OPERATIONS

The Pantry recommends against board nominees

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. – The Pantry has confirmed that JCP Investment Management, LLC, and Lone Star Value Management, LLC (“the dissident group”) submitted a notice of intent to nominate director candidates to stand for election to The Pantry’s board of directors at the company’s 2014 annual meeting of stockholders.

After discussions between the company (management and selected directors) and the dissident group, the company’s corporate governance and nominating committee reviewed several individuals put forward by the dissident group and determined that they should not be nominated by The Pantry to serve on the board of directors.

After carefully evaluating several individuals put forward by the dissident group, we have determined that they do not possess the particular experience and expertise that the company is seeking in director candidates at this time,” said the Pantry in a written statement. “Our board is currently composed of 10 highly qualified directors, nine of whom are independent, who together possess significant retail, convenience store, consumer packaged goods, foodservice and financial experience that is highly relevant and critical to our business.”

The Pantry has had its current leadership team in place since March 2012 and will submit its board nominees in a proxy statement with the SEC prior to its March 2014 annual meetings.

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FINANCE

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rises in December

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, rose in December 2013. The Index, which comprises four components, tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 in December from 3.9 the prior month.

"Retailers need to keep their foot on the gas in light of the positive signals that suggest improved consumer confidence and spending levels in the months ahead,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution sector leader. “The holiday season underscored that consumers are not only willing to shop, but expect to do so on their time and on their terms. Retailers can keep up the momentum by targeting consumers across different channels and geographies with more personalized, high-touch connections through mobile and online points of contact that reach a broader swath of shoppers with greater precision.”

Highlights of the Index include:

Tax Burden: The tax rate is up now at 11.8%, a 0.6% increase from last month. A rising tax rate is associated with increasing incomes.

Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims declined 14% from the same period last year, falling to 324,000.

Real Wages: Real hourly wages rose 1.3% from this time last year to $8.83, showing a second month of accelerated increases.

Real New Home Prices: New home prices climbed to $116,000, an increase of more than 5% from the same time last year.

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OPERATIONS

Report: FBI warns of more retail data breaches

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The FBI has reportedly issued a confidential report to U.S. retailers warning that more cyber attacks like the ones recently suffered by Target and Neiman Marcus will occur. According to Reuters, the three-page report was distributed Jan. 17 and informs retailers that the FBI has discovered in the past year there have been at least 20 attacks using the same type of malware used against Target.

The report, which an FBI spokesperson verified for Reuters, said that malware attacks designed to steal credit card data from retailers will increase in the short term despite increased efforts to prevent them. This increase is due to the wide global availability of the malware as well as the potential for significant financial gain. The report said most malware attacks the FBI has discovered are launched against small or mid-sized and regional retailers.

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