As organized crime continues to be a massive problem in the retail sector, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a US trade organization, called on online marketplaces to make a greater effort to prevent thieves from using them as their virtual storefront.
Lisa LaBruno, RILA’s senior executive vice president of retail operations and innovation, said that online marketplaces are the primary selling point for shoplifted items and that Amazon, eBay, and Facebook aren’t doing enough to end this trend.
“We can’t arrest and prosecute ourselves out of this problem. The retailers are carrying their weight. They’re doing their level best to address this problem. Law enforcement is doing its best to address this problem. The other key stakeholder in this is the online marketplaces,” LaBruno added. According to her, shoplifters “hide behind their computer screen name with essential anonymity,” which results in a “very low-risk, high-reward crime for them.”
In response, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We don’t allow people to sell stolen goods, we require sellers to adhere to local laws, and we make certain to respond to requests from law enforcement about stolen goods on our platform.”
Similarly, an Amazon spokesperson insisted that “Amazon is always innovating to improve and protect our customer experience. We have selling policies that all sellers agree to before selling on Amazon, and we take action against those that violate them and threaten our customer experience. Policy violations can result in cancellation of listings, removal of selling privileges, withholding of funds, and legal action, depending on its severity.”
In a pandemic-stricken world, more consumers are shopping online and new digital marketplaces are popping up every day. Many credit card issuers are offering special incentives to card members who choose to shop online instead of swiping their plastic in brick-and-mortar stores. This in itself is a challenge for the physical retailer market, and the worrying rise in stolen good trafficking has only served to exacerbate the issue.
More from news
Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for fully vaccinated people from July 27 have prompted Walmart to revise its policy regarding wearing face coverings in its stores. The largest retailer in the world has again made it mandatory for all of its employees to wear masks in stores, clubs, and distribution centers in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 infection rates and where there are state or local face-covering mandates. In May, the retailer announced that immunized employees were allowed to work without masks. On July 30, this decision was reversed. The move came as US health officials said that even Americans who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should go back to wearing face coverings in indoor public places in counties where the virus is spreading rapidly. Walmart’s memo also indicated that the company’s retail workers would post signage at its stores asking customers to wear masks, practice social distancing, and make payments using their debit or credit cards rather than cash. Furthermore, Walmarts has announced that all of its workers will receive a $150 incentive for getting inoculated against COVID-19. This is double the amount the retailer has previously been offering, and those who have already received $75 will get the rest in their August paychecks. The memo also states it has been made a part of store managers’ job to regularly check the CDC website for potential changes to public health recommendations and mask guidance in their locations. Doug McMillon, the company’s CEO, told corporate staff and managers they must be vaccinated by October 4. “We want to get to a place where we can use our offices and be together safely. It’s important for our business, our culture, our speed, and our innovation,” McMillon said. Publix, another supermarket chain, has also made it mandatory for all employees to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. Florida-based retailer The Lakeland is also urging all shoppers to use face coverings, even though they aren’t required to do so in all US counties.
By Julija A. · August 06,2021
Mutual funds, hedge funds, sovereign-wealth groups, and pension funds are overtaking the tech startup investing landscape, leading to higher valuations and more leverage for business founders in 2021. Large money-management companies took over Silicon Valley in the second quarter, dwarfing venture capitalists in a once-niche business and putting 2021 on the right path to potentially double 2020’s record in startup financing. Non-traditional venture investors were more active in the Q2 of 2021 than ever before, participating in 42% of startup financing deals. Furthermore, those deals constituted more than three-quarters of the total capital invested. Startup funding in the United States reached the $150-billion mark in the first half of 2021, eclipsing the full-year total investment of every year before 2020. There are a few aspects that make large asset firms more appealing to startup founders and could explain the dizzying deal-making pace we’re now witnessing. Big money-management companies have huge capital pools, move quickly, and aren’t likely to request board seats or ask to get involved in the company’s decision-making process in any other way. It’s true that big money-managers have been allocating a small percentage of their portfolios to invest in companies that typically draw the attention of traditional venture-capital funding providers for a long time. However, many began investing directly about 10 years ago in a near-zero-interest-rate economy, hoping to make the most of excellent returns from tech companies that were remaining private longer. Throughout the last decade, traditional venture capitalists considered them tourist investors who lacked a certain skill set needed for startup investing. Nevertheless, large asset firms stuck around. Nowadays, non-traditional VC investors such as Tiger Global Management and Fidelity Investments Inc. are among the top 10 US investors in startups by dollar amount. Additionally, according to the information provided by research firm PitchBook, the number of startup funding rounds that include zero venture-capital firms and other non-traditional venture capital investors has doubled throughout the last decade. It’s interesting to mention that despite these changes, many startups still need to turn to alternative funding resources such as crowdfunding, particularly if they are just starting out.
By Julija A. · August 05,2021
The Singapore-based Nium Pte became a rare fintech unicorn in the city-state after raising more than $200 million in a funding round led by California-based Riverwood Capital LLC. The payments startup serving businesses announced that its value exceeded $1 billion after a Series D round. In addition to Riverwood Capital LLC, other backers included Temasek Holdings Pte, Visa Inc., Rocket Capital, Vertex Ventures, and Beacon Venture Capital. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte also joined the round. Prajit Nanu, Nium’s CEO and founder, said the company plans to use the funds to expand operations in the United States and Latin America before pursuing an initial public offering in the US in approximately 18 to 24 months. Nanu also added that Nium may even pursue a secondary listing in Singapore at a later date. Earlier this year, the startup bought London-based Ixaris and Wirecard Forex India Pvt. According to Nanu, it will remain on the lookout for additional acquisition opportunities in the UK, Indian, and Australian markets. Nium reaching unicorn status marks a true milestone in Singapore, an affluent island city with a population of about 5.7 million. Aiming to position itself as a fintech hub, Singapore is home to more than 1,000 fintech startups that mainly focus on providing payment, personal finance, investment, and business lending services. Founded in 2014, Nium now has a network of over 200 clients, including Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Thailand’s Kasikornbank Pcl, among more than 200 clients. Similar to Stripe Inc., which became the most valuable US startup in March 2021, Nium offers software solutions that make it easier to accept online payments. It also allows its clients to send money and issue physical and virtual credit cards. Nium processes $8 billion in payments annually and issued over 30 million virtual cards so far.
By Milja · August 04,2021