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August 30, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

R. J. Gaites was named the new Area Director of Loss prevention for CVS. Previously, RJ worked at Target in several different leadership roles such as Regional Investigations Center Team Leader, Investigations Team Leader, and District Assets Protection Team Leader. He worked with Target for over 13 years. Congratulations RJ!

The Face Scan Arrives - 37 states now use facial recognition software  The Department of Homeland Security is making considerable progress on a computerized tool called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System. The system, if completed, will use video cameras to scan people in public (or will be fed images of people from other sources) and then identify individuals by their faces, presumably by cross-referencing databases of driver’s license photos, mug shots or other facial images cataloged by name. On Monday, Ohio’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, confirmed reports that law enforcement officers in his state, without public notice, had deployed facial-recognition software on its driver’s license photo database, ostensibly to identify criminal suspects. A total of 37 states have enabled facial-recognition software to search driver’s license photos, and only 11 have protections in place to limit access to such technologies by the authorities. Defenders of this technology will say that no one has a legitimate expectation of privacy in public.

Here is the privacy advocates position:
Two policies are necessary. First, facial-recognition databases should be populated only with images of known terrorists and convicted felons. Driver’s license photos and other images of “ordinary” people should never be included in a facial-recognition database without the knowledge and consent of the public. Second, access to databases should be limited and monitored. Officers should be given access only after a court grants a warrant. The access should be tracked and audited. The authorities should have to publicly report what databases are being mined and provide aggregate numbers on how often they are used. (Source nytimes.com)

Cyber criminals step up takeover of payment card accounts - Trend impacting fraud levels  Increasing theft of user names and passwords helps them crack into consumers’ accounts. Study shows new cause of concern in the first quarter regarding online payment security. More than half of merchants in the study said they had witnessed an increase in online fraud, but it wasn’t the result of criminal activity that started with theft of payment account numbers from online databases. Instead, the study found heightened concern that criminals were becoming more adept at taking over customers’ payment card accounts by initially stealing log-in user names and passwords. “All interviewed merchants that are seeing a higher fraud rate report a big jump in account takeover activity,” Aite says in its study. Conroy adds that the cause appears to be related to database breaches within the past 18 months, such as one earlier this year against the daily-deal site LivingSocial, in which criminals accessed user names and passwords, making it possible to use such credentials to compromise customer accounts on other e-commerce sites. (Source internetretailer.com)

Fast food strikes go super-sized in clash over wages  Workers are demanding that the $200 billion fast food industry more than double starting salaries to $15 an hour from the current $7.25 an hour minimum wage and the $8.94 median wage for front-end workers. About 200 workers marched through the midtown Manhattan McDonald's Thursday morning, and more gathered downtown in the Financial District. Thousands went on strike in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, according to local organizers and the Service Employees International Union, which is advising the strikers. About 200 workers showed up at the two-story Rock N Roll McDonald’s store in Chicago’s River North neighborhood this morning chanting: “Hey hey, ho ho, poverty wages gotta go!” (Source bloomberg.com) (Source nbcnews.com)

Why The Holiday Season Could Be A Flop For Big Chains From Wal-Mart To Macy's  Economic factors including still-high unemployment levels, as well as higher taxes and gasoline prices, are putting a crimp in consumer spending, retail executives said. And when Wal-Mart, the bellwether of the retail industry, warns that business will be weak — reporting declining foot traffic in its stores — attention must be paid. Discretionary purchases are on the wane, which doesn’t bode well for the sale of “wants” versus “needs." Instead, many shoppers are spending their discretionary dollars on cars and homes. Indeed, improvement in the housing market is driving home sales, which reflects the unleashing of pent-up demand. Macy’s is seeing similar buying patterns. (Source forbes.com)

Wal-Mart ready to loan $50 million to Bangladesh factories  Wal-Mart Stores Inc told investors on Thursday that it could provide up to $50 million in low-interest loans or other types of payments to Bangladesh factory owners for building improvements. The money is part of the more than $100 million in loans and access to capital that a group of North American companies including Wal-Mart and Gap Inc pledged in July. (Source courant.com)

Lowe’s Companies Completes Acquisition of 72 Orchard Supply Hardware Stores  Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, today announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of the majority of assets of Orchard Supply Hardware, including 72 Orchard stores, for approximately $205 million in cash, plus the assumption of payables owed to nearly all of Orchard’s supplier partners. Orchard will continue to operate as a separate, standalone business, retaining its brand and its San Jose headquarters. (Source prnewswire.com)

