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INSTORE Wins Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Website

The Neal Awards are regarded as one of business-to-business publishing’s most important awards competitions.

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INSTOREMAG.COM was named Best Website in its revenue division, and sister publication INVISION (for eyecare professionals) won Best Single Issue in its revenue category.

SmartWork Media, the business-to-business publisher of INSTORE, INVISION and PETS+, has won two Jesse H. Neal Awards.

INSTOREMAG.com won for Best Website (brand revenue of less than $3 million). INVISION won in the Single Issue category for Nov/Dec 2018 (brand revenue of less than $3 million).

The Neal Awards are widely regarded as one of business-to-business publishing’s most important awards competitions. INSTORE has previously won the Neal Awards’ most prestigious award for Best Single Issue in both 2011 and 2015. In 2013, INSTORE Managing Editor Eileen McClelland won for Best Instructional Content for her story “The New Rules of Sales” (April 2012).

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on March 29, 2019.

“These awards signal a vote of confidence to our marketing partners that they are investing in best-of-class publications and digital content platforms. And to our readers, that they are benefiting from the leading information resources an industry can provide,” says Matthijs Braakman, publisher and chief executive officer of SmartWork Media. “The acknowledgement of INSTOREMAG.COM for Best Website is a particularly wonderful indication that the investments we have made in our digital transformation are gaining momentum.” INSTORE magazine, under Group Editorial Director David Squires’ guidance, debuted the website’s new design in the Fall of 2018.

With the addition of the two most recent Neal Awards, SmartWork Media has earned 135 international awards since 2004, making the company one of the most highly decorated publishers, per title, in the world.

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Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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2 Accused of Selling Counterfeit Pandora Jewelry in $2M Fraud Case

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BALTIMORE, MD – A federal grand jury has indicted two residents of Covina, CA, on a federal conspiracy charge, mail fraud, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

They’re accused of importing and selling counterfeit Pandora jewelry and Ray-Ban sunglasses in a $2 million-plus fraud scheme. Xiaoying Xu, age 34, a Chinese citizen, and Yiwen Zhu, age 34, a Chinese citizen and legal permanent resident of the U.S., allegedly conspired with others to defraud e-commerce customers in the scheme.

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Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

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“These defendants allegedly imported counterfeit goods from China and sold them as legitimate merchandise using the registered trademarks of legitimate companies,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Those who traffic in counterfeit goods are committing a crime which results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen, and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”

The crimes are alleged to have occurred from August 2016 through approximately April 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The indictment alleges that the defendants used their residence and offices in El Monte and Alhambra, CA, as destination points for shipments of counterfeit goods shipped from Hong Kong and China. Xu and Zhu allegedly repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the U.S. who believed they had purchased authentic goods.

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The defendants allegedly used fraudulent accounts set up with e-commerce marketplace companies to sell the counterfeit goods. Xu and Zhu allegedly obtained funds from the victims through fraudulently acquired customer accounts opened in the names of other people at a global online payment company. The online payment company sent the victims’ money to Xu and Zhu by electronic transfer to bank accounts or by check, which the defendants then cashed at ATMs, according to the press release. The indictment alleges that the defendants then transferred the proceeds of the scheme from their bank accounts to other bank accounts opened in the names of other Chinese nationals.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods; a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of six counts of mail fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of six counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. The defendants are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. No court appearance has been scheduled yet in Maryland.

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News Report Reveals Sordid Details of Alleged Sexual Harassment At Signet

It’s based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

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A New York Times report reveals salacious details related to allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination within Signet’s Sterling Jewelers business.

The story, titled “The Company That Sells Love to America Had a Dark Secret,” is based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

Some of the employees described being repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of men, according to the article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Others said they’d been sexually harassed.

One woman told the writer that a district manager coerced her into sex in exchange for a transfer she wanted.

A rape accusation is also described.

INSTORE reported in March 2017 that about 250 former employees of Sterling, which operates Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers and Zales, were alleging that the company culture was rife with sexual discrimination and harassment. The claims were part of an arbitration case that dates to 2008.

Litigation is still ongoing.

In response to the New York Times story, Signet released a statement saying: “We’re disappointed that The New York Times decided to publish an article primarily based on decades-old allegations, and we believe casts our company unfairly. Signet is a recognized leader among companies for gender diversity, with women making up 74 percent of store management positions and full gender parity in both the [senior executive suite] and board of directors. Under the leadership of our CEO Gina Drosos, we are undeterred in our ongoing mission to champion diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority and in our multi-year business transformation plan.”

Read more at The New York Times 

 

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Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

They even stole repair items.

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Burglars cut through the roof of a jewelry store in Laguna Niguel, CA, and took “all items in the store, including repair pieces,” the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports.

KCAL-TV identfied the business as Nuggets and Carats Jewelry Store.

According to JSA, the burglars “cut through the roof, used a rope to lower themselves in, and cut into the safe.”

They also “removed another safe from the store, which was dragged out a back door into a parking lot.”

The crime took place on the evening of March 23.

JSA states that it has seen a nationwide uptick in the number of reports of burglaries involving rooftop entry or cutting through sidewalls, with some involving cutting alarm wires.

According to KCAL, store owner Brian Hassine said of the safe: “It’s a 6-inch deep safe. It’s got a plate on the outside that needed to be cut with some type of a laser or saw, and they had to cut away at the concrete, and then another plate they had to go through.”

Find out more at KCAL-TV

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