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Study: Merchandise returns cost retailers nearly $270 billion in lost sales

BY Marianne Wilson

IRVINE, Calif. — Merchandise returns in 2013 cost retailers in the United States more than $267 billion in lost sales. That’s one of the findings contained in the Retail Equation’s "2013 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry" study, which analyzes results from the National Retail Federation’s annual survey on merchandise returns and the "2012 Canadian Retail Security Survey" from the Retail Council of Canada National Retail Federation.

The report found that retail fraud and abuse accounted for $9.1 billion to $16.3 billion in the U.S., an increase of 2.6% from last year.

“In the competitive world of retail, it is critical to understand how returns and return fraud reduce net sales and contribute to shrink – clear causes of lost profits,” Mark Hammond, chairman and CEO of the Retail Equation, said. “The results within this report offer the industry’s best look at merchandise return policies and procedures, as well as potential fraud and abuse. This information can be used by loss prevention professionals to compare and contrast their own program results to those reported here, with an eye toward reducing losses.”

The report showed a 15% increase in employee collusion versus last year, from 80.7% to 93.1%. This implies that exception reporting systems are not sufficiently preventing this type of fraud, according to Retail Equation.

The report also revealed that 4-out-of-5 main tender types (e.g., cash, gift card/merchandise credit, credit card, debit card and check) showed increased fraud. In fact, fraud increases outpaced decreases by 42%.

Click here for a complete copy of the report.

 

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Old Mother Hubbard debuts gourmet dog treats

BY Ryan Chavis

TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Old Mother Hubbard, a member of WellPet brands, will now offer three new varieties of dog treats in its product mix.

 

Dog owners can choose from Old Mother Hubbard Crispers, Soft Bakes and Fruit’ins — all of which feature a variety of tastes and textures. Old Mother Hubbard Gourmet Goodies are available in 6-oz. resealable packages for $5.00 and in the following flavors:

  • Crispers: The crunchy, cheesy treat is available in Cheddar, Chicken & Rosemary and Parmesan, Bacon & Tomato.
  • Soft Bakes: Cookies, which come in three flavors — Peanut Butter & Carob, Applesauce Oatmeal and Carrot & Pumpkin.
  • Fruit’ins: Cookie and fruit layers, which are available in Honey, Oatmeal & Blueberries and Honey, Apple & Bacon.

"Pet parents have trusted Old Mother Hubbard to give their best friends high-quality, natural dog biscuits, and now they can put that same trust into giving their pooches distinctive treats like those found in dog boutiques," Chanda Leary-Coutu, marketing communications manager for Old Mother Hubbard, said.

Old Mother Hubbard dog snacks are available nationwide at pet specialty stores and in Canada.

 

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Truveris hires Walgreens, Apple vet to head up sales for its central region

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Truveris on Tuesday named Anthony Barrett VP sales, central region.

Barrett joins Truveris with more than 33 years of achieving growth and leading strategic business development, sales and clinical teams. Experienced in healthcare and IT, Barrett worked at Healthways, Prime Therapeutics, Walgreens, Apple and Xerox. During his Walgreens tenure, he served as SVP Walgreens Health Initiatives, leading a team developing breakthrough industry solutions and fully transparent contracting for rebates and networks. 

Prior to Walgreens, Anthony spent 17 years with Apple in enterprise divisional leadership roles, managing sales and business development teams. With Apple leading the global transition from analog to digital communications solutions, Barrett’s team created new channels of advocacy with partners that allowed Apple to scale rapidly.

“After 17 years at Apple and seven years at Walgreens in leadership roles, I know great innovation when I see it," Barrett stated. "Truveris’ domain expertise combined with its SaaS technology is truly without equal."

“Anthony’s combined experience in the technology and pharmacy industries is a perfect fit for Truveris," noted Bryan Birch, Truveris CEO. "Anthony’s position at Truveris will help expand our capabilities and accelerate our product distribution."

At Truveris, Barrett will apply a similar channel strategy to partner with brokers, TPAs and consultants as he did at Apple — empowering advisers to deliver new and differentiated services to their clients.

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