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Report: Facebook and Wal-Mart in confab

BY Staff Writer

New York — Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg and senior managers will meet the top executives of Wal-Mart Stores to discuss ways of deepening relations between the two companies, Reuters reported.

The representatives of social networking site and the chain will meet in Bentonville, Ark., for two days beginning Friday, according to the report.

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Kohl’s headquarters to stay in Wisconsin; to receive up to $62.5 million in tax breaks

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Kohl’s Corp. and the state of Wisconsin announced an agreement that will keep the retailer’s headquarters in Menomonee Falls, which is located about 20 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Kohl’s will receive up to $62.5 million in tax credits from the state over 12 years. The final amount of the tax credits is dependent on the number of employees the chain adds at its facility and the amount of money Kohl’s invests in developing its campus.

Kohls, which has about 4,900 employees at its corporate locations around the area, has said it will add up to 3,000 jobs over the next 12 years in southeastern Wisconsin and spend $250 million in improvements to its headquarters.

Kohl’s will take ownership of about 100 acres in Woodland Prime, a business park in Menomonee Falls. It will also acquire a small office building adjacent to the land. In exchange, the village will assume ownership of Kohl’s 530,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in the village. The company said it plans to build a second corporate campus on the vacant land and continue to operate its current headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Company CEO Kevin Mansell said Kohl’s had looked into moving to Milwaukee, to another area of Wisconsin or even out of state, but he declined to say which states were considered, the Associated Press reported.

Kohl’s will begin construction on a new building within the next three years, according to the report.

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And in other RILA news – staying a step ahead of the bad guys

BY CSA STAFF

Mobile payments and technologies such as near field communications are a double-edged sword. The source of potential improvement to store experience, competitive advantage and efficiency, emerging point-of-sale technologies also create new opportunities for bad guys to steal. That’s why the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have joined forces on the issue.

The University and RILA with support from Checkpoint Systems and Ernst & Young plan to study emerging POS technology such as self-checkout, mobile coupons, touchless payment, mobile POS and mobile self-checkout with an eye toward evaluating the loss prevention risks posed by each and identify possible preventive strategies.

“Retailers need to understand this emerging technology and its implications for loss prevention now so that they can proactively address any challenges that lie ahead rather than just reacting to them after emerging POS technologies become the norm,” said Lisa LaBruno, RILA’s VP loss prevention and legal affairs.

“Retailers are quickly adapting to customers who are increasingly wired, self-sufficient and seeking convenience,” said John Aloysius, associate professor of supply chain management in the Walton College. “Given the retail focus of the Walton College, we look forward to discovering what this impact will be and to helping our industry partners.”

Viswanath Venkatesh, Distinguished Professor of information systems and holder of the George & Boyce Billingsley Endowed Chair in Information Systems, will work with the team to evaluate risks posed by new and emerging technologies.

“It is exciting to be looking at the new frontiers in mobile technologies,” Venkatesh said. “This work is the cutting edge of loss prevention.”

Aloysius and Venkatesh will collaborate with the Retail Industry Leaders Association to accomplish these objectives.

The research findings will be compiled in an industry report so retailers can build a risk-assessment checklist for use at store locations to mitigate theft-related risks

“The speed at which mobile technology is affecting and reshaping retail is dramatic. The importance of understanding the risks such advancements have on a retailer’s business cannot be underestimated,” said Dan Valerio, Ernst & Young’s Americas Retail Sector Leader.

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