%; store sales down 7.1%
Victoria's Secret dropped 1%

 

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Retail Crime News
 
Wichita Kmart shooting suspect killed by Police after 32 hours standoff.  Police confirm that the suspect who had been holed up for nearly 32 hours was killed shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday night after another exchange of gunfire with officers. According to police, a man walked into the Kmart store around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. He went to the pharmacy at the front of the store, and demanded prescription drugs from the pharmacist and the clerk. When they refused, the suspect reportedly pulled out a gun and fired several shots into the floor and ceiling. He then ran from the store and fled to a nearby apartment complex. (Source kwch.com)

Illinois Police arrest alleged Walmart roof burglar.  Police arrested a man they believe to be responsible for multiple burglaries at metro-east Walmart stores. Jelani E. Johnson, 29, of O'Fallon, was charged with two counts of burglary, in connection with crimes at the Collinsville Walmart store. On Monday, police were called to the Collinsville Walmart when it was discovered that someone had opened a roof hatch and was attempting to cut through the ceiling of a room where money is stored. Johnson was charged in connection with that burglary and another burglary at the same store in April. During the investigation, Collinsville police said they believe the same suspect had committed other thefts in Walmart stores in O'Fallon, Belleville and Litchfield. If was not clear Thursday if Johnson would be charged in connection with those crimes. (Source kmov.com)

Police seek suspect in Sally Beauty store robbery, may be connected to others. Thursday morning a man entered Sally's Beauty Supply at 91 Washington Square, displayed a hand gun and demanded money from the employees. The subject fled the store carrying money in a Sally’s Beauty Supply bag. The suspect left the scene in a gold SUV. The description of the suspect matches that of the person who robbed the Spotsylvania County store last month. (Source fredericksburg.com)

Yuba City Thieves steal hundreds of thousands in Indian Gold Through a hole in the wall.  The thieves entered the Hillcrest Hobbies store to gain access to Nurmahal Jewelers next door. Thieves cut a 4 inch deep hole through the adjoining wall and safe to access the gold, pulling out hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise. (Source sacramento.cbslocal.com)

Home Depot employee apprehended in Tewksbury for cash and merchandise theft.  Tewksbury Police arrived at the Home Depot store to arrest 25 year old April Loh for theft. Home Depot investigators believed that Loh was responsible for nearly $1000 of cash thefts from her register over the last 60 to 90 days. Upon further review 11 incidents of Loh pulling $50 and $100 bills from her till were documented for police. Loh apologized for stealing the cash as well as under ringing merchandise, but later plead not guilty in court. (Source lowellsun.com)

Tulsa Police Release Surveillance Video from an Auto Zone store robbery.  The video shows the clerk walking away from the door, not even seeing the two robbers come running in through the front door to do a take-over style robbery. The robbery occurred on June 17 at approximately 8:30pm. The Auto Zone employee was injured during the incident and has not yet returned to work. The robber fled the store empty handed. (Source newson6.com)

Police still seeking suspect in Nordstrom Robbery in California.  Riverside Police are still seeking a suspect how robbed a register inside the Nordstrom store in Riverside, California on June 28. The suspect, who claimed to be armed, passed a note to the Nordstrom associate demanding cash. The employee cooperated, and the suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash. The store was placed on lockdown for several hours as officials investigated. (Source cbslocal.com)

Abercrombie & Fitch agent bitten by a shoplifter in Syracuse; Loss Prevention from J.C. Penney and Lord and Taylor assist in the apprehension.  A Loss Prevention agent from Abercrombie and Fitch must have believed the suspect’s apprehension was going to be a challenge, while watching the suspect conceal the merchandise, he contacted J.C.Penney and Lord and Taylor LP to assist. While making the stop, the Abercrombie and Fitch agent took several punches and was bitten on the arm as the other agents arrived to subdue the suspect. The suspect, later identified as Quanzo Johnson, now faces third degree robbery charges. (Source syracuse.com)

Robber Gets Put Down With A Baseball Bat; Fire Department makes the arrest.  A gold store robbery does not go well for one suspect how is knocked out with the swing of a baseball bat by the owner. The second suspect attempts to help his accomplice but then flees after being beaten with a stool by a customer. The unconscious suspect awakes only to try to escape from four Fire Fighters who first appeared only to medically assist him. (Source shot97.com)

Nashville Target employee caught giving friends gift cards.  Management at the Nashville Target store believed Tracy Boyd, a cashier was having a cash handling problem, coming up short at the end of the evening. Turns out Boyd was ringing up gift cards for his friends without payment. The total $1852 of purchases were made of the stolen gift cards. Boyd is charged with theft of merchandise over $1,000 and less than $10,000, which is classified as a felony. (Source wate.com)

Suspected Walmart shoplifter leads Conroe police on chase with toddler in her arms.  A woman accused of shoplifting inside a Conroe Walmart was arrested Wednesday after running from police with a toddler in her arms. Conroe police officers tried to arrest Shauna Armstrong, 22, at the Walmart but she ended up jumping into her car and speeding off with her 3-year-old child by her side, police said. Police said after a chase Armstrong crashed into a ditch and fled on foot with the child in her arms. Officers took Armstrong into custody after she fell into a wooded ravine. Once she was in custody she complained of feeling sick so she was taken to a hospital where she escaped again. Officers finally tracked her down in Willis. She’s now in the Montgomery County Jail charged with organized retail theft, child endangerment, evading arrest and escape. The child was not injured. (Source abclocal.go.com)

 

