SCRA http://scretail.org South Carolina Retail Association Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:09:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 New Retail Crime Alliance Hosts Successful First Conference http://scretail.org/new-retail-crime-alliance-hosts-successful-first-conference/ Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:05:43 +0000 http://scretail.org/?p=1818 PRESS RELEASE North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) 209 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601 Contact: Ann Edmondson (919) 832-0811 Charlotte, NC (September 13, 2016) – Law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals came together in Charlotte on Thursday, September 8 for the first Annual…

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PRESS RELEASE

North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA)
209 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Contact: Ann Edmondson (919) 832-0811

Charlotte, NC (September 13, 2016) – Law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals came together in Charlotte on Thursday, September 8 for the first Annual Conference of the Carolinas Organized Retail Crime Alliance (CORCA) at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel.

An estimated 200 participants were welcomed to the event by Steve Walker, CORCA president and Director of Asset Protection Solutions for Walgreens. Retail attendees represented all types of stores from chains to one-store operations and included grocery, apparel, pharmacy, beauty, home improvement and general merchandise. Law enforcement from across both North and South Carolina were active participants as well.

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is more than just shoplifting. It is a concerted effort by a group of skilled, well-organized professionals who use theft and fraud, to convert illegally obtained merchandise into cash for financial gain. This usually involves the theft of large quantities of similar products from multiple stores, in numerous jurisdictions or states. ORC is often a gateway crime that leads law enforcement to major crime rings that use the illicit proceeds to fund other crimes-such as organized crime activities, health care fraud, money laundering, and potentially even terrorism.

Expert speakers from diverse areas of ORC presented to participants on topics such as cyber-crime, counterfeiting, data analytics and investigative techniques. Featured speakers included Kimberly Overton from the North Carolina Conference on District Attorneys, Gary Weisbecker from Walgreens Organized Retail Crimes Division and Special Agent Brian Cyprian of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Between educational sessions, attendees also had the opportunity to visit vendors who were promoting and demonstrating some of the latest innovative products to assist in preventing organized retail crime and apprehending offenders.

About CORCA:

Officially launched in February 2016, CORCA is a partnership between law enforcement and retail loss prevention officers to combat organized retail crime in the Carolinas. It is a division of the Retail Consumer Alliance Foundation, within the North and South Carolina State Retail Associations and is supported by the retail associations along with the Carolinas Food Industry Council. CORCA was created to bridge communication between retailers and law enforcement – helping identify offenders and resolve organized retail crime cases in the Carolinas. For more information, visit http://www.corca.org/.

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Congress Extends, Makes Permanent Key Retailer-Friendly Tax Provisions http://scretail.org/congress-extends-makes-permanent-key-retailer-friendly-tax-provisions/ Thu, 14 Apr 2016 15:18:36 +0000 http://scretail.org/?p=1786 By Tony Perricelli, Scott & Company You work hard to ensure your customers get what they want at a fair price and your vendors get paid in a timely manner. Both of these relationships work best when the prices and…

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By Tony Perricelli, Scott & Company

You work hard to ensure your customers get what they want at a fair price and your vendors get paid in a timely manner. Both of these relationships work best when the prices and terms are clearly defined before the transaction takes place and there are no surprises. But what if your customers discovered that the prices for their merchandise randomly changed from the tag to the cash register? Imagine if your vendors quoted a price and then implemented a retroactive price increase after you had already sold the goods from that shipment. In both cases, those relationships would be strained or possibly even ruined. In a sense, that same uncertainty is what business owners have experienced with tax law for the last few years. Business owners could either go through an entire year without knowing what the tax law would be or thinking it was settled and then seeing Congress retroactively changing their “prices” at the last minute. Fortunately, Congress finally dealt with some of the uncertainty in mid-December 2015 with a law that not only extended some expired tax provisions, but also gave permanent status to some items that had typically been only extended year-to-year.

The PATH Act
On December 18, 2015 President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act). The PATH Act accomplishes two things of particular interest to retailers. First, it makes permanent certain key business tax provisions that previously only had temporary status. Second, it extends other provisions for a period ranging from two to five years.

Permanent status was granted to key business-friendly provisions including:
• Enhanced Sec 179 expensing
• 15-year cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, restaurant property, and retail improvements

Enhanced Section 179 expensing
Without passage of the PATH Act, Sec 179 expensing for businesses would have plummeted to $25,000 on a maximum property investment of only $200,000 for 2015. With the PATH Act, though, the 2015 amounts are now back to 2014 levels–a $500,000 maximum deduction that does not phase out until you reach $2 million in property acquisitions each year. These new 2015 amounts will also be indexed for inflation beginning with the 2016 tax year giving business owners certainty in the amounts.

