NEWS IN BRIEF: National Retail Federation corrects its crime loss figures; Goodwill Industries to offer adult school; Arkansas Index down


Retail group corrects its crime loss figures

The National Retail Federation, a retail industry trade group, has updated its April report on financial losses from organized retail crime, while an industry news website says the report originally contained incorrect data.

The report's figures of dollars lost rippled through the industry this year as retailers including Walmart Inc. and Target used the report to explain their inventory losses, or "shrink," and to take steps to mitigate losses.

Retail Dive published an analysis of the report on Friday, saying that the alarming numbers came from the federation's own outdated surveys.

"The group had cited an estimate of the financial impact of organized retail crime that turned out to be a six-year-old survey of aggregate inventory losses for all reasons, including those unrelated to theft," Retail Dive said on Monday.

The National Retail Federation's report, updated on Nov. 29 and available on the federation's website, "no longer contains any estimate of organized retail crime in dollar terms" or "the assertion that nearly half of shrink is attributable to organized retail crime," Retail Dive said.

A National Retail Federation spokeswoman said on Monday that the report and its landing page were updated to clarify an attribution discrepancy.

-- Serenah McKay

Goodwill Industries to offer adult school

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is opening a training and education center to serve adults trying to earn their high school diploma or obtain industry-leading credentials and certifications.

The nonprofit organization has scheduled the official opening at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 at the Goodwill headquarters, 7400 Scott Hamilton Road.

The center is the state's only high school where adults over 19 can earn an Arkansas-certified high-school diploma. Goodwill estimates more than 320,000 adult Arkansans do not have high school diplomas.

"This campus will allow us to be more efficient and effective in the delivery of our mission of changing lives through education, training and employment in Central Arkansas," said Goodwill President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Marsh.

-- Andrew Moreau

Arkansas Index down 25.67 points at close

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 877.46, down 25.67.

"Stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as several Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan remain comfortable with a "soft landing" scenario for our economy with hopes of strong consumer spending heading into the busy holiday season," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.