SUPPLY CHAIN

New GS1 US Data Hub provides standardized supply chain data

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lawrenceville, N.J. — A new online tool from supply chain information standards organization GS1 US, called the GS1 US Data Hub, will make it possible for retailers, e-tailers, data pools, solution providers and a variety of application developers to access the detailed information associated with GS1 company prefixes, the specific combination of numbers embedded in GS1 identifiers and barcodes to identify a company. Developed to help companies improve the quality of data in their businesses and applications, the GS1 US Data Hub is also available via an Application Programming Interface (API) developer portal.

The GS1 US Data Hub can help users validate their internal information against the GS1 US company prefix database and provides a source of standardized GS1 US data to be leveraged in both physical and digital channels. Users can review both active and inactive company prefixes issued by GS1 US, verify new trading partners to prevent counterfeit products from being sold, and create efficiencies by reducing the need to re-key information into existing systems.

GS1 US Data Hub users can easily download files and information to use and integrate with other applications. GS1 Company Prefixes can be searched in a variety of ways — including company name, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or Global Location Number (GLN) — helping companies fill in their data gaps. The GS1 US Data Hub allows users to select from several data sets and formats to fit their preferences and requirements. Future releases of the GS1 US Data Hub will offer more product and location-related data.

“The GS1 US Data Hub was developed in response to our customers’ need for accurate, qualified company information,” said Laura DiSciullo, senior VP of solutions, GS1 US. “There continues to be an unmet need for quality data in the supply chain. The GS1 US Data Hub provides downloadable, scalable information that can not only help industry be more efficient, but also more adaptable to changing consumer behaviors.”

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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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