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Target and Best Buy among speakers at annual cybersecurity summit

BY Marianne Wilson

The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) has announced featured speakers for its Retail Cyber Intelligence Summit, held October 3 – 4, 2017, in Chicago.

Among the keynote speakers are Rich Agostino, chief information security officer at Target Corp, who will lead a session titled, "Stepping into Leadership: Staying Ahead of Today's Threats and the Evolving CISO Role," and Kostas Georgakopoulos, CISO at Procter & Gamble, leading a session on the next evolution of information security.

The event will also include a panel discussion entitled, "The Importance of Women in Cybersecurity." Panelists include Deborah Dixon, senior VP and global CISO at Best Buy Co.; Roseann Larson, VP and CISO at VF Corporation; and Lauren Dana Rosenblatt, executive director and global head of cyber threat management at Estée Lauder Companies.

The panelists will discuss their journey into the field, the ways to eliminate barriers for aspiring female leaders and how the industry can help shift this trend for the future. According to Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), women represent a mere 11% of the world’s information security workforce.

The 2017 Retail Cyber Intelligence Summit will bring together 200 CISOs and their teams from the greater retail and consumer services industries — including restaurants, hospitality, gaming properties, consumer product manufacturers and more — to share best practices, gain insights and, most importantly, network with other information security professionals to build trust.

“Our annual Summit provides the perfect opportunity to continue to develop and build solid peer-to-peer relationships within our community, with the government and cross-sector relationships, helping to expand the real-time sharing of cyber threat intelligence and better protect the industry as a whole,” said Suzie Squier, executive director of R-CISC. “The agenda addresses the key challenges and issues of strategic retail leaders and tactical practitioners.”

The R-CISC is the trusted cybersecurity community for retailers, consumer product manufacturers, grocers, hotels, restaurants, and cybersecurity industry partners worldwide.

More Information on the 2017 Retail Cyber Intelligence Summit can be found on Summit.r-cisc.org.

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FINANCE

Two urban retailers combine forces

BY Marianne Wilson

Two urban-focused athletic footwear and apparel retailers have merged.

Private equity firms Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and Goode Partners completed a transaction that will merge DTLR and Sneaker Villa (Villa). The merged company will operate nearly 240 stores covering 19 states and the District of Columbia, spanning the East Coast from New York to Florida, the Midwest, the Southeastern U.S. and Texas.

The store footprints of DTLR (formerly known as Downtown Locker Room) and Villa are complementary, with little overlap. Baltimore-based DTLR operates more than 100 stores, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It has been owned by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. since 2005. The Philadelphia-based Villa has more than 120 locations, mostly in the Mid-West. It was acquired by Goode Partners in 2013.

"This merger will allow us to better serve our customers, employees and vendor partners" said Glenn Gaynor, CEO of DTLR. "The combination will allow us to enhance the consumer experience by leveraging the best practices of both Villa and DTLR. By combining our talent and resources, we can accelerate growth and expand our reach."

Both DTLR and Villa have "community-centric cultures" and both partner with the top footwear and apparel suppliers.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Consumer confidence high — at least for the time being

BY Marianne Wilson

U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its highest level since January in early August, reflecting optimism in the overall economy and in personal financial prospects.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 97.6 in the first half of August from 93.4 in July, which was an eight-month low. Economists estimated the index would hit 94 in August.

However, Richard Curtin, chief economist for the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers, said backlash over Charlottesville and U.S. President Donald Trump's response could weigh on subsequent survey readings.

"The fallout is likely to reverse the improvement in economic expectations recorded across all political affiliations in early August," Curtin stated. "Moreover, the Charlottesville aftermath is more likely to weaken the economic expectations of Republicans, since prospects for Trump's economic policy agenda have diminished."

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