Breaking News in the Industry: September 30, 2016

Man Punches, Bites Loss Prevention Officers During Robbery at Macy’s

A man punched and bit loss prevention officers during a robbery at a Macy’s store at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, police said. The man walked into the store and appeared to be shopping for clothes, police said. He picked out several items and took the security sensors off of them. The man started to walk out of the store without paying for the items, but was stopped by officers, police said. The man assaulted the officers and escaped on foot.

The man is about 20 to 30 years old. He’s 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds, police said. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information that leads to the man’s arrest.  [Source: KSAT.com]

Man Who Used Wheelchair in Rolex Theft Pleads Guilty

A Connecticut man who pretended he needed a wheelchair so he could steal a $37,000 watch from a jewelry store is heading to prison. The Connecticut Post reports that 36-year-old Larry Johnson, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbery, larceny and assault.
Authorities say in May 2105, Johnson entered a Stamford jewelry store in a wheelchair and asked to see a Rolex watch. Once he had the watch in hand, he got out of the wheelchair, used Mace on the sales clerk and the security guard, and then knocked the guard to the ground as he ran out of the store. Johnson was tied to the theft by a fingerprint left on the wheelchair. [Source: The Connecticut Post]

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Louis Vuitton Victorious in Yet Another Taiwanese Trademark Suit

Louis Vuitton has been handed a second favorable ruling in the past several months in its efforts to fight fakes in Taiwan. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Court ruled in favor of the Paris-based luxury brand in May after Louis Vuitton filed suit against Yi Ze Tian International Co., Ltd., parent company to fashion brand iki2, alleging that it was selling bags that bore Louis Vuitton’s EPI trademark in violation of Taiwanese Trademark Law and Fair Trade Law.

In the most recent case, Louis Vuitton, which is notoriously protective of its valuable intellectual property, filed a similar suit against 2R International Co., Ltd. for selling bags bearing its EPI trademark and ones that closely resembled its famous Noe and Neverfull styles. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Court upheld the validity of the fashion house’s EPI mark, despite a previously-issued ruling siding with 2R International. (Note: the EPI trademark, pictured above, consists of a textured leather characterised by interleaving ridges and valleys applied to the whole or predominant area of the surface of the product, with the ridges being of a darker shade and the valleys of a lighter shade, thus giving it an immediately recognizable two-tone effect).

This ruling fits squarely within Louis Vuitton’s increased efforts to fight fakes. As of last year, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, for instance, which owns Christian Dior, Givenchy, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton, among others, stated that “[it has] taken extensive actions in China, Korea, Thailand and Italy, among other places” in the past several years in particular, to counter to sale and manufacture of infringing and counterfeit goods.

According to a statement from the luxury conglomerate: “The luxury industry is particularly hard-hit by the counterfeiting of goods, which unlawfully takes advantage of the prestige of its brands and harms their tradition, identity and image. As part of its broader brand protection policy, the fight against this problem – often linked with organized crime – is one of the LVMH Group’s priorities. The Group coordinates these anti-counterfeiting actions, particularly involving relations with the authorities in different countries, or actions taken directly against counterfeiters. Some sixty people at various levels of responsibility work full time on anti-counterfeiting, in collaboration with a wide network of outside investigators and a team of lawyers.”   [Source: The Fashion Law]

Winter Haven Walmart Employee Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $2055 In Cash

Winter Haven Police were contacted regarding a theft of money from the Winter Haven Walmart store. According to report officers met with the stores loss control who were looking into a string of cash shortages by an employee Tyra Rivera. Rivera a cashier allegedly can be observed on multiple occasions taking money from her drawer and concealing it on her person. According to reports through accounting records of over/short register reports the total amount of the theft was around $2055.

According to reports loss control confronted Rivera who allegedly admitted to taking the money and signed a sworn written statement. The amount listed in the statement is $1,500 admitted to by Rivera. Winter Haven Police Arrested Rivera for Grand Theft and transported her to Polk County Jail. [Source: The Daily Ridge]

Sears, Claire’s at High Risk in Fitch Study of Retail Failures

Sears Holdings, Claire’s Stores and Nine West Holdings are among seven chains at high risk of defaulting within a year as shoppers shift to online merchants and spend more on experiences, according to a Fitch Ratings study of retail bankruptcies.

The companies were named in a 114-page report Wednesday that found retailers wind up liquidated almost three times more often than other companies in bankruptcy because customer defections are making turnarounds harder to execute. Other chains at risk include True Religion Apparel, 99 Cents Only Stores, Nebraska Book and Rue21, Fitch said. Company representatives declined to comment or didn’t immediately respond to messages.

In this kind of scenario, a retailer loses its “reason to exist” and its chance to regain favor with customers, and thus loses its value as a going concern to a potential savior, the report said.   [Source: Chicago Tribune]

Seasonal Retail Hiring Expected to Top 700,000 Nationally

With Christmas about three months away, retailers in recent days began their annual scramble for seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
JCPenney announced Wednesday it was hiring about 350 seasonal workers for its Madison area operations. The company said it was filling a number of positions including customer service and support positions from cashiers and replenishment and merchandise support specialists. Chicago-based outplacement consultant Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc. in its annual holiday seasonal hiring forecast expects the nation’s retailers to add more than 700,000 temporary workers this holiday season. Retailers in 2015 hired about 738,800 seasonal workers between October and December, which was down from 749,100 in 2015.

JCPenney, which has stores at Madison’s West Towne Mall and East Towne Mall, said it will start hiring in early October and expects to continue hiring throughout the holiday season. Challenger, Gray and Christmas said growth in online shopping has led to more jobs being added to support distribution and warehouse services in recent years. Target said it also will be adding about 7,500 seasonal workers for its distribution centers. UPS recently announced it likely will be adding about 95,000 people for the holiday season to meet the expected increase in shipping demands.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that national transportation and warehousing employment increased by a non-seasonally adjusted 200,500 workers in November and December last year. A decade ago, holiday season job growth in this sector nationally totaled about 42,400. [Source: Wisconsin State Ledger]

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