Modell’s Sporting Goods expands New York footprint with two new stores - now having 155 stores

DSW to test smaller format - DSW on track to open 30 stores in 13'

Francesca’s is fastest-growing junior apparel chain expanding to 900 stores in 7 yrs

4 A&P Pathmark closures in last two months

OfficeMax opens 'store of the future' in Chicago

Q&A with Bryan Sartin, Director, Verizon RISK Team - how the cyber threat landscape has changed since the RISK unit was formed in 2008, and what lies ahead as cyberattacks become more sophisticated. Subscription required (Source wsj.com)

Argentina's gargantuan knock-off mall: Heading to the U.S.?  The La Salada market in Buenos Aires epitomizes the nation's economic problems and improvisational genius. And it might be making its way to Miami. On August 30, an Argentine entrepreneur named Jorge Castillo will present a huge new mall near the western wine capital of Mendoza. When it opens in October, it will house some 600 stalls, most of which will be rented by small and home-based clothing workshops. It's just the kind of enterprise that's typically celebrated by politicians and businesspeople for creating jobs and boosting the economy. The head of the local chamber of commerce accused him of evading taxes and engaging in unfair competition. Police have repeatedly raided his mall in Buenos Aires to confiscate counterfeit CDs and DVDs. And the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has paid that mall -- named La Salada -- the dubious compliment of putting it on its Notorious Markets List. This would be local news save for one thing: Castillo has set his sights on Miami for his next site. (Source cnn.com)

Two Maryland retailers busted for counterfeit Apple parts  Police in Anne Arundel county in Maryland have concluded an investigation into counterfeit parts and other products being sold as genuine Apple repair components. Both the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros stand-alone kiosk in the Arundel Mills mall were raided, with around $90,000 in fake screens, cases, and other parts seized from the two retailers. (Source electronista.com)

FreightWatch Warns Labor Day Weekend Poses Threat For Increased Thefts  Holiday weekends notoriously show an increase in cargo theft risks for transportation companies, shippers and manufacturers. Organized theft rings are active and understand that holiday weekends mean more shipments left unattended for extended periods of time. Labor Day Weekend of 2012 recorded thefts at a rate of 4.4 per day, which is a 63% increase in cargo theft for the holiday weekend when compared to the annual average. Historically, FreightWatch has recorded high theft levels, including pharmaceuticals, electronics and several $1 million-plus valued thefts over Labor Day Weekend. (Source truckinginfo.com)

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results
Krispy Kreme Q2 up 10% with revenue up 10.4%
Pacific Sunwear Q2 up 3% with net sales up 9.1% reporting net loss of $19.2M
Shoe Carnival Q2 up 2.6% with sales up 18.8%
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores up 1.4% with net sales up 1.9%
bebe Store Q4 down 7.1% with net sale down 9.4%, for year - down 8.8% and 8.7% respectively with net loss of $77.4M

 

In observance of Labor Day, the Daily will not be publishing on Monday, September 2nd. We will resume publishing Tuesday. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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Canadian Push
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Canada's Shopify - Driving Omni-channel retailing  The Ottawa-based company is launching a comprehensive system that allows retailers to run their entire operation, from cash register to inventory management to online storefront, from an iPad. Shopify attracted tens of thousands of retailers by offering a system that allows users to set up web-based store fronts in minutes. The distinction between online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar retailing shouldn’t exist,” Shopify chief platform officer Harley Finkelstein said of Shopify POS, which launches Wednesday. “Our view of the future of retail is that it’s the consumer’s choice, how, where and what you want to buy. In five years, this will be the norm.” (Source theglobeandmail.com)

Police add high-tech tools to prevent truck cargo theft in partnership with Verisk's CargotNet  CORNWALL, Ontario – Police have teamed up with Verisk Crime Analytics (VCA) to form a new strategic alliance against truck cargo and equipment thefts. Police officers will use Verisk's CargoNet and the National Equipment Register (NER) to foil criminal activity targeted to transport trucks and distribution warehouses. Given the volume of trucking activity in Cornwall due to the number of distribution centers, it makes this a logical partnership to enter into from a police perspective," said Cornwall police Sgt. Shawn White, in a statement. The newly acquired cargo theft analytics tools provide a free service that gives police access to investigative support through the 24-hour CargoNet and NER operations centres. (Source cornwallseawaynews.com)

