OPERATIONS

Retail Orphan Initiative co-founder Greg Buzek honored with national award

BY Staff Writer

Nashville, Tenn. — The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) honored IHL president and Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) co-founder Greg Buzek with the first annual Paul Singer Award at the 13th Annual Angels in Adoption Congressional gala. RetailROI is a charitable foundation that was established to help the 400 million orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide.

The award was presented in a ceremony on Oct. 5, in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1999, the Angels in Adoption program was created to raise awareness of adoption and celebrates those who have made a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable children in need of a family. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is one of the largest coalitions in the nation’s legislature, with over 200 current and former members of Congress participating.

The Paul Singer Award is the newest addition to CCAI’s Angels in Adoption program. It honors business or government leaders who have gone beyond their corporate or agency roles to advocate for better adoption and/or foster care policies worldwide. As an adoptive parent and the former CIO and senior VP of Target Corp. and SuperValu, Singer advocated for orphans nationally and around the world. It is in this spirit that the Paul Singer Award was created.

In 2010, with inspiration and partnership of Paul Singer and Marc Millstein, Buzek co-founded the Retail Orphan Initiative, which leverages the power and influence of retailers to benefit orphans and vulnerable children worldwide.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Execs spending less on security, but remain confident

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Research released Wednesday by PwC found that retail and consumer executives are spending less on security due to insufficient capital, but that they maintain confidence in their information security, despite an increase in security incidents.

PwC’s new report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 senior industry executives from the R&C industry, revealed that 72% of respondents are either very confident (35%) or somewhat confident (37%) that their information security practices are effective; however, according to PwC, companies may be developing a false sense of security as the number of cyber crime incidents continues to rise.

Among key findings, PwC found that companies have been more reluctant to spend on security priorities than previous years, citing insufficient capital and operating expenditures as the leading obstacles to the effectiveness of their information security strategy. Furthermore, confidence remains high, but it has declined 13 points since 2007.

Three-quarters of respondents were able to provide details about their security breaches while less than half of respondents could do so in previous years, reflecting more awareness of security issues among R&C executives.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents are confident that security spending will increase anywhere from 10% to 30% or more within the next year. And 34% are implementing strategies to keep pace with employee use of personal electronic devices.

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FINANCE

ICSC stands in support of new federal online sales tax bill

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The International Council of Shopping Centers released a statement that it is in support of the Marketplace Equity Act, which was introduced to Congress on Wednesday.

Currently, Internet retailers are required only to collect sales taxes in states where they have a physical presence, whether store, office, warehouse or DC. If enacted, the MEA would empower states to collect sales taxes already owed at the point of purchase from online retailers who may not have a physical nexus in the state, but sell millions of dollars in merchandise there.

“Closing the online sales tax loophole is not a partisan issue, but rather an issue of fairness,” said David B. Henry, ICSC chairman. “Each day, brick-and mortar retailers operate at a competitive disadvantage to remote sellers who don’t collect sales tax. The loophole was created by a 1992 Supreme Court decision at a time when the Internet was a mere shadow of what it is today. The MEA is a necessary step toward establishing a new, 21st century marketplace that considers both brick-and-mortar and online retailers, while protecting consumers who use and benefit from both.”

In a key component of the MEA, small businesses will be exempt from collecting sales taxes on internet transactions. As it stands now, most states already have what is known as a “use tax,” similar to a sales tax. When an online retailer fails to collect the sales tax, it falls to the consumer to report that tax directly to the state, which is often not done. This practice has given rise to the misperception of tax-free shopping online, and efforts to close the loophole are often mistaken for a new tax. The MEA is not a new tax; it simply gives states the power to collect revenue they are already owned at the point of purchase.

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