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Developing report: Best Buy founder considering buying out company

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — A just-released report from the Wall Street Journal said that Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, who resigned his chairman of the board seat earlier this month, may be looking into buying out the company.

Schulze is said to be working with bankers from Credit Suisse. At the time of his resignation as chairman, he owned approximately 20% of the company.

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Lowe’s donates $250K to the First Response Team of America

BY CSA STAFF

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s has donated $250,000 to the First Response Team of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to responding to natural disasters and working alongside local agencies to help save lives in the wake of destruction.

Founded in 2007 by Tad Agoglia, the First Response Team uses a fleet of highly specialized trucks and equipment to provide immediate assistance after a disaster, when communities often must fend for themselves because the resources necessary for rescue and recovery are damaged, inaccessible or unavailable. The team has responded to dozens of disasters with support services that include opening roadways, performing water rescues, providing temporary power solutions and assisting critical service providers. Currently, the team is deployed in Florida, assisting with Tropical Storm Debby cleanup efforts.

In addition to the grant, Lowe’s has pledged to lend the support of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers to work alongside Agoglia and the First Response Team as they respond to disasters and assist homeowners with property cleanup and restoration.

“Responding to natural disasters and lending a helping hand in times of great need is a commitment Lowe’s has made for many years,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “We believe the First Response Team of America will help us make a larger difference on the front lines immediately after a disaster.”

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Retail theft down slightly in 2011

BY Staff Writer

New Orleans — Despite reporting an uptick in organized retail crime, the National Retail Federation revealed that retail theft rates decreased in 2011, according to preliminary results of the organization’s latest National Retail Security survey.

The results, which were presented at NRF’s Loss Prevention Conference and Expo in New Orleans, revealed that retail shrinkage — a loss of inventory due to employee theft, shoplifting, paperwork errors or supplier fraud — decreased to 1.41% of retail sales in 2011 ($34.5 billion), down from 1.49% in 2010 ($37.1 billion).

According to the preliminary survey findings, the majority of retail shrinkage in 2011 was due to employee theft, which accounted for 43.9% of total losses. Additionally, shoplifting accounted for approximately 35.7% of total losses, up from just over 32% last year. Other losses included administrative error (12.1% of shrinkage) and vendor fraud (5% of shrinkage). Retailers said that the cause of the remaining shrinkage was unknown.

"Retail theft continues to plague the industry, with billions of dollars of merchandise walking out of the store every day without ever being paid for," NRF VP loss Prevention Rich Mellor said. "Fighting these self-serving and unethical criminals has been a tedious battle, but we remain resolute in our efforts and our partnerships with law enforcement to combat this growing problem."

The study, which surveyed 100 retailers in the first half of 2012 and uses data from 2011, is the result of a partnership between the University of Florida and the National Retail Federation.

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