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Here’s how NYC’s Hudson Yards plans to spur shopper spending

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As Manhattan’s newest mega-neighborhood inches closer to its promised grand opening, the destination has made a new move to attract visitors.

Hudson Yards, the mixed-use development that will be home to more than 100 shops, is partnering with Visa on a “connected commerce” program. Through the deal, Visa will develop “only at” payments experiences for cardholders on the property. In addition to offering access and perks to cardholders, the program will allow customers to tap to pay with their contactless card or payment-enabled device at checkout.

The partners are focusing on contactless payments because more than 40% of Visa domestic transactions – excluding the U.S. – occur with a single tap, according to data from VisaNet.

All Visa-Hudson Yards-specific programming will be aimed at a global audience, and showcase the speed and convenience that contactless technology offers both retailer and consumers, according to Hudson Yards.

“Hudson Yards is the neighborhood of the future, bringing together brands and companies at the forefront of their industries to create an entirely digital ecosystem for visitors,” said Stacey Feder, chief marketing officer, Hudson Yards. “Visa’s leadership in contactless transactions makes them the ideal partner to help shape this new center of commerce for the next generation.”

Manhattan’s newest neighborhood, which will feature stores including New York City’s first Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic, Coach, Lululemon, Zara, and H&M, is on track for its promised grand opening in March of 2019.

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Benefits more important than ever to retail job seekers

BY Marianne Wilson

A new report sheds light on how retailers can fill open positions in today’s tight labor market.

More than half (52% ) of all retail candidates say that benefits are one of the top two factors when making career decisions, up 5% from the last year, according to a study from ManpowerGroup Solutions and the Retail Industry Leaders Association that was revealed at Groceryshop 2018 in Las Vegas. Benefits are now ranked second behind compensation and tied with type of work.

Interest in benefits is especially high among candidates for in-store positions (56%) and warehouse and distribution positions (60%). Paid health insurance is the leading benefit preferred by all retail candidates and is desired by 65% of retail candidates versus 56% of U.S. candidates across all industries. Financial education and saving plan opportunities ranked second (37%), followed by food or lunch onsite (27%) paid maternity leave (25%) and continuing education (23%).

The report, “What Retail Employers Need to Know about Candidate Preferences,” also revealed that a retailer’s brand or reputation is more important than ever among retail job applicants. One in five (20%) retail candidates say an employer’s brand or reputation ranks among their top three career decisions criteria, up 7% from last year. Though employer brand still ranks behind factors such as compensation, type of work, schedule flexibility and benefits, the brand/reputation of the company is the fastest-growing factor in career decisions among retail job seekers.

In another finding, virtually all types of retail candidates desire more flexibility. Forty-two percent of e-commerce workers prefer full-time work from home. Twenty-two percent of warehouse and distribution workers want choice and control in their work shifts, and 30% of corporate candidates want flexible arrival and departure times – nearly twice that of candidates from all industries.

“Retail job seekers are looking to fit a job into their lives and not their lives into their job,” said Melissa Hassett, VP of client delivery at ManpowerGroup Solutions. “Sales representatives are in the top five hardest roles to fill in the U.S..  That means that in this competitive labor market, employers should understand that candidates are consumers too and need to work hard to attract people using a strong employee value proposition. What’s bringing retail workers into the role is the need for flexibility, an attractive benefits package and opportunities to upskill and earn more. ”

The report, What Retail Employers Need to Know about Candidate Preferences, provides retail insights and practical tips on how to attract and retain workers. ManpowerGroup Solutions surveyed nearly 2,500 retail workers across the U.S. to understand how they want to work.  For more, click here.

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Increasing ‘Dark Web’ activity puts retailers at risk

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers may be leveraging more digital channels to increase revenue opportunities, but these are also fertile ground for cyber-thieves.

This was according to “The Retail and E-commerce Threat Landscape Report” from e-commerce fraud-prevention firm Riskified, and IntSights Cyber Intelligence, a provider of enterprise cyber threat intelligence and mitigation solutions. The study, which analyzed the transaction-level results of hundreds of millions of purchases between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018, revealed new tactics used by fraudsters.

According to data, cyber-thieves are getting more sophisticated in their attacks via the Dark Web, a part of the Internet where fraudsters rely on special software to remain anonymous or untraceable via digital scams. For example, there was a 297% rise in the number of fake retailer websites designed to “phish” for customer credentials. In Q3 alone, there was an average of 23 phishing sites per company. This was a significant increase from 2017, which averaged 5.9 phishing attacks per company.

Fake apps and social media profiles are also on the rise. There was a staggering 469% spike in suspicious applications, and a 345% increase in fake social media profiles, respectively, in Q4 2017.

There was also an average of 22.1 internal login pages or development servers exposed per retail company in 2018. When accessed, this gives cybercriminals a portal into the retailer’s internal network.

In addition, there was a 278% rise in stolen goods listed on black markets for resale, the study revealed.

“Retailers are increasingly focused on driving sales through a variety of online channels — Facebook, SMS messaging, Instagram, Twitter and more — all of which provide an ideal opportunity for fraudsters to lure in new victims through phishing attacks as it is the most common way to obtain stolen credit card numbers,” said Guy Nizan, co-founder and CEO of IntSights Cyber Intelligence. “As prime targets for cyber-crime, retailers need to understand how their goods are being sold and bartered for on the Dark Web. This glimpse into criminal behavior and activity helps inform the overall cybersecurity program, leading to an increase in security posture.”

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