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November 16, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Veterans Day Speaker, Lt. General (Ret) Russel Honoré,
Katrina's "John Wayne"
 Impressed with Sears Holdings Crisis Center


Lt. General (Ret) Russel Honoré, the man who New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin dubbed "one John Wayne Dude," received a briefing from the Sears Holdings Crisis Operations Team (COT)  November 8th before speaking to over 200 headquarters associates on the topics of leadership, helping save a city Post Hurricane Katrina and honoring our American veterans. General Honoré was impressed with the procedures and technology used by the COT in preparing and supporting field units during man-made or natural disasters.

He shared with Bill Titus, VP of Loss Prevention, "one way we can show 21st Century leadership is by taking care of our people, especially the most vulnerable among us. America is a great country when we not only look out for Wall Street and Main Street, but also 'Railroad Street' – the poor, disabled, and elderly who are often the first to get left behind when crisis – economic or otherwise – strikes." He lauded Sears Holdings for its focus on opening stores quickly during both Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy, allowing our local communities and customers to return to a state of normalcy in short order.

Honoré emphasized a topic of national importance today is creating a "culture of preparedness in an era where disasters and catastrophes can take place, anytime, anywhere..." "Wherever I go", he stated, "I always ask my audiences, 'Are you ready?'"
 

 


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Fighting Back - Increased communication and tougher penalties are among methods to combat flash robs Should a flash rob happen, the best defense for store personnel is to "be aware of your surroundings so you can spot the threat as it begins to materialize," says Joe LaRocca, vice president for loss prevention with RetaiLPartners. "And resist the impulse to challenge the mob. Call the police or security as soon as possible." (Source stores.org)




Gift card purchases to reach $28.79B this year - the biggest amount in history Results show that 81.1 percent of shoppers will purchase at least one gift card and will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards according to NRF survey. The fraud potential is huge. (Source csnews.com)

Wal-Mart reported its investigation into violations of federal antibribery law extended beyond Mexico to China, India and Brazil The disclosure, made in a regulatory filing, suggests Wal-Mart has uncovered evidence into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as the fallout continues from a bribery scheme involving the opening of stores in Mexico that was the subject of a New York Times investigation in April. Wal-Mart has so far spent $35 million on a compliance program that began in spring 2011, and has more than 300 outside lawyers and accountants working on it, the company said. It has spent $99 million in nine months on the current investigation. (Source nytimes.com)

Walmart workers plan Black Friday strike and showdown A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday. The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation’s largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care. On Black Friday, the organizations expect employees at about 1,000 stores to strike. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the number of workers who are raising concerns is very small and don’t represent the views of the vast majority of its workforce of 1.3 million. (Source wtvr.com)

BP to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges for oil rig explosion that killed 11 and pay $4.5B In a rare instance of seeking to hold individuals accountable for company misdeeds, the Justice Department also filed criminal charges against three BP employees in connection with the accident. The government said that BP’s negligence in sealing an exploratory well caused it to explode, sinking the Deepwater Horizon drill rig and unleashing a gusher of oil that lasted for months and coated beaches all along the Gulf Coast. The company initially tried to cover up the severity of the spill, misleading both Congress and investors about how quickly oil was leaking from the runaway well, according to the settlement and related charges. The government charged the top BP officers aboard the drilling rig, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, with manslaughter in connection with each man who died. Mr. Holder, the attorney general, said that the government’s investigation was continuing and that other criminal charges could be filed. (Source nytimes.com)

eBay enhances Macy’s iPhone app for Black Friday Macy’s Inc. today has upgraded its iPhone app for the holiday season, with emphasis on Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving. And it has done so by using the mobile commerce technology services of eBay Inc. "EBay partners with merchants and helps them compete in this new multichannel world. Through mobile innovations such as the Macy’s Black Friday mobile enhancements we’re providing shoppers a seamless, cross-channel experience and partnering with retailers to engage these consumers where, when and how they want to shop." (Source internetretailer.com)

