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December 2, 2011 SUBSCRIBE

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Industry-wide retail sales on Black Friday rose 7% to $11.4 billion, the largest amount ever spent, according to ShopperTrak.

If you use an Android, BlackBerry, or Nokia smartphone then you may be at risk of being illegally wire tapped by Carrier IQ--a provider of performance monitoring software for Smart Phones. Earlier this month Trevor Eckhart announced that he found software, made by Carrier IQ, that may be logging your every move on your mobile phone and he called it a "rootkit"--a software that hides itself while utilizing privileged access like watching your every move. Carrier IQ didn't take too kindly to this accusation and responded aggressively with a Cease and Desist Letter and denied this accusation. However, to further back his accusation, Eckhart released a video with undisputable proof. (Source csoonline.com)


"Tis the Season" for increased shoplifting
is making the news all across the country from Omaha to Boston and all the way south in Texas news shows are broadcasting stories. Here's one that says according to a recent survey by Adweek, the number one item people steal is filet mignon. Jameson Whiskey comes in second, followed by electric tools. Electronics and razor blades round out the top five. (Source wsiltv.com)



Counterfeiting merchandise has grown 10,000% over the last two decades and has become a $600 billion a year industry. Fueled largely by consumer demand, it costs U.S. businesses up to $250 billion annually and has been responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 domestic jobs. (Source opsecsecurity.com)

Black Friday's "shopping bonanza may have come at a price" More customers shopped the Sunday before Thanksgiving than the following Saturday and Sunday and according to ShopperTrak and customer counts actually dropped almost 2% compared with Friday, Saturday and Sunday a year ago resulting in a modest 1.9% sales increase for the three days that started Black Friday. Lets hope that isn't a trend. (Source Associated Press)

Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists by Hitha Prabhakar just released last week and highly acclaimed by a very senior LP executive. This book brings lots of research and fact together to show the link with global terrorists. Hitha Prabhakar is a New York – based retail reporter for Bloomberg Television, and author of "Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Terrorists" published by FT Press. Before joining Bloomberg Television in 2011, Hitha was founder and principal of The Style File Group, a retail consulting firm based in New York City, where she served as an advisor to hedge funds and other clients with long term holdings in retail companies. And we're hoping to have her speak at our upcoming NYC Dinner party on Jan 16th. (Source hithaprabhakar.com)

December same store sales results
The Buckle up 6.9%
Costco up 6%
Nordstrom up 5.6%
Ross Stores up 5%
Fred's up 1.5%
The Bon-Ton down 4.9%

3rd Quarter results
Ulta Beauty 3Q reports same store sales up 10% with total revenue up 22%
J Crew 3Q reports same store sales up 2% with revenue up 12%
Big Lots 3Q reports same store sales up 1.7% with revenue up 8%



 

 


 

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eBay Supported Investigation Leads to Guilty Plea in "Coke" Theft Case

eBay & PayPal Global Asset Protection investigators provided extensive support to law enforcement officials leads to a former Coca-Cola employee pleading guilty to stealing more than 700 bill validators from vending machines. eBay investigators responded and took appropriate action on suspected accounts in conjunction with supporting multi formal requests for user data information from investigators. Prosecutors say the suspect, who was responsible for completing repairs on machines removed 767 of the validators and sold them on the internet. The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. estimates the stolen devices were worth at least $76K. The theft scheme was brought to light by an anonymous caller, prosecutors said, adding that the suspect never denied involvement and cooperated with the investigation. The Judge sentenced him to 18 months in prison and suspended all of that time with 100 hours of community service and unsupervised probation. Click here for full article


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D&D Daily Canadian Push


Canadian retailers offer their own Black Friday sales even though their Thanksgiving is a month earlier. "Anecdotally, the malls were packed," said Sally Ritchie, a spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada. "Black Friday is increasingly becoming an event here in Canada." Neither Black Friday nor Cyber Monday have historically been much of an event in Canada, which celebrates Thanksgiving in October, but that seems to be changing. "If we look at where Black Friday, Cyber Monday was in Canada last year compared to this year, I think it's a much bigger weekend than it was last year, so I think we do see a trend there," said Daniel Baer, national retail industry leader at Ernst & Young. (Source reuters.com)

