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Breaking News in the Industry: March 27, 2019

Shoplifting blitz nabs 9

The Georgetown Police Department in Kentucky, partnered with local businesses to crack down on shoplifting last week, charging seven individuals with shoplifting and recovering more than $1,700 in stolen property. Two others were charged with criminal trespassing during the operation.

“Occasionally we partner with local businesses on a shoplifting blitz,” Georgetown Assistant Police Chief Robert Swanigan said. “Shoplifting is something we have to deal with, usually seeing a rise around Christmas, but we have to combat it year round.”

Swanigan said shoplifting is one of the most frequent charges officers see, and it is important to work with local businesses to deter shoplifting activity. “Shoplifting affects all businesses from major chains to local business owners, and shoppers as well,” he said. GPD said on its Facebook page they will continue to periodically partner with local merchants through special operations to strengthen their anti-shoplifting initiative.   [Source: News-Graphic]

- Digital Partner -

Four teens arrested for armed robbery of cell phone store

Police in Noblesville, Indiana, arrested four Indianapolis teenagers following an armed robbery Monday night. According to the Noblesville Police Department, officers were dispatched to the AT&T store in response to the robbery. Police discovered four suspects robbed the store and left in a Ford Taurus. Officers from the Fishers Police Department spotted the car and detained the suspects. All four were taken to the Hamilton County Jail.

Noblesville police said 19-year-old Michael Robert Robinson faces a preliminary robbery charge while 18-year-old Clarence Demone Armstrong II was arrested on charges of robbery, theft, pointing a firearm, criminal confinement and criminal recklessness. Police also arrested a 17-year-old suspect and a 16-year-old suspect who aren’t being identified because they’re juveniles. Preliminary charges against them include robbery, theft, pointing a firearm, criminal confinement and criminal recklessness. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office will make the final charging decision in the case.   [Source: Fox59 News]

How many workers will technology replace?

McDonald’s just bought a tech company that can change store menus based on the weather, what customers might add to menu items they already have selected and what people are more likely to order in the morning or in the night. It spent $300 million to buy this firm, called Dynamic Yield. This technology gets added to order-taking machines in many McDonald’s locations, and it means very large layoffs are inevitably coming.

McDonald’s is no different from any other fast-food chain, drug store retailer or mall-based store. Most of these operate on small margins. Employee costs are high, even though most retail workers are poorly paid. Despite the low pay, the more layoffs the better, as long as stores can deal with current foot traffic. And, in many cases, the death of brick-and-mortar retailers means that they need even fewer people, who can be replaced by technology. Retailers CVS Health and Walmart already have self-checkout at a number of their stores, which allows them to replace cashiers. Altogether, the total figure of retail employees who can be replaced by these systems will rise into the tens of thousands.   [Source: 24/7 Wall Street]

Six arrested in OTC medication theft

Six people in New York conspired to steal over-the-counter medication from the Amsterdam Hannaford Sunday night, Montgomery County Sheriff’s officials said. The arrests came after a joint effort from the sheriff’s office, the Amsterdam Police Department, state police and store loss prevention professionals, officials said. Dispatchers received a call then for a report of a larceny in progress at the Hannaford in the Town of Amsterdam. Suspects had made off with more than $700 worth of the medication, officials said.

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The suspects fled in a vehicle headed north. Deputies and officers responded. Amsterdam officers soon found the vehicle and stopped it near the Fulton County line. All six inside the vehicle were charged, officials said. “This case is a perfect example of agencies working together to successfully apprehend suspects committing larcenies,” Sheriff Jeffery Smith said in a release. Those arrested were charged with misdemeanor petit larceny and sixth-degree conspiracy.   [Source: The Daily Gazette]

Knife-wielding shoplifter tells LP associates to ‘come and get it’

A shoplifting suspect in South Carolina brandished a knife when she was confronted by loss prevention associates at a local Walmart store. It happened Monday morning at the Walmart in Boiling Springs, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report. LP associates told a deputy they confronted the suspect after she left the store with a stolen calculator.

The suspect refused to stop then presented a knife and told the workers to come and get it, the report says. The victims said she walked to a nearby restaurant and left in an older dark gray car without hubcaps. Video surveillance reportedly showed the suspect entering the store. Victims described her as a heavyset white female, wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes and carrying a rose gold purse.   [Source: WSPA News7]

Internet furniture retailer latest to go from clicks to bricks

Wayfair on Tuesday announced it will be opening its first full-service store at the Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts, in early fall of this year. That’s after it tested a few pop-up shops, including one at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, during this past holiday season.  Now, Wayfair CEO and co-founder Niraj Shah said a permanent location will allow the company to bring its website to life, and hopefully win more customers over with “knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team” that can’t be matched online.

- Digital Partner -

Born-online brands opening up bricks-and-mortar locations is a frequent occurrence in the retail industry today. Mattress company Casper has said it plans to open 200 locations over the next two years. Apparel company Untuckit recently hit 50 stores. And glasses maker Warby Parker is at about 100. A new mall in New York, Hudson Yards, has an entire floor dedicated to e-commerce retailers like sock brand Stance and men’s athletic apparel company Rhone. Wayfair’s new store will allow shoppers to either purchase products there to take home, or have orders placed for delivery to home, the company said.   [Source: CNBC News]

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