Breaking News in the Industry: August 19, 2016

Fifth Suspect Captured Monday in Tennessee ORC Bust

Before five suspects piled into a gray Hyundai Elantra in Lynnwood, Tennessee on Monday afternoon and abandoned the vehicle at Westgate Chapel in Edmonds, they were suspected of being involved in a shoplifting incident near Alderwood Mall. According to charging documents for one of the suspects, an 18-year-old Seattle woman, three female suspects went into Kohl’s Department Store on Alderwood Mall Parkway and stole “large amounts” of Sonicare electric toothbrushes, razors and possibly a bottle of perfume. While officers were on their way to Kohl’s, the three suspects left Kohl’s and ran toward a T-Mobile store. There, they jumped into the Hyundai, which was stolen out of Seattle. A driver and passenger, both males, were in that vehicle already.

Twenty items were stolen, worth $2,273.79, which is enough for a felony organized retail theft charge. Two of the suspects, both women under the age of 18 who had stolen items from Kohl’s, were located in the 9400 block of 231st Street Southwest, charging documents say. They were arrested for theft at that time and were transported to Denny Youth Center and booked for organized retail theft. Two of the other suspects were captured in an Edmonds neighborhood. The last suspect, the driver, was located inside the laundry room of an Edmonds residence he had unlawfully entered. He is being charged with burglary for entering the home, among other charges, Lynnwood Police Commander Wes Deppa said.   [Source:]


There are 1.2 Million Missing Retail Workers Because Amazon’s So Good

Digital Partners

Internet sellers such as Amazon, eBay and Newegg are so good at what they do that there are 1.2 million fewer people working in the retail industry now than would be the case if online stores didn’t exist, an analysis suggests. J.P. Morgan analyst Michael Feroli says online sellers are so much more productive at selling goods than brick-and-mortar stores that there’s less need for workers. Sales revenue per online employee is more than four times as high as what a traditional retail worker generates: $1,267,000 vs. $279,000.

That’s not to say online shopping has destroyed 1.2 million jobs, Feroli notes. It just means that the shift toward internet sales has boosted productivity to the point that companies can get by with fewer employees. Productivity among online sellers surged 6% in 2015, according to government data. Overall U.S. productivity rose a tepid 0.8% last year. [Source:]

Top 10 Most Powerful Retail Brands

Nothing is more valuable to a retailer looking to build and maintain a loyal and profitable customer base than its brand. In fact, as consumers continue to change the way they shop, having a strong brand image that is synonymous with your offerings can often make or break a retailer. For the past 25 years Tenet has been tracking nearly 1,000 different companies across 50 industries to develop the benchmark data for its CoreBrand Index. And for the ninth consecutive year the marketing agency has been publishing its findings in its annual “Top 100 Most Powerful Brands” report.

The cross-industry ranking explores companies from various disciplines including consumer goods, technology, chemicals, restaurants, electronics, retail, etc. The entire list can be viewed for free. Below is a quick look at the first 10 retailers named to the list.

  • Apple
  • Starbucks
  • eBay
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Nike
  • Avon
  • Walgreens
  • Target
  • Lowe’s
  • Walmart


LP Worldwide: Luxury Brands Get Tough with Counterfeiters

After years of debate in the luxury industry about how to publicly tackle counterfeit goods, a growing number of high-end names from Gucci to Moncler and Alexander Wang are suing sellers of fakes, both in China and the West. The legal action comes as brands grapple with an explosion of fake goods on e-commerce and social-media platforms.

Fashion brand Alexander Wang, which sued the owners of 459 websites believed to be selling counterfeit handbags, footwear and clothing last year,  won a $90 million judgement this month in a New York district court. The court froze the websites and transferred their domain names — many of which are believed to originate in China — to the designer.

Alexander Wang, in a statement, said it was “pleased” by the court’s verdict and would protect its brand by “maintaining constant vigilance on a global scale.” The lawsuits are a “strategic change” for companies who haven’t always been vocal or public about their battle against fake goods, said Paolo Beconcino, a Beijing-based consultant for Squire Patton Boggs law firm, who represents half a dozen Western brands in lawsuits against counterfeiters.  In the past, many brands focused mainly on raids and seizures of counterfeit goods to shut down shady manufacturers and sellers, but some have questioned how effective this tactic is at deterring production of fakes. [Source:]

Why Retail Data Hacks Keep Happening

Another day, another data breach. This time, cyber criminals may have gotten their hands on the payment data of patrons of food and beverage outlets at 20 major hotel chain properties operated by HEI Hotels and Resorts. Some of the locations HEI identified include the Boca Raton Marriott, the Sheraton Pentagon City and the Westin Philadelphia.

Cyber thieves want to get your credit card data any way they can, and the point of sale, where you’re swiping a credit or debit card, can be a point of vulnerability. “One of the weakest links is the point of sale because you never know who the merchant is,” said cyber security expert Avivah Litan at Gartner. “The merchant could be bad. The staff that accessed it might be negligent or malicious.” Litan said a retailer may appear to have a good system that transports your payment information securely.  But some employees or other users—like maintenance staff– have access to the system.  “And the bad guys are getting in through the user accounts that are able to access the system,” she said. But as we move to chip cards, experts said, many of those problems go away. Chip cards generate a one-time transaction code. The card number itself doesn’t get transmitted, so cyber thieves can’t access it and make counterfeit cards.  The problem is, we’re not there yet. Once chip technology is more widely adopted, cyber security experts say point-of-sale transactions will be a lot more secure. But online transactions?  Not so much. And that’s where cyber thieves may then focus their efforts.   [Source:]


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