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HomeretailZumiez identifies 'mall violence' as risk

Zumiez identifies ‘mall violence’ as risk

Even though most experts say episodes of mall violence don't hurt traffic and sales beyond the immediate days following the occurrence, specialty retailer Zumiez feels differently.

"The effects of war or acts of terrorism, or other types of mall violence, could adversely affect our business," Zumez said in its annual 10-K report, filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Violence was one of 36 "risk factors" detailed over 11 pages in the report.

To be fair, mall violence is perhaps more top of mind for Zumiez. In January, two of its employees were killed by a gunman at the Columbia Mall in Maryland.

(Read more: How malls plan to keep shoppers safe this holiday)

Source: Zumiez | Facebook

In general, after such incidents, stores and malls immediately revisit their security staffing and coverage plans to determine whether they were acting in accordance with their own policies and whether or not they need to adjust those policies, said Mark Cohen, professor at Columbia Business School and former Sears Canada CEO.

"The greatest issue is likely debriefing and counseling stores' staff who may have witnessed an event," he said.

Here's the full text of the risk factor:

Most of our stores are located in shopping malls. Any threat of terrorist attacks or actual terrorist events, or other types of mall violence, such as shootings in malls, particularly in public areas, could lead to lower customer traffic in shopping malls. In addition, local authorities or mall management could close shopping malls in response to security concerns. Mall closures, as well as lower customer traffic due to security concerns, could result in decreased sales. Additionally, the armed conflicts in the Middle East, or the threat, escalation or commencement of war or other armed conflict elsewhere, could significantly diminish consumer spending, and result in decreased sales for us. Decreased sales could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

—By CNBC's Courtney Reagan. Follow her on Twitter @CourtReagan.

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