Montreal skimmer busted with 6 credit card skimming devices  A Montreal man has been arrested by Niagara Regional Police for possession of credit card skimming devices and identity theft. On Thursday police began an investigation regarding a male who was suspected of placing skimming devices on ATMs in Niagara Falls. The male was captured on video surveillance installing the devices. A few hours later the same male was seen by a witness and followed to a hotel in Niagara Falls. Police discovered a total of six skimming devices, computer equipment used to forge credit cards and stolen credit card data. (Source wellandtribune.ca)

RCMP discover skimming device in Cochrane fast food restaurant  RCMP say they have discovered a sophisticated credit/debit skimming device at a fast food restaurant in Cochrane. Officials haven’t said when the device was discovered or which eatery it was found at, but say at least 130 people were victims of fraud or attempted fraud. RCMP are warning the public to protect themselves from credit and debit fraud by always covering their PIN, and never using a key pad if it looks compromised or strange. (Source globalnews.ca)

ORC Family busted in connection with $750,000 gift-card scam in Toronto, Canada  Three members of an Aurora family have been charged in connection with a $750,000 gift card fraud scam targeting major retailers across the Greater Toronto Area. York Regional Police say their investigation began in June 2013 after they received complaints from loss prevention officers that the family was using fraudulent cards to make large purchases. Investigators say the family allegedly used fake credit cards to buy gift cards at major retailers and then resold the items online. A search warrant was executed on July 18 at the family’s home where police seized merchandise, jewelry, cash and equipment used to manufacture fake IDs. Zeba Chaudhry, 49, Hasan Chaudhry, 21, and Waleed Chaudhry, 24, have been charged with fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, use of credit card data and possession of credit card data. The value of the fraud may be higher as the investigation is ongoing. (Source globalnews.ca)

Retail Fast Facts: August 2013

Highlights:
Total monthly retail sales changed by 0.5 per cent over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by -0.5 per cent over the comparable month last year. (Source retailcouncil.org)
 

Thought Challenge
 

Never Talk to Yourself on Your Way Home
 from Work

By Kevin Plante
Director, Loss Prevention Reporting and Analytics
CVS Caremark

I have a saying that I will do everything in my power to not "talk to myself on the way home from work".

That could mean a lot of things to different people, but to me it is best summed up as being "true to oneself". Every day loss prevention professionals have to deal with integrity issues involving others, but we also need to deal with our own integrity. I'm not necessarily talking about controlling one’s own urges to steal. I'm talking about doing the "right thing" each and every day. Perhaps it won't be the most popular time in your career to respectfully disagree with your boss on her plan to reduce shrink - but having information that could provide beneficial pieces of the puzzle to your boss – and not sharing your thoughts because you are afraid of causing a riff.....that's the thing that causes you to talk to yourself on the way home from work.

What about rewarding a newer employee who has done a great job when everyone else is cheering on the veteran employee because he is a "really nice guy"? Some would think this scenario is easy, but politics sometimes clouds peoples’ vision. What about not terminating an employee caught stealing because he is the offspring of a VP in the organization? Neither of these two examples is necessarily about the outcome. You are part of a larger group that provides information into a "machine" that makes the decision. You are not the sole decision maker. You may not like the outcome of the decision ultimately made. That's OK. But I would suggest, provided your argument is made RESPECTFULLY and as long as you make your point and don't hold back because of what is popular, you will NEVER, EVER find yourself "talking to yourself on the way home from work", because you'll know, deep in your core, that you did the very best you could to do right by your integrity, your profession and your company.

 

Retail Crime News
 
Waitress admits to stealing customer credit cards via skimming device  A woman pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to stealing credit card numbers from TooJay's customers via a skimming device when she worked at the Orlando deli as a waitress. In her plea agreement, Jessica Soviero admits her ex-boyfriend gave her a skimmer and paid her cash and in gift cards to use the device on TooJay's customers' credit cards. (Source orlandosentinel.com)

Dollar Tree employees show up in Lehigh Valley Dollar Tree ready to testify against burglary suspect  Richard Weatherspoon was escorted to his preliminary hearing at Lehigh County Court in Allentown on Wednesday, Aug. 29. Weatherspoon was charged with burglarizing eight Dollar Tree stores around the Lehigh Valley. Ten Dollar Tree employees, most wearing their green store shirts, were ready to testify in the case against Weatherspoon. Instead, Weatherspoon waived all charges against him into Lehigh County Court. (Source mcall.com)

