Breaking News in the Industry: October 14, 2016

A police sport utility vehicle parked with lights flashing. Plenty of copy space.

Theft of $6,000 in Baby Formula

A 25-year-old Racine man is facing an additional theft charge and is suspected of taking thousands of dollars of baby formula from Walmart, which he sold to a local convenience store.
The man was arrested by the Mount Pleasant Police Department on Monday for two felony counts of bail jumping, a misdemeanor count of bail jumping, and misdemeanor retail theft. Charges have been filed with the Racine County District Attorney’s Office, but the man has not had an initial appearance. If convicted, the man faces up to 13 1/2 years in prison and/or fined up to $40,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the man — who has multiple retail theft charges filed against him over the past four months — allegedly stole a total of 38 cans of baby formula on three separate dates in October totaling $658 from Walmart.

The door greeter at Walmart told police he recognized the man because the company issued a ‘be on the lookout’ warning to its employees. The man was caught on video surveillance on two prior dates taking baby formula. When the greeter asked the man if he had a receipt, the man told the greeter he did not. Trying to walk away from the employee, he grabbed the man’s sleeve and the man pushed the greeter.

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A couple of employees held the man down on the ground until a loss prevention officer could get there. The Walmart employee told police that the store has seen a significant amount of its baby formula inventory stolen and they “believed that (the man) was probably responsible for even more thefts.”

The man told police he was selling the stolen baby formula to a Racine-area convenience store for $7 a can. The loss prevention officer estimated that $6,000 in baby formula had been stolen. [Source: Racine County Eye]

Couple Sues for Unnecessary Use of Force During Shoplifting Investigation

A Texas couple is set to go to trial Oct. 17 after an altercation with a Buda police office in Walmart two years ago. Buda couple Juan Martinez, 73, and Guadalupe Martinez, 70, will present their case in federal court against the city of Buda, Walmart Stores Texas, LLC, and Buda Police Officer DeMerriell Young on Oct. 17 for constitutional violations. The Martinez’s lawsuit against the superstore giant, the local municipality and the officer from Buda stem from an incident that occurred approximately two years ago. At that time the couple was arrested at the Buda Walmart for separate offenses.  On Oct. 3, 2014, before 8 p.m. the couple were shopping at the Buda Walmart Superstore in separate motorized carts when they became separated while in the store. According to the Martinez’s lawsuit petition, Guadalupe was in a motorized cart with merchandise in the basket looking for her husband when she exited the Walmart.

According to the petition, the Loss Prevention staff at the store escorted Guadalupe to an office where they accused her of theft for approximately $163 of unpaid merchandise in her cart.
Guadalupe’s arrest warrant states that Buda Officer Young arrived on the scene at 7:58 p.m. and was updated by Walmart employees on the situation before meeting Guadalupe. Juan’s arrest warrant states that after Young was briefed on the situation he went into the Loss Prevention Office to speak with Guadalupe when her husband Juan noticed and followed him inside. The arrest warrant stated that Young had asked Juan to “step outside” six times before the officer said he would remove Juan from the room.  A body camera video was released to KVUE News showing the altercation between Juan and Young. The KVUE video was published on its website on Oct. 6, showing Young asking Juan to “step outside”. Young is heard on the video telling Juan he would either “step outside or I will place you outside, or I will place you under arrest for interfering.”  Young is heard telling Juan to turn around so that he can be handcuffed when Juan yells “stop it, stop it” and starts fighting off Young.

The next scene shows Juan laying on the floor outside the office screaming. Guadalupe can be heard in the background asking about her husband and saying that Young “pushed him.” According to the lawsuit, “Young intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly assaulted Juan Martinez by needlessly trying to eject him from a room where his wife was being detained, causing him to break four ribs.”  [Source: Hays Free Press]

How to Beat the Holiday Labor Shortage

•    Offer Employee Discounts
•    Make It Fun
•    Give Out Bonuses
•    Offer Longer Hours for Those Who Want Them
•    Set Regular Schedules
•    Pay Higher Wages
•    Spread the Word

[Source: Small Biz Trends]

Sears’ and Macy’s Troubles Are Actually Good for Retailers

Retailers across the country are closing hundreds of stores as they confront the marketplace changes brought on by and the growth of e-commerce, but their shrinking footprint doesn’t have to bring about dire consequences — and, in fact, could be very good for the industry.

No miracle on 34th St.
The announcement that Macy’s was closing 100 stores shook up the markets as it signaled the realization that retail needed to dramatically reduce its sprawl. The number was huge, even though it will still have nearly 800 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores when it’s finished shuttering stores early next year.

Moreover, when you consider those closings are second only to Sears Holdings, which has closed hundreds of Kmart stores and is planning on closing hundreds more, you realize just how troubled these retailers are.

It’s a process being repeated elsewhere as well, particularly as many retailers declare bankruptcy. Sports Authority, Gander Mountain, Aeropostale, Pacific Sunwear, American Apparel, and Quicksilver are just some of the retailers filing for bankruptcy court protection within the past year, and with them have come dramatic numbers of store closings.

The silver lining
Yet this is actually a positive development. Retail is simply “over-stored,” with too many locations open to meet demand, so reducing the inventory of locations ought to help the remaining retailers do better, in three ways:
1.    Reduced costs associated with maintaining a large footprint.
2.    Spread out customers to the remaining stores, including those of competitors.
3.    Gain leverage with their landlords.

Macy’s says that by closing the 100 stores, it’s going to lose about $1 billion in sales, even after accounting for the customers that will be pushed to its remaining stores or who will go to its website to shop. To offset those losses, it is initiating cost-cutting measures, including selling off real estate, firing employees, strategic partnerships, and more.  Similarly, Office Depot, which says it will close 300 stores over the next three years, is looking to cut annual costs by $250 million by the end of 2018. [Source: The Motley Fool]

Pair Allegedly Brings Kids on N.J. Shoplifting Spree

Two New Yorkers who allegedly brought children on a September shoplifting spree in New Jersey have been arrested in Massachusetts. Pablo J. Minier, 33, and Stephanie Hodge, 31, both of the Bronx, went to a Warren County Wal-Mart on Sept. 3, loaded a cart with three televisions, another with DVDs and left the store, Mansfield Township police reported Tuesda

The pair had two young children with them, police said. The TVs were valued at about $2,500.
Store employees recorded a Massachusetts license plate. Authorities from three states helped identify the duo, Mansfield police said. A warrant was issued Oct. 2, setting bail on charges of shoplifting and conspiracy. [Source: Lehigh Valley Live]


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