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Meijer pledges $400,000 to toy-giving program

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Any toy purchased at Meijer through Nov. 30 will help the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer grant a child's wish this holiday season.
 
Meijer is once again donating a portion of customer purchases made in the toy department, up to $400,000, to children's gift-giving programs throughout the Midwest.
 
"Meijer wants to help make the holidays happier for hundreds of children, because every child deserves to experience the joy of unwrapping a toy," said Dan Myers, divisional merchandise manager of toys for Meijer. "We know how much value our customers place on sharing their good fortune, and we believe the More Wishes Granted program will create lasting memories for children in need."
 
Purchases made on hundreds of toys – including national brands like Fisher-Price, Barbie, Lego and Nerf – will count toward increasing the donation, up to $400,000, to children's gift-giving programs within the retailer's six-state footprint of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Meijer will select the programs to ensure that the donations remain in the retailer's Midwest footprint.
 
"Meijer was built on a fundamental philosophy of supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live, which is why we donate more than 6% of our net profit to charities each year," Myers said. "Our ultimate goal this holiday season is to help our customers save money while still enjoying the tradition of gift giving whether those gifts are for loved ones or for children in their community who might otherwise go without."
 
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Target to offer 10 days of Black Friday deals

BY Gina Acosta

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is planning to not only open on Thanksgiving Day but also roll out a new “10 Days of Deals” promotion to increase traffic to its stores.
 
As part of the “10 Days of Deals,” the retailer announced it will offer daily discounts on electronics, kitchenware, toys and more from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1. In addition, guests will have access to a Black Friday presale on Nov. 25.
 
“Black Friday continues to kick off the holiday shopping season for many guests. This year Target will open our doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving for the millions of families who make Black Friday in-store shopping part of their tradition. For those shopping from home, Target is once again making all of our Black Friday deals available on Target.com,” said Tina Tyler, chief stores officer, Target. “In addition, we’re introducing ‘10 Days of Deals’ to offer a wide variety of compelling deals before, during and after Black Friday.”
 
Sears and Macy's have announced that they also plan to kick off their Black Friday Weekend sales at 6 p.m. this year. Toys"R"Us plans to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
 
For Target shoppers looking to create their shopping lists now, Black Friday deals are available to view starting today at Target.com/WeeklyAd. Again this year, Target will offer a handful of deals early to guests on Nov. 25. The deals that will be offered early will be available to view at Target.com/WeeklyAd on Nov. 22.
 
Beginning early Thanksgiving morning, customers can shop all of Target’s Black Friday deals at Target.com or when doors open at 6 p.m. New this year, guests who spend $75 or more on Nov. 27, will receive a 20% discount to use toward a future purchase on any day between Dec. 4 and Dec. 13.
 
Target stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Stores will remain open until 11 p.m. or midnight on Friday evening. The retailer will offer extended store hours to meet guests’ holiday shopping needs.
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U.S. leads the world in retail shrink

BY Gina Acosta

THOROFARE, N.J. — Dishonest employees and shoplifters pushed shrink rates to record levels and earned the United States the distinction of leading the world in the least desirable of retail metrics.

According to retailers surveyed for the Global Retail Theft Barometer, shrink rose in the U.S. from 1.28% of sales in 2013-2014 to 1.97% during 2014-2015. Globally, this compares to 1.42% , a figure also up from the previous .94% average of all common retailers surveyed the previous year.

Retailers expressed that a range of factors, including a challenging retail environment, caused them to implement austerity measures resulting in a reduction of loss prevention investments. This, combined with areas of high unemployment and limited tools to monitor internal theft and inventory discrepancies, all contributed to an increase in their shrink.

According to the report, the annual cost of shrink to U.S. shoppers, as absorbed or passed on from retailers, averaged $615 per household. The study, underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems Inc., was carried out during 2014-2015 by The Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst. It was based upon in-depth phone and written survey interviews conducted in 24 countries among more than 200 retailers representing nearly $1 trillion in sales during 2014-2015.

“This is our fourteenth year of supporting what continues to be the industry’s only global statistical research,” said Per Levin, president of merchandise availability solutions, Checkpoint Systems. “To combat increased shrink, retailers are adopting strategies to approach losses from a wider perspective from all levels within the organization and work with their supplier and solutions partners. With the right technologies, people and processes, they can achieve improved merchandise availability, which directly impacts shoppers’ satisfaction and retailers’ profitability.”

Seasonally, U.S. respondents said that 46% of their yearly losses occurred in winter, nearly twice as much as the next season, autumn, at 24%. Spring (18%) and summer (12%) followed. In fact, while shoplifting is the biggest cause of retail shrink in 18 of the 24 countries surveyed, in the U.S., employee theft ranked first at 45%, with shoplifting next at 36%. 

Shoplifting continues to plague the retail industry due to escalating problem of organized retail crime, easy sales of stolen merchandise through online sites, reduced investments in loss prevention tools and resources, and the general perception of shoplifting as a "low-risk/non-offensive” crime.

Shoplifters and dishonest employees in the U.S. primarily targeted small and easy-to-conceal items such as liquor, mobile accessories, batteries, fashion accessories and razor blades, as well as high-value items with high resale value, such as tablets. When sorted by retail vertical, the most stolen items included footwear, batteries, mobile device accessories, wines and liquor, and razor blades.

According to Deyle: “This year’s results highlight the persistent factors that impact shrink and ultimately reduce retailers’ profitability. Even if retailers are paying more attention to all aspects of the problem, without a strong investment in loss prevention tactics, tools and resources, they won’t get the results they’d expect. Our hope is that this report helps the industry better understand all the complexities of the shrink problem as well as the most cost-effective ways of addressing it.”

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