Police release photograph of second suspect in Loveland, Colorado Jared burglary  The first suspect was arrested following the police finding his discarded pants and cell phone at a nearby 7-11 store.  Now Police are seeking the identity of the 24 year old accomplice. Sixty-nine watches valued at approximately $200,000 were also recovered from behind the store. (Source reporterherald.com)  

Two armed robbers hit the AT&T store in Delran, NJ in the middle of the afternoon  Two armed men stole about $20,000 in Apple phones and tablets during a Wednesday afternoon holdup at the AT&T Wireless store on Fairview Boulevard.  The robbery happened just before 1:30 p.m. when two men in ski masks brandishing handguns stormed into the store and ordered all the employees into a backroom. The men then took approximately 40 iPhones and iPads and fled.  No employees were hurt. (Source myfoxphilly.com)

Second burglary of a Radio Shack in Wallingford, Connecticut in the past 6 months.  Police in Wallingford are investigating a burglary which occurred on Wednesday evening, a similar break-in occurred back in March. Three suspects were apprehended back in June for the March break-in. No information was released on what inventory was missing. (Source myrecordjournal.com)

Man grabs and runs with $11,000 of jewelry from Osterman Store in Sandusky Mall.  The suspect was caught on video tape as he shopped for a diamond ring. The suspect began asking questions and wanted to compare two different rings. Once the employee pulled out the second ring from the showcase, the suspect grabbed both rings and ran. The rings that were taken are valued at more than $11,000 dollars. (Source fox8.com)

Psychic puts a Florida woman in a trance to get her to buy him a $28,000 Rolex. The Psychic has not been charged, but it is believed that he was able to swindle $150,000 from the retired Boynton Beach teacher. On one occasion, the psychic took his client to the Boca Town Center Mall and purchased a $28,000 Rolex watch from Mayor’s Jewelers. The Rolex was to be used as a ‘sacrifice’, turns out it was pawned by someone in Deerfield Beach. After losing the $150,000, the retired teacher hired a private investigator, which turned the case over to the Police. According to Boca Raton police reports, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office determined it was impossible to show criminal intent. (Source wptv.com)

 

ORC News
Sponsored by Protection 1

There Are No Coincidences: Five Women Connected to Global Theft Ring Busted Yesterday in San Antonio - Editor's Note - An extension of the Drug Cartels?  Given the fact that the Cartels basically run all the illegal trades in Texas and the southwest, with a lot of evidence to prove that point, how much of a stretch is it to assume that this group of five women - connected to a global operation - are an extension of the drug Cartels - really - the sisters, wives, relatives of the guys actually running the drug trade. Think about it for a moment: Five women, involved in a half-a-million dollar international operation. Needing the connections to move the goods and the protection not to get ripped off. And just look at their mug shots; No surprise, no remorse, looking quite frankly right at home. Like anyone at their household is going to be surprised. Not looking like drug addicts needing the cash. Somewhat well groomed and calm as cucumbers. What you're seeing is the female relatives of the drug Cartels doing their jobs, bringing home money for the family, and earning the respect of their male relatives. Is it really that much of a stretch? After all, it is a gateway crime. Just a thought!

For those who missed yesterday's edition:

Five Women Connected to Global Theft Ring in San Antonio - hits for $500,000  Five women accused of stealing more than half a million dollars worth of merchandise have been arrested in connection to an international theft ring that sold their loot on eBay. Authorities said the crime ring was working across the country and into Columbia, Canada, Mexico and Australia. According to an arrest affidavit, Emily Garcia and Cassandra Arena stole $700 worth of panties from one San Antonio Victoria's Secret store alone. Other stolen items include high-end products from Coach, Vera Bradley, Dooney & Bourke, Williams of Sonoma and Abercrombie & Fitch. The investigation is still ongoing and further arrests and seizures are expected. A Homeland Security rep said they believe the five suspects are "connected to a much larger international stolen property ring or organization." (Source foxnews.com)

US retail theft ring sold to Australia - actual article published in Australia  If you bought an iPad or Victoria's Secret g-string on eBay or from an Australian street market and thought the price was so cheap it was a steal, well, you were probably right. The US Department of Homeland Security and the San Antonio Police Department announced on Wednesday they smashed a multi-million dollar international retail theft ring based in Texas, but had expanded into Australia, Canada, Columbia and Mexico. "HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) believes these suspects are connected to a much larger international stolen property ring or organisation," Homeland Security spokesperson Adelina Pruneda told AAP. (Source heraldsun.com.au)

