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July 25, 2014

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News Brief
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TJX - The most powerful apparel retailer in the United States - And the most secretive! Here's their playbook from an outsider's view  In its nearly-four-decade history, it has had only one year of negative same-store sales. Over the last six years their stock has climbed 200% and “It’s the most consistent, most powerful apparel retailer in the United States." It will do almost anything to prevent anybody else from knowing how it has managed all of the above. TJX is Company X: a black box—arguably one of the most secretive retailers around. TJX doesn’t talk about its playbook in part because other retailers are eager to peek inside. Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns venerable Saks Fifth Avenue and its Off 5th outlet stores, has acknowledged that it has studied TJX’s T.J. Maxx chain. Here's an outsider's view of their play book. Great article for the retail student. (Source fortune.coom)

Brick-and-Mortar Stores to Remain Cornerstone of Retail, study shows - 90% of U.S. retail sales still done in stores  Brick-and-mortar stores continue to be customers’ preferred shopping channel, and are crucial in generating online sales for retailers, according to a new study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. According to the analysis, 90 percent of all U.S. retail sales in 2013 were transacted in stores, and 95 percent of sales were accounted for by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence. According to the study, two-thirds of customers purchasing online used a physical store before or after the transaction. The store makes a significant contribution to generating the sale, even though the transaction is eventually registered online, the A.T. Kearney study noted. (Source

How to prevent a website compromise like StubHub  The use of stolen passwords to compromise the website of ticket seller StubHub is a reminder that additional layers of protection are often needed for sites holding sensitive data. Security experts recommended Thursday that businesses running sites that provide services to partners, employees and customers should consider several options for derailing hackers with stolen user credentials. The password-complementing technology that could help businesses avoid a StubHub-like compromise includes two-factor authentication and fraud detection techniques. Adding such technology is an added expense. In addition, it could require more work on the part of the user. Therefore, companies have to weigh the damage that would result from a breach with the additional cost and user inconvenience. (Source

ADT Unveils New Cloud Storage Solutions, Expands Video Surveillance Capabilities  Leading security provider ADT today announced the expansion of its video surveillance portfolio with new cloud-based and local DVR (digital video recorder) storage offerings designed to meet the needs of America's small business owners. ADT's extended video offerings give small business owners the flexibility to keep tabs on their most critical assets, store their video footage on-premise or in the cloud, scale their investment level up or down over time, and have a better understanding of their overall business operations. (Source

Sony to shell out $15M in Playstation Network breach settlement - 77 million users compromised back in 2011

European Central Bank hacked, personal data stolen

Starbucks to open 600 to 650 new stores in America's region

U.K. shopping mall deploys ‘virtual’ employee - greeting customers

Ex-Cyber Spy’s Message to Board Members: 'You’re Not OK'

Survey: In-store is the preferred method for back-to-school shopping

A 5-step Guide to Targeted Job Searching in Retail

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Starbucks Q3 Global up 6% with net revenue up 11%
Aaron's Q2 down 3% with revenue up 22% (due to acquisition)

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Fraudster Hit Apple stores in 16 states with old fake phone validation scheme for $309,000  The U.S. Secret Service has arrested a Florida man for federal wire fraud related to $309,000 in credit card transactions at Apple retail store that exploited a procedural vulnerability and the willingness of employees to complete a sale. Parrish has 11 previous arrests by the Tampa Police or surrounding Hillsborough County Sheriff (HCSO). According to the Secret Service, Parrish would visit Apple stores and present his own credit cards that were not reported stolen, but whose accounts were closed. When an Apple employee swiped the credit card, it would be declined—no reason is typically provided to the retailer for such a declination. Parrish would then express surprise, and pretend to telephone his bank directly as the Apple employee listened. After a conversation with a supposed customer service agent, Parrish would verbally give the Apple store employee the required six-digit authorization number that is usually automatically generated and displayed by the point-of-sale device. He would instruct the employee to “force post” the transaction using that number. Against Chase and SunTrust policy, the criminal complaint says, the employee would manually process the transaction and manually enter the authorization number provided by Parrish. Using this fraudulent technique, the complaint says, Parrish made 42 different purchases from various Apple stores, including the four stores noted above. “Because the Apple employees overrode the initial declination,” the criminal complaint says, “Apple, not the financial institution, suffered the loss.” (Source

