MAYâ€“JUNE 2020 | V19.3 LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM
LOSS PREVENTION MAGAZINE THE AUTHORITY ON ALL THINGS ASSET PROTECTION
IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH
RETAIL IS FORGING AHEAD TRANSFORMED BY PANDEMIC SOLUTIONS PROVIDERS SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19 THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
6 EDITOR’S LETTER Communications During the Pandemic By Jack Trlica
10 RETAIL SPONSORS
In Sickness and in Health
12 INTERVIEWING Storytelling By David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE, and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP
Retail is forging ahead transformed by pandemic.
26 FUTURE OF LP Why You Should Leverage OSINT and Social Media Monitoring during COVID-19
By Garett Seivold, LPM Senior Writer
By Tom Meehan, CFI
28 LPM EXCELLENCE LPM Magpie Award: Applauding Excellence Featuring the Retail Industry and Everyday Retail Heroes
Speaking Out in a Pandemic
Solutions providers pivot their businesses to meet customer and community needs.
37 CERTIFICATION Industry Knowledge and Credentials Interview with Raymond J. Sosa, LPC, CVS Health
By James Lee, LPC, LPM Executive Editor
45 EVIDENCE-BASED LP Getting Back to Business Safely
By Read Hayes, PhD, CPP
Preparing for an ORC Epidemic Post COVID-19
54 SUPPLY CHAIN The Impact of COVID-19 on Supply Chain Theft Activity By Ryan Shepherd, CargoNet
56 NEW PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
Retailers are likely on the verge of a significant increase in internal theft and organized retail crime.
59 SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE - Appriss Retail
By Jacque Brittain, LPC, LPM Editorial Director
61 PRODUCT SHOWCASE
62 PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
The Evolution of Organized Retail Crime in Retail Today
64 ADVERTISERS 64 SUBSCRIPTION FORM 65 VENDOR SPONSORS 66 PARTING WORDS Hard Times
The top ten most important ORC issues and concerns in today’s world.
By Jim Lee, LPC
By John Matas, CFE, CFCI
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Communications During the Pandemic L
ike so many of you, here at the magazine we have been working overtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early into this crisis, we felt like we owed it to our readers to provide relevant, curated information that would be valuable to loss prevention professionals. Given the massive amount of information generated from across the globe, we didn’t want to add to the noise, but rather provide a resource that asset protection organizations could trust. To that end, we created a COVID Information Center on our website to have one place where you can go for the latest information from our writers, other retail industry organizations and associations, webinars, and podcasts. That page is found at losspreventionmedia.com/category/covid. If you are a QR code user, we’ve placed the link here.
Webinars We also initiated a COVID-related webinar series with speakers from our industry discussing various challenges and solutions that they have encountered, as well as looking at various aspects of store reopening and what to expect in retail’s so-called “new normal.” Following is a short description of some of these webinars that were presented live in April and May but remain available on-demand on our website at losspreventionmedia.com/category/webinars. We started this series when many retailers were closing stores and either laying off or furloughing employees. We assembled a panel of well-known LP career coaches—Gene Smith, LPC, Jacque Brittain, LPC, and Chris O’Leary—to offer their insights on managing this disruption in a webinar titled “How to Handle Layoffs and Furloughs Due to COVID-19. As talk began of reopening stores, we asked well-known Ed Minyard, who has extensive experience in disaster preparedness and business recovery related to hurricanes, earthquakes, and previous pandemics, to talk about precautions and strategies for reopening facilities after prolonged closure in “How to Prep Your Business to Recover from COVID-19.” The pandemic has also disrupted retail’s supply chain in enormous ways as those stores operating have struggled to maintain inventories of essential goods while looking for creative ways to find legitimate sources for personal protection equipment and other critical items. Byron Smith, CFI, LPC, Glenn Master, and Jason Rowland—all supply chain experts
associated with the International Supply Chain Protection Organization—discussed “Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions in the Pandemic.” One of the most-watched webinars titled “Preparing for an ORC Epidemic Post COVID-19” provided so much valuable information that we turned the information into a feature article in this print edition found on page 39. The panel included individuals from retail, eBay, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, law enforcement, and the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail. Other webinars on the schedule at the time of this writing include: ■ Rob LaCommare, vice president of AP and safety for Big Lots, offering “Lessons Learned from Retail’s Front Lines” ■ Tony Hentges, senior director of corporate security at T-Mobile, with Keith Aubele of Nav1gate Group and Grant Cowan of Salient, discussing “Leadership Steps to Returning to Retail’s New Normal” ■ Greg Mummah, director of the Everbridge Center of Excellence, offering recommendations from his crisis communication and management companies for “Five Key Tasks for Reopening Safely and Managing Risk” By the time the print magazine is in your hands, many more webinars will likely be archived on our website for readers to watch and learn.
Podcasts If you prefer to listen to audio rather than sit in front of your computer watching a webinar, we have provided audio versions of the webinars in our podcast library at losspreventionmedia.com/category/podcast. You may also find our podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Please subscribe to our podcasts and leave reviews on your favorite platform and give us your feedback or suggestions at podcast@LPportal.com. In the meantime, stay safe, protect your family, and best of luck as we all work toward reigniting our economy and getting back to some semblance of normalcy.
Jack Trlica Managing Editor
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EDITORIAL BOARD Charles Bernard Group Vice President, Asset Protection and Comprehensive Loss, Walgreens Ray Cloud Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Ross Stores Scott Draher, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, Safety, and Operations, Lowe’s Scott Glenn, EDJ, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, The Home Depot Barry Grant Chief Operating Officer, Photos Unlimited Robert Holm Director, Global Safety & Security McDonald’s Seth Hughes Director, Asset Protection, Risk & Safety, Internal Audit REI Co-op Frank Johns, LPC Chairman, The Loss Prevention Foundation Mike Lamb, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, The Kroger Co. Michael Limauro, LPC Executive Leader, Asset Protection Whole Foods Market David Lund, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, DICK’S Sporting Goods
John Matas, CFE, CFCI Vice President, Profit Protection, Investigations, Fraud, & ORC, Macy’s Randy Meadows Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Kohl’s Dan Moren Senior Manager Starbucks Richard Peck, LPC Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention The TJX Companies Joe Schrauder Vice President, Asset Protection, Walmart Stores Tina Sellers, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, Family Dollar Hank Siemers, CFI Vice President, Global Retail Security, Tiffany & Co. Mark Stinde, MBA, LPC Senior Vice President, Asset Protection, JCPenney Paul Stone, CFE, LPC VP Security, Goodwill Industries of SE Wisconsin Pamela Velose Vice President, Asset Protection, Belk Keith White, LPC Executive Vice President, Loss Prevention and Global Sustainability, Gap Inc.