Update: More on the One-Female ORC pro hitting New England Malls and now more suspects added to the ORC problem Hitting the Mall at Rockingham Park over the past 8 weeks this one female suspect has hit Sephora, Vitoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch and certainly others as well for over $100,000. Then, Monday night another two men hit Lord and Taylor for jeans and its suspected they too are members of an organized ring. (Source eagletribune.com)

Female ORC suspect being questioned for $30,000 in electronics theft from Wal-Mart stores in New Kensington, Pa  Multiple police departments confirm there is a woman being questioned. A source says someone spotted a woman in New Kensington and recognized her from the surveillance images WTAE has been showing. The woman being questioned is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of electronics from Walmart stores. State police said the woman and a man have targeted Walmarts in Butler, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties. Police said the man takes the locks off the glass cases in the store then put the electronics in a bag or plastic container while the woman acts as his lookout. The man allegedly involved has not been found. (Source wtae.com)

Peabody, MA Police investigate the theft of 72 bras from Victoria’s Secret.  Police say that yesterday, for at least the ninth time since April, thousands of dollars of merchandise was stolen from the Victoria’s Secret at Northshore Mall, this may have been the largest yet. A store employee contacted police around 1pm yesterday afternoon to report the theft, which had apparently occurred “sometime between last night and today,” Police say a total of 72 bras worth $52 each had been stolen, a loss of $3744. (Source star-telegram.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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R. J. Gaites was named the new Area Director of Loss prevention for CVS.
Willie Wright was named Asset Protection Manager for Louis Vuitton North America.
Fabio Sanchez was named Asset Protection Manager for Louis Vuitton North America.
Stephen Prettyman was named Asset Protection Manager for Home Depot.

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Can Keeping Score Boost Employee Performance?  Sure, it sounds a bit childish, but the truth is when it starts to become competitive and you put numbers behind work, you will notice a difference in your employees' performance. Your employees will be focused more and feel more energized when keeping score. The key, though, is to only measure what matters most. (You'll need a scoreboard too)

Help New Employees Succeed From Day One  As new employees enter a new workplace, they are filled with emotion and excitement, but their first day on the job is crucial for their success in the company. Make sure their first few days are paving the way for their success, and follow these five tips to help them grow and get them on the right track. (Welcome and celebrate the new hire's arrival)

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"How the heck did you do that!"

For years now, I've always been amazed when the operators would almost always say - "How the heck did you do that?" - after getting an employee to admit to stealing during an interview. They've been saying that for decades now. So it isn't something each one of you have heard for the first time. Quite frankly, the founding fathers of this industry were hearing it back in the '60s when this industry truly came into its own.

My internal response was always - "Why the heck can't you do it?" - it's no big deal. When in reality most can't. Unless however you're in this industry and you've honed that gut instinct and polished it with WZ training to the point of being able to get most to confess rather quickly. That is unless it's a real pro or ex-con. Then it's a horse of a different color, and nothing you can do, unless you're talking real time reductions, works.

But the point is, this is the one skill that separates us from the rest. It's the real value you bring when you walk into a store from a core deliverable standpoint. The mere fact that the employee population knows of your ability helps keep some from crossing over. Which is a real benefit not just to the retailer but to the employee as well. And it's also a critical element in creating an individual store culture. As each store has one and it's almost always tied to the store manager. A derivative of that person's leadership or lack thereof.

Each store has its own unique culture and its defining points, and your ability to identify it, see it and help mold it is critical if you want to really make an impact and help drive that store to being profitable. And while the data is critical in identifying the issues and pointing you in the right direction, at the end of the day, it's your gut instinct and your ability to connect the two (data + instinct) and then use it to help mold a positive store culture that will truly help you drive each store improvement.

You've spent your entire career developing that ability and, quite frankly, being proud of the fact that you have. And that's a great thing. But to take it a step further and be able to use that instinct along with all the data and information we have and be able to apply it in a positive way and help mold a store's culture is really the objective and goal. Because if you can eliminate the negative elements in a store and help build a positive, upbeat, one-for-all, all-for-one mantra in a store, then most of your problems will disappear. And that's being proactive.

Easier said than done, obviously. But the fact remains you've got to try. One day at a time. One store at a time. Each and every day.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing


Gus Downing

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