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August 23, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Leading the Pack - Finish Line looks to stay ahead on loss prevention  Mike Smith, the company’s senior vice president for loss prevention, says that standard view is reactive and actually diminishing in importance. As a matter of corporate practice, he says, Finish Line prefers a more proactive approach to mitigating loss. Finish Line’s loss prevention approach means touching all key points of the business in a direct leadership role, Smith says. "We try to partner with our internal business partners and look at the opportunities we have,” he says, “and get in front of any issues that might come along with those opportunities." When it comes to combating employee theft, for instance, Smith says loss prevention works closely with human resource managers on hiring protocols, as well as with store operations to implement educational and training opportunities to improve how stores function. (Source stores.org)

Consumer Pessimism On the Rise Heading Into Fall  While many consumers face the end-of-summer blues this time every year, recent gas prices are adding to the overall pessimism in the market. According to the latest monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Survey, nearly six in 10 consumers (58 percent) said they are pessimistic about the economy. (Source csnews.com)

Bed Bath & Beyond beating Amazon on price?
Prices at Bed Bath & Beyond were on average 6.5% less than at Amazon for a basket of 30 items chosen by analysts at BB&T for one of their periodic pricing studies comparing the retailers. “We are becoming increasingly concerned Bed Bath & Beyond is sacrificing gross margin in order to drive top-line growth,” BB&T said — that is, increasingly concerned that Bed Bath & Beyond is starting to behave more like Amazon. One big factor helping Bed Bath & Beyond are the 20% off coupons it regularly sends to its customers. Once you adjust for those, the price gap widens out to 25%. The price competition is another sign of the multi-front battle between Amazon and the giants of American retail. (Source wsj.com)

MICRO Systems adds PayPal to retail, hospitality POS platform  MICRO Systems Inc., a provider of information technology solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, and PayPal will collaborate to integrate PayPal into MICROS' POS platforms, the companies announced. Retail point-of-sale platforms in merchant locations around the world will soon be set to work seamlessly with PayPal's mobile application. (Source retailcustomerexperience.com)

Harris Teeter selects Paydiant for Cloud-Based mobile wallet pilot  In a pilot at its Matthews, N.C. store Harris Teeter, which was recently acquired by The Kroger Co., is using Paydiant's white label mobile wallet solution as part of its Express Lane online shopping service in Matthews, N.C., beginning this month. The deployment allows the Express Lane customers to use the Harris Teeter mobile wallet called “HT Express Pay” to pay for groceries ordered online. Payment will occur from within a customer’s vehicle at Express Lane curbside pick-up locations. (Source chainstoreage.com)

Precise Biometrics AB Launches Fingerprint Verification for Smartphones and Tablets
  Precise Biometrics AB has launched a new software product designed and optimized for embedding fingerprint verification on smartphones and tablets. (Source net-security.org)

Technology and demand await next development in hosted video  Although hosted video has not yet dominated the security scene as some predicted a few years ago, the hype may eventually be justified. Integrators who have made the switch from selling analog to digital cameras and other industry experts say the future is now for hosted video surveillance. The technology has been available for a while. The demand has been emerging. One of the remaining hurdles is the training of reluctant salespeople, technicians and installers, says Art Miller, vice president of marketing at Vector Security, based in Pittsburgh, which has been working with Axis Communications for several months to get its hosted video program off the ground. Vector offers security solutions to residential and businesses customers in 18 U.S. states as well as Canada. (Source securitysystemnews.com)

Chip & PIN ten years on: evolution at the check-out? - Where the UK is now - Is it Our Future Too?  Since that original trial, the technology has had its fair share of ups and downs. Advances in smart technologies, for example, have highlighted security vulnerabilities both in face to face payments and card not present transactions such as those made via telephone, internet and mail order. There have also been commercial problems in terms of liability in the case of unauthorised use. Despite widespread implementation, it is starting to be overtaken by emerging technologies such as contactless and near-field communications (NFC), with some industry experts predicting that the demise of chip and PIN may not be too far away. Invariably, robust security remains central to the successful adoption of any new in-store technology. From a retailer's perspective this fits into two categories: avoiding fraud and protecting internal and customer data. (Source essentialretail.com)