Loss Prevention, LP Magazine, LP Magazine Europe, LPM, and LPM Online are service marks owned by the publishers and their use is restricted. All editorial content is copyrighted. No article may be reproduced by any means without expressed, written permission from the publisher. Reprints or PDF versions of articles are available by contacting the publisher. Statements of fact or opinion are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the publishers. Advertising in the publication does not imply endorsement by the publishers. The editor reserves the right to accept or reject any article or advertisement.
LOSS PREVENTION MAGAZINE 700 Matthews Mint Hill Rd, Ste C Matthews, NC 28105 704-365-5226 office, 704-365-1026 fax MANAGING EDITOR Jack Trlica JackT@LPportal.com EXECUTIVE EDITORS James Lee, LPC JimL@LPportal.com Merek Bigelow MerekB@LPportal.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jacque Brittain, LPC JacB@LPportal.com RETAIL TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Tom Meehan, CFI TomM@LPportal.com SENIOR WRITER Garett Seivold GarettS@LPportal.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Walter Palmer, CFI, CFE Maurizio P. Scrofani, CCSP, LPC Ben Skidmore Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP Bill Turner, LPC David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Kevin McMenimen, LPC KevinM@LPportal.com DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL OPERATIONS John Selevitch JohnS@LPportal.com SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGERS Justin Kemp, LPQ Karen Rondeau DESIGN & PRODUCTION SPARK Publications info@SPARKpublications.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Larry Preslar ADVERTISING STRATEGIST Ben Skidmore 972-587-9064 office, 972-692-8138 fax BenS@LPportal.com SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES
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INTERVIEWING by David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP
Zulawski and Sturman are executives in the investigative and training firm of Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (w-z.com). Zulawski is a senior partner, and Sturman is president. Sturman is also a member of ASIS International’s Retail Loss Prevention Council. They can be reached at 800-222-7789 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
hy do we use a story when we rationalize? If the purpose of rationalization is to offer a face-saving device, simply listing a series of them seems sufficient. So why should we bother including a story? A limestone cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia was occupied by our human ancestors more than 40,000 years ago. Inside the cave is a 14.5-foot-wide image showing a tiny sticklike figure carrying spears and ropes. It appears to be hunting wild pigs and buffalo. This is probably the oldest pictorial record of storytelling discovered so far. This need to tell a story conveying culture, order, social norms, and other things seems to be part of the human experience. Most of us have been listening to and telling stories for our whole lives. It helps us to communicate our thoughts, ideas, and day-to-day events to others around us. The stories help us put an order to the chaotic patterns and details of our existence. Each story we tell or hear helps us make emotional connections and shapes our perceptions of what is going on around us. Oral histories and stories have been used for thousands and thousands of years before the invention of writing. These oral histories help educate and preserve moral values and cultural norms of society. They help us see patterns in our lives where otherwise we would see none. Stories help us apply these patterns to other parts of our lives and provide the social cues for how they should be applied. These oral histories provide role models and ethical decisions to help us make the right choices as we apply them to future life lessons.
Changing Behavior through Stories Interestingly, Adam Grant and Jane Dutton published a study in 2012 (“Beneficiary or Benefactor: Are People More Prosocial When They Reflect on Receiving or Giving?” in Psychological Science, vol. 23, no. 9) where they asked university call-center fundraisers to write stories about themselves at the beginning of their shifts for four consecutive days. The participants were divided in two groups: one group wrote stories about times they’d been beneficiaries, while the other group wrote about being benefactors. Researchers wanted to see which condition would lead to the individuals being more generous by making more calls to alumni. They found that when the fundraisers wrote stories about being benefactors, they made more than 29 percent
© 2020 Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc.
more phone calls hourly to alumni than they had before. So the stories they wrote led to meaningful behavioral changes as they identified with the positive giving identity. So why does the brain love stories so much? Since we are social creatures, stories are an easy way to convey important information and values to others. Stories that are emotionally compelling engage more of the brain. Think about sitting in a movie theater watching a
Since we are social creatures, stories are an easy way to convey important information and values to others. Stories that are emotionally compelling engage more of the brain. A story is also easier to remember than a list of facts or single ideas. Plus, we learn valuable lessons from the story that we can apply in the future. wonderful movie. The people around us disappear as we are fully engaged in the plot. It can instill laughter, sadness, or other emotions, which engage not only our minds but also our bodies. A story is also easier to remember than a list of facts or single ideas. Plus, we learn valuable lessons from the story that we can apply in the future. Any story we decide to tell includes at least two key elements. Initially, the story must grab the listener’s attention and hold it. Then the story, like the movie, continued on page 14 LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM
continued from page 12
must drop the listener into that story’s world. And this is important: the two pieces work together. If we are not engaged, then we will not immerse into the world of the story. Then our attention begins to wander, and we move on to thinking about other things. But if we are able to hold our attention to the story, we do what researchers of narratives call “transportation.” That means that we are emotionally and physically resonating with the characters in the story and have entered their world. Once we’ve entered their world, we begin to empathize with their situation and physical efforts, matching our emotions to what we believe they are feeling. Clearly, the story we choose to tell must engage the listener, or it will have no effect on changing their behavior as they transport into the world of the story.
Rule number one is to keep the story simple. Include only those details that are necessary for the context and character development important to the story.
Telling Your Story
Over 150 years ago, Gustav Freytag described what he called the “dramatic arc” of storytelling, which some believe is the universal story structure. The beginning of the arc sets the stage and introduces the characters and locations. Next, action and tension increase as characters must overcome surprising difficulties. The tension reaches a climax where the heroes must draw deeply on themselves, perhaps more than they ever have before, to overcome the unexpected adversity. The tension resolves itself, and the action diminishes as the characters bring the crisis to a conclusion. This seems to be the basic structure of almost any movie or novel. Pixar’s award-winning formula for their animated films emulates Gustav Freytag’s dramatic arc. The simple sentences convey the “spine” or central theme of the movie in a simple fashion. The actual origin of the “story spine” is in doubt, but it can be clearly identified in many works: “Once upon a time, there was _____. Every day, _____. One day, _____. Because of that,____. Because of that, _____. Until finally, _____. And ever since then, _____.” How many different movies can you think of where this simple formula created a story that captured your attention and drew you physically and emotionally into that world? Once upon a time—this opening piece introduces the characters and setting. The listener needs enough information to understand the story that will follow but
does not need extraneous information that will bog them down. And every day—here, the characters’ daily routines are introduced. These routines may be good or bad, which is just the way it is for them. The situation could be one of wealth and privilege or having to scratch for every penny to pay the bills. Until one day—something happens here that changes that routine in an instant. The characters find themselves out of balance; things have changed. This was Freytag’s increasing tension and action. This is generally triggered by a pivotal incident that launches the reason for the story. And because of this—next, the main character (the hero) might go on a quest, or a character might face an ethical dilemma leading to unforeseen consequences. And because of this—and then the hero must face consequences that were unforeseen when the quest began. This could entail a rags-to-riches or a riches-to-rags story line. Until finally—in the climax of the story, the character must face the situation created by choices they made earlier. And ever since that day—the moral of the story explains what these events meant to the characters and how they impacted the characters’ lives.
