Consumer Survey Shows Fraud Concern
New York City, The statistics are beginning to show that American consumers are more than just a little worried about information security. One out of every seven Americans has had personal and or credit-card information stolen. More than 60% say they are concerned for the safety of their personal and/or credit and debit-card information during the holiday season. Two-thirds of creditcard holders are more concerned about credit-card fraud and identity theft than they were last year. These figures were the result of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted on behalf of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM. If the problem escalates, the worst-case scenario for retailers is a chilling affect on spending. “Consumers buy from retailers they trust and those retailers who are making security a priority will have a competitive advantage,” said Joseph Gagnon, global retail leader, IBM. “Advanced technologies, from sophisticated encryption to biometric technologies, are being developed by researchers to help retailers increase security and build that all-important trust with shoppers.”
Whole Foods Reviews Lobster Treatment
Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market Inc. says it will stop selling lobsters if a more humane way isn’t found to buy and sell them. The natural and organic foods grocer set a June 15 deadline for carrying out a new process for buying and selling live lobsters, to be led by an internal task force.
“Our commitment to animal compassionate standards means eliminating unnecessary and avoidable suffering when it is possible,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market. “We are viewing the lobster as a live creature rather than a commodity that deserves no concern.”
Charming Shoppes Quarterly Profit Climbs
Bensalem, Pa., Charming Shoppes Inc. said Wednesday that profit jumped nearly 70% in the fiscal third quarter as its newly acquired catalog business added to sales.
For the three months ended Oct. 29, the company earned $10.8 million, or 9? per share, up from $6.4 million, or 5? a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $663.3 million from $541.8 million, helped by a boost from the Crosstown Traders catalog business acquired in June. Same-store sales rose 3%.
Charming Shoppes noted that it had unusual gains in the third quarter from insurance reimbursements and a lawsuit settlement, but said these were offset by a charge related to its decision to repatriate foreign earnings to take advantage of a government tax break.