Professional Thieves net large haul at Best Buy=$6,000+ in one hit Kingsport police say five individuals recently worked in concert to pull off a precision shoplifting heist at Best Buy, distracting employees and exiting with totes full of smaller items valued at more than $6,000. Revealed through security footage — the men cut the plastic tops off the packaging to 37 separate items: 20 "activity tracker" wristbands, 11 sets of headphones, and six GPS watches. The duo is alleged to have then "scattered" the merchandise throughout bottom shelves of aisles. At approximately the same time, two females entered the store "carrying large totes." Police say they filled the containers with items the men had placed on bottom shelving, all while the men "stood over them, watching for security guards." With half the merchandise now boxed up, the women headed toward the exit with their totes. Before they passed through and out into the parking lot, according to police, a third male entered and distracted an employee by the door, asking persistent questions about an item in a Best Buy ad. With half their bounty now secured, the women reportedly re-entered the store. All the suspects "performed this task once more," according to a police report, "collecting the other half of the items." Police are now sharing some of those images with the public, hoping to obtain information on the shoplifters. Anyone with information is asked to contact Kingsport police at 229-9429 or 246-9111. (Source

Florida convicts committing identity theft from behind bars  Channel 9 anchor Vanessa Welch learned inmates are ripping off consumer credit card numbers, using them to get cash and redirecting the money to family and friends back home. Welch sat down with one family, the Bashwiners, who easily fell for the scam and now think prisoners have too much freedom. The Bashwiners traveled to Walt Disney World to celebrate a daughter's birthday. They checked into the Polynesian Resort hotel and went straight to the Magic Kingdom. But when they returned to their hotel room, the phone rang. “They told us it was the front desk, and our American Express, there was a problem with it. Do we have another card? So I gave them our debit card,” explained Kristine Bashwiner. Kristine had no clue that she had been tricked by Florida prison inmate Damion Goldsmith, who was already serving time for credit card fraud. (Source

ORC gang member out on bail sent back to jail in Framingham - Goes back to TJ Maxx stores after court order to stay out!  Dedham woman, part of a large-scale shoplifting gang responsible for stealing nearly $48,000 worth of merchandise throughout the state sent to jail. In the report, police said Burrell is part of a group that stole clothing and other merchandise valued at more than $47,600, from stores in Framingham, Milford, Norwell and Bedford. T.J. Maxx security recorded Burrell in T.J. Maxx at least two times since the court order was issued. Judge David Cunis ruled that Jasmine Burrell, 25, violated the terms of her earlier release by repeatedly going to T.J. Maxx in Framingham against the court's order. On Thursday, Burrell was back in court for a pretrial conference, and prosecutor Ben Franklin asked Cunis to revoke Burrell's bail. Burrell is charged with larceny of property worth more than $250 from T.J. Maxx in Framingham in June. According to a Framingham Police report filed in court, Burrell stole more than $1,500 worth of clothing that day. (Source

Identity Theft Ring Busted in Simi Valley; 3 Arrested

Felony organized retail crime charge dropped in Rochester, NH

‘Career Criminal’ in Framingham, MA rug thefts, busted for credit card fraud

Crooks in Miami Clean Out Cell Phone Store In Thirty Seconds 

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"Live in Ft. Lauderdale at the NRF Show 2014"

Graham Handyside, EVP of Worldwide Operations for WG, and Ed Wolfe, VP of Business Development, tell us about the Seal Tag, the Ninja Tag and other new, innovative solutions offered by WG Security Products. Controlling the entire process of their business - from design to manufacture to distribution to service - WG has the ability to create a unique solution for a retailer and bring it to market in a matter of weeks. Graham and Ed tell us what makes WG a technological leader in retail security.

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Survey: More than half of online shoppers more conscious of security  Fifty-four percent of online shoppers feel that they are more conscious of their security online compared to 12 months ago, following a string of high-profile security breaches at various international retailers and brands. Of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed as part of EDigitalResearch's and IMRG's EcustomerServiceIndex, half (50%) felt that retailers should be doing more to keep them safe online, especially in the wake of yet more data and security breaches in 2014. (Source Announces Second Quarter Sales up 23% to $19.34 Billion - The Retail Attack Continues - Just Look at Their New Offerings in 1 Quarter alone “We’ve recently introduced Sunday delivery coverage to 25% of the U.S. population, launched European cross-border Two-Day Delivery for Prime, launched Prime Music with over one million songs, created three original kids TV series, added world-class parental controls to Fire TV with FreeTime, and launched Kindle Unlimited, an eBook subscription service. For our AWS customers we launched Amazon Zocalo, T2 instances, an SSD-backed EBS volume, Amazon Cognito, Amazon Mobile Analytics, and the AWS Mobile SDK, and we substantially reduced prices. And today customers all over the U.S. will begin receiving their new Fire phones — including Firefly, Dynamic Perspective, and one full year of Prime — we can’t wait to get them in customers’ hands.” Editors Note: And they're looking for a senior LP executive for their North American Fulfillment Centers up in Seattle. Great job and one that will be a great challenge for anyone. (Source