This is the outline for the story you want to convey to the listener. As you begin to fill in the details of the story, remember that the story should be simple, including only those details necessary to understand the context of the characters’ actions. Leaving the details vague allows the listener to fill in the gaps with things that they are comfortable with. For example, is it important to the story whether the main character is old or young, tall or short? Does it make a difference what type of car the main character purchased? If it makes a difference to the story, it should be included. Otherwise, we can let the listener fill in the details. Rule number one is to keep the story simple. Include only those details that are necessary for the context and character development important to the story. Second, build the story to the educational level of the listener. Using fancy words may impress a captain of industry who understands them, but it will only confuse somebody who doesn’t have that educational level of understanding. Telling a story simply works well for everyone. Third, select a story that resonates with the listener. It should be within their experience and related to the background information you know about them. Trying to interest somebody in a story about knitting when they have no experience or interest in that topic will fail to capture their attention and emotions. In our next column we will continue to discuss the importance of selecting a correct story and constructing it to capture the attention and emotions of the listener. LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM
Tonktiti/Setthawuth/Lim Yong Hian/Shutterstock.com Photo illustration by SPARK Publications
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
RETAIL IS FORGING AHEAD TRANSFORMED BY PANDEMIC By Garett Seivold, LPM Senior Writer
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
ong after masks and gloves have been put away, when crowded stores are again a welcome sight and outdoor queues, floor tape, and one-way aisles are just a memory, once the nation has worked its way through all its reopening phases and every store that can has since reopened, what, if anything, will be different? It would be nice to think the industry could pick back up where it was before, to simply call a mulligan and start 2020 over again, but that is unlikely. Crises tend to accelerate trends, sharpen divides, focus strategies, and reduce redundancies, and the retail industry—and LP by extension—can expect to feel all these effects. The retail industry is astonishingly resilient. It has weathered many a major disaster in the past, and the US consumer will, once again, rise to be the driving force behind the US economic engine. But just as surely as it will return to prominence, retail will be reshaped. Exactly how, of course, is a matter of some guesswork, noted Karl Langhorst, CPP, CFI, LPC, an asset protection executive and adjunct criminal Karl Langhorst justice professor at the University of Cincinnati. “I believe that the biggest permanent change COVID-19 will have on all aspects of the loss prevention industry will not be from a policy perspective. Rather, the biggest lasting change will be from a cognitive perspective,” he said. “Loss prevention executives and their team members will need to fully embrace and promote a flexible, analytical, and innovative spirit like never before in order for their survival and that of the organizations they serve.” More broadly, there seems to be some level of consensus around the
idea that the nature of consumerism could be forever altered. “Millions of people who had previously avoided going online to order goods, either out of traditional shopping habits or because they weren’t completely comfortable with how it all works, are now experiencing it and getting comfortable with it. And they’re probably learning to like the convenience of it,” explained Bruce McIndoe, president and founder at WorldAware, a risk management company that counts several of the industry’s biggest names as clients. “This is going to permanently change the nature of retail. It’s changing systems. It’s not a one-and-done event.” It’s a widely held view. Consensus among analysts is for a rebound by the end of the year that will further separate healthy operations from others—knocking out weak shopping malls and merchants—and push sales online. In an interview with LP Magazine, Kimberly Sutherland, vice president of fraud and identity management strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, noted that increasing e-commerce shopping was already underway, and that Kimberly Sutherland shelter-in-place actions and social distancing acted as an accelerant. On a virtual tour for his new book, Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, suggested consumers will be permanently transformed. “It will accelerate the move to online shopping and away from physical locations,” he said. Analysts do not predict a collapse in physical retail, but they are predicting further contraction: the anticipated rebound year is long gone. The first few months of 2020 saw more store openings than MAY–JUNE 2020
closings, but that is a distant memory, and the number of closures could reach 15,000 by year’s end, easily surpassing last year’s brutal tally of roughly 9,500. Sales soared at general merchandise retailers and food sellers. Costco Wholesale reported a 12.1 percent rise in March same-store sales, for example, and Walmart added more than 100,000 new hires in three weeks to meet rising demand. Nonessential retail segments, however, suffered mightily. Pent-up demand might put a dent in lost sales, but it is not likely to erase them. This Christmas season will be the most important ever for many retailers, making the difference between surviving or not, and most all retailers will be cutting expenses to the bare bones to better their odds. And that could last for some time. Consider this ominous headline from the World Economic Forum on its forecast of the economic recovery from COVID-19: “2023 Should Be Grand.” Through all the economic darkness and human tragedy, many retail and loss prevention personnel performed heroically during the crisis. Stores that could stay open provided an essential lifeline to individuals and communities. Manufacturing facilities were repurposed to meet demands for face masks and hand sanitizer. Teams managed supply as well as could be expected to keep stores stocked and minimize public panic. Many LP leaders shared tales of valor, and personnel earned praise from store leadership. The genuine love and compassion that employees showed for their teammates and customers will be a legacy of the pandemic, said John Doggette, LPC, director of LP merchandise shrink solutions and analytics at Lowe’s, in explaining actions he will remember most: “Teams inexperienced in dealing with national crisis stepping forward and helping store leaders lead their
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH teams. Leaders coaching and leading remotely, ensuring their teams are mentally and physically healthy and learning how to adjust operations. Finding ways to serve the community, its leaders, first responders, and medical professionals by donating supplies and food.” The days ahead, while not carrying the same weight of life and death, will still be fraught. LP teams passed the initial test, but many more challenges lie ahead. LP has faced this test before—new challenges, greater risk, fewer resources—and the COVID-19 aftermath will be no different. A permanent shift in consumer behavior is just one impact that retail and LP leaders should anticipate. From fulfillment flexibility, to theft prevention strategies, to lessons in employee tracking, COVID-19 is expected to have an enduring legacy on retail and loss prevention in a variety of areas.