15-year cost recovery
The PATH Act permanently extends a special 15-year cost recovery rule for certain types of real estate improvements. Under general tax rules, improvements to real estate are depreciated over 39 years for commercial property. Several years ago, Congress acknowledged that many property users—in particular, those in the restaurant and retail industries or using space for commercial offices—will improve or refresh their properties more often than once every 39 years. To give such users the ability to deduct their improvement costs more quickly and avoid continuing to depreciate outdated costs, Congress passed a special 15-year cost recovery exception for three categories of improvements:
• Qualified leasehold improvements—generally commercial office space
• Qualified restaurant property—more than 50% of property is used for prep & consumption of meals
• Qualified retail property—property open to the public selling tangible goods
The special 15-year rule is only allowable for properties that have been in service more than 3 years at the time the improvements are made and does not apply to improvements that enlarge the building.

New for 2016, bonus depreciation (as described in the next section of this article) is allowed for a new class of property called “qualified improvement property” or QIP. QIP is defined similarly to Qualified Leasehold Improvements but with two changes. The new law removes the 3 year use rule and the requirement that the improvements must be made pursuant to the terms of a lease. This allows bonus depreciation to be taken by either the tenant or the owner of the property—a change from prior years. Also a change from prior years, most restaurant and retail improvements fall under the definition of QIP so they are now eligible for bonus depreciation.

Temporary Extensions
The PATH Act also extended many tax provisions on a temporary basis. Probably of most interest to retailers is the extension of bonus depreciation for 5 years and at declining rates and the two-year extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Bonus depreciation is similar to Sec 179 expensing in that it allows an immediate deduction for purchases of property that would otherwise be depreciated over several years. Unlike Sec 179, though, bonus depreciation is only allowed on a pre-set percentage of the purchase price and the property must be purchased new—no used items. The PATH Act lays out the pre-set percentages to be deducted each year of the extended period as follows:
• 50 percent for 2015-2017 (same as before the extension)
• 40 percent in 2018
• 30 percent in 2019
After 2019, bonus depreciation will once again expire and will have to be renewed by Congress.

The PATH Act also extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit through the 2019 tax year. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a credit retailers and other employers can take if they hire employees from targeted groups such as:
• Recipients of public assistance and food stamps
• Ex-felons
• Recipients of SSI
• Unemployed or disabled veterans
• Long-term unemployed individuals
The employer who hires individuals from these qualifying groups can take a credit of up to 40% of the first $6,000 of wages paid to the employee.

While this is just a brief overview of the provisions most likely to impact your retail business, The PATH Act also contains numerous permanent and temporary extensions of individual tax provisions. For more details on the individual extenders, please see this fact sheet from our affiliate firm BDO and our website at www.scottandco.com.

Member Service of the Month
Scott & Company
Scott and Company seeks to help their clients thrive in the current economical environment. The financial management firm supports South Carolina small to mid-sized businesses be successful in an ever-changing financial climate.

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Retail Roundup: 1/8/16 http://scretail.org/retail-roundup-1816/ Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:03:27 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1661 Happy New Year!  I hope your holiday season was profitable! I have five great articles that I’m excited to share with you this Friday. You’ve made your New Years resolutions, now to stick to them! Starting a small business this…

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Happy New Year!  I hope your holiday season was profitable!

I have five great articles that I’m excited to share with you this Friday.

  • You’ve made your New Years resolutions, now to stick to them!
  • Starting a small business this year? There’s a lot more to it than just this, of course, but you have to cross these four things off your list before you get any further down the road.
  • Spoiler alert! There are four powerful words you can include in your marketing copy: “you,” “new,” “free,” and “guaranteed.”  Here’s the psychology behind it.
  • This article is lengthy, but has a crazy amount of practical, useful tips for increasing sales. Bookmark it and come back to it with a cup of coffee and a pad of paper in hand.  It’s a must-read.
  • You’ve heard about beacons and geofencing when it comes to shopping, right? This article does a great job explaining how the new technology works for consumers and retailers alike.

I hope you have a happy, and profitable, weekend!

