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Breaking News in the Industry: June 10, 2016

Disney Employee Accused of Stealing $112,000 in Fraudulent Refunds

A Walt Disney World employee used her position with the company to fraudulently obtain more than $100,000 over 22 months, Orange County investigators said. Katie Miller, 29, is charged with second-degree grand theft and first-degree scheme to defraud. Court records say Miller defrauded Disney by inputting fraudulent refund transactions while she worked as a cashier at the Columbia Harbor House in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Investigators said Miller stole approximately $112,000 between May 2013 and March 2015. Disney employees discovered the suspected fraud and the case was turned over to law enforcement. Miller was arrested Tuesday by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and is being held at the Orange County Jail. []

Retail Meltdown: Which Chains Are Closing Stores in 2016?

A number of big-name retailers are getting smaller as they try to find a way to succeed in an increasingly online world. With some retailers, including Sports Authority and Sports Chalet, closing all of their stores, and others, like Aeropostale, teetering on the edge of heading into the great strip mall in the sky, this has been a difficult year for brick-and-mortar retailers. The damage, however, is not limited to the chains that are closing up shop entirely. A number of others — including some iconic names — are getting smaller, closing stores as a way to shrink into, if not profitability, at least lower losses. It’s a tough time for America’s shopping centers, with it looking like those temporary pop-up Halloween stores will have their pick of prime locations this year. Blame the Internet in many cases, changing consumer demands in others, bad management in a few, and a combination of all of the above in many cases. Here’s a look at some of the retailers that have either already begun closing locations or plan to do so this year. []

Decorated Police Officer Cleared of Shoplifting Women’s Clothes

A decorated police officer has been cleared of shoplifting women’s clothes from a supermarket.Richard Pendlebury, 42, told Preston Crown Court he believed the leopard print skirt, black top and shoes were what his partner Zoe Wilkinson, 30, was returning to Asda, days after she purchased the same outfit. The custody sergeant said he was unaware the items had been selected by his partner as they shopped at the Pilsworth Road store on September 19 2014. The Crown alleged that following his arrest he then conspired to provide a false account to police. [HeraldScotland]

- Digital Partner -

Mall Owners Turn to Tech to Evolve

Mall owners have taken pains to defend the shopping model, even as traffic has fallen and some traditional mall retailers falter. Simon Property Group chairman/CEO David Simon in April pushed back against the widely-held notion that American malls are dying, while Taubman Centers COO Bill Taubman last month said that the biggest problem facing US malls is under-performing retailers. While some destination and many class A malls seem to be thriving, others are struggling as anchors like Sears and Macy’s falter or close. [RetailDive]

Jeff Bezos Gives Advice to Retailers

The 2016 Code Conference saw Jeff Bezos interviewed about his thoughts on business, the future of computers and of print media. During the question period, a former Walmart Stores employee asked the Inc. CEO what retail problems he thought that the Amazon business model could fix in the next 10–20 years. Bezos answered that he continues to believe what he’s thought for the last 20 years—there are three key components to finding success in retail: selection, price and delivery (delivery encompassing speed, convenience and accuracy). [Investopedia]

World Anti-Counterfeiting Day: Why Buying Fakes Costs More?

Now in its eighteenth year, World Anti-Counterfeiting Day enables national and international organizations involved in the fight against counterfeit products to increase consumer awareness of the risks and costs associated with buying fakes, and to encourage consumers to better understand the seriousness of the problem. Counterfeiting and piracy is a growing global problem with the latest OECD report on trade in counterfeit and pirated goods indicating that trade of fake goods has increased by over 80% in a five-year period, representing now more than 2.5% of all world trade. []

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