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Report: Target says vendor breach led to data theft

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target reportedly said a data breach at an unidentified vendor led to hackers obtaining phony credentials that allowed them to gain access to Target’s systems and steal the information for 40 million credit and debit cards, as well as the personal data of about 70 million consumers. According to the Associated Press, Target did not offer any specific details on who the vendor was or how hackers obtained the credentials.

A Target spokesperson did say the retailer has taken steps to help make data breaches more difficult in the future, such as restricting or updating outside access to some of its platforms.

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Full speed ahead for Tractor Supply in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Tractor Supply Co., the nation’s largest farm-and-ranch retailer, reported big gains in sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and full year.

The company reported nets sales of $1.42 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $1.29 billion in the same quarter last year. Comparable-store sales increased 3.5%.

Net income for the quarter was $95.9 million, up from $79.5 million in the same quarter last year.

“We are very pleased with our strong fourth-quarter and full-year results,” said CEO Greg Sandfort. “The fourth quarter marked our 17th consecutive quarter of positive comparable-store sales and our 23rd consecutive quarter of positive comparable transaction counts. In recent years, we have grown our business effectively despite challenging economic environments and volatile weather trends. We believe our results are a function of the balanced approach we take to run our business, through managing sales, margins, expenses and capital investments.”

For the full year, net sales increased 10.7% to $5.16 billion, as comps increased 4.8%. Those results came during a fiscal year in which the company opened 102 new stores and closed two stores. It had opened 92 new stores in fiscal 2012.

Full-year net income surged 18.7% to $328.2 million.

Looking ahead, the company expects comp-store sales to increase in the range of 2.5% to 4% in fiscal 2014.

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Former Walmart exec joins supply chain group

BY CSA STAFF

Gary Maxwell has joined the Supply Chain Management Research Center as an executive in residence.

Maxwell retired from Walmart last year after serving as SVP of the global business process team. He held a variety of senior supply chain and logistics roles at Walmart after joining the company in 1999 from the now defunct regional discount chain Caldor. Since his retirement, Maxwell launched Maxwell Value Chain, to provide replenishment and supply chain services to retail suppliers.

“We are very pleased to have Gary’s continued participation with the center,” said Jim Crowell, center director, noting that Maxwell has served on the center’s board and executive committee for several years. The research center, which goes by the acronym SCMRC, is part of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the Unversity of Arkansas. “Gary will be our third executive in residence during the past 12 years, joining Don Bechtel, retired Procter & Gamble supply chain leader, and Wes Kemp, retired president of ABF Freight System Inc. Together, these three industry leaders bring years of expertise and insights that have and will continue to help shape the strategic direction and programs of the center.”

While working for Walmart International, Maxwell and his team were responsible for developing engineering solutions to meet business strategies and defining the best way of working globally. Maxwell also led the international supply chain team and helped develop Walmart distribution practices in India, China, Japan and other markets.

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