Mobile devices offer antidotes to fraud - New technologies may make m-commerce more secure than e-commerce, experts say Fraud is a problem for all retailers, but unlike in e-commerce, new mobile commerce payment technologies—including mobile wallets, text notifications and image-based credit card verifications—are offering retailers and consumers more ways to ensure their m-commerce activity is secure, experts say. Merchants and consumers are still in the early stage of adopting any new mobile commerce technologies, Barach says, and for now, there are no clear leaders in the mobile payments field. (Source internetretailer.com)

Will J.C. Penney hit the buttons this holiday season? "Instead of mailing out millions of coupons, we’ll be handing out millions of buttons," said CEO Ron Johnson in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY, touting the retailer’s new strategy, which downplays sales and promotions. "We believe in acts of generosity." Throughout the holiday shopping season, consumers in JCPenney stores will be given buttons featuring Santa, reindeer, gingerbread men, and so on. Each button comes with a unique code on the back, which, when entered at jcp.com/christmas, could win you prizes—gift cards worth $5 to $500, JCP merchandise, even trips to Disneyland, Yellowstone, and to see company’s spokesperson Ellen Degeneres‘ show in person. Will it work? (Source time.com)

Hostess to lay-off 18,500 workers, wind down operations and sell the business. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, plans to go out of business, lay off its 18,500 workers and sell its snack cake and bread brands. The Irving, Texas, company said a nationwide strike crippled its ability to make and deliver its products, which also include Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's and Home Pride bread. Hostess suspended bakery operations at all its factories and said its stores will remain open for several days to sell already-baked products. The company had warned employees that it would file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by Thursday evening. The privately held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. (Source chicagotribune.com)

With the world's highest shrink most retailers in India don't let customers carry bags into their stores - but that may be changing As big retailers like Future Group, Mango plan to remove restrictions on carry bags despite rampant shoplifting. Many retailers now say they may allow you to bring your own bags into their outlets, sacrificing the clear and present fear of shoplifting at the altar of "customer experience", which is emerging as a key differentiator in this increasingly competitive industry. (Source indiatimes.com)

U.S. Video-Game Sales Fall 25% in October, NPD Says As the video-game industry enters the peak holiday shopping season it has seen sales shrink this year as consumers buy fewer packaged titles and shift to digital downloads and games played on mobile devices. Is this the next retail segment to fall? (Source bloomberg.com)

GameStop Is Planning To Close 200 Stores Gamestop plans to close 200 stores, the company announced on its Q3 earnings call with analysts. While 200 stores is substantial, GameStop still has a huge footprint, with more than 6,000 locations. (Source businessinsider.com)

Poor customer service costs U.S. companies about $80 billion a year in lost sales, and more than 60% of those unhappy customers go to a competitor. Are you hiring the right people? With the right positive attitude and have clearly defined roles. Customer service goes beyond the sales floor and extends right into the LP industry as we are service providers ourselves. And are we giving our stores, our associates and our customers good customer service? (Source time.com)

Visa’s digital wallet expands its reach - The product enables shoppers to avoid entering their payment card information. Visa’s V.me digital wallet service, which debuted in beta in 2011 and officially launched earlier this year, enables online shoppers to store their account number, billing and shipping information with Visa and then enter their V.me username and password at online merchants who accept the service. The product is available to around 55 million consumers. (Source internetretailer.com)

How a gift card provider is combating fraud Before prepaid card provider InComm launched a service last year that enables retailers to add a social gifting application to their web sites and Facebook, it had to do something to combat card-not-present fraud. InComm decided to implement Kount Inc.’s Kount Complete fraud prevention service, which includes both real-time fraud monitoring and a fraud risk analysis program. (Source internetretailer.com)

Click here to view video

Run-Hide-Fight - Houston releases video to teach how to survive a workplace shooting The City of Houston has released a video designed to teach people how to react during a workplace shooting by emphasizing a three-word mantra: run, hide, fight. (Source suntimes.com)





Robbery spree of 16 pharmacies throughout Northeast gets man $1.6M bail A 50 year old man was held on $1.6 million bail Wednesday in a nearly yearlong alleged robbery spree of pharmacies throughout Northeast Philadelphia. William Webb was nabbed Monday after police say he robbed a Rite Aid in Rhawnhurst and stole a bottle of narcotics embedded with a GPS tracking device faces charges of aggravated assault, robbery, possession of drugs with intent to distribute. All in violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and related offenses in 16 robberies from December until his arrest. (Source philly.com)

