Breaking News in the Industry: November 4, 2016

FBI Announces Arrests Made in Connection with the Theft of 23,000 Apple iPhones

The FBI announces the arrests on October 24, 2016 of the following individuals for their alleged involvement in the April 2, 2016 theft of approximately 23,000 Apple iPhones from LAN Cargo at Miami International Airport:
•    Yoan Perez, 33
•    Rodolfo Urra, 36
•    Misael Cabrera, 37
•    Rasiel Perez, 45
•    Eloy Garcia, 42.
These arrests were made without incident at the subjects’ residences throughout Miami Dade County. The stolen Apple iPhones are valued at approximately $6,700,000. These subjects are in federal custody and are facing federal charges. Their initial appearances are expected to be in federal court in Miami. The FBI commends the close cooperation and partnership with Miami Dade Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations throughout this investigation.  [Source: NTA.com]

NY Pair Charged with Peddling over $250K in Designer Knock-Offs

Two Flushing residents have been charged following the seizure of over a quarter million dollars worth of knock-off designer goods from three separate storage units in Ridgewood on Thursday, the Queens District Attorney’s office said.

Xu Jing, 46, and Jing Ye, 43, were arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Wednesday and charged with first-degree trademark counterfeiting, officials said. The two were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to return to court on Dec. 13. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison. Detectives executed a court-permitted search warrant earlier this week at the CubeSmart Self Storage in Ridgewood, where Jing and Ye were allegedly spotted selling faux designer merchandise, according to a criminal complaint. Three different storage units were filled with dozens of boxes and bags packed with knock-off designer items, including Chanel leather goods and accessories with the Tory Burch and Gucci labels. The seizure allegedly included hats, belts, and lighters. [Source: NBC New York]

- Sponsor -

$1M Bond for Third Shoplifting Suspect in NC

The third suspect wanted for a shoplifting that ended with a detective being injured is back in Brunswick County. Shallotte Police Det. John Holman says Matthew Jonathan Bell, 24, was arrested in South Carolina.

Once the men ran toward their car, Holman says Harris slammed the car door on the detective’s hand and Bell ran over the detective’s foot while driving away. Tammy Bell, the third shoplifting suspect, and Matthew Bell’s mother, was caught still inside the store. She was charged with felony larceny, felony conspiracy and resisting arrest. She remains in jail on a $20,000 bond. Detectives say the suspects stole about $1100 in merchandise.

Detectives arrested Harris last week. Bell was brought back to NC yesterday. Det. Holman says on October 14, police were notified about shoplifters inside Belk. A detective spotted Bell and Daniel Lee Harris, 24, coming out of the store. Both Harris and Bell are charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and felony larceny. They are each in jail under $1 million bond. [Source: WWAY TV]

Second Suspect in Theft Ring Pleads Guilty

A second suspect indicted in connection with a reported organized theft ring targeting a Greenville department store has pleaded guilty. The Hunt County grand jury issued indictments In June, naming 18 individuals on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity/organized retail theft.

Brandia Dawnsha Riley, 22, of Greenville entered the plea to the organized retail theft count during a hearing Wednesday in the 196th District Court. Under a plea bargain arrangement Wallace was placed on five years of probation.The charge is a third degree felony, which carries a maximum punishment upon conviction of from two to 10 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000. Jerry Wallace Anderson, 49, of Greenville, entered a guilty plea in the case last month and was also placed on probation. The remaining 16 individuals indicted had trials pending as of Wednesday afternoon. The indictments alleged the 18 people acted together to steal men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and other general retail merchandise valued between $2,500 and $30,000 from the Greenville Marshalls store on or about March 7. [Source: Herald Banner]

Retailers Can No Longer Bank on Black Friday

It wasn’t so long ago that retailers felt obligated to open early on the purported busiest shopping day of the year, and customers responded by lining up out their doors. But Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. That’s one key takeaway from the second annual JDA Consumer Survey. Responding to a survey polling 1,000 shoppers, 47% said that they plan to skip 2016’s Black Friday (or Cyber Monday), and 73% prefer to do their shopping outside of the holiday season during newer e-commerce deal days like Amazon Prime Day. Even some of those who went out to the stores for deals last year are sitting out Black Friday this year, with 34% indicating a change in behavior.
These responses anticipate a further drop in Black Friday shopping that will continue the trend established last year when reports indicated a significant year-over-year drop in brick-and-mortar retail sales.
It wasn’t so long ago that retailers felt obligated to open early on the purported busiest shopping day of the year, and customers responded by lining up out their doors. But Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. That’s one key takeaway from the second annual JDA Consumer Survey.

Responding to a survey polling 1,000 shoppers, 47% said that they plan to skip 2016’s Black Friday (or Cyber Monday), and 73% prefer to do their shopping outside of the holiday season during newer e-commerce deal days like Amazon Prime Day. Even some of those who went out to the stores for deals last year are sitting out Black Friday this year, with 34% indicating a change in behavior.

These responses anticipate a further drop in Black Friday shopping that will continue the trend established last year when reports indicated a significant year-over-year drop in brick-and-mortar retail sales. This apparent shift has led some to ask if Black Friday is losing its relevance entirely. The increasing prominence and ease of online shopping, as well as the introduction of sales even earlier in the holiday season that take the focus off of the specific day, have been cited as reasons for the holiday’s ongoing decline.

In an online discussion last week, many of the industry insiders of the RetailWire BrainTrust agreed that the advent of e-commerce was not what was killing the once hotly-anticipated retail holiday. “The basis of Black Friday is long since dead — the kick-off to the holiday season on a four-day weekend,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research as well as a FORBES contributor. “E-commerce wounded the goose that laid that golden egg, but the year that retailers opened on Thanksgiving, they killed it once and for all.”

“The only thing that makes Black Friday is the deals,” said Lee Kent, principal at Your Retail Authority. “If you offer them, consumers will come, but if you offer them on other days, the consumer has choices. It’s that simple!”

“It isn’t online shopping that is killing Black Friday, it’s the fact that consumers have caught on to the hustle,” said Ryan Mathews, CEO of Black Monk Consulting. “Look how many people do their ‘holiday shopping’ after the holidays or even the New Year to capture real discounts.”

“With the always-discounted retailer always available, the substance of Black Friday is gone, even if the marketing is still around,” said Bob Phibbs, president and CEO of The Retail Doctor. Some retailers have been backing away from the holiday, for instance Apple, which in 2015 neglected to run Black Friday promotions in their stores entirely. The previous year Apple had begun to downplay the holiday’s importance, eliminating stressful doorbuster sales in the interest of treating their employees more kindly during the holidays. This was a notion with which some BrainTrust members sympathized.

“If retailers learned to forget the greed and fear of being outdone by the competition, Black Friday could become a sales day with none of these openings before the sun comes up,” said Ed Rosenbaum, CEO of Rainmaker Solutions. “It’s almost like the meal is over and the dishes are done so let’s get in line. This is what I object strenuously to. Retail employees deserve to spend the holiday with their family.”

“One lesson apparently learned by retailers is that Thanksgiving openings contribute little to the overall weekend sales and have a deleterious effect on associates,” said Richard J. George, PhD., professor of Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University. “Perhaps we can put openings on this day into the vault of failed retail experiments.”  [Source: Forbes]

 

Stay Updated

Get critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.