FINANCE

Neiman Marcus: 1.1 million credit/debit cards may be compromised

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Approximately 1.1 million debit and credit cards used at Neiman Marcus stores may have been compromised in a security breach last year, according to an update posted on the retailer’s website. To date, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified the company that approximately 2,400 unique customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus and Last Call stores were subsequently used fraudulently.

In the post, the company reiterated that Social Security numbers and birth dates were not stolen and customers who shopped online were not affected. Customers that use the chain’s private Neiman Marcus credit cards were also not affected.

The company, which said that the investigation is ongoing, learned that malicious software was installed to its system on Jan. 1, after a forensics company discovered it. It informed federal law enforcement agencies and began working with the U.S. Secret Service and payment processors.

Neiman Marcus said, to its knowledge, there was no connection between the security breach at its company and the one at Target.

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OPERATIONS

C-stores account for 34.3% of all U.S. retail outlets

BY Marianne Wilson

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. convenience store count increased to 151,282 stores as of December 31, 2013, a 1.4% increase (2,062 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. Convenience stores account for 34.3% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drug stores (41,378 stores), supermarket/supercenter (37,459 stores) and dollar stores (24,853 stores).

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count with 15,191 stores, up from 14,920 in 2013. The rest of the top 10 states for convenience stores are California (11,188), Florida (9,737), New York (8,154), Georgia (6,750), North Carolina (6,272), Ohio (5,452), Michigan, (4,903), Illinois (4,607) and Virginia (4,512).

The link between fuels and convenience retailing continues to grow. Overall, 83.7% of convenience stores (126,658 total) sell motor fuels, a 2.7% increase (3,369 stores) over 2013. The growth of convenience stores selling motor fuels is double the overall growth in the industry, as fuel retailers add convenience operations and convenience retailers add fueling operations.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 62.8% of all convenience stores (95,056 stores total).

The convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1983, the store count was 80,900 stores, at year-end 1993 the store count was 98,400 stores and at year-end 2003 the store count was 132,659 stores.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor launch app integrating traditional media and m-commerce

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — The HBC Department Store Group announced the launch of a new mobile shopping application for both its Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor divisions that allows customers to instantly buy products seen in print by simply scanning an image.

HBC is partnering with Pounce, a mobile app that turns static print ads into instant digital storefronts by enabling customers to scan product images and complete a purchase in less than 30 seconds. It provides a secure, one-tap checkout, integrating with the retailer’s existing e-commerce system

“Our goal with this initiative is to complement traditional media with popular mobile technology, and Pounce creates the opportunity to combine offline and online channels in a seamless way,” said Michael Crotty, chief marketing officer for HBC. “Pounce’s unique capability is a natural fit as we roll-out and grow our omni-channel strategy for HBC.”

The app launched in Canada on Thursday, just ahead of this year’s Olympic Winter Games. Hudson’s Bay is the official apparel sponsor of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams for the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the upcoming ads for HBC Olympic apparel will be the first to display the Pounce mobile app opportunity for customers.

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