Web sales grow 19.4% in Q2 for 100+ retailers

More than 70% of Mobile Visitors Have No Intention to Buy

63% of businesses don't encrypt credit cards

"Fraud is not a person - it is a dynamic grouping of statistics that deviate from the norm."
Stuart B. Levine, CFI, CFCI
CEO, The Zellman Group & Zellman Fraudnet


Canadian Push
Sponsored by Vector Security
Canadian retail Sales Up, But Weak Spots Abound  Statistics Canada's latest numbers show a 4.6% increase in total retail sales in May of 2014. Automotive & Related retail sales increased 6.9%, over double that for Food & Drug with a 3.2% increase, or Store Merchandise with a 3.4% increase. (Source

Is It Time for Target to Exit Canada? The American Blunder - Expert Discussion  The company has lost about a billion dollars since it began operating up north and, while it has pledged to do better, not everyone is convinced it will. In fact, Credit Suisse has gone so far as to suggest that Target's new CEO, whomever that turns out to be, should seriously consider getting out of the Canadian market altogether.  The Canada experience is symptomatic of what ailed Target overall: Too much caution, too slow to react, too much faith that the "brand" (versus good execution) would carry the day. Target needs to invest the resources to understand Canadian consumers or needs to leave the market. The Canadian market is not an extension of the U.S. market and is not homogeneous. First Target took horrible Zellers locations no one else wanted. It would appear the former CEO was overzealous and took available locations rather than build ground-up in new good locations. Zellers had run them into the ground so deep that Target will have to do better than a mediocre effort. Consumers associate those locations with negative experiences. They would need new and better locations, and we know that's not happening. Even if Target did have good locations, it would take several years to overcome their mistakes. Target needs to put on the brakes, regroup and go home. (Source

Alberta small and mid-sized businesses take big hit from fraud  One in four Alberta small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) were hit or targeted by fraud artists last year. "It's credit card fraud. It's email phishing. It's theft of equipment. It means there's now another set of skills needed to protect the bottom line." Rank of retail among sectors reporting a fraud incident:1. Per cent of fraud aimed at credit, debit cards: 29. Per cent involving theft of equipment, inventory, other physical property: 27. Per cent of retail SMEs reporting a fraud incident: 49. (Source

Sears Canada, Reitmans & Indigo face battle for survival with some close to extinction  Foreign retailers have flooded the Canadian market in recent years opening hundreds of new stores and the pressure may be too much for some long-established retail names in Canada. Years of complacency, and a failure to innovate, could spell the end of many Canadian retail brands,” said Craig Patterson, a retail analyst and the founder of the Retail Insider. “Foreign players could obliterate our local retailers." (Source

Target Canada asks suppliers, vendors for a 2 percent cost break

World's largest fashion retailer to further expand Zara and Massimo Dutti in Canada 

Home Outfitters to be merged with Hudson's Bay's Home Division and a couple stores will close

Drug gang enforcer charged in June's Brentwood Mall shooting

Retail Fast Facts: June 2014
Total monthly retail sales changed by 6.1 per cent over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 4.6 per cent over the comparable month last year.  Read more (Source


Big Data
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Security must evolve to be ‘all about the data’ - says IT experts  There was little debate Thursday morning in Boston at a panel discussion among Dell security experts, partners, analysts and customers that the digital equivalent of GMO protection embedded in data will be more than just a good thing – it will be mandatory to sustain any credible level of security into the future. The event, the first in what is titled the “Dell 1-5-10 Series” security discussions, was focused on what the title suggests: What will the threat landscape look like in one, five and ten years, and what should enterprises at all levels be doing to counter those threats? (Source

The partnership between the CIA and Amazon will revolutionize intelligence  The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. (Source

DDoS attacks intensified in first half of 2014

Retail Crime News
Sponsored by NuTech National

Rooftop burglaries at Mall in Verona, Va.
Christopher William Jewelry Store in Weyers Cave was burglarized on July 13. Police reports indicate the thieves crawled down a drain pipe to get in. Deputies arrived at the Verona Factory Antique Mall on Sunday, July 20 where burglars apparently crawled through air ducts during the early morning hours. On Sunday July 20, 2014, Augusta County Sheriff's Office Deputies responded to the Verona Factory Antique Mall on Lodge Lane in Verona, Virginia for a report of a commercial burglary which had occurred overnight. It was discovered that at least two suspects had burglarized the mall by entering through a roof top air conditioner. The case is ongoing. (Source