FreightWatch: Cargo theft incidents, values on the rise from May to July  In the period from May to July, FreightWatch recorded a total of 185 thefts in the United States, with 69 thefts in May, 88 in June and 61 in July, according to its latest report. The average loss value per incident during this period was $147,260. Compared with the previous quarter, theft incidents increased by 1 percent, although the average loss value increased by 23 percent. Food and drinks, were once again the most commonly stolen type of load, with 55 thefts reported in the quarter. These thefts composed 25 percent of all incidents from May to July. The electronics industry experienced 28 thefts, 13 percent of the total, mainly consisting of televisions, computers and computer accessories. (Source landlinemag.com)

China Arrests Could Chill Private Investigations - Those with stores & vendors there should take note  The recent arrest of two foreign investigators in China underscores the risk of doing this kind of digging abroad, experts say. Briton Peter Humphrey and his American wife and business partner, Yu Yingzeng, were arrested in recent days. The two run investigations firm ChinaWhys Co. and were detained six weeks ago in Shanghai on suspicion of purchasing private-identification information, the family said. Laws surrounding the use of personal information vary from country to country, and investigators abroad need to be especially cautious of staying within their bounds, Jody Westby, chief executive of Washington-based investigations firm Global Cyber Risk and chair of the American Bar Association’s privacy and computer crime committee, told Risk & Compliance Journal. “You have to be very careful in any foreign jurisdiction,” she said, adding that “the government may well be tracking you very closely to see what you’re doing.” One area of China’s law has broad sweep: Article 253 of China’s Criminal Law makes it illegal for personnel in government agencies and certain business sectors to sell or illegally provide information on citizens. The buyer also can be criminally liable for misappropriating information. (Source wsj.com)

NYC's incarceration numbers down nearly half from the early '90s but costs up to $167,000 per inmate  The city spent about $167,000 per inmate last year and had 12,287 prisoners on an average day, according to the Independent Budget Office’s first-ever study of the Big Apple’s jails. the average annual cost per inmate covers additional expenses, such as staff salaries, fringe benefits, facility maintenance and capital expenditures. In 1992, the daily inmate population peaked at 21,000 and now its down to 12,000 per day. The analysis found a huge disparity when it came to race: 57 percent of inmates were black, 33 percent Hispanic and 7 percent white. (nypost.com)

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Stein Mart Q2 up 6.4% with sales up 4%
Gap Inc. Q2 up 5% with sales up 8%
Ross Stores Q2 up 4% with sales up 9%
Ann Inc. Q2 up 2.8% with sales up 7%
New York & Company Q2 up 2.1% with sales up 2%
Foot Locker Q2 up 1.8% with sales up 6.4%
Hibbett Sports Q2 up 0.3% with sales up 12.6%
Aeropostale Q2 down 15% with sales down 6%


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Canadian Push
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Canada's selection isn't deep and yes the prices are higher - Pirate Joe's in Vancouver stocks his store with Trader Joe's goods  Trader Joe's is suing Vancouver's Pirate Joe's small grocery store for buying $22,000 a month in their product in U.S. stores and selling it in his store with a $2 markup. The owner renamed his store "Irate Joe's". (Source yahoo.com)

Wal-Mart workers in Weyburn, Sask., vote to dump union  Chain's only remaining union in Canada never achieved collective bargaining deal. Workers at Canada's only unionized Wal-Mart, in Weyburn Sask., have voted 51-5 to decertify their union. After a decertification drive was launched at the store and employees voted on that, the union argued the process was unfair and sought to block the votes from being counted. But on Thursday, after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the union's application to deal with the case, the way was cleared for the count to be held. The Weyburn decertification drive was the latest chapter in the fight between Wal-Mart and the union that's been going on for nine years. Two other Canadian Wal-Marts have been certified in the past: the store at St. Hyacinthe, Que., and a store at Jonquière, Que. However, employees at the Hyacinthe outlet later voted to decertify, and Wal-Mart closed the Jonquière store. (Source cbc.ca)

Canadian shoppers not impressed with Target
Canadian shoppers aren’t wowed by Target Corp., according to a customer-satisfaction rating survey by Forum Research. As reported in The Globe and Mail, the survey ranked Target at the bottom of a list of major retailers operating in Canada. (Satisfaction as measured by the survey relates to service, prices and/or merchandise offering.) Over all, Target scored a mean 2.7 out of 4, compared with Costco’s 3.5, Wal-Mart’s 3.1 and a 3.2 average. Shoppers complain that Target stores have been short on inventory and that prices are higher than those at outlets across the border, the report said. (Source chainstoreage.com)

