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Guess Q2 earnings fall 50%, but online sales rise nearly 50%

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Guess on Wednesday reported second-quarter net earnings of $22 million, a 50.5% decrease compared to adjusted net earnings of $44.3 million for the year ago period. The retailer, which also cuts its fiscal year outlet, noted that soft traffic and promotional activity have continued to put its North American stores under pressure.

Sales for the quarter fell 4.8% to $608.6 million, from $639 million a year ago. Same-store sales decreased 5.4%. Guess said it was encouraged by its North American online business, which grew by almost 50% in the second quarter.

“So far in the third quarter, our fall collection in North American Retail has not seen the traction with the consumer that we were expecting and we have adjusted our expectations for the back-half of the year accordingly,” said Paul Marciano, CEO.

The retailer said it is consolidating its organization in North America, making it more efficient and more focused on long-term goals.

“In addition, we are continuing to rationalize our North America store portfolio and also have the flexibility to further optimize our retail footprint in the coming years,” Marciano said.

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PCI Council urges retailers to protect against malware

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wakefield, Mass. – In light of the recent announcement of the “Backoff” malware threatening the POS security of retailers, the PCI Council strongly encourages companies as a matter of urgency to consider the following recommendations:

1. Contact your provider of antivirus solutions and ensure you have the most recent and up to date version of antivirus software that will detect “Backoff” and other similar malware.

2. Run this solution immediately.

3. Review all system logs for any strange or unexplained activity, especially large data files being sent to unknown locations.

4. Require all default and staff passwords on systems and applications to be updated. Provide good guidance on choosing a secure password (see PCI Data Security Standard Requirements 2,8).

Should systems be found to be infected or unusual activity suspected, companies should contact their acquiring bank immediately.

Regarding malware specifically, the PCI Council recommends that organizations should review the following security risk mitigating control areas outlined in PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.0:

• Proper firewall configuration — Requirement 1

• Changing vendor defaults and passwords on devices and systems — Requirement 2

• Regularly updating anti-virus protections — Requirement 5

• Patching systems — Requirement 6

• Limiting access and privileges to systems — Requirements 7,9

• Requiring 2-factor authentication and complex passwords — Requirement 8

• Inspection of POS devices — Requirement 9

• Monitoring systems to allow for quick detection — Requirements 10, 11

• Implementing sound security policies for preventing intrusions that may allow malware to be injected — Requirement 12

• Managing third-party access to devices and systems, and specifically remote access from outside a merchant’s network — Requirements 8, 12

PCI standards provide layers of defense to ensure businesses can prevent, defend and detect attacks on their systems. The PCI Council advises that daily coordinated focus on maintaining these controls, making payment card security a business as usual practice — provides a strong defense against data compromise.

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MarketLive integrates Visa checkout

BY Dan Berthiaume

Petaluma, Calif. – MarketLive is integrating Visa Checkout directly into its e-commerce platform. Visa Checkout is a new way to pay online, on any device, with a few clicks.

Integrating Visa Checkout into MarketLive’s e-commerce platform allows MarketLive’s retail customers to offer the service to a growing number of consumers who are shopping via smartphones and tablets.

“We are the first enterprise e-commerce platform to do a full integration of Visa’s mobile-optimized Visa Checkout, which sets us apart from other technologies and makes it easier for our merchants to simplify the payment process for their customers,” said Ken Burke, founder and CEO of MarketLive Inc. “We can offer customers the trusted Visa brand as one of their checkout options, and help decrease cart abandonments, especially on mobile devices.”

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