-Lindsey

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Retail Roundup: 11/20/15 http://scretail.org/retail-roundup-112015/ Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20:11:47 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1609 And just like that, we have one week until Black Friday and only 34 days until Christmas! Yikes!  Here’s this week’s Five on Friday: I love the New York Times’ weekly “Corner Office” column. This week’s interview with Cindy Holland,…

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And just like that, we have one week until Black Friday and only 34 days until Christmas! Yikes!  Here’s this week’s Five on Friday:

    • I love the New York Times’ weekly “Corner Office” column. This week’s interview with Cindy Holland, VP for original content at Netflix, was particularly good.
    • Staffing during the holidays can be such a headache. The last thing you want is to be short-staffed, but equally bad is being over-staffed! As you set your store’s holiday hours, keep in mind these three tips to make things a little easier!
    • Delegating can be so hard to do, but it’s an absolutely must to grow your business. Here are some high-level things to consider when it comes to delegating.
    • The holidays are HERE. Take a look at your decorations to make sure they invite and attract customers.
    • Finally, I was on the way back from a meeting the other day and heard this segment on identity theft on the Diane Rehm Show. The segment was really comprehensive and well-worth a listen. (If you don’t have time to listen, read through the transcript.)

I hope you have a happy, and profitable, weekend!

-Lindsey

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Five on Friday: 10/2/15 http://scretail.org/five-on-friday-10215/ Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:51:40 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1601 Whew—what a week! I hope everyone stays safe in with the rain and wind from Hurricane Joaquin! As we prepare for Hurricane Joaquin, make sure your business has a plan. Here’s the SC Department of Commerce’s Business Disaster Preparedness Checklist.…

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Whew—what a week! I hope everyone stays safe in with the rain and wind from Hurricane Joaquin!

I hope you have a happy, and profitable, weekend!
-Lindsey

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Five on Friday: 9/18/15 http://scretail.org/five-on-friday-91815/ Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:33:51 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1562 By Lindsey Kueffner Happy Friday!  A few “tech-y” things for this week, plus an easy way to boost morale and some good news! Make sure shoppers can find you! Here are 10 things you can do on your own to…

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By Lindsey Kueffner

Happy Friday!  A few “tech-y” things for this week, plus an easy way to boost morale and some good news!

  • Make sure shoppers can find you! Here are 10 things you can do on your own to audit your SEO campaign.
  • Are wearable payments the next big thing? Maybe, maybe not. Personally, I think they’ll be widely adopted…eventually. (I still want to know where my jetpack is though.)
  • The new social media platform, Periscope, just popped up on my radar a few weeks ago. Admittedly, I haven’t tried it yet (and who are we kidding? I probably won’t), but it seems like a better source for small businesses than Snapchat. Check out this article to learn the nuts and bolts of Periscope.
  • I remember a former boss thanked every employee at the end of every shift. It was such a little thing, but made such an impact on me and the rest of the team. This article about the power of saying “thank you” really resonated, especially this: “If you are in the habit of saying thank you to your staff, they can then say thank you to customers. You are in essence creating a culture of gratitude. That’s a good thing for any business.” A culture of gratitude. Love that.
  • And finally (!) good news for consumer spending.

Have a great weekend!

-Lindsey

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Retail’s $30 billion problem: organized crime http://scretail.org/retails-30-billion-problem-organized-crime/ Wed, 16 Sep 2015 13:32:47 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1560 A survey by the National Retail Federation found that organized crime is worsening as a problem for the industry. Fake store fronts, cargo theft and criminal flash mobs. These are just some of the problems facing retailers that amount to…

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A survey by the National Retail Federation found that organized crime is worsening as a problem for the industry.

Fake store fronts, cargo theft and criminal flash mobs. These are just some of the problems facing retailers that amount to a $30 billion a year problem for the industry.

The National Retail Federation on Tuesday released its annual survey on organized retail crime and found that executives see a growing problem. About 97% of the 67 senior retail loss prevention executives said their company had been hit by organized crime, up from 88.2% last year.

On average, for every $1 billion in sales, a retailer lost $453,940 in the last year, in addition to having to spend another $434,032 on personnel dedicated specifically to fighting this scourge. Organized retail crime gangs frequently create fake stores front, and other shops to pull off their fraud. And retailers must also face “flash mobs” where a group of thieves will storm a store suddenly and steal what they can.

“Brazen and often dangerous criminals are finding new ways every day to manipulate the retail supply chain,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “The methods used by crime gangs today run the gamut.”