Target Corp. is locked in a fight to prevent Zellers employees from maintaining their union status Target’s blueprint for Canada entails converting about 135 Zellers stores to the Target name by 2013 after letting go all the Zellers employees and starting fresh with newly hired staff – and no union. Currently about 15 of the Zellers stores are unionized. But now, in a test case, the union has applied to the B.C. Labour Relations Board to declare Target as the "successor employer" to Zellers at an outlet in Burnaby, B.C., and keep the employees unionized. "It could be quite a battle," said Richard Chaykowski, a professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies in Kingston. "Any decision a government board makes would potentially be only Round 1." Target and its discount archrival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have fought the United Food and Commercial Workers for years as the union attempts to organize the retailers' employees and improve their pay and working conditions. So far, the retailers have managed to keep unions out in North America, although for brief periods the unions have succeeded in organizing some employees. (Source theglobeandmail.com)

Vancouver-based counterculture magazine Adbusters has kicked off an "Occupy Christmas" campaign targeting consumerism over the festive season. As protesters continue to be ousted from Occupy sites across North America, the Canadian magazine widely credited with starting it all has kicked off a new campaign—Occupy Christmas. Adbusters, a non-profit alternative magazine based in Vancouver, is now targeting the "rabid consumerism" of the gift-giving season. "Let’s use the coming 20th annual Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne," states the publication’s website. Occupy may have been fun for some activist but to take it to "Occupy Christmas" may be just go to far even for that group. (Source theepochtimes.com)


The Canadian Manhattan Push  "If they can make it There" special on CBC news tells a great story how Canadian retailers are storming Manhattan as the U.S. is storming Canada. A Joe Fresh store just opened along with Mackages, Vancouver's Aritiza and Lululemon. All have chosen to set up shop in one of the world's toughest retail markets. (Source cbc.ca)





Canadian government may be reducing old manufacturing tariffs that could reduce Canadian Prices and make them more competitive with U.S. prices. "This government has shown tremendous leadership in reducing tariffs on the manufacturing sector, and we look forward to the next logical step of reducing or eliminating tariffs in the retail sector," said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO of Retail Canadian Council. "This will provide a win-win as it will foster economic growth and have the added benefit of providing more competitive pricing to Canadian consumers." In his announcement Minister Flaherty acknowledged that "some of these old-fashioned tariffs get in the way" and it is time "to get rid of them". Brisebois noted that the economic benefits of eliminating these manufacturing tariffs would be multiplied were the manufacturers to pass the savings along to retailers. (Source newswire.ca)


Canada’s new polymer bank notes are coming. Are you ready? The new polymer notes have leading-edge security features that are both easy to check and hard to counterfeit. (source bankofcanada.ca)

 

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10 Indicted In Alleged Check Cashing Ring hitting Wal-Mart stores in Kentucky. LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Ten suspects are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from local Walmarts -- and police said that may just be the beginning. All the suspects are facing theft, forgery and organized crime charges -- 52 individual felony counts in all. "It's basically a pied piper thing. This individual would dangle a carrot in front of these people," said Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police Department. Police said William Lambert, Jr., 31, would dangle the carrots. According to police he would pick up packages full of payroll checks at a FedEx office in downtown Louisville -- sent to him by a relative in Michigan. The checks had the names of real businesses and real account numbers, but they weren't the real thing. "They were definitely fake checks that were made out to look like real payroll checks from these companies," Mitchell said. Police said Lambert would then find other people to actually cash the checks at Walmarts across Louisville. These individuals would be paid a stipend out of the amount of whatever the check was for. They would take them to area Walmart stores all throughout the city and cash those checks using their own IDs," Mitchell said. Police said the scheme operated this summer, but was shut down once the alleged ringleader was arrested in October at the FedEx office. Police said their investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests. They also said the only victim in the case so far has been Walmart, because all the checks were cashed at those stores. (Source wlky.com)

