Breaking News in the Industry: November 25, 2016

Cargo Theft, stolen cargo

Holiday cargo theft alert

Holiday weekends are notorious for presenting the danger of increased cargo theft risks for transportation companies, shippers and manufacturers. Since 2010, the transportation industry has experienced more than three thefts per day during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 27 percent over the annual average of 2.4 thefts per non-holiday days throughout those years. During this elevated threat period, electronics, and clothing and shoes shipments increase as targets for cargo thieves.

Organized theft rings are always active and recognize holiday weekends can cause shipments to be unattended for prolonged periods of time. During the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling over $1.48 million in reported losses, including one fictitious pickup in Michigan.

FreightWatch International recommends logistics and security professionals ensure security protocols are up to date and in line with industry best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations. Both will be heavily targeted by cargo thieves over the weekend, using traditional and non-traditional theft methods. [Source: Go By Truck News]

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Good Samaritan stabbed by shoplifting suspect’s boyfriend

A Good Samaritan, who tried help a California Gelson’s Market security officer struggling with a shoplifting suspect, was stabbed by the suspect’s boyfriend, police said.

A loss-prevention officer at the grocery store stopped the woman right outside the front door around 10 a.m. Monday for allegedly shoplifting, Los Angeles police said.

When the woman started screaming, her boyfriend emerged from the parking lot and tried to pull her away from the Gelson’s employee. A Good Samaritan, who happened to be in the parking lot at the time, saw what was happening and went to help the loss-prevention officer. That’s when the suspect’s boyfriend pulled out a knife.

”The boyfriend ran to help, wanted to attack the loss-prevention officer when an innocent bystander intervened to try to help the loss-prevention officer, and the suspect stabbed the bystander a couple of times,” said LAPD Sgt. Leonid Tsap.

The Good Samaritan suffered non-life threatening slash-type wounds in the upper torso, neck and ear, and the knife-wielding boyfriend suffered cuts on his hands. Both were transported to an area hospital. The woman accused of shoplifting and her boyfriend were taken into custody. [Source: ABC7.com]

These 9 retailers really need a good holiday season

The fourth quarter is widely regarded as the most critical time of year for retailers. Yet a quick look at the Commerce Department’s annual sales data shows that isn’t always the case. Despite the industry’s emphasis on holiday shopping, the final three months of 2015 accounted for roughly one-quarter of the year’s retail sales, excluding autos and food services. The period’s importance is tempered by categories such as building materials and garden equipment, which nabbed just 16 percent of their revenue in November and December last year.

Yet for brands that rack up more than 30 percent of their sales during the quarter, the holiday season can indeed be make or break. Retailers that specialize in popular gifting categories, such as toys, electronics and jewelry, are particularly vulnerable. Not only do a large chunk of those categories’ sales occur in the fourth quarter, but mass merchants often slash prices on toys and TVs to bring foot traffic into their stores. “It gets really tough,” Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea said. “In some cases when you are very seasonal and you’re under attack, in order to defend your year-round… position, you have to be competitive.”

The National Retail Federation predicts industry sales will increase 3.6 percent in November and December, which would mark a slight acceleration from last holiday’s 3.2 percent growth. Here are nine retailers who are counting on that increase the most.

  • A&F
  • Macy’s
  • Kohl’s
  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • L Brands
  • Signet
  • Game Stop
  • ToysRUs

[Source: CNBC]

Loss prevention associate stabbed in the neck

Original Story: 
A loss prevention employee at the Midtown Fred Meyer store in Anchorage was taken to the hospital with a critical stab wound to the neck Sunday evening, according to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. The employee was trying to stop someone from stealing from the store, and in the process, was stabbed in the neck by the suspect, Castro says. The victim was taken to the hospital with what Castro called a “critical stab wound,” but was still conscious and breathing.

Police say there is a suspect in custody. That person has been taken to the Anchorage Police Department for further questioning. APD sent out an alert  about an assault with a weapon at a Midtown retail store.

Update: The Anchorage Police Department has identified the suspect as Steven Treadway. Treadway was charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. Now, he is remanded to the Anchorage jail. The loss prevention employee was treated for an approximate two-inch laceration. He is now listed in stable condition.  [Source: Anchorage News Link]

Retailers expect busier-than-usual holiday season

If the predictions are right, there will be more people spending more money this holiday season. The National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December to increase 3.6 percent over last year’s spending. That amounts to $655.8 billion — not including automobiles, gas or restaurants sales — shelled out during the holiday season. The bold prediction comes on the heels of a 3.2 percent increase in 2015 over the 2014 holiday season sales.

Similarly, Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast predicts a 3.6 percent increase over last year with sales topping $1 trillion. It also predicts a 17 percent to 19 percent increase in e-commerce sales. The positive retail predictions bode well for the Danbury area, which is packed with retailers, both of the big box and mom-and-pop varieties. According to figures provided by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, Danbury alone accounted for just under $8 million in tax revenue for the state in 2015 in the common retail sectors: furniture, clothing, electronics, sporting goods and miscellaneous store retailers. “Danbury is a retail hub for western Connecticut and eastern New York and we are thankful for the business we do get,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. “But don’t forget the small- and medium-sized stores. There are a lot of treasures to be found in those stores. So support those businesses as well as the big ones.” [Source: NewsTime.com]

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