News

Visa and MasterCard form payment system security group

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foster City, Calif. – Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. are teaming up to create a new group that will focus on improving payment system security. The group will include banks, credit unions, retailers and initially focus on adoption of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa)-compliant card technology in the U.S. in advance of the October 2015 liability deadline.

The group will also study tokenization, or the replacement of customer account numbers with unique digital payment codes, and also cooperate with other industry groups.

“The recent high-profile breaches have served as a catalyst for much needed collaboration between the retail and financial services industry on the issue of payment security,” said Ryan McInerney, president of Visa.

In response to the formation of this group, the National Retail Federation issued the following statement from senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan:

“We remain insistent that U.S. retailers’ customers be given the same protections as consumers in more than 80 countries who have both a chip and a PIN securing their credit and debit cards,” said Duncan. “There is no single solution to the complex issue of criminal hacking and we know PIN-and-chip is just a bridge on the long road to a safer payment system, but it is an important step in the right direction.

“We appreciate being involved in meetings with other stakeholders such as the one hosted by Visa and MasterCard last week. While we certainly agree that speed is of the essence, we don’t believe that is an obstacle to introducing PIN-and-chip cards since the technology is well established and the cards are widely used around the globe.”

“Easy-to-forge signatures are a virtually worthless form of authentication. Insisting on chip-and-signature cards is like installing an alarm on the front door of a home while leaving the back door wide open. It doesn’t make sense when the technology exists to secure the entire house.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Report: Abercrombie to rebrand Hollister as fast-fashion chain

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio – Abercrombie & Fitch is reportedly planning to rebrand its Hollister banner as a fast-fashion retailer. According to the Wall Street Journal, this would entail lowering the prices of merchandise and creating a nimbler, U.S.-based supply chain.

Fast-fashion retailers aim at providing the latest apparel styles favored by teens, requiring quick supply chain turnaround and teen-friendly pricing. Abercrombie executives told the Wall Street Journal the company is working with West Coast-based supply chain vendors to develop a faster supply chain and also are seeking anew Hollister president with fast fashion experience. Abercrombie also reportedly believes all of its retail banners could benefit from a faster supply chain.

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Mar-12-2014 09:46 am

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FINANCE

Foot Locker raises net income, sales in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Foot Locker Inc. increased net income 16% to $121 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 from the same period the prior year. Net sales grew 5% to $1.79 billion, from $1.71 billion.

Same-store sales for the quarter grew 5.3%. Looking ahead, the retailer expects to improve same-store sales in the mid-single digits and improve earnings per share by a double-digit percentage in fiscal 2014. Fourth quarter sales and earnings results both beat Wall Street estimates.

"The driver in achieving our best-ever financial results was the excellent execution by our team of the many initiatives we have underway," said Ken C. Hicks, chairman of the board and CEO of Foot Locker Inc. "I am very proud of the progress that the entire team at Foot Locker is making toward reaching our long term goals and objectives. While we accomplished a great deal in 2013, we have many more opportunities to improve the business further.”

During the full fiscal year 2013, Foot Locker grew net income 8% to $429 million from $397 million and net sales 5% to $6.5 billion from $6.18 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.2%. The company opened 84 new stores, remodeled or relocated 320 stores, and closed 140 stores during fiscal 2013.

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