Retailer: 65 Percent Of Emails Were Junk

May 14, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

As Aksh Shinh tells it, after joining the arts and crafts retailer A.C. Moore as a senior system engineer
in 2002, he quickly learned the chain’s executives and employees were being inundated with spam, much of it of the XXX variety.

“Employees were less productive since the desktop anti-spam solution that A.C. Moore had in place was not effectively filtering out these emails, leaving the employees to do the clean-up themselves. In addition, the maintenance on those applications was becoming increasingly difficult due to the number of mailboxes and the distributed nature of employees,” he said.

There was also the additional security concern of viruses and worms making their way into the system and putting the entire company’s network at risk.

The retailer tested and did away with a number of anti-spam programs before deciding to go with Proofpoint’s Protection Server (

After making the switch, A.C. Moore found nearly two-thirds of its incoming email was being classified as spam.

Mr. Shinh said the chain quickly discovered that quarantining the spam identified just how big a drag unwanted emails had on the company’s systems. The “spam we were receiving was overwhelming our mail servers – and that was affecting the performance with which legitimate emails were being processed. And we kept running out of disk space.”

Today, Mr. Shinh is happy to report, “spam is no longer an issue” for A.C. Moore.

Moderator’s Comment: Is A.C. Moore’s experience with spam typical of other large organizations inside and out of retail?
What do you see as the most promising answer for controlling spam?

Mr. Shinh told RetailWire all 85 A.C. Moore locations are now protected from spam. The company was able to hold off against the recent MyDoom outbreak because
of its new system. The server caught more than 1,500 infected emails in a single day, he said.

George Anderson – Moderator

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