Breaking News in the Industry: August 8, 2018

WATCH: Another Apple Store theft caught on video

Apple Store representatives confirm with 23ABC the Valley Plaza Mall store was vandalized Wednesday night. The grab-and-dash robbery was caught on a 23ABC viewer’s cell phone. The video provided shows two people dressed in black stealing a variety of Apple products including laptops. Apple representatives say their global security team and local law enforcement are investigating.    [Source: 23ABC News]

Loss prevention associate punched, threatened with knife

A woman and her juvenile accomplice were arrested after an attempted retail theft ended with the loss prevention associate being punched twice in his face. The incident happened Sunday afternoon at the WSS Shoes store located on the 15000 block of Bear Valley Road in Victorville, California. Sheriff’s officials say 34-year-old Melonie Lesure was attempting to steal shoes when she was caught by the store’s Loss Prevention associate. “Loss prevention associate asked Lesure to return the merchandise as she and the 16-year old male that was with her, attempted to leave the store. Lesure refused and brandished a knife at the employee,” Victorville Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez told Victor Valley News.

“When the employee attempted to detain Lesure, the male juvenile punched him twice, causing injury to his face,” Rodriguez stated. According to a witness, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, the female suspect was attempting to switch shoes from her purse when she was caught. “When she was confronted she began to argue and started screaming that she had a gun and yelling at somebody else to get a gun from the car, at that point I ran to the back of the store with my children,” the witness said. “The whole ordeal was frightening, and at the time I felt like loss prevention put our lives in jeopardy by blocking the only door we could leave through. I am glad now they did what they had to do to stop them. But when she was shouting she had a gun, not only my children but several children were crying.” the witness said…    [Source: Victor Valley News]

More than half of buyers on Amazon Prime Day were first-timers

The deals and promotions Amazon.com facilitates during its annual Prime Day sale event are available only to Prime members, and this year more than half—52%—of members who made a purchase on Prime Day had never taken Amazon up on its Prime Day sale offers before, according to an A.T. Kearney survey of 1,000 Prime Day shoppers in the U.S. A.T. Kearney is a management consulting firm.

Amazon held its Prime Day sale for the fourth time July 18-19 and says the 36-hour event generated more sales and signups for Amazon Prime than any other comparable period in the retailer’s history. It said the same thing in 2017 in the wake of the third Prime Day sale. That just 48% of buyers on Prime Day were repeat Prime Day shoppers, per A.T. Kearney’s results, gives evidence to just how much Prime membership is growing. As of June, 65.5% of U.S. online households have an Amazon Prime membership, according to an Internet Retailer/BizRate Insights consumer survey. That’s up from 62.4% just three months earlier.

Getting a consumer to sign up for Prime means Amazon can count on that consumer shopping more frequently and spending more money on Amazon. U.S. Prime members place an average of 24 orders with Amazon annually versus 13.2 orders for Amazon shoppers who are not a part of Prime, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners data. Correspondingly, Prime members spend an average of $1,400 with Amazon annually versus $600 for non-Prime customers…   [Source: Internet Retailer]

Car, foot chases end with suspected shoplifters arrested

It took a car, then foot chase, but two suspected shoplifters were eventually caught on Sunday by Delaware State Police. State police received a description of a car that was involved suspected shoplifting in Rehoboth Beach, and saw the car on Del. 1 south of Milton, according to a state police press release. The trooper pulled the car over, but before the officer could make contact, police said the vehicle pulled back into traffic.

During the course of the chase, the suspect car, an orange Chevy Cobalt, went through the intersection at Broadkill Road and ran onto a traffic island, collided with a utility box, a car in the right-hand turn lane to Del. 16, another car traveling in the right lane of Del 1 south and a mailbox before stopping on the shoulder, according to police. That’s when the foot chase began, though police were able to the two men who fled the Cobalt.

The driver, 23-year-old Tajah Brooks, and passenger, 22-year-old Nafese Pierce, were taken in an ambulance to the Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Two passengers in one of the cars that was hit — one a teenager — were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The five occupants of the second car police said the Cobalt hit were uninjured, according to state police.  [Source: Delaware Online]

Shoplifting turns to robbery after pepper spray is used

Three would-be thieves turned into robbers Tuesday when they rolled out a rack full of children’s clothes and loaded it into a SUV at the Tippecanoe Mall, according to Lafayette, Indiana, police.  A loss prevention associate at JCPenney noticed three people — two women and one man — concealing merchandise about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and moved in to stop, police said.

Pushing an entire rack of children’s clothes past the checkout lanes, the three headed for the door, but to block the loss prevention associate, one of the women stopped, pulled a can of pepper spray and threatened to use it the LP associate, according to police. While the loss prevention associate was held back by the threat, the other two robbers loaded the loot into a bright blue SUV, police said. Officers do not have a clear description of the suspects, and they do not know the make, model or license plate for the SUV, police said. Anyone with information about this hold up is asked to call Lafayette police at 765-807-1200 or the We Tip Hotline at 800-782-7463.     [Source: Journal & Courier]

After retailer strikes back at Visa, battle over credit-card fees may only get worse

If you have a Visa credit card, be careful next time you go to Kroger: It might get declined. And the same could start happening at more stores. Foods Co Supermarkets, part of the Kroger chain, recently said that it will stop accepting Visa  credit cards at 21 stores and 5 gas stations in California starting Aug. 14, because the store is unhappy about Visa’s interchange, or “swipe” fees.

Foods Co said it will no longer accept Visa “to save on the high costs associated with the credit card company’s interchange rates and network fees.” Credit card companies including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover  charge merchants every time a customer buys a product using their cards. The fees vary, depending on the relationship between the retailer and the company, but it is typically about 2% to 3% of the purchase price. All those swipe fees can add up, especially for groceries that have relatively low profit margins, said Brendan Miller, a principal analyst at the research firm Forrester who covers payments.

Kroger has a partnership with Mastercard for its loyalty program, and produces co-branded Mastercards, said Kendrick Sands, a senior consumer finance analyst for the research firm Euromonitor. More Kroger customers could now be encouraged to use Mastercard, he said, or simply turn to debit cards when making purchases. Visa has indicated that it’s open to negotiation on the issue. “Visa is disappointed at Kroger’s decision to stop accepting Visa credit cards at its Foods Co. stores. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins,” a Visa spokesperson said in a statement. “Visa remains committed to working with Kroger to reach a reasonable solution.”     [Source: Market Watch]

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