It’s hard to find an analyst who doesn’t expect the temporary closure of retail stores during COVID-19 to accelerate the migration of sales to online platforms and further the trend of stores acting as shipping hubs and pickup locations for online purchases. Retailers may find their customers pushing stores to make temporary services during the crisis, like curbside pickup or pick-up only stores, permanent. Consequently, if they haven’t already, LP teams may need to rethink exactly what “store security” is. “The nature of storefront security is moving outside,” McIndoe explained, adding that risk associated with curbside Bruce McIndoe
“Millions of people who had previously avoided going online to order goods, either out of traditional shopping habits or because they weren’t completely comfortable with how it all works, are now experiencing it and getting comfortable with it. And they’re probably learning to like the convenience of it. This is going to permanently change the nature of retail. It’s changing systems. It’s not a one-and-done event.” – Bruce McIndoe, WorldAware
pickup is substantial: “You have a lot of valuable goods out there and a handful of workers with limited or no protection, and there isn’t much preventing people from popping out of a van, showing a weapon, and driving away with a bunch of goods.” He warned the number of such events could grow depending on the amount of economic desperation COVID-19 ultimately causes. Increases in e-commerce volume will have a significant impact on loss prevention, said Sutherland, “as asset protection is less about in-person transactions and more about remote identity verification and fraud prevention.” She said merchants will need to place more emphasis on protecting against chargebacks and monitoring for identity theft and friendly fraud, where a verified consumer denies receiving or purchasing a good that they actually received. Last-mile package security was already on LP’s radar and is likely to become an even more pressing topic. For some retailers, the crisis could catalyze them to adjust to a future retail marketplace that they’ve been sluggish to acknowledge, according LP MAGAZINE
to one LP pro. “It’s possible that some companies that have been fighting the curve and not wanting to compete in ‘Amazon’s space’ will realize that we’re all in their space now—that some form of online presence is important for most retailers. And the value of distribution efficiency is only likely to be solidified by this.” The crisis should bring the risk of theft to home-delivered packages into sharper focus, and pressure could grow on retailers to devise theft prevention solutions, added McIndoe. Security consultant Sean Ahrens also predicts that an increase in crime and theft is an inevitable consequence of the COVID-19 crisis—and that it is likely to occur at a time when LP departments are short-staffed. It’s Sean Ahrens impossible to close hundreds of thousands of US retail outlets and lose hundreds of billions in revenue without consequences. “There will be significant layoffs, and I expect
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH loss prevention personnel will be targeted and reorganized, especially in public companies,” Ahrens told LP Magazine. “COVID-19 has dropped a bomb in the ocean, and the tsunami that is coming will be significant in a number of ways.” Consultant Walter Palmer also expects a budget crush and foresees loss prevention needing to combat theft and loss with fewer resource. But he also says that this is nothing new for the profession. “As a tertiary function that is not core to the business, we’ve always been under pressure for budget; it’s always been hypercompetitive. So I don’t see this fundamentally changing what we do or how we go about it.” Ahrens predicts a growth in both internal and external threats to retailers because of the pandemic. “Internal theft will increase significantly due to rationalization—the employee believes they are owed for their contributions,” he said. Many retailers raised pay or gave bonuses to employees who helped keep stores open, implemented new safety precautions, and modified paid time-off policies. But employee sick-outs, protests, and complaints about working conditions, lack of personal protective equipment, and inadequate hazard pay was also an issue. The pillars of the fraud and theft triangle are well established. To commit workplace theft, employees typically require: (1) knowledge or opportunity; (2) pressure or motivation; and (3) rationalization or justification. All three are likely to be high for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. External theft will also increase, said Ahrens, “as persons who recently are unemployed will be pushed toward malevolent acts.” He warned that the greatest impact will be in states that have decriminalization efforts underway, where “theft will dramatically
This Christmas season will be the most important ever for many retailers, making the difference between surviving or not, and most all retailers will be cutting expenses to the bare bones to better their odds. And that could last for some time.
increase,” and that it will occur fastest in those areas that have existing sophisticated “booster” networks that are easily accessible to individuals who will commit crime, such as youth, homeless, and drug-addicted individuals.
One obvious takeaway from safer-at-home mandates is the value to loss prevention professionals to be able to perform their Paul Shain duties whether they are onsite or remote. “This means being able to receive alerts about potential issues and alerting others using on-premises and mobile devices,” explained Paul Shain, CEO of Singlewire Software. Mass notification solutions can trigger notifications using contact closures, surveillance cameras, emails, and other tools that reach people on their mobile devices as SMS text messages and push notifications. Alerts can include URLs to view camera feeds, so loss prevention professionals can monitor situations in real-time. “The sooner everyone is alerted about an event, the quicker they can respond, potentially minimizing the damage caused by a crisis MAY–JUNE 2020
event,” said Shain. “This will be important moving forward.” Loss prevention professionals should start by looking at how they currently send alerts about crisis events, Shain told LP Magazine. “Mass emails can be easy to ignore, and individually texting or calling people can be time consuming,” he said. “With a mass notification system, they can alert large groups or people quickly to respond to the situation taking place.” His advice: loss prevention should work with the IT team and other leaders to determine the best strategy for implementation. “Getting buy-in from multiple departments helps get more people invested in successfully implementing new tools. It also helps to take into account all the circumstances an organization should prepare for, leading to a more effective implementation.” Mass notification systems also help integrate disparate systems and implement business rules that should follow different crisis events. “Trying to manage disparate systems when people are remote can be challenging and can waste precious time in the event of a crisis. Unifying all the devices and systems an organization uses for communication with a mass notification platform can make managing alerts much more efficient,” said Shain.
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
In the early stages of the crisis, the industry was caught off-guard by its inability to keep track of traveling employees as air travel grew chaotic and flights were canceled and rebooked, explained McIndoe. The primary cause was a breakdown in the data sharing between airlines and travel agencies and reliance on a passenger name record (PNR) to track the itinerary for a passenger(s) in the computer reservation system. “I’m pretty confident things will not go back to the way they were; there were lots of lessons in the travel space,” said McIndoe. He believes changes are likely to include more fungible ticketing, where a ticket purchased from one airline could be used to fly on another carrier. “I can see that becoming normal,” he said, in the near term, as airline travel comes back to life amid certain restriction
and carriers struggle to fly full planes and, longer term, as airlines respond to carbon footprint concerns. The value of having a mobile app or other location awareness tool was also evident during the crisis, said McIndoe. Such a tool provides retailers with a way to account for traveling employees in the event travel records don’t. “Having multiple data points about travelers provides that security-in-depth, or risk management in-depth, which is always helpful.” Whether retailers are better prepared next time will depend on their doing an effective postmortem of performance in the COVID-19 crisis. “If they find they struggled, and cancellations and rebooking were a problem, they might want to find a provider that can supply a more complete and multilayered data picture,” said McIndoe.
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The retail industry is a leader in the adoption of new technology, and the pandemic has “significant and long-term ramifications for Stuart Carlaw technology companies, those companies investing in technology to enhance operations, and the customers of those companies,” according to Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research. “To effect change, there must be a stimulation of a magnitude that means companies cannot do anything but make bold decisions to survive. COVID-19 is that magnitude,” he said. Specifically, it may force a change in focus at retail organizations that have heretofore placed all their attention on daily operational needs as
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IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH opposed to long-term planning and resilience. In its review of long-term effects, Taking Stock of COVID-19: The Short- and Long-Term Ramifications on Technology and End Markets, ABI suggested the current crisis will cause significant pain but also be “an enlightening experience and a great accelerator of digitalization for both consumers and businesses,” making the point that consumers, even previously skeptical ones, “are now prepared to integrate a digital lifestyle in their everyday lives.” Some consumer technology habits developed during the coronavirus pandemic may shift back once it is long over, but some effects will surely outlast the pandemic itself. As they contend with those effects, Sutherland says retailers must be mindful of striking a reasonable risk-to-friction balance. “This balance is possible through a risk-based approach of identity verification methods and fraud controls that utilize a combination of digital identity, physical identity, and device-related data,” she explained. “By implementing this layered approach and utilizing all digital and physical data available, merchants can better protect against and adapt to emerging fraud schemes while providing their consumers with a positive experience throughout the customer journey.”
