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Report: Federal hearings on Target breach possible

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) reportedly may seek federal hearings on the recent data breach at Target. According to the Associated Press, Menendez said in a press conference held outside a Jersey City, N.J. Target store that he has also requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether it can levy fines against Target and whether laws protecting sensitive consumer data need to be strengthened.

Menendez reportedly said he does not think the FTC can currently assess any fines. The FTC did not fine T.J. Maxx for a similar data breach that occurred in 2006 and was resolved with a settlement agreement. The Department of Justice and Secret Service are both investigating the breach and at least three class-action lawsuits have been filed against the retailer, seeking more than $5 million in damages.

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Flooring products manufacturer launches retail franchise division

BY Dan Berthiaume

Avon, Mass. – SelecTech, Inc., a provider of flooring products made from recycled materials, is launching a retail/franchise division. Based out of the company’s corporate headquarters in Avon, Mass., the new division will feature customer service and marketing representatives specifically dedicated to retail and franchise customers with multiple locations.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) is one of SelecTech’s recent retail customers. EMS wanted an attractive and comfortable floor for its shoe department to provide customers with the proper setting for selecting new shoes. EMS chose SelecTech’s FreeStyle flooring.

“Uniformity is one of the benefits of chains and franchises,” said Thomas Ricciardelli, president of SelecTech Inc. “You want the customer to have the same experience no matter which location they visit. That goes from the way they are greeted to the look and feel of the store. In addition to utilizing a breakthrough interlocking technology that minimizes installation materials and down time, our flooring products are easy to customize for multi-location organizations.”

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Report: Costco, Nordstrom tops in returns

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – Costco and Nordstrom were the number one and two ranked retailers in terms of their return policies, according to a new report from personal finance site GoBankingrates.com. Costco received kudos for having no time limit and full cash or check refunds, while Nordstrom got credit for having no formal return policy or time limit.

Meanwhile, Sears was ranked last for having a tiered system with 90-day maximum; original packaging, receipt or packaging slip required, and Best Buy was ranked next to last for basing time limits on how much the customer spent. Zappos had the third-best return policy and American Apparel had the third-worst return policy.

"Not everyone is good at gift giving," said Jennifer Calonia, editor of GoBankingRates.com. "If you’re worried about finding the perfect gift for a loved one, consider a store with a great return policy. A return policy can truly make or break a purchase; many major retailers carry the same brands."

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