Santa isn't perfect. He can't always get everyone's size, shape and favorite color right.
As a result, most of us have at least one thing to return after the Christmas and retailers expect that. Returns are an accepted part of the holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, fraudulent returns are on the rise.
According to National Retail Federation's latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers will lose an estimated $4 billion to return fraud this holiday season, which is up from last year. Annually, return fraud will cost retailers nearly $14 billion.
The most common type of fraud is return of stolen merchandise, which 93.5 percent of retailers say they have experienced in the last year. More than one-third of retailers have found criminals using counterfeit receipts to return items.
Wardrobing, the practice of returning used merchandise or worn clothing, like a holiday party dress, also poses a problem for merchants this time of year. More than 60 percent of merchants say they have been victims of this activity within the last year, up from 46.2 percent in 2009.
* Festive fruitcake featured in magazine: My Daddy's Cheesecake's holiday fruitcake cheesecake was featured in this month's issue of Relish Magazine in St. Louis. My Daddy's owner Wes Kinsey claims that the fruitcake cheesecake "tastes similar to fruitcake, with a lot of spices, cinnamon, candied fruit and brandy. It tastes like a cinnamon-spice-type dessert." My Daddy's Cheesecake is based in Cape Girardeau, but also has a location in Clayton, Mo.
* Laser therapy for pets: Dr. Gwenn Freitag of LaCroix Pet Hospital, has added Companion Therapy Laser to her practice. Dr. Freitag's practice is the first in the region to add the therapeutic laser. The laser offers instant relief of pain, inflammation and swelling associated with soft tissue injuries, trauma, surgery and chronic everyday disorders. A relatively new branch of medicine, the Class IV laser delivers a large amount of light energy into the pet's body. Healing is accelerated and pain virtually eliminated.
Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.