Several industry analysts are predicting the pandemic will foster growth and innovation in retail technology, specifically those that facilitate flexibility in ordering and fulfillment. Interest may also be greater in artificial intelligence and machine learning to facilitate allocation and forecasting—a lesson from pandemic-caused shortages highlighting the need to be better able to predict demand. One LP executive who could not speak on the record thinks retailers are getting a push to move past sales systems that require customers to touch screens with credit card payments or sign with a digital pen that every customer must touch. Finally, analysts think we may see the emergence of drive-through retail services and greater interest in technology that facilitates it, as well as curbside pick-up and contactless payments. Health concerns may also be reflected in store technology, according to consultant Maurizio Scrofani, CCSP, LPC. He said he would not be surprised if stores adopt heat sensing technology that can alert when employees have Maurizio Scrofani a temperature
Retailers may find their customers pushing stores to make temporary services during the crisis, like curbside pickup or pick-up only stores, permanent. Consequently, if they haven’t already, LP teams may need to rethink exactly what “store security” is. 20
above an acceptable degree or for random testing for drug use to add health indicators. Retail’s approach to store technology may be another legacy. Specifically, a replacement of large investments in proprietary store infrastructure in favor of more nimble technology tools, and flexible, vendor-agnostic platforms that can be tied together seamlessly. For LP, remote surveillance capabilities are likely to gain traction, as employee travel and store audits may slow and as stores review whether it makes sense for store security to be less people based and if greater remote monitoring might be more reliable and sustainable. Well-publicized security issues that arose with videoconferencing during self-isolation are a reminder to security teams to review and ensure the security of any remote technologies they implement. Finally, armed with flexible technology tools, retailers and LP teams may be able to think creatively as they plan for how technology could be effectively used in different disaster scenarios or crisis events. For example, smartphone location data was used during the pandemic to identify where social distancing guidelines at retailers were not being followed. And convention center McCormick Place reached out to their access control provider to create a “proximity report” to identify employees or badged visitors that had been in close physical contact with someone who had recently reported a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, which it then made free for its customers. “Only about half of Security Center features are a result of Genetec anticipating which technology will be useful for our customers. The other half are as a result of what our customers dream up. They regularly imagine clever and innovative ways to use the system and suggest useful new
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH feature ideas,” said Genetec President Pierre Racz.
Intelligence-gathering tools are likely to seem like a wiser investment post-pandemic, as many retailers struggled with getting and acting on localized intelligence about the plans of health department or state officials. It’s the type of challenge that crisis event management platforms are designed to overcome—facilitating an organization’s ability to gather information, assess risk, locate people and places at risk, and take mitigation measures in line with the risk. “The corona crisis pushed many companies to realize they Magnus Hultman
lack the tools needed to quickly support their workers in an emergency situation and make informed decisions to ensure safety,” explained Magnus Hultman, CEO at Safeture, a cloud-based platform designed to manage employee safety and risk/crisis management. For a major retailer with multiple locations, tools that can leverage publicly available information—such as online posts and government weather data, notifications, and warning—can be essential to effective crisis response. For example, software platforms can provide intelligence about assets at risk from approaching weather events, tracking storms graphically against the locations of store assets and indicating the potential impact of an event on those assets. While response plans are critical, a real-time information platform can provide crisis response leaders with better understanding of the scale of
an event and allows for more timely and informed decisions about issues that have significant financial ramifications, such as how to reroute supply chains and whether it is possible to keep store doors open. They can also be central to a traveler safety program by identifying employees who are in areas where protests, disease, or social upheaval is breaking out. “For any type of potential disruption, you want to be as proactive as possible,” according to Ravi Maira, vice president of industry and solution at Everbridge, a provider of emergency notification services. Although crisis response could drive retailers’ interest in such tools—once they regain financial footing—they have other benefits. The ability to monitor social media, for example, can provide important value for loss prevention, such as to understand loss events in the store and for intelligence on
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IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH mass-coordinated shoplifting events and risks from organized retail crime.
While government mandates forced many retailers to close their doors, some also found online sales impossible because shelter-in-place rules forced distribution centers to close or because manufacturers closed shop. Yet for all the hardship and headaches the pandemic caused, one LP professional believes the pandemic could provide stores with valuable insight into their supply chains that could result in more efficient movement of merchandise in the future. Unlike localized storms or other events that often disrupt only a segment, the pandemic has pressure-tested entire retail ecosystems, which is “going to bring a lot of issues into focus, [and] processes are going to be scrutinized and cleaned up as a result,” he said. Some analysts see an acceleration in retailers turning to microfulfillment centers, which are small buildings abutting existing stores to facilitate online fulfillment.
Reports are that Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, and Amazon are among those signing agreements with providers in the microfulfillment space. Prospects for microfulfillment centers were already good, and now it will be a boom, some analysts predict. Supply chain expert Maurizio Scrofani believes that a “squeezing or shortening of the supply chain on verticals that we may now consider to be critical” will be a legacy of the pandemic. “I believe we will also localize aggressively farm-to-fork supply chains,” he added. “Mode of transportation will continue to swing toward parcel as people increase online ordering and as it is becoming the main method of purchase.” Some analysts say the pandemic highlighted the problem of relying too heavily on one geographic area or on too-few suppliers and could spur companies to diversify to reduce risk in their supply chains. When merchants increase suppliers to fortify their supply chains, they also need to mitigate the risks that it creates, advises Sutherland. “This onslaught of new vendors requires
Intelligence-gathering tools are likely to seem like a wiser investment post-pandemic, as many retailers struggled with getting and acting on localized intelligence about the plans of health department or state officials. It’s the type of challenge that crisis event management platforms are designed to overcome—facilitating an organization’s ability to gather information, assess risk, locate people and places at risk, and take mitigation measures in line with the risk.
nimble processes to properly vet smaller businesses to guard against fraudulent activity that could affect inventory or the risks for merchants and marketplaces,” she said.