Article by: Phil Wahba
September 15, 2015

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Dollar General puts literacy first with $4M donation http://scretail.org/dollar-general-puts-literacy-first-with-4m-donation/ Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:02:59 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1558 By: Gina Acosta Dollar General is giving major financial support to a cause that may appeal to many value-oriented shoppers. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced that it has awarded over $4 million to approximately 870 schools, nonprofits and literacy…

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By: Gina Acosta

Dollar General is giving major financial support to a cause that may appeal to many value-oriented shoppers.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced that it has awarded over $4 million to approximately 870 schools, nonprofits and literacy organizations to enhance and support youth literacy and education across the 43 states Dollar General serves.

“At Dollar General, our mission is Serving Others, and we are committed to making a difference in people’s lives through the support of literacy initiatives and educational programs in communities across the U.S.,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “These grants fill a critical need in our communities by providing a timely funding boost at the beginning of the school year for the enhancement of literacy programs.”

The retailer said the grants are awarded at the beginning of the academic year in an effort to give teachers, schools and organizations a great start with the funding and resources they need for the upcoming school year.

In the past 22 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than six million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.

A complete list of grant recipients may be found online at www.dgliteracy.org. Grant applications for adult, family, summer and youth literacy grants will be available in January 2016.

The full article is available here.
September 14, 2015

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Five on Friday http://scretail.org/five-on-friday-2/ Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:21:27 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1555 A lot of great articles come across my desk each week pertaining to business and retail, so I figured it’s time to start sharing them!  Welcome to the first “Five on Friday” blog series where I’ll feature—you guessed it—five articles…

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A lot of great articles come across my desk each week pertaining to business and retail, so I figured it’s time to start sharing them!  Welcome to the first “Five on Friday” blog series where I’ll feature—you guessed it—five articles every Friday.  Here goes…

  • I’m fascinated by the idea of morning routines—each morning we all have the ability to set the tone for the day ahead.  This article outlines how to strengthen and make the most of your morning routine.
  • Ever heard of “knolling?” I hadn’t!  Check out “knolling” and other e-commerce trends.  (#3 appeals to the fontophile in me.)
  • Curate, sell stories, and be the coach: got it! Three changes in retail to which you must respond.
  • Are pop-up shops a fad or here to stay?  This source says the temporary shops are a permanent fixture in the UK.
  • 45 retail terms you should know (there might be a few you didn’t!)

Have a great weekend!

-Lindsey

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Ethical Consumerism Is On The Rise. Are You Ready? http://scretail.org/ethical-consumerism-is-on-the-rise-are-you-ready/ Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:41:56 +0000 http://www.scretail.org/?p=1549 Ethical consumerism – the practice of making purchasing decisions based on a product’s social and ethical positioning – is on the rise as consumers look to drive change by adjusting where and what they spend their dollars on. Nielsen’s corporate…

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Ethical consumerism – the practice of making purchasing decisions based on a product’s social and ethical positioning – is on the rise as consumers look to drive change by adjusting where and what they spend their dollars on. Nielsen’s corporate social responsibility survey data revealed that more than half (55 percent) of global respondents say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. And according to an annual benchmark study byGood.Must.Grow. (GmG), a socially responsible marketing consultancy, the percentage of Americans who have increased their socially responsible shopping has increased three years in a row, growing from 18 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2014.

As this practice of ethical consumerism grows, retailers are starting to take note and are adjusting their business strategies accordingly. While retailers, like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods and TOMS, may make attracting these consumers look easy, it’s not. To appeal to the 65 percent of Americans who bought goods or services from socially responsible companies last year – a number that could possibly increase even more this year – retailers need to radically shift their mindsets, away from a 100 percent bottom-line focus, and toward promoting the following:

By using transparency to empower consumers and place them in a position to hold businesses accountable, retailers are cultivating a stronger sense of trust. And it is this trust that helps retailers grow and diversify their consumer bases to include more of the ethically minded.

As my colleague Jennifer DiGiovanni and I discussed in a recent blog post, Patagonia, for example, has embraced an “environmental ethos,” appealing to customers that also value sustainability. In a recent campaign, the retailer urged consumers to repair clothing instead of purchasing new, and it engaged with advocates and customers alike to support the sustainability movement. Throughout the year, sales reportedly increased by almost one-third to $543 million.

Through promoting transparency and authenticity, retailers can achieve more than just growing their ethical consumer base. They have the potential to acquire and develop brand loyalists who will journey with them beyond the transaction.

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Source: BDO
Article by: Doug Hart

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