Elaborate check fraud operation shut down that hit big box stores from Tallahassee to Waycross and Macon to Albany. Places like Walmart, Sams Club, Office Depot, and Target in Georgia and Florida. If the communities had those businesses, that's what they would target," according to police. It's estimated the suspected fraudsters bilked banks and businesses out of more $100,000 since 2009. Officers also recovered fake ID's and out of state license plates. Investigators say the suspects printed fake checks with real bank routing numbers and real account numbers they stole. They bought tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise, some of which they sold on the streets. The suspects were so bold, even a south Georgia sheriff fell victim to the fraudsters. At Fitzgerald Police headquarters, the evidence seized in the bust looks more like department store inventory: Cameras, flat screen TV's, I-Phones, high end purses, even children's clothing. They would steal the account numbers and routing numbers. Instead of printing them up on the bank they should go to, they would put another bank on there in place of it," said Det. Sgt. James Tilley. (Source walb.com)
 

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Job Opening


Company


Location


Origination

Loss Prevention Mgr Michael Kors East Rutherford, NJ Michael Kors
Manager, Business Continuity Winn-Dixie Jacksonville, FL Winn-Dixie

Corp LPM of Analytics & Exception Reporting

Confidential

Florida

Downing & Downing

Director of Loss Prevention

Confidential

Midwest

Downing & Downing

National Account Sales Mgr

Confidential

Chicago, IL

Downing & Downing

Asset Protection Manager

The Home Depot

Phoenix, AZ

The Home Depot

Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Metro Northern NJ The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Sacramento, CA The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Salem, OR The Home Depot
Regional LP Director Confidential Los Angeles, CA Downing & Downing

 

Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only
 

Job Opening

Company

Location

Origination

District LP Mgr Marshalls Toms River, NJ The TJX Companies, Inc.
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Glendale, CA Sears Holdings Corp.
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Hialeah, FL Sears Holdings Corp.
Market AP Mgr Walmart Shelby, MI Walmart Stores, Inc.
Asset Protection Mgr Walmart Renton, WA Walmart Stores, Inc.
Asset Protection Mgr Walmart Raleigh, NC Walmart Stores, Inc.
Store LP and Safety Mgr Lowe's Columbus, OH Lowe's
Store LP and Safety Mgr Lowe's Downingtown, PA Lowe's
Store LP and Safety Mgr Lowe's Winston-Salem, NC Lowe's
Store LP and Safety Mgr Lowe's New Iberia, LA Lowe's
Asset Protection Mgr The Home Depot Colma, CA The Home Depot

 

Thought Challenge Month in Review Starting today we'll be posting this years Thought Challenges, as they appeared, in a countdown to our Awards Committee's selection of the "Top 3". In addition we'll be enabling our readers to vote as well on the last day. Read well and make sure you vote!
 

The Extended Hours Debate from a Loss Prevention Perspective

By D. B. “Libby” Libhart, CPP

March 16, 2011


For over a decade, the Fast, Casual and Quick Service Restaurant industry has debated extending hours of operation. The advantages of staying open later are to cater to the nocturnal crowd that work and play during the wee hours of the night and to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many locations extended closing time by an hour or two while others ventured into the arena of staying open 24 hours. The unknowns were how to generate sales to cover labor and operational expenses and make a profit, and effectively educating the public on the open later concept. If locations were staying open 24 hours, another issue was to effectively and efficiently close out sales for the day and prepare for the opening of the next day's business while keeping track of sales during the transition time.

Claims to Rescind Extended Hours
There have been varying levels of success in extending late night hours. Some corporate mandated extended hours have come under the scrutiny of franchisees. Labor costs and security and safety of employees working the late night shifts have been cited as reasons to rescind extended hours. Both are certainly valid reasons. Profitability is always a key issue in determining hours of operation. Citing the security and safety of employees - who can argue with that?

Loss/Crime Prevention Considerations
Late night operations are particularly challenging. Adequate staffing can be a problem, and dealing with an increase in "drunks and punks" is particularly unpleasant. Let's look at the issues from a security, safety and loss prevention perspective which, unfortunately, is frequently left out of the equation in the decision to extend or cut back on the hours of operation.

