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Study: Identity theft worries won’t damper holiday shopping

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Even concerns about identity theft and fraud aren’t enough to curb customers’ holiday shopping plans.

While 62% of consumers are very or moderately concerned about identify theft or fraud this holiday season, a large majority (73%) said concerns over recent data breaches won’t affect how they’ll go about their holiday shopping, according to “Discover’s 2017 Holiday Shopping Survey.”

When it comes to protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud, a large number of consumers are taking proactive steps. For example, 62% of consumers monitor financial statements for suspicious activity; 41% monitor their credit reports; 38% use a credit card with built-in security features, and 18% subscribe to an identity protection service. Only 9% report not doing anything to guard against identity theft or fraud.

Baby boomers (ages 55 and over) are the most diligent when it comes to protecting their identities, as 69% say they monitor their financial statements, and 45% use a credit card that has built-in security features. By comparison, 56% of millennials (ages 18 to 34) and 62% of generation X (ages 35 to 54) monitor their financial statements. Meanwhile, 32% of millennials and 37% of generation X use a credit card with built-in security features.

Credit cards are expected to be the most popular method of payment during the holidays, as about a third of survey respondents (32%) said they plan to use credit cards most often when making holiday purchases. That’s followed by 29% who said they’ll mostly use debit or prepaid cards, and 23% who plan to use cash most often. Just 5% expect to use gift cards most often, and only 2% expect to mostly write checks.

Of those who favor credit cards for most of their holiday shopping, 42% cite earning credit card rewards or points as the primary reason why. Other leading reasons to pay with a credit card include convenience, 28%; the ability to track spending (18%); and not having enough cash on hand (12%).

Most credit card holders (70%), indicate that they prefer to earn cash back rewards when using their credit cards for holiday purchases. This is compared to 14% who would rather earn travel rewards, such as airline miles or hotel points, the study said.

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Neiman Marcus tops in…

BY Marianne Wilson

An upscale luxury department store has the happiest employees.

Neiman Marcus, followed by AT&T and Foot Locker, topped the list of the retail companies with the happiest employees in a ranking by CareerBliss, a leading jobs website. The Happiest Retail Employers for 2017 survey evaluated thousands of independent company reviews and analyzed the key factors that affect employee happiness.

“The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and customers want their shopping experience to reflect the joy of the season – online and in-store,” said Heidi Golledge, co-founder of CareerBliss. “Neiman Marcus has proved to provide a positive work environment for their employees, which translates to a positive experience for anyone who visits their store or online shop.”

CareerBliss’ data evaluates the key factors that impact happiness at work including: work-life balance, senior management, compensation, benefits, job security, employee tasks, company culture and work environment. The results are generated from Career.Bliss.com review submissions and serve to provide insight into employers. Employees rank factors on a scale of 1-5.

All of the retailers in the top 10 share common traits that drive high BlissScores, including positive relationships with coworkers, room for career growth, support from senior management, and a positive company culture.

Here are the Top 10 retailers in CareerBliss’ Happiest Retailers in America 2017:

Rank Company BlissScore
1 Neiman Marcus 3.961
2 AT&T 3.887
3 Foot Locker 3.879
4 Ace Hardware 3.876
5 Apple 3.852
6 Costco 3.793
7 H&M 3.769
8 Advance Auto Parts 3.763
9 Ikea North America 3.728
10 The Gap 3.716

* BlissScore accounts for overall ranking of 10 factors for work happiness on a scale of 1-5. Minimum of 5 reviews per company.

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Discount giant adds preferred service provider to exclusive team

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart is welcoming a new provider into its invitation-only provider program.

Walmart recently launched its Walmart Merchandising Service Program, an internal program that leverages a limited number of companies to manage merchandising operations in nearly 5,000 Walmart U.S. stores. SAS Retail Services is the newest company to join the retailer’s team of preferred service providers (PSPs).

The program, which centralizes supplier displays and other services across the chain, is focused on driving higher sales, lowering costs, increasing efficiencies, and improving the customer experience for Walmart shoppers. With SAS on board, Walmart will gain a customized in-store program will combine state-of-the-art technology and reporting, as well as dedicated resources “to ensure timely and accurate execution of their retail merchandising vision,” said Michael Bellman, president, SAS Retail Services.

Specifically, SAS will deliver a wide range of services, including modular/category resets, display execution, stocking, product assembly, product recall, fixture/equipment installation, POS signage installation, quality control compliance and customer and associate engagement, among others. All services are designed to help raise brand awareness for the consumer packaged goods (CPGs) doing business at Walmart.

SAS is one of only five PSPs involved in the program, according to Walmart.

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J.Boehmer says:
Dec-05-2017 02:28 pm

Who are the other 4 PSPs?

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