American Eagle CEO Hanson resigns
Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters said that CEO Robert Hanson, would leave the company, effective immediately. He was appointed to the position in late 2011, after 23 years at Levi Strauss & Co., where he served in a number of executive roles.
Similar to many other teen retailers, American Eagle has been struggling. The company reported a profit of $24.9 million in the three months ended Nov. 2, compared to $78.6 million in the year-ago period. Revenue was $857.3 million, a decline from $910.4 million a year ago.
American Eagle chairman Jay was named interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement. In line with the changes, Roger S. Markfield has agreed to postpone his retirement and will continue in his current role as vice chairman and executive creative director.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Robert for his contributions during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Schottenstein said. “I look forward to working closely with Roger and our talented team to capitalize on the significant potential of our brands and to position the company for growth and long-term success.”
NRF calls for adoption of chip-and-PIN credit and debit cards to curb fraud
New York — The National Retail Federation on late Tuesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner that called for replacing the magnetic-strip credit and debit cards that are widely used throughout the United States with chip-based cards that store data in an embedded computer micro-chip and require the use of a PIN rather than a signature. The chip-based cards are widely used in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The NRF said that the magnetic-strip cards use easy-to-hack 1960s technology in contract to the advanced PIN and chip cards, which better protect consumer data from theft, hacking and skimming.
“For years, banks have continued to issue fraud-prone magnetic stripe cards to U.S. customers, putting sensitive financial information at risk while simultaneously touting the security benefits of next-generation PIN and chip card technology for customers in Europe and dozens of other markets,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in the letter.
It is estimated that only about 10% of cards in the United States have the new chip and pin technology. At about 50 cents each, the magnetic-strip cards are much less costly than the chip-and-pin cards, which costs about $2 per card.
The NRF said the retail industry is eager to work with banks and card companies to fight cyber attacks and reduce fraud.
“These efforts include installation of sophisticated new PIN-enabled point-of-sale-systems and readiness to adopt cards with more secure microchip technology, but the fact remains that retailers cannot do this alone,” Shay said.
Both MasterCard and Visa have called for the use of chip cards. But they have not been definite whether the card should be used with a pin or a signature, which could be more prone to fraud than using a pin.
Target to end health coverage for part-time workers
Minneapolis – Target Corp. is the latest major retailer to announce it will stop offering health insurance to its part-time employees. In a company blog post on Jan. 21, Target said it will no longer provide health insurance coverage to part time workers after April 1, 2014.
The blog post said Target is stopping the coverage, which fewer than 10% of Target’s 361,000-person workforce currently uses, due to the availability of public healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Target said employees could be disqualified from receiving government-subsidized health care if they are offered a company plan.
"Healthcare reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage," Jodee Kozlack, Target’s executive VP of human resources, said in a corporate blog post Tuesday. "Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact of our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan."
Other retailers that have also announced intentions to stop offering health insurance to part-time employees due to the availability of public insurance exchanges include The Home Depot and Trader Joe’s.