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Proposed Republican tax reforms would hit these retailers the hardest

BY CSA STAFF

Apparel retailers might be in for tough going if proposed tax reforms pass.

Among the measures that the House Republicans have proposed is a border-adjusted tax — a destination-basis tax — that would make it more expensive for U.S. companies to bring back their products for domestic sale. Apparel retailers top a list of the industries that would be most at risk by such a tax, according to a report by Business Insider.

"Apparel retailers have a relatively large proportion of goods that are imported (particularly as they tend to be more vertically integrated)," said Ike Boruchow, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo, in a recent note, according to the report.

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BJ’s jumps into cash automation

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

BJ’s Wholesale Club is knee-deep in a company-wide initiative to add processes that allow it to operate more efficiently.

It has taken a major step by partnering with Glory Global Solutions to roll out cash automation solutions across its 200-plus-club chain. As cash still accounts for around 30% of consumer transactions in the U.S., it remains extremely important to retailer margins. However, the process of moving money is complex.

Besides being labor intensive, multiple human touch points and a lack of security leads to shrinkage that stems from both accidental loss and intentional theft. By adding a cash recycling program, “we hope to decrease average labor hours needed in our lower (back) office,” explained Mike Loudon, VP operations support for BJ’s.

Using the provider’s Cashfinity cash recyclers, the chain embarked on an executed a proof-of-concept in several stores, which produced “a savings of 7.5 hours per day per store in cash processing labor,” he added.

“Across our entire store base, that labor savings represents millions of dollars,” Loudon said.

From a labor perspective, BJ’s plans to reinvest associates’ time into more member-facing activities.

“An additional benefit we didn’t anticipate was the significant reduction in cash required to be on hand at each club,” London said. “We reduced cash in-store between 15%-20%, which we are putting to better use else-where in our business.”

Upon completing its chain-wide rollout of cash recycling solutions, “We anticipate the cashier cash variances also will go down,” he added.

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Amazon Web Services makes new cyber-security play

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon is bolstering end-user cyber-security.

The online giant’s cloud services group quietly acquired cyber security firm harvest.ai, a San Diego-based startup that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze online user behavior, according to TechCrunch.

The acquisition, which Amazon hasn’t confirmed, will help the division identify and stop data breaches before cyber-criminals swipe valuable customer data, TechCrunch said.

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