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• Whole Foods has passed a major hurdle in its efforts to build its first store in Brooklyn, New York, as it received a needed variance from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals.

The store is slated to be built in a so-called “gritty” neighborhood called Gowanus. The Wall Street Journal notes that “the Brooklyn Whole Foods will be a big step in the transformation of an industrial neighborhood near the Gowanus Canal that has been named a superfund site.  The planned store has been controversial among some residents in the neighborhood, who fear it will hurt artists and small businesses in the area.”

Whole Foods already has six stores in Manhattan.

• The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has issued a report that examines the extent to which FMI’s food retailer members are paying a disproportionately higher amount in fraud prevention costs compared to the actual rate of debit fraud in their stores. Signature debit transactions account for 85 percent of all debit fraud, the report says, while 41 percent of purchases with debit transactions are completed with a more secure PIN debit transaction.

The FMI study points out that if food retailers accepted debit cards at the same rate as other stores accept them, they could be paying as much as $3.17 billion in fraud prevention costs, more than 100 times what they actually lose from fraudulent transactions. In fact, 85 percent of all fraudulent debit transactions involve signature debit.
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