LP has experience turning crisis into professional opportunity, according to Karl Langhorst, “During the avian flu, loss prevention—in many organizations—was looked upon as an integral business partner in the pandemic planning process and in many cases gained a seat, or their seat was elevated at the corporate table.” A similar opportunity is being presented by the current tragedy, he suggested. “Disruption is the new normal, and loss prevention practitioners are being provided a unique opportunity to elevate our profession to a new level never seen before.” While learnings and subsequent business process changes from that previous pandemic surely helped prepare many retailers for COVID-19, others may have felt a bit like they were building a plane while in the air, according to postings on online forums. As retail organizations turn to postmortems of their handling of the COVID-19 crisis, some are likely to give themselves middling marks. The fact is, despite an increasing focus on resilience as a core business objective, many retail organizations have trouble managing low-probability, high-impact crisis events. Plans may not be the problem. Surveys show most companies have crisis contingency plans, yet crisis events routinely result in their collapse. According to “Are Sensation Seekers in Control? A Study in Crisis Preparedness,” research published in Risk Management (vol. 16, no. 1) by Zachary Sheaffer and Yael Brender-Ilan, inadequate preparedness and crisis response is a
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
Leadership Styles Transactional Assumptions People are motivated by reward and punishment. Social systems work best with a clear chain of command. When people have agreed to do a job, a part of the deal is that they cede all authority to their manager. The prime purpose of a subordinate is to do what their manager tells them to do.
The transactional leader works through creating clear structures whereby it is clear what is required of their subordinates and the rewards that they get for following orders.
People will follow a person who inspires them.
Transformational leaders are always visible and will stand up to be counted rather than hide behind their troops. They show by their attitudes and actions how everyone else should behave.
A person with vision and passion can achieve great things. The way to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy.
Uses management by exception, working on the principle that if something is operating to defined—and hence expected—performance, then it does not need attention.
Make continued efforts to motivate and rally their followers, constantly doing the rounds, listening, soothing, and enthusing.
people problem. Crises often move faster than decision-makers. While many crisis events are, by their nature, impossible to predict, the impact they have on organizations can be dramatically curtailed if an organization is crisis prepared and managers are more adequately prepared to effectively manage the resultant disruption. That raises a key question: if you want a management team that can help direct the organization toward crisis preparedness, what types of leadership traits should you be looking for? In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s a question likely to take on more significance. Many retailers may be looking at personnel for their ability to provide leadership in times of crisis to improve the company’s resiliency in future events. So who makes the best crisis managers? Researchers conducted a series of questionnaires with managers to advance understanding of the link between crisis preparedness and leadership style, and to learn how leadership capabilities may be evaluated before a crisis. Two chief leadership styles—transformational
and transactional—were found to produce managers with very different capabilities for steering an organization through a crisis. “We found that transformational leaders are less likely to endorse crisis rationalizations; hence, these leaders are crisis prepared, whereas their transactional counterparts appear to sanction crisis rationalizations and are therefore crisis prone.” The study has a practical implication: encourage lower-level leaders to be attuned to the merits of transformational leadership, say researchers. “Preparing organizations for crises is not merely technical; it entails the organization-wide mobilization of competencies, willingness, and enthusiasm.” The odds of an organization surviving future crisis events are greatly enhanced if it conscientiously mobilizes transformational leadership to enhance crisis preparedness, researchers concluded.
Studies show companies tend to respond better to a crisis the second time around. That is, one of the best LP MAGAZINE
ways to become disaster-ready is, unfortunately, to experience a disaster. But what and how much your retail organization learns from the COVID-19 global health crisis significantly depends on the type of crisis-management structure in place. Understanding the link is critical for maximizing “lessons learned” and preventing wrongheaded fixes that could potentially be harmful when other types of disasters hit. Extracting and acting on lessons learned will be vital—not only for retailers to return to profitability but also because we’re not necessarily past the crisis. “We may experience multiple waves of this virus,” McIndoe warned. “Retailers and LP need to prepare for another wave.” In the immediate future, Ahrens suggested the following game plan for LP leaders to help firm up their position to lead and meet future challenges: ■ Create a strategic plan—processes, plans, goals, and metrics. “Be specific in your goals.” ■ Document and record all recoveries/revenue to the organization.
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
A Framework of Management, Learning and Implementation in Response to Crisis Centralized top management crisis response
Promotion of structured organizational flexibility
Decentralized top managerial crisis response
Promotion of structured organizatinal reform (Source: Deverell and Olsson 2009)
some noise. “Communicate successes, especially those that show relationships with law enforcement or other peer loss prevention and asset protection professionals.” ■ Prepare an elevator pitch. “A thirty-second or one-minute overview on what the group is doing, work that needs to be done, and successes,” said Ahrens. “Everyone in your group should practice it. You never know when you will get time with an executive.” ■ Create a short monthly list of accomplishments and distribute (via email, Intranet, and so forth.) ■ Identify and cultivate your “A” players and be prepared to make tough decisions quickly. The goal of a detailed post-crisis review is to fix plan flaws and capture the lessons learned. According to Michael Blythe, author of Business Continuity Management, leaders should always ask these questions during post-event auditing:
pre-event assessments identify risks and grade them appropriately? Why not? ■ Did our mitigation measures offset the risks? Why not? ■ Were managers properly prepared, and did they apply contingency plans? ■ Has risk now changed post-incident? ■ How should immediate, interim, and long-term strategic plans be changed? ■ What approaches, training, policies, and plans need to be adjusted? While most retailers and departments are likely to ask themselves the questions above, it’s important to be aware that approaches to crisis response come with a bias. The type of crisis-management style you have in place will color the way you learn from COVID-19. At one end of the crisis-response spectrum is a centralized crisis-management style. Retailers or departments with this approach consolidate authority and decision-making among higher managerial levels during an event. They reduce the number of people in the loop of influence. Those who subscribe to this approach believe that putting power in the hands of MAY–JUNE 2020
fewer executives promotes a fast and coordinated response to incidents. At the other end is a more decentralized response, which seeks to empower individual stores, departments, and people to manage and respond to crisis. Publix Super Markets seemed to fall into this category. While many grocers standardized safety precautions chainwide, it let store managers choose measures based on their view of local conditions. This approach structures crisis response around daily roles and responsibilities and policies, as opposed to consolidating authority up the chain of command. Advocates of this approach believe it raises crisis awareness and knowledge and makes the organization less dependent on top managers to initiate response and manage crises. Most organizations have characteristics of each within their crisis-management styles, but an organization—or a global loss prevention department—will typically fall more into one category than the other. To the question that naturally follows—which is better?—there is no clear answer. Both have their advocates among crisis-management experts. Taking a step back to assess your crisis style is important because it will affect what and how you learn from a crisis event, according to studies of organizations post-disaster, including a study published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (vol. 6, no. 1), “Learning from Crisis: A Framework of Management, Learning and Implementation in Response to Crises” (Edward Deverell and Eva-Karin Olsson 2009). After a crisis event, the managerial group presiding over a decentralized response learns “in a behavioral fashion by creating new formal policies and structures,” the
PRODUCT SHOWCASE IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
researchers concluded. It makes sense. Lacking a strong mandate because of its reliance on empowering others in a crisis, crisis leaders tend to spread out lessons learned into the organization. This creates new procedures and policies “so a routine response [can] be applied to a similar crisis situation.” Lessons learned under a centralized crisis management response are more cognitive and personal, according to the study; this, too, makes sense. A managerial group that has strong authority to make speedy, overarching organizational decisions in a crisis is less likely post-crisis to feel an urge to create new procedures that go out to the rest of the organization or to create new organizational structures. Rather, the lessons these managers take from a crisis focus on what they personally learned about handling events. It’s important to be sensitive to how your organization will learn from a crisis to avoid misapplying lessons learned. Under centralized crisis management, the individual learning that will take place among crisis leaders is likely to help a company become nimbler in handling a crisis the next time around. There is a danger, however. If it’s only the centralized crisis leaders who learn valuable lessons from a crisis, then an organization risks losing the benefit of experience when those specific individuals are no longer there or available. Without those top managers, an organization may become paralyzed from a lack of competence to cope with crises. What does this mean? It suggests that organizations with a centralized crisis response, whose managers will learn individual lessons from a crisis, must make a concerted effort to spread lessons learned throughout the organization. Companies with a decentralized process for managing crisis must also guard against mishandling the post-crisis improvement phase. While they don’t risk lessons disappearing when leaders leave, the structural changes that are likely to follow a crisis at these organizations threaten the very flexibility that is often the reason behind their chosen approach to crisis response. Since implementation is based on lessons learned from the last crisis, it might lead organizations to learn the “wrong” lessons or create set policies that limit the ongoing search for new solutions. In applying lessons learned from a crisis event, companies that possess a decentralized crisis response approach must guard against formalizing response to the degree that they hamper flexibility and creativity among the very workers they empower to make decisions in a crisis. LP MAGAZINE
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FUTURE OF LP
Why You Should Leverage OSINT and Social Media Monitoring during COVID-19
By Tom Meehan, CFI Meehan is retail technology editor for LP Magazine as well as chief strategy officer and chief information security officer for CONTROLTEK. Previously, Meehan was director of technology and investigations with Bloomingdale’s, where he was responsible for physical security, internal investigations, systems and data analytics. He currently serves as the chair of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s (LPRC) innovations working group. Meehan recently published is first book titled Evolution of Retail Asset Protection: Protecting Your Profit in a Digital Age. He can be reached at TomM@LPportal.com.
