OPERATIONS

NRF joins in worldwide tributes to Steve Jobs

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Technology devotees and regular Apple fans flocked to Apple stores across the globe to express their sorrow at the death of Steve Jobs.

The Apple co-founder and tech visionary died on Wednesday at the age of 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Impromptu and makeshift memorials were set up outside of many Apple stores. Many people left flowers and notes. At New York City’s flagship Fifth Ave. store, someone spray painted "I Love Steve" on a nearby wall. In Paris, two bouquets of pale yellow roses beside the store door.

Jobs’ impact on the retail industry was noted by the National Retail Federation.

"The National Retail Federation and the entire retail industry mourn news of the passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs, one of the most innovative leaders of our time who created an iconic retail brand through innovation and design,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “In a challenging economy, Jobs and the entire Apple team invented discretionary products that many Americans now consider necessities, from the iPod to the iPhone and the iPad. He leaves behind a legacy that will inspire retail companies for decades to come."

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RILA study: Retail crimes continue to rise

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — A report released Thursday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association found significant increases in shoplifting and pharmacy theft, in particular. According to RILA’s 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey, more than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting, and 41% saw an increase in shoplifting by individuals acting alone.

Sixty-four percent of respondents reported an increase in theft of pharmaceutical products.

According to the survey results, online marketplaces continue to be a favored venue for the resale of stolen product. A majority of retailers (61%) experienced an increase in the frequency with which stolen company merchandise was resold online; none reported a decrease in the online sale of stolen goods. Retailers also reported that their stolen merchandise was resold at flea markets and store front bodegas more frequently.

“We were disappointed, though not surprised, to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone,” said Lisa LaBruno, VP of loss prevention and legal affairs for RILA. “As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC.”

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Report: Consumer confidence weak

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — A Thursday report by Bloomberg said that consumer confidence last week capped the worst quarterly performance in more than two years, when the U.S. economy was still in a recession.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 50.2 in the week ended Oct. 2, from the prior period’s minus 53 that was the second-lowest level on record. The gauge averaged minus 48.4 from July through September, the third-worst quarterly reading of all time and the weakest since minus 49.9 in the first three months of 2009.

According to the report, 92% of those surveyed had a negative opinion of the economy.

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