In the News: Home Depot Suing Visa, MasterCard Over Security
Home Depot Suing Visa, MasterCard Over Security
This week, Home Depot filed a lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard claiming that “chip and sign” isn’t enough and leaves both retailers and consumers vulnerable to hackers. Home Depot is calling for the two credit card companies to implement two-factor authentication, meaning that in addition to having a card present during a transaction, consumers will also have to have a personal I.D.
The lawsuit is likely a delayed reaction from the data breach Home Depot suffered in 2014, when hackers gained access to 53 million email addresses. However, in my opinion, I agree with Home Depot. Currently, all that’s needed to confirm your identification at the point of purchase is a signature, and as Home Depot points out, “a signature can be copied or forged easily.” In an age when data hacks are becoming commonplace (and expensive), I think Home Depot is making the right decision — better to be safe than sorry.
Macy’s and Union Have a Deal, Averting a Strike
Macy’s and the New York City union representing its retail workers have reached an agreement, averting a strike that was scheduled to start Thursday morning. Over 5,000 members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) planned to strike, the first strike for Macy's in 40 years, if demands weren’t met. Stuart Applebaum, president of the RWDSU, cited the price of health care coverage as one of the most important issues to labor organizers, stating that more than three-quarters of Macy’s employees couldn't afford the retailer's health insurance.
This isn’t the first time this year the struggling department store has been under the microscope. With its tumbling stock price and employee layoffs, the too-close-for-comfort negations with its workers for better health care is just another reason Macy's is stumbling. Macy’s is at critical point; let’s hope it pivots for the better.
Wal-Mart to Eliminate 1,500 Back-Office Jobs at US Stores
On Wednesday, Wal-Mart announced that it’s cutting jobs in accounting and other back-office positions at about 500 locations in the Western region of the U.S., affecting around 1,500 jobs total. Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg explained the goal is to get workers out of the back office and selling on the floor where they can interact more closely with customers.
This in-store strategy dovetails with Wal-Mart’s new customer service initiative to improve sales in the face of increased competition on many fronts, including online behemoth Amazon.com. The layoffs come on the heels of Wal-Mart's announcement that it will bring back greeters to nearly all its stores. This is only the beginning of Wal-Mart’s “decluttering strategy.” Or as Lundberg would put it, “streamlining.”
10 Startups to Be Embedded at Target's Headquarters This Summer
Target Corp. and Techstars, a Boulder, Colo.-based firm that brings entrepreneurs and investors together, announced the 10 startups that will be part of the inaugural retail-oriented tech accelerator program this summer. The 14-week bootcamp will provide mentorship from retail veterans, including Target executives, to the startups. Of the 500 applicants, the 10 chosen include AddStructure, Blueprints Registry, Branch, Inspectorio, Makerbloks, Its By You, Makers Kit, Spruce for Men, Revolar, and Good and Gather.
By now, it’s part of Target’s DNA to work with outside makers, designers and retailers for collaborations. It’s part of what's made the big-box retailer so successful. Partnering with Techstars to help mentor and learn from innovative startups is just another way for Target to build upon its reputation as chief collaborating force within the retail industry.