News

Save Mart Supermarkets in multi-year agreement with Revionics

BY Marianne Wilson

Austin, Texas — Revionics announced that Save Mart Supermarkets, which operates 221 stores under the banners of Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky and FoodMaxx, has entered into a multi-year agreement for Revionics’ SaaS-based price optimization solution and its advanced analytics services, including the key value item (KVI) analysis and store cluster analysis.

Save Mart will be using the price optimization solution to better align its pricing strategies and tactics with local shopper behavior to ensure the stores have the right KVIs by market and price more strategically, consistently and competitively.

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OPERATIONS

IBM: Retailers suffering fewer, but more damaging cyber attacks

BY Marianne Wilson

Armonk, N.Y. – Retailers are suffering fewer cyber attacks, but for hackers it is becoming a situation of quality over quantity. According to findings released by IBM, despite a 50% decline in the number of cyber attacks against U.S. retailers, the number of records stolen from them remains at near record highs.

IBM Security researchers report that in 2014, cyber attackers still managed to steal more than 61 million records from retailers despite the decline in attacks, demonstrating cybercriminals’ increasing sophistication and efficiency.

Contrary to what most would expect, the majority of cyber attackers scaled back their hacking efforts around Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2014 rather than capitalize from the massive spike in retail spending. According to the research, cyber attackers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, using new techniques to obtain massive amounts of confidential records with increased efficiency.

Since 2012, the number of breaches reported by retailers dropped by 50%. Despite this decline, the perpetrators were able to impact a far greater number of victims with each incident. When looking at the two week period (Nov 24 – Dec 5) around these days, the data shows the following activity across all industries:

• The number of daily cyber attacks was 3,043, nearly one-third less than the 4,200 average during this period in 2013.

• From 2013 and 2014, the number of breaches dropped by more than 50% for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

• In 2013, there were more than 20 breaches disclosed including several large breaches that caused the number of records compromised to rise drastically, reaching close to 4 million.

• During the same period in 2014, 10 breaches were disclosed, which resulted in just more than 72,000 records getting compromised

Attackers secured more than 61 million records in 2014, down from almost 73 million in 2013. However, when the data was narrowed down to only incidents involving less than 10 million records (which excludes the top two attacks over this time-frame, Target Corp. and The Home Depot), the data shows a different story; the number of retail records compromised in 2014 increased by more than 43% from 2013.

In addition, while there has been a rise in the number of POS malware attacks, the vast majority of incidents targeting the retail sector involved command injection or SQL injection. The complexity of SQL deployments and the lack of data validation performed by security administrators made retail databases a primary target. During 2014, this command injection method was used in nearly 6,000 attacks against retailers. Additional methods include shellshock, as well as POS malware.

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FINANCE

Coach in $574 million deal to buy luxury shoe brand Stuart Weitzman

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — In a deal that will greatly expand its luxury reach, Coach Inc. will acquire upscale footwear brand Stuart Weitzman Holdings from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Coach will make initial cash payments of approximately $530 million to Sycamore Partners, and, in addition, will pay the firm up to another to $44 million in contingent payments upon hitting “selected revenue targets” over the next three years.

Stuart Weitzman sells its products in upscale specialty and department stores worldwide and in its own retail stores in the United States and Europe. The company had net revenues of approximately $300 million for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014. Coach posted $4.81 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year.

"Stuart Weitzman is a leading American luxury designer footwear brand with a solid growth trajectory and further significant domestic and international development potential,” said Coach chief executive Victor Luis who replaced longtime CEO Lew Frankfort last year. “Over the medium term, we look forward to advancing the Stuart Weitzman brand’s global development, especially by leveraging Coach’s international infrastructure and expertise in handbags and accessories. In addition, we look forward to benefiting from the Stuart Weitzman team’s expertise in footwear development where they’re proven leaders in fashion and fit.”

Stuart Weitzman will continue as creative director and executive chairman of Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC. He, along with Wayne Kulkin, CEO of Stuart Weitzman, and their management team, remains fully committed to the growth of the business.

“In Coach, we have found a strategic partner that respects our culture, and offers the scale, resources, and global business acumen to enable us to realize our full potential,” said Weitzman. “We are excited to be working with the Coach team and leveraging its strong infrastructure to help us drive efficiency and expand our product mix to an even broader consumer base worldwide. We also look forward to supporting the Coach team with our technical and merchandising expertise in footwear."

Coach will finance the transaction with cash on hand or other sources of financing available to the company in the credit and capital markets. The acquisition is expected to close by May 2015.

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