Dozens Arrested for Organized Retail Crime in San Jose
San Jose, Calif. Police in San Jose, Calif., along with the IRS and FBI, announced more than a dozen arrests to end a two-and-a-half-year multi-agency criminal investigation in the South Bay Area involving organized retail crime (ORC). Police seized massive quantities of cash and stolen retail merchandise.
“Organized retail crime threatens the safety of American citizens,” said Paul Jones, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) VP of asset protection. “The products that are stolen and sold as a result of ORC are often unsafe and threaten the well-being of consumers.”
The suspects identified in the San Jose case are suspected of buying massive quantities of stolen merchandise from shoplifting “booster” teams and selling the discounted items, which included teeth whiteners, razor blades and over-the-counter drugs, in San Jose and throughout the United States.
At a press conference, San Jose police displayed and distributed a video of local San Jose storefronts operating as “shadow supermarkets.”
Stolen merchandise, along with suspects’ photographs, were on display at the press conference. Several retailers, including Safeway and Walgreens, cooperated in the investigation.
Target May sales rise 5.5%
MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that its net retail sales for May increased 5.5% to $4.6 billion from $4.3 billion for the same period last year. On this same basis, May comparable-store sales decreased 0.7%.
“Our comparable store sales performance in May was in line with our planned range,” said Gregg Steinhafel, president and ceo of Target.
Talbots to cut corporate staff by 9%
HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots said it is reducing its corporate staff by about 9% as part of its efforts to streamline operations and rationalize its cost structure. The company expects this action to result in estimated annualized cost savings of approximately $14 million, which contributes to the company’s goal to reduce its cost structure by a minimum of $100 million by the end of fiscal 2009 (as announced on Feb. 6).
Trudy Sullivan, president and ceo of Talbots, said, “A key finding of our strategic review completed in the first quarter of 2008 was the need to realign and streamline internal company functions to enable the successful execution of our long-range plan. We therefore are examining all areas of our business to maximize efficiency and drive overall improved productivity. We are making excellent progress in achieving all of the objectives laid out in our strategic long-range plan and are firmly on track to restore profitability from our ongoing core operations and deliver enhanced shareholder value beginning in 2008.”