OPERATIONS

Walgreens and Kroger report email database breach

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Walgreens said a marketing and communications vendor that it uses, Epsilon, has informed the company about unauthorized access to its customers’ email addresses, the Associated Press reported. The retailer joins JPMorgan Chase & Co. and grocery operator Kroger Co., which also use the same vendor to send emails, as the latest company to announce a breach of information.

In a statement, Walgreens said law enforcement authorities have been notified and are investigating the matter.

Epsilon issued a brief statement on Friday saying it was undergoing a full investigation after the breach was discovered for a subset of customer client data.

Walgreens said email addresses were the only information obtained in this incident and no other personally identifiable information is stored with Epsilon, according to the report.

Kroger said a database with customer names and email addresses was breached, but not any information connected with their 1-2-3 Rewards Mastercard accounts.

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News

TRU not playing around with new hire

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. – Toys“R”Us announced that it has named the former head of one of the world’s largest toy companies to serve as president of its U.S. business. Neil Friedman, who most recently served as president Mattel Brands, will now oversee all merchandising, marketing, store operations, merchandise presentation, global sourcing and product development, as well as merchandise planning and allocation for Toys"R"Us’ 866 stores and online business in the United States. Friedman will report to Gerald Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys“R”Us Inc.

Storch said, “We could not be more pleased that Neil is joining our leadership team. He is truly an industry icon. Neil has extensive knowledge of, and has made significant contributions to, the toy and juvenile product businesses throughout his career. We look forward to working with Neil to further our growth strategy as we continue to advance our authority and specialist positions through our many initiatives ahead.”

Toys"R"Us has been focusing on its core toy business as a major growth area, as it gears up for a possible IPO, so having someone with extensive knowledge of the toy industry head its U.S. operations will make the company more attractive to potential investors.

To say Friedman knows a bit about toys is an understatement. The man has been with Mattel since March 1997, when Tyco, where he then served as president preschool, was acquired by Mattel. In 1999, he was named president Fisher-Price Brands, and served in that capacity until October 2005 when he was appointed president of the newly formed Mattel Brands, which brought Mattel and Fisher-Price together under one corporate unit. Prior to Mattel, he held a number of key executive positions in the toy and juvenile products industries, including, president MCA/Universal merchandising; SVP sales, marketing and design Just Toys; VP and general manager baby care Gerber products; EVP and COO Lionel Leisure Inc.; and president Aviva/Hasbro.

Friedman was named to the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2004 and was inducted into the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

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STORE SPACES

EPA names Staples Energy Star Partner of the Year in Energy Management

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass. — Staples on Monday said it has been named a 2011 Energy Star Partner of the Year in Energy Management by the EPA. The chain has increased its renewable energy purchases and development to cover 53% of its total U.S. electricity consumption, more than double the company’s previous level.

Staples has also been named an Energy Star Leader by the EPA for reducing energy consumption by more than 11% across its facilities, based on EPA’s standardized tools for tracking energy use.

The retailer said it now uses more than 330 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy, the equivalent of powering more than 31,000 average U.S. homes for a year. In addition, Staples reached a milestone of using more than 25 million kilowatt hours of solar energy since 2005 from 34 solar arrays that Staples installed with SunEdison.

The installations include a 2 megawatt solar array in Secaucus, N.J. and a 1.5 Megawatt array in Hagerstown, Md., among the largest in each state. The power from these renewable sources is used across the company’s facilities, including Staples retail stores, delivery fulfillment centers, customer service call centers and sales offices.

“Energy conservation has been part of a comprehensive energy management program at Staples since the early days of the company,” said John Lynch, senior VP construction and facilities, Staples. “We’re honored to be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to continuous improvement in energy management. At Staples, we combine energy efficiency technologies and aggressive energy efficiency strategies with renewable power use to reduce costs and minimize greenhouse gas emissions throughout our day-to-day operations.”

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