Target not delivering the deals customers expected: experts  After a recent customer-satisfaction survey found Target is floundering in the eyes of Canadian consumers, experts are suggesting the disappointment might be the result of too much early hype over the American retail giant. There was a huge buzz among consumers when Target opened its first Canadian stores in March. But a survey released by Forum Research suggests the new locations have not lived up to initial expectations for many bargain-hunters. Part of the problem, according to Gray, is that Target cannot match its American pricing in Canada. But a bigger problem is that they've still got some kinks to work out in their distribution and inventory and there's been a number of cases of empty shelves and stock shortages," Gray said. (Source ctvnews.ca)

Sears Canada to Cut 245 Head-Office Type Jobs  Sears Canada Inc. (SCC.T) said Tuesday that it is cutting 245 head-office type positions, mainly in information technology and finance. The Toronto-based company, a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), said the bulk of the cuts--201 positions--are in the Toronto area. It said it plans to transfer the work being done by these employees to external providers while it focuses on its core retailing business. The company had already cut 700 jobs across Canada early this year. (Source wsj.com)

Cargo thieves make off with tractor trailer filled with shampoo and mouthwash in Hamilton, On.  It may not be a high-stakes diamond heist, but thieves in Hamilton, Ont., have pulled off a remarkable crime, driving away with over $15,000 worth of goods from a trucking business in Hamilton over the weekend. The theft occurred at a commercial trucking business between midnight and 6 a.m. on Aug. 16. The suspect or suspects came in through the unlocked and unguarded gate and stole a blue Freightliner truck with which they hauled away the loot. (Source canada.com)

Retail sales fell 0.6% in June to $40.1 billion, Statistics Canada says  Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.6 per cent in June to $40.1 billion, which partially offset a large gain in May. The biggest decrease in dollar terms was a 1.2 per cent drop at food and beverage stores, with weaker sales reported by all types of stores in this subsector. Statistics Canada says retail sales in the first six months of 2013 were still up 1.8 per cent compared to the same period last year. (Source ctvnews.ca)

Fashion retailer Marshalls opening stores in Alberta, Quebec  Marshalls is opening its first stores in Quebec and Alberta on Thursday, with the two locations in each province and another store in Toronto raising the chain's Canadian store count to 27. The retailer, whose sister companies include Winners and Homesense in Canada, and T.J. Maxx in the U.S. Marshalls is among the U.S. retailers that are expanding their presence in Canada. Target is set to open its first of 25 planned stores in Quebec this fall after having already rolled out dozens elsewhere in the country. Marshalls is owned by TJX Companies, which operates more than 3,000 stores, including 222 Winners and 88 Homesense locations in Canada as of the end of 2012. The parent company says it believes Canada can support 90 to 100 Marshalls stores in the long term. (Source ctvnews.ca)

Close to 40% of Canadians haven't started back-to-school shopping  Many Canadians will wait until the last minute to shop for back to school according to a new poll released today by Walmart Canada. As of mid-August, only 61% of shoppers had started back-to-school shopping. According to the nationwide survey the average customer will do the bulk of their shopping closer to the first day of school and in the three weeks following the start of school. (Source sacbee.com)

Phone scam targets Shoppers Drug Mart customers nationwide - still ongoing  A telephone scam that's sweeping the nation. The calls appear to originate from local numbers. Once answered, a recorded message tells recipients that they've won a free trip from Shoppers Drug Mart. Individuals are then connected to a live operator who asks for their credit card information. RCMP in New Brunswick are referring scam victims to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. (Source cbc.ca)

Retail Fast Facts: July 2013

Highlights:

Total monthly retail sales changed by 4.3 percent over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 4.1 percent over the comparable month last year. (Source retailcouncil.org)
 

Retail Crime News
 

Man receives 15 years for 30 counts of fraud in Jacksonville, Fla.  According to a press release from State Attorney Angela Corey's office, Allotey, 39, stole several identities throughout the United States in 2011. The victim's personal information was used to open bank accounts and credit cards. (Source firstcoastnews.com)

Serial armed robber hitting Auto Zone arrested, connected to multiple armed robberies in Denver and Aurora, CO  A serial armed robbery suspect believed to have committed holdups repeatedly at the same location is now facing charges and more are likely. While more charges are expected to be filed in the future, the current charges stem from the robbery of the Auto Zone on East Colfax Avenue on July 29. Johnson is accused of using a gun to hold four employees at gunpoint and steal cash. Johnson is also a suspect in other similar robberies in Denver and Aurora over the past year. (Source thedenverchannel.com)