Analyzing Profitability
In analyzing the profitability of extended hours, the handling of cash, counting of deposits, securing funds, auditing of cashier performance including average check, no sales, price reductions, under ringing, and the security of the back door are important factors – as important as transaction counts and sales. The supervision of employees must be strong. Many times the younger, less experienced managers run the late and overnight shifts. Profitability may be adversely affected by internal cash and food thefts, undocumented waste, lesser food quality, and poor customer service. The overnight shift may not be as effective and efficient as other day segments. The late night operations must be routinely reviewed to make certain that sales are rung properly, and managers are upholding the highest standards of employee conduct and food quality. Monitoring and managing these components may increase profitability during late night hours.

Employee Safety Concerns
The two hours before closing is the “critical period’ in robbery prevention. Extending late night hours requires increased efforts in effective security policies and procedures, background checks of applicants, handling cash and deposits, drive-thru window and perimeter door control, entering and exiting the building according to best practices and trash removal. Formal training classes should be conducted to educate managers and late night crews in dealing with conflict, cash management, crime prevention, and proper robbery response. Without this due diligence for those working the late night shifts, the increased vulnerability to crime is not fair to them. Claiming that employees working late into the night are in more danger at 2 AM than at 10 PM, while hiring crew with violent criminal pasts, no back door security, poor supervision and providing no training on what to do in the event of a robbery or how to enter or exit safely is truly a disservice. The employees are more vulnerable in these conditions, no matter what time of day or night it is.

Validating the Issues
So, the extended hours debate rages on. Can locations afford it or not? Those questions may be more easily answered with careful analysis and review of late night operations. Sales are not likely to reach desired results simply by adding hours to the closing time on the hours of operation sign. Are employees exposed to more danger in the extended hours' time frame? Maybe - maybe not. Police reports, analysis and anecdotal information of violent crime in the area occurring during late night may substantiate the claim. Playing to emotions by claiming increased danger is not valid without empirical information to support it. In locations open 24 hours, instituting proper security and safety measures may even make the employees less vulnerable to robbery and other violent crime.

Make your claim whether to extend late night hours or cut back on them, but do so with accompanying investigation beyond sales and transaction counts. Make certain that security and safety policies are in place and the staff is trained in crime prevention procedures. A thorough analysis will make your decision more relevant.

 

Cathy McHugh was named Director of Global Marketing for DVTel Inc.
Lucas Moeller
was promoted to Loss Prevention Manager for Lowe's Home Improvement.

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Leadership Lesson: The Compass of a Leader. To be enthusiastically followed, leaders must also be guided by an inner compass that fosters trust on the part of their followers. That compass is character. Hear how Home Depot's former CEO Bob Nardelli is characterized in this story as an example. (Derailed)

How to Look and Act Like a Leader Savvy executives know the part, act the part and look the part. That's because they exude "executive presence," a broad term used to describe the aura of leadership. Executives with presence act self confident, strategic, decisive and assertive, concludes a study released late last year by the Center for Work-Life Policy, a New York think tank. Presence plays an increasingly important role as companies grapple with a weak recovery and fewer management layers. "You have less time to make that lasting impression." (Image)

 

Finding Anchors in the Storm: Mentors About 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs. Finding and developing a relationship with a career sage takes legwork and there's a number of things you need to consider before selecting one. (Support)

How to Manage Different Generations Managers are increasingly grappling with generational differences in their work forces. Problems can arise from differing mindsets and communication styles of workers born in different eras. The frictions may be aggravated by new technology and work patterns that mix workers of different ages in ever-changing teams. Here are some strategies: (Close the Gap)



 

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Finding and keeping your rhythm every week, day in and day out, can be a challenging task. With the Monday starting gun and the Friday finish line human rhythm is like a horse race and making it a race is the key to making sure you win every week. You've got to make sure you reach your stride and set the pace or the rest of the field won't be racing with you. And when it comes to leading a team it's all about the leaders pace that'll determine how fast everyone else is moving.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

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