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Bidding begins for Sport Chalet stores

BY Mike Troy

Prime retail real estate in Southern California and nearby states is now available after bankrupt Sport Chalet retained A&G Realty Partners to sell its assets.

Following its recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Sport Chalet retained A&G Realty Partners to manage the sale of 58 retail store and office and distribution center leases. The firm is currently accepting bids on the leases, which range from 12,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. and are located in located in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

In addition, bids are being accepted for the Sport Chalet corporate office in La Canada and distribution facilities in Ontario and Van Nuys, which range from 12,140 sq. ft. to 326,543 sq. ft. The auction is tentatively set for early June, however the debtors will seek court approval for exceptional private sales on a more accelerated timetable outside the auction process.

“The company has many attractive below market rate leases that are very well positioned in the top retail markets in California. By taking assignment of leases, retailers have the opportunity to enter hard to penetrate markets and centers and be open for business this year,” said Emilio Amendola, A&G co-president. “The availability of these leases is expected to attract interest from several national and local retailers and investors.”

New York-based A&G was founded in 2012 and also has offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. The firm specializes in real estate dispositions, lease restructurings, facilitating growth opportunities, valuations and acquisitions.

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South Dakota sues four big online retailers over sales tax

BY CSA STAFF

South Dakota has filed a lawsuit against four online retailers, joining a growing number of other states in a battle that could well end up in the Supeme Court, according to a report by corporatecounsel.com

The South Dakota Department of Revenue filed suit against online retailers Wayfair Inc., Systemax Inc., Overstock.com Inc. and Newegg Inc. as defendants. South Dakota is the latest state to join the long-simmering controversey over whether online retailers should be required to charge sales tax in states where they don’t have a physical presence. To read more, click here

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Survey: Low-tech online fraud detection remains popular

BY CSA STAFF

Manual security remains prominent among North American retailers despite a predicted increase in fraud related to card not present (CNP) transactions.

According to the “Annual Fraud Benchmark Report,” a survey of 307 North American retailers commissioned by payment management company CyberSource Corp. (a Visa subsidiary) and conducted by Confirmit, 83% of North American businesses conduct manual reviews of online orders, and on an average they review 29% of orders manually. On average, 46% of online fraud budgets are dedicated to order review staff, compared to 32% on internally developed tools and systems and 22% on third-party tools and services.

In addition, fraud management budgets are essentially flat. The majority of respondents (61%) expect their budgets for fraud management operations to stay the same over the coming 12 months, and 7% even expect them to decline.

However, despite a frequent reliance on manual order review and flat budgets, not all online fraud news is bad. For example, 62% of respondents track fraud losses by order channel. According to CyberSource, tracking fraud losses by order channel puts businesses in a better position to tune and improve their fraud management performance in each of the channels they serve.

And online fraud rates are going down in the major CNP transaction channels of web and mobile. On average, respondents lost 0.8% of their online revenue to fraud in 2015, compared to 0.9% in 2013 and 1% in 2012. In the mobile channel, the percentage of online revenue fraud loss dropped to 0.5% in 2015, from 0.9% in 2014 and 1.4% in 2013.

However, e-commerce fraud losses represented 0.5% of respondents’ online revenue in 2015, down from 0.8% in 2013, but slightly up from 0.4% in 2012.

Retailers are also rejecting more online orders due to suspicion of fraud. Respondents rejected 2.8% of U.S. and Canadian online orders for this reason in 2015, compared to 2.3% the prior year.

The percentage of fraudulent online transactions that are discovered by banks or other payment providers, known as chargebacks, has dropped substantially to 28% in 2015 from 43% in 2012. CyberSource says this decline is due to factors including retailers encouraging customers to set up online accounts and issuing more credits to trusted shoppers.

The rate of disputed online chargebacks has remained level at 53%. In one other good piece of chargeback-related news, the percentage of disputes retailers win has slightly risen to 43% from 41% in 2013.

The study also looked at rates of adoption of online fraud detection tools. The most-used solutions include address verification service (86%), card verification number (86%), postal address verification services (67%), and Google Maps lookup (64%). Only 1% use biometric indicators, such as a fingerprint or retina scan.

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