OPERATIONS

Sears Appliance & Hardware store receives small business award

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — The Michigan Small Business Development Center is honoring a Sears Appliance & Hardware store located in Big Rapids, Mich., with its 2013 Best Small Business Award for creating jobs, increasing sales and improving business strategy. The retailer was one of a dozen stores chosen from more than 5,500 small businesses throughout the state that the Michigan Small Business Development Center provided confidential counseling and training to in 2013.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center helped owners Tanmy and Scott Weaver strategize how to increase consumer awareness of the store’s expanded product lines, among other tactics. Since then, the Big Rapids location has effectively increased its hardware sales and grown its staff of three full-time and two part-time employees to four full-time and six part-time.

"To say that this honor means a lot to us would be an understatement," said Tammy Weaver. "We’ve worked so hard to get where we’re at and are grateful to have the opportunity, as business owners, to allow our success to help the local community by creating more jobs."

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Michaels reveals breach details; 2.6 million cards affected

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Irving, Texas — Three months after the country’s largest arts and crafts chain revealed that its namesake and subsidiary stores had been hacked in what promised to be a major payment card security breach, Michaels Stores revealed late Thursday that 2.6 million cards were likely affected in the attack.

The data breach, which occurred between May 8, 2013 and Jan. 27, 2014, affected about 7% of all debit credit cards used at its namesake stores, said Michaels; its subsidiary Aaron Bros. had about 400,000 cards potentially affected across 54 of its stores.

The retailer was quick to point out that the security breach has been contained. It said that it has received “limited” reports of fraudulent payment card use, and that it is providing free fraud assistance, identity protection and credit-monitoring services to impacted customers.

The compromised data includes customer information such as payment card numbers and expiration dates. According to Michaels, there is no evidence that other personal information such as names, addresses or PIN numbers have been tapped.

"Our customers are always number one priority and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience or concern Michaels may have caused," said Chuck Rubin, CEO of Michaels, in a statement.

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Harris Teeter adds yearly payment option to online shopping program

BY Marianne Wilson

Matthews, N.C. — Harris Teeter announced Thursday it has launched a new, yearly payment option for its Express Lane Online Shopping program.

In addition to the $4.95 per order option and the $16.95 monthly option — already in place for shoppers who frequently use the service — shoppers can now choose to pay $99.95 for the entire year, allowing them to place as many orders as they would like throughout the year without incurring additional charges.

Shoppers can simply add the yearly fee to their Express Lane Online Shopping bill when placing an order. From that date, the normal service fee will be automatically waived on all orders for the next 365 days.

“Our shoppers love the convenience of Harris Teeter’s Express Lane Online Shopping service,” said communication specialist Danna Jones. “While they are running kids to and from soccer practice and managing their busy lives, we take care of the shopping. Our Express Lane experts not only hand-select the highest quality and freshest items available, but they also load the groceries into the shopper’s car and process payment curbside. Our customers never have to leave their vehicle.”

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