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Fast fashion chain keeps store operations up to speed

BY CSA STAFF

San Antonio-based fast fashion retailer A’Gaci is all about staying current with trends.

Not only does A’Gaci maintain a close eye on what its customer base of 18-to-24-year-old women is wearing, but also on trends in-store performance. Operating 65 stores in 10 states and Puerto Rico with plans to add 20 more U.S. locations in the next year, A’Gaci needs a current view of what’s happening in its brick-and-mortar space.

So the retailer is leveraging technology from Euclid Analytics to view customer engagement trends, build smarter loyalty programs and make data-driven decisions to improve operations. Requiring no new hardware, Euclid was deployed on A’Gaci’s existing Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi system.

A’Gaci is applying Euclid’s analytical capabilities to provide insight into activities such as updating its in-store merchandise assortment 12 times a year and providing personalized in-store recommendations.

A’Gaci also uses Euclid to measure the impact of in-store activities such arranging merchandise in the store and observing the length of time customers stay after a changeover. As more insight is provided over time, the fashion chain will be better able to define trends and drive more in-store engagement.

Additionally, the company uses Euclid’s data to help make decisions regarding store locations, staffing (down to hourly increments, and store hours. A’Gaci also plans to use its amplified understanding of store operations to provide a solid base for expanded omnichannel activities.

“We’ve always been revolutionary in the fashion world, with an emphasis on highly personalized customer service and the newest fashions for the trendy young woman,” said Reid Hackney, CFO of A’GACI. “Equipped with Euclid’s data, we’re innovating once again. In 2016, we plan to leverage in-store analytics to bring a new, seamless omnichannel culture and guide future growth.”

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Food Lion continues remodeling push

BY Marianne Wilson

Food Lion is making a major investment in store remodels.

The grocer announced it will remodel 142 stores in the greater Charlotte, N.C., market in 2016. Food Lion said it will invest $215 million in the stores, which includes remodeling, additional price investments throughout the year and investments in associates and the community through its Food Lion Feeds initiatives.

Charlotte is the fourth area to be remodeled. Food Lion launched its updated store model in May 2014 as part of its "Easy, Fresh and Affordable. You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day!" strategy. The company remodeled 162 stores in the greater Raleigh, N.C., area in 2015, along with 76 stores in the greater Wilmington, N.C., and Greenville, N.C., markets in 2014.

"We're proud to have been a part of the greater Charlotte community since 1957, and are excited to bring our newest format to our hometown market," said Food Lion president Meg Ham. "As we near our 60th anniversary in this market, we look forward to making significant investments in our stores, our customers, our associates and our communities to offer a new grocery shopping experience.”

The remodels are designed to make the stores easier to navigate and shop so customers can get in and out of the store quickly. The remodeled locations will also feature expanded assortments, such as more local products, natural and organic selections and healthier snack options.

The remodels are expected to be completed in stores on a rolling basis between May and October 2016.

Food Lion will continue to launch enhancements across all of its nearly 1,100 stores in 2016, as well as remodel additional markets over time, the company said.

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., has nearly 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 65,000 associates.

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Verizon: Three breach scenarios to watch for

BY CSA STAFF

There is an endless variety of ways hackers can attempt to gain access to retailers’ networks, but a few are particularly common.

In a new study, “Data Breach Digest,” Verizon identifies 18 different data breach scenarios drawn from analyzing more than 1,200 global cases investigated by the Verizon Risk Team in the past three years.

“There is a lot more commonality than most people realize,” said Chris Novak, director of investigative response, Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Although all the identified scenarios can affect companies in any industry, Novak said that retailers are especially likely to be victimized by three – POS intrusion, peripheral tampering, and SQL injection. Following is a brief overview of each scenario.

POS intrusion
Nicknamed the “leaky boot” by Verizon, POS intrusion involves RAM scraping by malware designed to monitor and extract specific, targeted data from physical memory. Verizon analysis of this type of malware indicates that hackers customize their tools to work in specific environments, such as on application-specific POS servers and terminals.

Typical perpetrators include those seeking financial gain, such as organized criminal networks, as well as independent hacking groups. POS intrusion attacks often originate from foreign locations. Common points of origin include China, Germany, Romania and the Russian Federation.

Retailers often discover POS intrusion attacks through notification by a third-party financial services provider (such as a payment card processor noticing fraudulent transactions on exposed cards) or law enforcement. It typically takes weeks to months to discover a POS intrusion and days to weeks to contain it.

Peripheral tampering
Peripheral tampering involves any tampering or physically manipulation of a hardware device that connects to a computer system. These devices may include Personal Identification Number (PIN) entry devices (PEDs), scanners, printers, etc. Perpetrators associated with altered payment card transaction devices typically involve organized crime groups. These groups may be based in the U.S. but also are often based in overseas locations such as Bulgaria, Romania, Armenia and Brazil.

Discovery of peripheral tampering can be quick, often taking days or even hours. However, because so many devices across so many locations may be compromised, containment may take months.

SQL injection
Also termed as “snakebite” by Verizon, SQL injection attacks, in their most basic form, are methods of abusing an application’s interaction with its back-end database. These attacks leverage non-validated inputs (such as stolen credentials or guessed passwords) to modify existing database queries to achieve unintended results (i.e., the theft of sensitive data) and frequently target Web applications.

Perpetrators may be activists, organized criminals or even state-affiliated individuals. Thus there is no definite pattern of where the attacks originate from. The time it can take to discover and contain SQL injection attacks also varies widely, from hours to months depending on specific circumstances.

To access the full study visit Verizonenterprise.com/databreachdigest.

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