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NRF: Retail industry committed to protecting consumer data

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — In a letter to congressional leaders, the National Retail Federation underscored the retail industry’s commitment to protecting sensitive consumer data in the wake of the recent international cyber attacks and thefts.

“The National Retail Federation and our 12,000 members are committed to combating this criminal threat to our industry and our customers, and we strongly recommend the adoption of meaningful steps to fight cyber theft and credit card fraud,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay wrote in the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The letter reiterated the retail industry’s support for replacing current credit and debit cards with cards that would store data in an embedded computer micro-chip and require the use of a PIN rather than a signature. Current cards use easy-to-hack 1960s technology, the NRF stated.

“For years, banks have continued to issue fraud-prone magnetic stripe cards to U.S. customers, putting sensitive financial information at risk while simultaneously touting the security benefits of next-generation PIN and chip card technology for customers in Europe and dozens of other markets,” Shay said.

NRF expressed its support for an immediate transition from magnetic-stripe cards to more-secure and advanced PIN and chip cards to better protect consumer data from theft, hacking and skimming. PIN and chip cards are widely used in more than 80 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.

“The retail industry is eager to work with banks and card companies to fight cyber attacks and reduce fraud,” Shay said. “These efforts include installation of sophisticated new PIN-enabled point-of-sale-systems and readiness to adopt cards with more secure microchip technology, but the fact remains that retailers cannot do this alone.”

 

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Wegmans raises $1.6 million in hunger relief donations

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — During the fall 2013 checkout scanning campaign at 47 Wegmans stores in Maryland, New Jersey, the Greater Rochester region of New York , Eastern Pennsylvania and Virginia, hunger relief donations soared to a record $1.6 million, a 14% increase over the fall 2012 total, the grocer reported. 

“We’re grateful to our customers and employees for recognizing the vital role that food banks play in communities,” Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager, said. “These results are a testament to remarkable generosity.”

Check Out Hunger and Care About Hunger programs allow customers to donate $1, $2 $3, $5 or any other amount at checkout with 100% of the proceeds going to each store’s local food bank.

The fall campaign ran at various dates from September to December. Timing of the annual checkout scanning campaigns varies by region. The remaining Wegmans stores in Buffalo, Syracuse, the Southern Tier, Massachusetts, and parts of Pennsylvania run annual checkout campaigns during the winter months.

Hunger relief scanning campaigns raised a total of $2.7 million at Wegmans in 2013. Since these programs began in 1993, Wegmans has raised more than $23 million for hunger relief.

In addition to money raised for emergency food services in 2013, Wegmans also donated 16.5 million pounds of food to local food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens across all of its market areas. 

 

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Kroger names presidents for Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division and Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday named Jay Cummins president of the Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division and Joe Fey president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division.

Cummins, 62, has been serving as president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division. He succeeds Mark Tuffin, who was named SVP retail divisions in December. "In his more than 40 years with the company, Jay has been an enthusiastic and passionate leader in each role he has held," Mike Ellis, Kroger’s president and COO, said. "Jay’s experience and commitment to our Customer 1st Strategy will ensure Smith’s continues to go above and beyond for our customers." 

Cummins brings more than 40 years of retail experience to Smith’s. He began his Kroger career as a clerk in 1972 in Huntington Beach, Calif. In the following years, he served in positions of increasing responsibility in store and district management and in grocery merchandising for the company’s Food 4 Less division. In 2002, Cummins was named VP and general manager of the Food 4 Less Midwest division, where he led the expansion of the Food 4 Less price-impact warehouse store format in the Chicago area. In 2004, he was named president of the Los Angeles-based Food 4 Less division, and to his current position in 2007.

Cummins, and his wife Terrie, will be relocating to the Salt Lake City area. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Smith’s operates 131 stores in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. It is headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Fey, 59, has been serving as president of the company’s QFC division. He succeeds Cummins as president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division. 

"Joe always leads by example and is deeply committed to our customers, our associates and our company," Ellis said. "His merchandising expertise and experience in leading the QFC Division will be great assets in our Mid-Atlantic division. We are looking forward to his positive energy and guidance." 

Fey brings nearly 40 years of retail experience to Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division. He began his career as a meat clerk with Kroger in 1972 while earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Indiana University. He was quickly promoted to a variety of leadership positions including store management, deli/bakery merchandising, and meat/seafood merchandising in both the company’s Central division and corporate office in Cincinnati. In 1999, Fey was named VP merchandising for the Dillons division. He was named VP merchandising for the Michigan Division in 2008, where he served before being named president of QFC in 2011.

Fey and his wife, Joy, will be relocating to the Roanoke, Va. area. They have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division operates 121 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. It is headquartered in Roanoke, Va.

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