customer feedback, OSINT can also give retailers important context into active and potential threats to their businesses. As loss prevention professionals, we have become familiar with the idea that cyber criminals tend to stay a step or two ahead of security professionals when it comes to using new technology. The same concept has surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic: cyber criminals are using the crisis to launch new phishing scams that take advantage of the public’s anxiety to gain access to their private accounts.
ocial media has revolutionized connectivity because it is so easily accessible: by definition, social media exists on an open public platform. This means that social media can also be used as a tool for open-source intelligence, more commonly referred to as OSINT. OSINT is intelligence collected from publicly available sources and is an effective method of data collection for retailers of any size. OSINT can open a new world of data for retailers, who can then gather data from every public source available and use OSINT tools to narrow the scope of their search. In recent years, OSINT has become a very popular security tool for retailers, thanks to its versatility and easy accessibility. OSINT’s flexibility makes it appealing to retailers of all sizes, from nationwide chains with large teams dedicated to cyber security to local small businesses who want to use social media to track community activity. In the time of COVID-19, OSINT is especially important. Its potential to monitor security threats can vastly improve how your loss prevention team predicts future trends across your business, from sales to safety. With more retailers moving large parts of their businesses online, cyber security is even more essential, and OSINT with it. The public data from mainstream social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, contains valuable information for retailers about how their businesses are perceived by consumers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a lot of users turn to social media to comment on how retailers react to the pandemic or even to reach out to retailers with customer service questions. By developing an organized OSINT strategy, your retail loss prevention team can quickly find and analyze data that affects broad aspects of your business.
In the time of COVID-19, OSINT is especially important. Its potential to monitor security threats can vastly improve how your loss prevention team predicts future trends across your business, from sales to safety.
Open-Source Intelligence in Loss Prevention When it comes to security, physical or digital, OSINT is indispensable, especially when it comes to location-based data. Along with giving your LP team insight into
In April, Google reported more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19, in addition to over 240 million daily spam emails about the novel coronavirus. Like most social engineering tactics, these phishing scams use either fear or finances to create the sense of urgency that provokes victims into falling for the scam. Some examples of COVID-19-related phishing scams include: ■ Impersonating reputable government organizations, such as the World Health Organization, to trick victims into sending money as a donation or downloading malware ■ Pretending to have information about government stimulus payments ■ Acting as a remote worker’s employer enacting new workplace policy ■ Purporting to be a medical expert offering critical health advice regarding COVID-19 PhishLabs is also providing a regularly updated list of the latest coronavirus-themed attacks, such as email lures,
URLs, and domains, on their website at phishlabs.com/covid-19-threat-intelligence.
Beyond Social Media Monitoring: Using OSINT During Times of Crisis
Though the information from OSINT is easy to access, it is important that retailers are using it effectively and efficiently, which involves a two-step process: monitoring and analyzing. For retailers who want to track and analyze data on a larger scale, using an OSINT tool to do the work of collecting and understanding the data is definitely worth investing in. While manual social media monitoring could mean combing through thousands of data points, one by one, before your LP team can see a pattern, using an OSINT tool to search for and analyze the data can find important patterns much more quickly, allowing you to dedicate more time and resources to responding to consumer feedback, security threats, and more. For example, an OSINT tool lets you choose what kind of data you want to collect, such as geotagged posts or images only, to help LP teams narrow down their searches. Echosec, my tool of choice for OSINT, is using their technology to conduct real-time monitoring of the COVID-19 crisis, collecting data from around the world to give people insight into how the pandemic is affecting our world in many different ways. Following their updates can help to give your LP team some ideas on how to use OSINT and social media monitoring to address the COVID-19 pandemic specifically. Though it is difficult, if not nearly impossible, for businesses to have prepared for a crisis like the global COVID-19 pandemic, retailers can still adapt how they respond during this crisis. Clearly, OSINT is an invaluable tool for loss prevention and security teams, but you can also use the data from OSINT to help other parts of your business, such as sales and marketing. One of the many unfortunate consequences of the COVID-19 crisis is how retailers of all sizes have taken a hit due to a drop in sales and interruptions to their supply chains. If you are already investing in an OSINT tool, then I recommend using it in as many ways as possible. An OSINT tool can collect a vast range of data from users discussing your organization on social media, which includes how they feel about your products, your service, or your overall reputation during the crisis. For example, Top Rank Marketing suggests adjusting your OSINT tool’s dashboard to collect data about topics, questions, and concerns beyond your typical searches. Like many new technologies, OSINT can be a powerful tool, but it should only make up one part of your loss prevention strategy. As loss prevention professionals, it is important that we incorporate technology with a solid understanding of human behavior and society, so we can protect our physical and digital assets at work while educating consumers about proper cyber-security techniques at home. LP MAGAZINE
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Excellence in Community Service
The Retail Industry and Everyday Retail Heroes
n response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we found a clear need to handle the Magpie Awards a little differently for this issue. In the face of these unprecedented conditions, this is truly a time to come together and show the character of the human spirit. Community service is such an integral part of society, bringing people together for a common cause while underscoring the importance of compassion and understanding. This type of commitment does more than solve problems and fill needs; it offers hope and strengthens our society as a whole. And as we began searching for examples to share, we were overwhelmed by the spirit and generosity of the retail community—so much so that this page simply doesn’t have adequate space to highlight the tremendous contributions offered by retailers and our retail partners. Therefore, rather than simply providing a few examples, we felt it more appropriate to summarize the many ways that these contributions are being made.