Staples female shopper shoots herself inside store in Wake Forest, N.C.  Police say the woman had a concealed carry permit, and had a pistol in her purse inside the store. Her two-year-old child apparently reached inside her purse and when she went to get his hand out of her purse, the gun went off. She was shot in the hand. The woman's injuries did not appear to be life threatening. She was taken to the WakeMed. (Source abclocal.go.com)

Things Remembered warehouse employee arrested for possibly $150,000 in merchandise theft  The suspect, Amy Lynn Smith has worked for the Things Remembered warehouse in North Jackson, Ohio for 15 years. This week she plead guilty in court to the theft, initially charged with $28,000 of theft, but Prosecutors believe the actual amount was $150,000, the judge set restitution at $62,000. Most of that merchandise was sterling silver jewelry which she sold to a local pawn shop. (Source vindy.com)

Dick’s Sporting Goods employee faces a felony theft charge in Monroe, Louisiana  Jasmine Janay Moffett, 22, conducted 17 fraudulent returns of merchandise totaling over $2100. In the affidavit Moffett admitted to doing the refunds at the end of her shift. (Source thenewsstar.com)

Smash-and-grab burglars hit El Cajon jeweler for $50,000 in merchandise  Thursday morning at 6am Police were called to a burglary in progress, two minutes after the burglars arrive, they were gone. The owner of Babyton Fine Jewelry told police that this was the first time his store was burglarized in 27 years of operation. Damage to the building and showcases are estimated at an additional $30,000.

Two arrested in Concord, CA., store armed robbery spree hitting Sally Beauty, Pet Food Express, UPS store, & Yogurt Shack  Two men were arrested yesterday for committing four armed robberies over the past week. (Source ktvu.com)

Masked Man Holds Up Armored Car in Brooklyn, Steals $500,000: NYPD  Police said the driver was making a delivery at a check cashing store in Canarsie at a strip center in broad daylight. The driver was making a delivery at a check cashing store at Rockaway Parkway and Seaview Avenue in Canarsie when the suspect got into the car and pointed something at the driver's head. The suspect forced him to drive a few blocks before he took the cash and fled. The suspects demanded money, and maced the driver during a struggle. The driver fired several shots at the suspects as they fled with cash. The suspect got away. (Source nbcnewyork.com)

Two women charged with retail theft at Boscov’s in Plymouth Meeting  Two women were charged with the retail theft of $441.95 in merchandise from Boscov’s in Plymouth Township. The merchandise was recovered by Police. (Source patch.com)

Shoplifting turns to robbery at Zorba in Laredo
A young suspect attempting to steal a few baseball caps and a bottle of cologne, now faces robbery charges after assaulting a Zorba employee attempting to make the apprehension. When police arrived, several employees were holding the suspect on the ground, no one was injured. (Source lmtonline.com)

Dentist and wife charged with 45 felonies in the theft of $260,000, served only 5 months in jail  A dentist and his wife who admitted using credit card information from patients to buy luxury clothing and merchandise were each sentenced to a year in jail and placed on five years probation. Dr. Edward Bodek, 60, and wife Mary, 56, pleaded guilty earlier this year to financial elder abuse and identity theft. According to court documents, patients began reporting last year that they were seeing unauthorized charges, mostly large charges ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 at a time from the dental practice on their credit card statements. When patients called the dental office, they were told that the charges were errors that would be corrected. A company that processes credit card charges for the dental office reported that there had been more than $260,000 in disputed charges in the defendants' account since the beginning of 2012. Investigators learned that the Bodeks rented 30 storage units containing clothing, handbags and fur coats, most of which still had the sales tags on it and had never been worn. (Source sandiegoreader.com)

Myrtle Beach man takes more than 1,500 pills from CVS during robbery  Myrtle Beach police are investigating a robbery at a local pharmacy Thursday night, according to a police report. Officers were called to a CVS store about 7 p.m. Thursday for an armed robbery. Video surveillance showed that a man came into the store, goes to the pharmacy, gives an employee a note and plastic bag and keeps one hand in his hooded sweatshirt. The video showed the employee goes to the counter in the middle of the pharmacy and the suspect walks behind the counter. Another employee puts something in the bag and then gives it to the suspect. (Source wbtw.com)

Houston-area Dollar Generals burglarized 40 times in 2 months  Dollar General Officials are now offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Gus Castano stated that many of the thefts are done by groups of three suspects, and focused on cigarette theft. (Source khou.com)