Moline, IL Businesses, Police Team Up For Shoplifting Sting  Moline businesses and the Moline Police Department have been cooperating in a retail theft detail which has resulted in 40 arrests in a five-day period from July 14-18. Cooperating businesses include Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, K-Mart, J.C. Penny, Farm and Fleet, Gordmans, Von Maur, Victoria's Secret, and Hobby Lobby. Loss Prevention Specialists and the retailers have teamed up. Seventeen Offenders received MUNICES citations, eighteen were arrested for Misdemeanor Retail Theft and five were charged with Felony Retail Theft. (Source

Leader in jewelry store robbery ring pleads guilty  The leader of a multimillion dollar crime ring that pulled off 23 jewelry store robberies — including one in Bend — pleaded guilty in federal court Monday. Michael Young, 42, a resident of both Florida and Salem, entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen goods in U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez’s Portland courtroom. He faces up to five years in prison for the first charge, and up to 10 years in prison on the second, and he has agreed to pay restitution of $3.4 million. Young is scheduled to be sentenced in November. The May 2011 robbery of Saxon’s Fine Jewelers in Bend’s Old Mill District was the last of 23 robberies in seven states that netted more than $3.8 million in diamonds and jewelry. Young, along with the two men implicated in the robbery, Ernest Remor and Jack Cannon, were arrested and charged within two months of the Saxon’s incident. (Source

Fire at Dick's Sporting Goods in Dubuque, IA probed as Arson

Arson suspected in Family Dollar fire in McComb, MS

Retail theft attempt turns violent in Monroeville store parking lot

Lexington Park, MD Man Arrested for Over $15000 in Employee Theft at BJ's

Woman Uses Mace on Macy's Security Guard in Santa Ana, CA; Steals $400 in Clothes

Truck Gets Stuck in Smash n Grab Attempt

Four Suspects arrested in Washington City, UT on out-of-state credit card fraud charges

Delaware man arrested dressed as woman, linked to bank and convenience store robberies in DE, PA and MD

Homicide Detectives Investigating Shooting Death near Lynwood, CA Mini Mall

Youngstown, OH teen indicted on 11 counts of Aggravated Robbery; hitting Dollar General, Family Dollar, Subway, McDonalds and many others

Robbers grab $30,000 in cell phones from T- Mobile in NW Houston, TX

Persons of interest sought in Lone Tree, CO Jewelry robbery

Robberies and Burglaries

Allied Cash Advance - Boles Acres, NM - Robbery/ Employee Theft - sentenced to 3 years
City Mart - Paris, TX - Armed Robbery
CVS - Ocean Twp, NJ - Armed Robbery
CVS - Maple Grove, MN - Armed Robbery - 2 suspects in custody
CVS - Scranton, PA - Robbery - woman pointed pepper spray at Assoc.
DFW Vapor - McKinney, TX - Armed Robbery
Dodge’s - Okolona, MS - Burglary
Dollar General - Michie, TN - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Montgomery, IL - Theft
Dollar General - Jackson, MI - Armed Robbery
Dollar Tree - Albany, NY - Burglary
Little York Pharmacy - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Meijer - Lexington, KY - Robbery
Soutel Liquors - Jacksonville, FL - Shooting - 2 men shot, found near Winn Dixie
Speedway - Cincinnati, OH - Armed Robbery - beaten and no one stopped to help
Subway - Orlando, FL - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Batavia, IL - Armed Robbery - man sentenced to 8 years


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3 Qualities of Exceptionally Gifted Leaders 
This word is especially important when it comes to leadership in companies. The truly gifted leaders exhibit traits at a higher level. The best ones all have three traits in common. (Like some fun)

The Most Powerful F Word in Leadership 
No doubt as a leader you encounter some challenging times, ones that try your patience and your mind, but what do you do to keep on going? The answer's in one word! (Trust in something)

6 Magic Traits of Indispensable Employees 
You know when you have a truly remarkable employee working for you, and you don't want to let them go! Here are some traits to watch out for when seeking an ideal new hire! (Risk taker)

4 Things to Remember About Being the Boss  The Butterfly Effect, is a theory that suggests that a butterfly's wings flapping in one part of the world, can trigger a hurricane in another. This is a good metaphor for the role a leader plays; your actions have a ripple effect throughout your organization. (Avoid having a bad ripple effect)

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Tip of the Day
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When giving references it is best not to comment on someone if you haven't worked directly with them. Passing on third party information can be extremely detrimental to the employer and the job seeker. If an employer is going to the extent of conducting references and is considering making an investment in an executive than the process warrants direct information that can help both the employer and the job seeker in reaching their decisions. And as most know third party information is extremely unreliable and can cause both parties to make mistakes.

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