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Rite Aid same-store sales rise 0.7% in March

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. — For the four weeks ended March 29, 2014, same-store sales at Rite Aid increased 0.7% from the prior-year period. March front-end same-store sales decreased 5%, with 4.1% of the decrease attributable to a shift in the timing of Easter, which falls on April 20 in 2014 compared to March 31 in the prior year.

Total drugstore sales for the four-week period increased 0.4% to $1.95 billion, compared to $1.94 billion for the same period last year.

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Survey: Payment card fraud rises in 2013

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — Despite a slight decrease in corporate payments fraud and a heightened interest in security risks, 2013 saw an increase in fraud specific to credit and debit cards as criminals and their schemes became more sophisticated, according to the 2014 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey released by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).

Now in its 10th year, the survey, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, found that even as check fraud declined, companies are now preparing for the shift in credit/debit card liability from issuers to merchants. Among survey respondents, 22% that accept credit/debit cards from their custom¬ers anticipate a significant impact from their investment in card acceptance fraud prevention methods and half expect some impact.

Also, in the wake of recent security breaches, 63% of organizations have either adopted additional security measures or are planning to do so in the near future, with measures including secure signature stamps, electronic signatures, payment data stored with third-party vendors and increased layers of security.

Other key findings include:

• Sixty percent of organizations were exposed to actual or attempted payments fraud in 2013, similar to 61% in 2012, down from 68% in 2011.

• Changes in payments fraud experienced in 2013 compared to 2012: 27% – increase; 16% – decrease; 57% – no change.

• Payments formats targeted by fraudsters: 82% – checks; 43% – credit/debit cards (corporate and consumer), up from 29% in 2012; 22% – ACH debits, down from 27% in 2012; 14% – wire transfers, up from 11% in 2012; 9% – ACH credits, up from 8% in 2012.

• Seventy percent of companies exposed to actual or attempted fraud in 2013 experienced no financial loss as a result.

• Eighty percent of companies that experienced actual or attempted payments fraud found it originated outside the organization.

"Criminals will try to stay a step ahead," said Jim Kaitz, AFP’s president and CEO. "But with potential liability increasing for merchants, companies are taking a hard look at where their own vulnerabilities lie. This is especially important for big companies with complex systems, which are frequent targets for fraud."

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P.Siegel says:
Apr-04-2014 12:54 pm

How long do you suppose it will take for the dawn to come up regarding this problem - and we'll copy Europe's lead with imbedded chips in credit cards vs. the stone age "swiping" which perpetuates this problem?

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Survey: Personalized post-purchase brand interactions important

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jeffersonville, Ind. – The key to repeat customers is personalized communication from brands after purchases. According to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers from multichannel customer engagement solutions provider Accent Marketing Services LLC, 86% of consumers say it’s important to have a positive experience after making a purchase.

Key findings in the report also include:

• Nearly half of consumers interact with brands after a purchase.

• Word-of-mouth marketing is still critical with 79% of consumers telling family and friends when they have had a great experience with a brand.

• Ninety-three percent of consumers claim that a positive response or special offer can help restore the company’s reputation after a bad experience.

• Only 26% of consumers have used their phone to contact a company through mobile app with a service question after making a purchase.

“As consumers continue to evolve, we are seeing a significant shift in what CMOs are focusing on,” said David Norton, executive VP customer analytics and insights at MDC Partners and chairman Accent Marketing Services. “Their focus used to be solely on customer acquisition. CMOs today need to spend time to understand and engage customers across the entire lifecycle, not only pre-purchase. What our research has uncovered is that when CMOs consider the entire lifecycle, they can maximize return on investment.”

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