 

ORC News
Sponsored by Protection 1

San Bernardino and Riverside police arrest 25 people during operation focused on organized retail crime in San Bernardino  Officers worked with numerous businesses Tuesday and Wednesday, including Sam’s Club, Sears, Stater Bros., Target and Walmart to identify and arrest suspected store thieves. Police also uncovered information about fencing operations during the enforcement. (Source sbsun.com)

Six charged in ‘organized retail theft' hitting Wal-Mart and selling stolen goods to pawn shops in N.C.  An alleged scheme to steal merchandise from Walmart and resell it at pawnshops and other businesses has led to charges against six Mount Airy residents and the recovery of property including an above-ground swimming pool at their home. Thousands of dollars’ worth of items such as air-conditioners, Blu-ray players, computer equipment and GPS units were taken from the store and sold from early July until shortly before the arrest of the six people this week, city police said. The thefts were spearheaded by three female members of the group, according to Brandon Davis, a detective with the Mount Airy Police Department. (Source mtairynews.com)

ORC gang of three busted hitting Wal-Mart stores in North Carolina  Authorities say three men from Henderson have been identified in connection with a theft ring that targeted Wal-Mart stores across central North Carolina. Sheriff Richard Webster said investigators were able to identify the suspects after two thefts from a Wal-Mart on the Chatham-Orange county line. He said the smash-and-grab thefts netted $150,000 in electronic items. (Source news-record.com) (Source newsobserver.com)

Two HEB shoplifters linked to organized crime gang and Mexican kidnapping of pop star's husband  The two are accused of shoplifting food, toys, and cosmetics from an HEB Plus in San Antonio, TX., Sunday evening. According to a police report, officers discovered the two were wanted on Mexican federal warrants. A number of internet reports claim the connection is to the abduction of Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi's husband. Trevi is widely hailed as the edgy equivalent to Madonna in Mexican pop music. Her husband, Armando Gomez, was kidnapped in 2011, according to published accounts. A string of arrests have been made in the case since Jan 2012 including a well-known soccer player. (Source kens5.com)

ORC gang of three busted stealing $1,000 of Rogaine and Crest White Strips at Wal-Mart in Indian Trail, N.C.  Officials said more than $1,000 of merchandise was taken from Walmart including Rogaine and Crest White Strips. The Monroe Police Department will be charging the suspects with felony larceny and other traffic-related offenses. (Source wsoctv.com)

Daytona Beach Police seek two credit-card thieves  
Police in Daytona Beach are hoping newly released surveillance photos will help them find two women who they say are going on shopping sprees with stolen credit cards. Investigators said the cards were stolen in Holly Hill. The suspects were then caught on camera allegedly using them to buy merchandise from the Best Buy and Marshall's at the Volusia Mall. (Source news-journalonline.com)

One man left holding the bags at Kohl's in Lower Nazareth Township  A man with a criminal record was part of a group of three men and two women attempting to steal $865 worth of merchandise from the Kohl’s store in Lower Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The suspect, Glenn Lindsey was caught holding the bags when the rest of the group fled when approached by Kohl’s Loss Prevention. Lindsey has a record for shoplifting with Kohl’s at another nearby store. (Source wfmz.com)

Burglars hit South Pasadena optical store for $50,000 in frames  
South Pasadena Police reported that the glass was smashed out of a back door to the South Pasadena Eye Care store. Two masked and gloved thieves worked quickly to select and steal $50,000 worth of optical frames. (Source sgvtribune.com)

“Protection 1 is proud to be sponsoring the D-D Daily ORC column to ensure the LP industry gets the information, education and critical data they need to fight this national epidemic.” Rex Gillette, VP Retail Sales, Protection 1.

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Heidi Haugh was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for OshKosh B’gosh.
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Handling the big question – Why did you leave? is the hardest of them all if, in fact, your departure was involuntary. Like Bum Phillips, the old Houston Oilers coach, once said at a luncheon I attended, "There's two types of coaches – those that have been fired and those who are waiting to be fired." And quite frankly he was almost dead-on as over 70% of executives will face involuntary departures from an employer during their career. The best position to take is one of absolute straightforwardness. Be open – be honest – and be reflective right from the beginning. But get it over quick and deal with it right at the beginning of the interview and don't make it a long-winded response. Certainly review it – rehearse it – make sure it answers the question. But get it out of the way and move on in your own mind. Look to the future and leave it behind you.

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