Breaking News in the Industry: May 27, 2016

$100 Million of Counterfeit Wine in Circulation

The wine and drinks industry is under attack from fraudsters selling fake packaging and counterfeit alcohol – and thanks to new technology, the problem is only going to worsen. NetNames, which specializes in online brand protection, is highlighting the huge impact that fake products are having on the health of the trade and consumers. Research indicates that retailers are losing between $300M and $400M annually to copycats and counterfeiters, with wine counterfeit experts estimating that there is $100M of counterfeit wine currently in circulation. Alcohol drinks in particular are being regularly targeted by counterfeiters due to their premium price tag and because they are difficult to identify without tasting the product.  [Harpers]

Food and Retail Workers Join Campaign for Better Wages and Benefits
at Washington Area Airports

Food and retail workers at Reagan National Airport are joining campaign for higher wages and benefits that is set to bring rallies and protests to the Washington region’s airports during the busy summer travel season. The workers are pressuring the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to adopt policies that would force airport contractors to raise wages and improve conditions for the thousands of workers that serve the traveling public. Across the country, low-wage workers at some of the busiest hubs have been rallying for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, benefits and union rights in what’s becoming a growing movement in the labor force. “There’s people who are working two or three jobs because one is not enough,” said Tercite Seyoum, a waiter at a restaurant at National. “It is very hard. We need somebody to listen to us.”   [Washington Post]

Holiday UPS Cargo Theft Risk

Holiday weekends are of notoriously high risk for manufacturers and logistics-related organizations. Organized cargo theft rings will be extremely active in the coming days, as more shipments are left unattended for extended periods of time due to the long holiday weekend. During Memorial Day weekends in the past, the FreightWatch International Supply Chain Intelligence Center has recorded elevated theft levels up to 40 percent higher than non-holiday weekends. The 2015 Memorial Day weekend recorded a record-high 15 cargo theft incidents averaging in excess of $600,000. Additionally, the SCIC has recorded a recent spike in cargo theft activity of electronics and cosmetics in the past five weeks with some losses exceeding $3 million. Targeted products included televisions, cell phones, and laptop computers with three of the incidents occurring in Southern California, and perfume and cologne thefts along the eastern seaboard.  [GoByTruckNews]

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Five Ways That Amazon Is Shaking Up Retail

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon will be introducing new private-label brands that will mark its first push into perishable foods, diapers and vitamins, according to its sources. The e-commerce giant is having a year of growth, innovation and, most significantly, disruption. Last year, Amazon generated 27 percent of total retail growth and accounted for $0.42 of every $1.00 of growth in e-commerce in the US. Despite its size, Amazon managed to increase its worldwide revenue by 28 percent in the first quarter, to a total of $29.1 billion. On top of its retail success, Amazon’s cloud service, Amazon Web Services, saw 64 percent revenue growth year on year, accounting for 56 percent of Amazon’s operating income in the quarter.   [Forbes Retail]

Idaho Falls Woman Arrested for Stealing Thousands from Employer

Idaho Falls Police have arrested 23-year-old Ashley Briggs for grand theft for stealing thousands of dollars from the Lifetouch Portrait Studio at JC Penney. Briggs of Idaho Falls was booked into the Bonneville County Jail. According to reports, officers responded to JC Penney, 2320 E. 17th St., on Wednesday in reference to an employee theft. Store managers reported to police Briggs had been conducting large amounts of fraudulent cash refunds. Between November 2015 and May 2016, it’s suspected Briggs stole between $2,000 and $8,100.    [LocalNews8]

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