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Retail fraud incidence down, but dollar impact escalating

BY Michael Johnsen

New York City — For every $100 in fraudulent transactions, retailers incurred a “true” cost of $230, according to a new study released Tuesday by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

According to the study, retail merchants and financial institutions reported an overall decline in fraud rates and transactions while total retail sales rose. Consumers also experienced a decline in fraud losses overall but the average time it took to resolve fraud issues rose by 57% and the out-of-pocket costs of fraud rose by $244.

However, fraud rates could be poised for an upswing. The number of fraudulent transactions has decreased, but the average dollar value of a completed fraudulent transaction is higher than last year, indicating the nature of transactions is becoming more severe. While on average, retail merchants report paying less per dollar for fraud than they were in 2010, small merchants and certain industries continue to report high out-of-pocket costs. E-commerce and mobile merchants are combating an influx of fraudulent transactions which tend to be large in dollar amount.

“It is true there has been industry progress in fraud mitigation, however fraud continues to cost retail merchants over $100 billion annually and consumers are feeling the increased affects of fraud,” stated Jim Rice, director of market planning for retail and e-commerce markets at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “While e-commerce, mobile payments and international commerce provide the retail industry with the most growth opportunities, they also present the greatest challenge to fraud prevention.”

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Stein Mart launches national ad campaign with social media focus

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart said Tuesday that it has partnered with ad agency ArnoldNYC to launch a national campaign focusing on digital and social engagement.

"Love at First Find," which launched Monday, consists of digital, social media, TV, print and radio, and stars real Stein Mart customers with the goal of fostering an online community of fans via Facebook and Stein Mart’s website.

A collection of videos depicting customers’ favorite merchandise finds appears on Stein Mart’s revamped homepage, and encourages visitors to upload their own "Love at First Find" videos. The site acts as a Stein Mart community where enthusiasts can also comment on the videos, "like" and post to Facebook, and sort by categories, such as hometown. Alongside the website community, Stein Mart is leveraging Facebook to connect with fans and publicize sales and promotions.

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Former Walmart exec to head Giant-Landover

BY Staff Writer

Carlisle, Pa. — Ahold USA said Tuesday it has appointed former Walmart executive Anthony Hucker to head its Landover, Md.-based Giant Food division.

Ahold, the U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, said Hucker has been named division president of Giant-Landover, effective Oct. 3, replacing interim president Don Sussman who will assume the role of executive VP supply chain for Ahold USA.

Hucker most recently served at Walmart as corporate VP and head of the Walmart Express division.

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