North Attleboro Police say a man passed counterfeit $100 bills with President Abraham Lincoln's face on them at Target. Dana T. Leland, 29, who authorities say has a record of similar crimes in Rhode Island, was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail or $10,000 surety after pleading innocent to three counts each of uttering a counterfeit note and possession of a counterfeit note. Leland allegedly purchased socks or other items for less than $25 with the counterfeit bills, and then left the store with the change. Assistant District Attorney requested $2,500 cash bail, noting the suspect's Rhode Island record. His lawyer said her client was struggling with drug and alcohol problems and untreated mental health issues. She said that after a lengthy period of sobriety he had recently suffered a relapse. She asked for $500 cash bail. (Source examiner.com)

Click here to view video
Third incident of theft occurs at a Hesperia, California Jewelry Store. The Owner says he is not insured for this loss and is still calculating the latest total from Wednesday night’s burglary. Video cameras captured the thief smashing the window and showcases and moving out quickly before police arrived. This incident is the third robbery/ burglary at the family owned store in the last few months. (Source cbslocal.com)




Fashion eyewear quickly becoming high theft item; Dallas store lost over $100,000 in a number of burglaries. A Dallas Optometrist is in jeopardy of losing his business insurance and the owner of the shopping center will not allow burglar bars or gates on his store front. His store has been burglarized or vandalized six times in six years. (Source dallasnews.com)


Ferguson, Missouri T-Mobile store hit by two Armed Suspects. Two men robbed a T-Mobile store yesterday morning, taking about two dozen smartphones at gunpoint. Police said two men, one armed with a handgun, entered the T-Mobile store at 10887 West Florissant Avenue about 9:15 a.m. The robbers ordered two employees into a rear room and a told them to put 20 to 25 Galaxy S-lll's phones into store bags then left. The robbers were seen escaping in a burgundy Toyota four-door bearing Illinois license plates. Police believe the men are also responsible for another robbery at a T-Mobile store at 195 North Florissant Road about a week ago. (Source stltoday.com)



Outback Steakhouse robbery ends in three arrests that ends Shreveport, LA robbery spree alert Arrested in last night's caper was Myles Robinson, 19, Tremario Washington, 22, and Halston Smith, 21, all of Shreveport. Authorities believe that the men are possibly responsible for upwards of a dozen armed robberies occurring over several weeks, spanning multiple jurisdictions. (Source ktbs.com)


Mother and her 10 year old Son pull an Armed Robbery in Utah. Police find the scene bizarre and disturbing as a mother and a young boy believed to her son pull a weapon on a smoke shop employee for a few cartons of cigarettes. Police believe any number of bad scenarios could have played out which may have resulted in the young boy being charged with murder. The clerk gave into the mothers demands and the two suspects fled the scene. (Source fox13now.com)



GPS Ankle Bracelet puts Robber out on bail at the scene of the crime, again. Rearrested is a Santa Fe man who just could not stay home, even thought he was out on bail for robbing the same Santa Fe convenient store. Last time, Robert Romero robbed the store with a toy gun, getting away with 200 pills of Oxycontin. Court records show the GPS device put him at the store. (Source sfgate.com)


Walgreens in Fort Wayne, IN robbed of Fentanyl and Methadone. Tuesday evening, a male suspect entered the store and approached the pharmacy counter and presented a note demanding Fentanyl and Methadone. After given the drugs the suspect fled the store. No injuries were reported. (Source indiananewscenter.com)




Orlando Supermarket Owner catches Meat thief on tape. A local resident of the small grocery store is a suspect in the rooftop burglary that nabbed him $75 worth of sausage. The burglar did $500 dollars worth of damage to the store. The store owner recognized the suspect from the video tape and believes, even after the suspect goes to jail for a few weeks, he will attempt the same theft again. (Source ksby.com)


Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Foot Locker Q3 up 10.2% with sales up 9.3%
Ross Stores Q3 up 5% with revenue up 10.6%
Sears Q3 down 1.6 at U.S. Sears stores and down 4.8% at Kmart stores with revenue down 6%



 

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eBay Investigators Support Major Counterfeiting Operation Case Leading to Guilty Plea

eBay Global Asset Protection investigators actively engaged with Federal law enforcement agencies related to major counterfeit operation leads to guilty plea and possible lengthy jail sentence. The Andover, Mass man pleaded guilty to federal charges of selling thousands of counterfeit electronic items out of his home using eBay and his own website. Federal prosecutors say the 55-year-old purchased electronic products from China, including batteries, chargers and memory sticks, that the bore the brand names of reputable companies, including Sony and Olympus. The products were either not made by those companies or by companies authorized to use the brand names and logos. In some cases, prosecutors say the suspect bought unmarked items and attached locals from legitimate companies to them before selling them He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Feb. 14, 2013. Click here to read full article.

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Canada, allies mull changes to tackle organized crime Canada and its closest allies are eyeing restraints on prepaid currency cards and looking at even greater intelligence sharing as a means of combating transnational organized crime. The ever-popular prepaid cards offered by retailers are a convenient form of currency for consumers, but organized criminals have taken advantage of the fact many can be used around the world to "smuggle and launder proceeds of crime". The little-known Strategic Alliance Group, which comprises federal law enforcement officials from five countries to jointly tackle organized crime are working on various means to combat the illegal transfer of funds. (Source thechronicleherald.ca)

As U.S. retailers threaten two more Canadian retailers merge - Leon's and The Brick Storied Canadian furniture retailer Leon’s is buying high-profile rival The Brick in a $700-million friendly deal aimed at fending off U.S. competitors making inroads in Canada. With American retail giants such as Walmart and Target threatening their share of the marketplace, the two Canadian companies announced a deal that would see Leon’s take ownership of The Brick but operate the two under separate banners. (Source calgaryherald.com)

Downtown Calgary shopping centre on global list of most expensive retail rents CORE in Calgary has annual rent per square feet at $98 in US dollars. The most expensive main street in Canada was Toronto’s Bloor Street at $314, which ranked it 20th in the world. Other streets in Canada listed were: Robson Street, Vancouver, $216; Saint-Catherine W — street level, Montreal, $177; and Queen Street West, Toronto, $98. (Source calgaryherald.com)

Walmart Canada appeals 'unreasonable' $1.2M award in ex-employee lawsuit Boucher sued Wal-Mart and her former manager, Jason Pinnock, for intentional infliction of mental suffering and constructive dismissal, meaning she was asked to work in intolerable conditions. The trial heard that Pinnock was mentally abusive toward her and would criticize her in front of other staff, such as when he made her count a row of skids to prove she could count to 10 and that Walmart didn’t take action against him. The jury ordered Walmart to pay her $1 million in punitive damages and $200,000 in aggravated damages, as well as awarding her $250,000 from Pinnock. “The findings of the jury were a substantial wrong and/or a miscarriage of justice,” Walmart said in its notice of appeal. (Source canadiangrocer.com)

Cargo Theft thief in Brampton, Canada identified, stole $200,000 worth of televisions. Investigators from the Commercial Auto Unit are investigating a theft of 210 43" and 32" Samsung plasma televisions from a Brampton truck compound. On Wednesday November 7th, 2012 the suspect entered the trucking yard and stole a trailer containing 210 Samsung televisions with a value of approximately $200 000. The trailer was located empty in the City of Vaughn later the same date. On November 10th the entire load of televisions was located in a warehouse in Toronto. Also located within the same address was stolen property from two other thefts, totaling $400 000. Police have identified the suspect and are seeking the public’s assistance in locating him. An arrest warrant has been issued for Sukhvir Singh, age 31, of Brampton. (Source bramptonguardian.com)

Now that Rona's CEO is gone how long will it be before Lowe's makes another run on them? The only thing standing in their way will be the new government and they pledged to fight it. Or was that merely to keep the former CEO happy? We'll see soon enough.