Canadian Push
Sponsored by Vector Security
Sears Canada To Be Providing Penningtons Plus-Size Fashions  Thursday, Sears Canada and Reitmans Limited announced their agreement for the addition of Penningtons brand to Sears stores and online. This introduction is a customer-centric approach for the Canadian retail industry, and Sears will be the only store to offer the apparel outside of Penningtons own stores. Initially, Penningtons will be made available on sears.ca and in five Sears pilot stores, but is expected to be introduced in additional Sears locations and in the Spring catalogue in 2014. (Source yahoo.com)

Another 20 Target stores are set to open next week in Canada  Bringing the retailer’s total to 68 units with another 66 units planned for the second half of the year. The new stores opening between July 16 and July 30 include 11 units in Ontario, two each in British Columbia and Alberta, and three in Saskatchewan. The stores in Saskatchewan are the retailer’s first in that province. (Source retailingtoday.com)

Retail Fast Facts: June 2013
Highlights: Total monthly retail sales changed by 4.3 per cent over the comparable month last year. Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 2.7 per cent over the comparable month last year. (Source retailcouncil.org)

ORC News
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Orlando Surf Shop Manager busted for theft, profiting $36,000 off the merchandise he sold on Craigslist.  Expensive Nixon watches and Go-Pro cameras stolen from the surf shop he was paid to manage brought in tens of thousands in extra cash for John Schwetz. A subpoena to Craigslist revealed he sold 66 Nixon watches which he was allegedly selling for half price, and pocketed $31,000 as well as 12 GoPro cameras sold for $5,000. (Source wftv.com)

Three charged in Organized theft in North Carolina.  Three teenagers are believed to have run an organized theft ring in Asheville. The trio stole television sets and tools valued at $2,800 from Asheville area Kmart and Lowe’s stores over a three-month period, then tried to pawn the items for cash, according to warrants. Asheville police made the arrests. All three suspects are being charged with felony organized retail theft. (Source citizen-times.com)

Two T-Mobile thieves in custody after high speed chase, manhunt in marsh near New Orleans.  Both men involved in a high-speed car chase across the Interstate 10 twin spans with Slidell police are in custody, police said Thursday. One of the men had been taken into custody immediately following the chase Wednesday afternoon; the other was finally found in the marsh in eastern New Orleans late Wednesday night. The incident began Wednesday afternoon at a T-Mobile store in Slidell. Police received a call about a felony shoplifting of thousands of dollars worth of iPhones at the store. (Source wafb.com)

Gainesville Police arrest Two suspected of shoplifting and pawning for the last 1 ½ years.  A Dyson vacuum cleaner and Jawbone Jambox were the latest items stolen from the Gainesville Walmart by Gerald Hayes and Candis Dallas. Based on pawn records dating back to the beginning of 2012, the pair had stolen from the Walmart and other businesses a few times a week and pawned the items. Dallas is charged with trespassing and two counts each of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and filing false info on a pawn transaction form. In December 2011, the couple was charged with shoplifting from a Gainesville Target with their 1 year old baby. (Source gainesville.com)

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eBay News
 

ebay’s Global Asset Protection Team Presented A Webinar, “Finding the Fencers of Stolen Retail Goods”

ebay presented a webinar for the nonprofit group, Stop Organized Retail Crime’s (StopORC). The webinar offered its attendees insight into tools they can use to spot the stolen merchandise being fenced on Internet sites such as Craigslist, Amazon, ebay, and others. Read the full article here.


For further information on PROACT email inquiries to; PROACT@eBay.com

eBay Direct - Click Here 
(notify - info - questions)

Vendor Spotlight
 

Smartvue S9i Cloud Server: Demo Video - YouTube

Watch the video introducing the all new Smartvue S9i 16 camera surveillance server with support for hundreds of leading camera, integrated cloud services, solid state SSD storage, and plug and play setup on almost any network. Free Cloud Whitepaper.

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Your Career
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Why a Friendly Reconnection Can Boost Your Career  Before you start cleaning out your Facebook friend list, think about your network. That high school friend you haven't seen since graduation could have the valuable idea or connection you have been searching for. (Reconnect with your dormant ties now!)

How to Become Inspired and Engaged
Nobody else is in charge of keeping you motivated, it's all up to you. Managers have to make sure employees are engaged and inspired, but if you're waiting on a manager to do so, start by changing yourself. Follow these rules, and find your own inspiration. (Rely more on yourself)

The Curse of the B Team
A team of all B players can be tough to manage, but a few changes here and there can turn those B's into A's. It starts with developing the skills and experience needed to lead the team, and then finding the right person to do so. (Developing your B team takes time, so start now)

The 10 Things High Engagement Does for You  Highly engaged employees will not only be happier, but also successful. When you know what you are doing and how it leads to the success of the company, you are engaged. But what does it do for you? Here are 10 things it is helping you with. (Double the success rate!)

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Tip of the Day
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Turn Yourself Around

Seems like we spend most of our time just managing and dealing with the issues, problems, and dysfunctions on our own teams as opposed to staying focused on our external or internal customers. And the issue is we all have customers to service whether you're a retailer or vendor and in that regard nothing separates us. As a service provider our number one objective should always be delivering unparalleled customer service. And how many of us really do just that? Very few I submit. And in this writers opinion it's because of human nature. It's human nature to avoid conflict and take the path of least resistance and quite frankly getting lost in the dynamics of our teams is a lot easier then facing the expectations, demands, and criticisms of our customers. After all, at the end of the day the customers are the ones who truly know our weaknesses and have first hand knowledge of our failures. And who do you know wants to face that eight to twelve hours a day? So the human nature of avoidance kicks in and gravity forces us to face inwards and get lost in the daily battle of team dynamics and the associated social politics. Meanwhile our back is to the customer and true progress grinds to a halt. Certainly managing a team requires significant time but the message here is quite simple, and one that this writer has to remind himself of every day: The more you face your customer and focus your efforts on simply adding value to their efforts the more successful you'll be.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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