FINANCE

NRF: Return fraud to cost retailers $2.9 billion this holiday season

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Retailers will lose an estimated $8.9 billion to return fraud this year, and $2.9 billion during the holiday season alone, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Return Fraud Survey. Overall, retailers estimate 4.6% of holiday returns are fraudulent.

According to the survey, nearly all (96.5%) retailers polled say they have experienced the return of stolen merchandise in the last year, and 84.2% report that they have experienced the return of merchandise purchased on fraudulent or stolen tender. Wardrobing – the return of used, non-defective merchandise like special occasion apparel and certain electronics – is a huge issue, with nearly two-thirds (64.9%) saying they have been victims of this activity within the last year.

Additionally, 45.6% have found criminals using counterfeit receipts to return merchandise. Employee return fraud or collusion with external sources is also a big problem for retailers: eight in 10 (80.7%) report they’ve dealt with this issue in the past year.

For the first time NRF asked loss-prevention executives about return fraud with the use of e-receipts, and nearly two in 10 (19.3%) say they have dealt with e-receipt return fraud. As online sales continue to grow, 86% say they allow customers to return merchandise purchased online in their stores, and retailers estimate 3.9% of those returns are fraudulent.

When it comes to their company’s holiday return policy, most respondents (83.1%) say their return policies will remain unchanged compared to last holiday season, and 10.2% say they will actually loosen their policies to help ease the process for gift givers and recipients.

The problem of return fraud has forced many retailers to adopt policies which require customers returning merchandise to show identification. Retailers estimate that 13.4% of the returns made throughout the year without a receipt are fraudulent. As a result, nearly three-quarters (73.2%) now require customers returning items without a receipt to show identification. Just seven percent (7.1%) of retailers require customers making returns with a receipt to show ID, and more than one-quarter (26.8%) say they do not require identification during the return process.

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R.Costa says:
Feb-28-2013 10:42 am

This is ridiculous more often
This is ridiculous more often we faced many frauds in our daily works which are seems to be more serious in many sectors; therefore to reduce these act of frauds we used to heir an attorney who is the watcher of every transaction and policies and also reduces the possibilities to frauds in different sectors. http://www.virginiasinjurylawyers.com/bio/christina-pendleton.cfm

R.Costa says:
Feb-28-2013 10:42 am

This is ridiculous more often we faced many frauds in our daily works which are seems to be more serious in many sectors; therefore to reduce these act of frauds we used to heir an attorney who is the watcher of every transaction and policies and also reduces the possibilities to frauds in different sectors. http://www.virginiasinjurylawyers.com/bio/christina-pendleton.cfm

A.Noble says:
Feb-08-2013 07:17 am

Very Interesting post
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A.Noble says:
Feb-08-2013 07:17 am

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FINANCE

Big Lots swings to loss in Q3; announces CEO retirement

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots Inc. reported Tuesday a loss of $6 million for the third quarter, compared with net income of $4.2 million in the year-ago period. Results, however, topped analysts’ earnings expectations.

Revenue slipped 0.4% to $1.13 billion, missing Wall Street’s forecast of $1.3 billion.

The retailer also announced that its CEO Steven Fishman will retire as chairman and CEO after 40 years in retail. Big Lots has launched a search for his successor; Fishman will stay until a new CEO is appointed.

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FINANCE

Online acquisition overshadows soft sales at Autozone

BY Mike Troy

New York — AutoZone said it acquired online automotive retailer AutoAnything.com in conjunction with the release of first quarter earnings Tuesday morning.

Profit at the nation’s largest retailer of automotive products increased 6.4% to $203.5 million during the quarter ended Nov. 17, and sales rose 3.5% to $2 billion. Same-store sales edged up 0.2%.

The sales were lower than the company expected, but AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes characterized the company’s performance as solid, noting it was the 25th consecutive quarter of double-digit profit growth.

"While this past quarter’s sales results were lower than planned, they were not surprising to us. Regional sales discrepancies continued to challenge our results, however we began to see improvements in our more challenged regions late in the quarter," Rhodes said. "We believe the initiatives we have in place are correct for delivering solid financial results, as we remain excited about our opportunities for the remainder of fiscal 2013."

A noteworthy development was the acquisition of online retailer AutoAnything.com. Rhodes said he looked forward to formally welcoming the AutoAnything team to AutoZone, but he offered no additional details.

"The company’s culture and leadership is an outstanding fit with our company as we look forward to growing our e-commerce initiatives for many years to come," Rhodes said.

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C.James says:
Mar-29-2013 04:17 am

Two big companies combined,
Two big companies combined, will surely improve its market power. Also it will be capable of operating in a more efficient manner as compared to before. - Kale Flagg

C.James says:
Mar-29-2013 04:17 am

Two big companies combined, will surely improve its market power. Also it will be capable of operating in a more efficient manner as compared to before. - Kale Flagg

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