Quarterly Same Store Sales Results


Metro Q4 up 1.1% with sales up 11.1%
Sear's Canada down 5.7% with revenue down 6%

 

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Five arrested in connection with cross-country retail theft spree hitting retailers including Target, TJ Maxx and Marshalls Five people suspected in a cross-country theft and identity fraud spree were arrested in Utah Thursday after police say they stole credit cards from shoppers and merchandise from several big businesses including Target stores. The group rented a car in Miami on Nov. 3 and committed retail theft in Texas and Colorado before coming to Utah, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Gary Young. The three men and two women are accused of starting their Utah crime spree at TJ Maxx in Cottonwood Heights by stealing a woman's credit cards and using them down the street at a Target store. They continued this process until they were caught that night at 11 p.m. in a Target Store in Salt Lake City. Inside their van parked in the Target lot, detectives found thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Target and other stores in Colorado and Texas. (Source desertnews.com) (Source ksl.com)

Rite Aid ORC suspect hits store in Thomaston, CT for razors and teeth whitener products. A man carrying a large shopping bag filled the bag to the top with teeth whitener products and razors and walked out of the store, setting off EAS alarms. The suspect was caught on video, it is unknown at this time the exact value of the missing inventory. The suspect was already gone from the parking lot by the time the store associates got to the front doors. (Source rep-am.com)

Make Black Friday a Profitable Friday with the Mini Patriot FamilyWalmart refunders in Tampa, FL could face robbery and assault charges. Tampa police are seeking the public's help in finding two armed suspects who robbed a Walmart on Wednesday. Police say that after midnight, the suspects, a man and woman, attempted to conduct a fraudulent return after shoplifting items from a shelf at the store on North Dale Mabry Highway. Police say the refund exceeded $100, and store security attempted to stop the female near the front doors. After struggling to get the woman into the security office, police say the male returned from his vehicle and threatened the security officer with an unknown object, possibly a firearm. The suspects got away. (Source tbo.com)

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Origination

Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Epping, NH Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Mobile, AL Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Fairview Heights, IL Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Wilmington, NC Lowe's
Market AP Mgr Walmart Bartlett, TN Walmart
Asset Protection Mgr Home Depot Tucson, AZ Monster
Data LP Mgr Tracfone Miami, FL Monster
Regional LP Mgr IHG America Atlanta, GA IHG America
Loss Prevention Mgr Avis Budget Group Virginia Beach, VA Avis Budget Group
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's Bergen County, NJ Macy's
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Whitehall, PA Sears Holdings Corp.
Sr. Regional LP & Safety Mgr PetSmart Houston, TX PetSmart
AP Mgr Cabela's Tutalip, WA Cabela's
District LP Mgr TJMaxx
 
Longview, TX Monster

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The Real Productivity-Killer: Jerks Want to give your team's productivity a real boost? Take a good look at your managers -- and a long look in the mirror while you're at it. One recent report estimates that bad bosses cost the economy $360 billion every year in lost productivity. Terrible managers have a trickle-down effect: They bring down the quality of your employees' work and your bottom line with them. (Jerk alert!)

3 Best Ways to Say No Struggling with productivity and time management? Sometimes it feels like there's just way too much to do and too little time to do it all in. You may believe that, but it's not necessarily true. Try these guidelines to improve your focus simply by saying no. (Spread too thin)
Six Simple Rules for Doing Better With Less In 1997, when Steve Jobs came back to rescue Apple, he removed several thousand middle managers. He couldn't see that they were doing anything useful for customers. Without those middle managers, Apple went from the brink of bankruptcy to the most valuable company on the planet. Apple did much, much better with less. (Radical management)

Three Ways to Optimize Employee Productivity Today's business owners/managers have lost a huge amount of loyalty, commitment and productivity from their employees. A common theme is "I am stressed, burned out and my boss only cares about himself." (Time to refocus)
 

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With emails now the primary method of communicating, the world has become a different place. English professors are gritting their teeth over the new email language and corporate America is watching and grading every sentence. It is important to always be a professional in every venue and emails should be an area one excels at regardless of topic or executive you are communicating with. Emails are permanent files that take on an identity themselves and how you mold your identity is critical every day.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

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