Breaking News in the Industry: June 21, 2018

Crooks pull off $100K ‘Mission: Impossible’ style theft

They reportedly came through a hole in the ceiling, rappelling into the Dunwoody, Georgia, Best Buy like Tom Cruise’s character famously did in “Mission: Impossible.” Dunwoody police told Channel 2 Action News the burglars made their way to a secure storage area at the store where Apple products were kept and cleaned it out. The theft was worth more than $100,000. No arrests have been made, and the details of the sophisticated heist from the store near Perimeter Mall have investigators wondering if it was related to similar cases in other states, including Texas. Channel 2 said police are trying to get surveillance footage for the investigation.   [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Lingerie retailer keeps losing its panties and bras

Brand name bras and panties have apparently become a hot commodity in Gaston County, North Carolina, as the area’s only Victoria’s Secret store continues to get shoplifted from on a regular basis. Ninety bras were reported stolen from the Eastridge Mall location on North New Hope Road Tuesday, the 18th time store employees called police to the shop in the last 12 months. The thefts resulted in $1,800 in lost merchandise, the 14th such robbery involving at least $900 in stolen clothing.

It’s by far the most looted store at the mall, according to a Gazette analysis of police reports from the address. But these aren’t nearly the only high-dollar thefts reported at the lingerie shop. Shoplifters have been reported there as far back as 2009. In 2015, two women stole close to $8,000 worth of bras. An August 2009 heist resulted in $7,200 in lingerie being stolen from the store. Employees at the local store said they couldn’t comment on the matter.   [Source: Gaston Gazette]

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LP staff and off-duty officer assaulted

An alleged incident of shoplifting turned violent at a Thunder Bay Walmart store in Ontario, Canada, on Monday evening. According to police, a member of the loss prevention staff at the Memorial Avenue store approached a man at about 8:00 p.m. after he was spotted putting an unpaid item into his backpack. When the man tried to flee, two other staff were assaulted while attempting to restrain him, and the altercation continued outside the store. An off-duty Thunder Bay Police officer, who happened to be in the parking lot, intervened and was also assaulted before the suspect was finally taken into custody. A 30-year-old Thunder Bay resident faces several charges including robbery, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and breach of probation. He appeared in court Tuesday morning and was remanded into custody.   [Source: TB News Watch]

Accused shoplifters spray LP associate with mace

The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia is asking for help in identifying two women who allegedly stole electronics and sprayed a loss prevention associate in the face with mace Thursday evening.  Deputies responded to the business on the 7200 block of Battle Hill Drive for a reported robbery. The two female suspects selected merchandise, concealed it in an empty stroller and then proceeded to leave the business, authorities say.

As the suspects were exiting the business, a loss prevention associate confronted the suspects about the concealed merchandise. Authorities say one of the suspects then sprayed the loss prevention associate in the face with what is believed to be mace, and both fled from the store with the stolen merchandise.  Both suspects were seen fleeing the area in a black vehicle with no front license plate.

Anyone with additional information about this incident, or who can help identify the suspects, is asked to contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804.365.6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804.780.1000. Citizens can also download the “P3 Tips” app for their mobile device to submit their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.   [Source: ABC8 News]

Store employee arrested for stealing from ATM

A woman who worked at a Richfield Springs, New York, store is arrested on felony charges for stealing cash from an automated teller machine. Police say Courtney Lund of Winfield took over $2,000 from the ATM at the Mirabito store while she was working there on May 29. Officers began to investigate the theft last Thursday and Lund was taken into custody on Saturday. She faces felony grand larceny charges and is due in Richfield Springs court on July 3.   [Source: CNY News]

Retailers take a forceful stand against Trump’s newest tariff

While Donald Trump searches for more China-made goods to tax, retailers are responding forcefully with the message that his hunt could put the squeeze on the American consumer’s wallet. Trump has threatened tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports, but he may find it difficult to spare electronic goods, clothing and textiles that account for half of all Chinese exports to the U.S. Last week, Trump’s $50 billion hit list of made-in-China goods largely focused on high-technology industries such as robotics, aerospace and cars. “They will focus on electronics,” says Fielding Chen at Bloomberg Economics. “Compared to shoes, it’s higher end. They focus on how much technology is inside, that’s the main principle. If it’s high technology, they will charge it.”

This time round, U.S. companies such as Walmart Inc., No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, and Nike Inc., No. 27, and Chinese firms with American aspirations such as television maker Hisense Electric Co., No. 351 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Asia 500, may be snared as the net is cast wider. That’s because some of the Chinese manufacturers that Trump is targeting are also suppliers to American brands. The U.S. won’t be able to reach the $250 billion number without putting tariffs on a “lot of” consumer goods imports, be that computers, cellphones or apparel, Brad Setser, a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter Tuesday. The U.S. consumers “will see/feel” the $200 billion, Setser wrote.

The situation led Hun Quach, vice president of international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) to issue a one-sentence statement: “This is a global trade war, plain and simple, and the American families will be the ones who suffer most.” Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation pointed to a study conducted earlier this year for NRF and the Consumer Technology Association that found that tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $3 billion and lead to the loss of 134,000 American jobs. That equates to roughly four jobs lost for every job gained. Imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese imports would bring the total impact to a $49 billion reduction in GDP and the loss of 455,000 jobs.

“This is just what we predicted… a tit-for-tat trade war has erupted and American families are caught in the middle,” says Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO. “Higher prices for everyday essentials and lost jobs threaten to sap the energy out of the strong U.S. economy just as most Americans are starting to enjoy the benefits of historic tax reform. This reckless escalation is the latest reminder that Congress must step in and exert its authority on trade policy.” On Monday, Trump said he had instructed the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to identify $200 billion in Chinese imports for additional tariffs of 10%. He said the U.S. would impose tariffs on another $200 billion after that if Beijing retaliates. The range of products that could eventually be taxed by Trump is approaching the value of all U.S. imports from China last year, which is about $505 billion.

In response to Trump’s threats, China vowed to retaliate against U.S. companies. “The Trump administration is calculating that it will win this high stakes game of poker,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore. “The collateral damage from an escalating U.S.-China trade war will be widespread, hitting many Asian countries that are part of China’s manufacturing supply chain in sectors such as electrical and electronic products.   [Source: Digital Commerce 360]

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