Everyday Retail Heroes Our deepest gratitude must first go out to the everyday retail heroes—those essential employees who have served on the front lines during unchartered circumstances. They’ve been tasked with keeping stores stocked and clean and customers safe, all while managing through their own challenges and personal risks during these uncertain times. Health-care workers, first responders, and our everyday retail heroes deserve our sincere appreciation for all that they have done to help keep all of us safe and functioning during this time of need. Yet there’s still something more that each of us can do. Right now, for all of us, every day presents certain risks as a result of the current health threat. But it’s just as true that our personal risk can be reduced—or compounded—by the decisions of others around us. Despite our restlessness, anxiety, and frustration over the guidelines and mandates that have resulted from the ongoing pandemic, it’s still vitally important that each of us do our part and practice safe and responsible social conduct. If you truly want to show your respect and gratitude to the everyday retail heroes, do your part and act responsibly.
The Retail Community Here are some of the ways that companies are addressing and supporting us during the COVID-19 crisis: ■ Repurposing company facilities. To mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, some retailers have rushed to
repurpose company facilities to produce items like face masks and hand sanitizer to support health-care workers, first responders, and the community as a whole. ■ Exclusive hours for at-risk groups. Social distancing is especially important for people at higher risk, including seniors and those with underlying health concerns. Many retailers have taken steps to reserve exclusive shopping hours for at-risk groups, alleviating stress for these customers and their loved ones. ■ Safe shopping. Retailers have taken additional steps to provide customers with a safe and clean environment. Stores have limited store traffic, installed sneeze guards at registers, developed plans to encourage social distancing, and created additional procedures for hygiene, handwashing, sanitation, food handling, and cleaning high-touch surfaces. ■ Delivery. To maintain operations and normalcy for customers who still need food, prescriptions, and other essentials, many retailers and restaurants have adapted their pick-up and delivery options, offering contactless delivery, curbside pickup, and/or waiving delivery fees. ■ Donations. As the crisis escalated, retailers moved quickly to donate money, food, and other resources to hospitals, organizations working to prevent the spread of the virus, and those impacted by the pandemic. ■ Education. With the education system turned upside down, some companies are also supporting students through meal programs, as well as parents, teachers, and schools during the shift to digital learning. ■ Employee assistance. Many retailers have provided pay and benefits to employees during the crisis, and some have gone the extra mile to ensure workers have additional resources necessary to support themselves and their families during store closures. Some that have remained open have offered cash bonuses and hired additional workers to manage demand during the crisis.
See More on Our Website While lives can never be measured in terms of dollars, the generosity of the retail industry in the face of this devastating crisis exemplifies the spirit of community and the importance of giving back. For additional details regarding the contributions that retail companies have made during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of companies who have made significant contributions, visit our website at losspreventionmedia.com.
Flas100/All kind of people/Shutterstock.com Photo illustration by SPARK Publications
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC
SOLUTIONS PROVIDERS PIVOT THEIR BUSINESSES TO MEET CUSTOMER AND COMMUNITY NEEDS By James Lee, LPC, LPM Executive Editor
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC
s the world effectively shut down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers were not the only businesses impacted. Solutions providers who partner with retailers have had to pivot their businesses to support their customers in different ways as well as change their way of doing business in a world of travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. We asked the magazine’s Vendor Advisory Board members to offer their insights into how they navigated this unprecedented time and how they view changes that will be necessary going forward. Here are some of their comments.
to evolve daily with the movement of the COVID-19 crisis and the directives administered by federal and state governments and public health officials. As we tentatively look toward the future and more “nonessential” businesses begin to open their doors again, there are a number of technological solutions we’re certain to see gain momentum throughout the marketplace. Solutions that may not have been top priorities for retail outlets and distribution centers in the past, such as thermal imaging, EST systems, and people counting, may quickly rise to the top of the list as locations grapple with new state and federal mandates on occupancy thresholds and continued social distancing recommendations.
skin surface temperature on its own is not indicative of illness, and that COVID-19-positive individuals may be asymptomatic and still be contagious. Prior to implementation, it is critical for businesses to evaluate whether an EST system has undergone the FDA clearance process and be prepared to follow the FDA’s adjunctive use requirements, which include using the system alongside a primary means of confirming a fever, such as a medical thermometer. Businesses should also seek appropriate input from their legal teams to develop protocols following the confirmation of a fever and ensure its collection of skin temperature and fever data complies with all applicable laws concerning privacy and confidential health information.
“Thermal imaging solutions and infrared cameras—more aptly called elevated skin temperature (EST) systems since they can only detect possible elevated skin surface temperature—have predictably continued to generate heightened interest in the industry over the last several months.” – Lisa Ciappetta, ADT Commercial LISA CIAPPETTA
Vice President, National Account Strategy, ADT Commercial
s organizations have had to continuously shift to navigate the COVID-19 public health crisis over these past few months, it’s become increasingly apparent that we’ll begin witnessing quite a few substantial operational shifts across industries as we try to gauge what a post-pandemic world might look like. For the retail sector, this impact has been immediate. And in some cases, especially for any location that’s been deemed essential, including supermarkets, pharmacies, and others, the impact has been ongoing. These businesses have had
Thermal imaging solutions and infrared cameras—more aptly called elevated skin temperature (EST) systems since they can only detect possible elevated skin surface temperature—have predictably continued to generate heightened interest in the industry over the last several months. However, immense care and caution should be exhibited for any facility considering implementing these measures as part of their overall security program. While they are being more frequently assessed in retail distribution and warehouse applications as a means to signal a leading indicator of an employee’s, delivery person’s, or service person’s elevated skin temperature upon entering the facility, it’s important to note that elevated MAY–JUNE 2020
Paired with video analytics, we’ve also seen thermal cameras more traditionally used for “heatmapping” in stores, to show where on the floorplan customers are spending most of their time and to visualize their natural route through the location. What was once used as the basis for promotional placement and strategically stocking endcaps can now be leveraged as a way to alert businesses to areas where, even at a reduced occupancy, a queue is likely to form or customers will tend to congregate without observing social distancing guidelines. In a post-pandemic landscape, awareness to these areas will be crucial in keeping both employees and customers safe and healthy. Given the variety of directives ordered by various state and local
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC governments surrounding occupancy levels in businesses as we emerge post-pandemic, people-counting technologies are starting to see a boost in popularity for retailers looking to respond effectively. Once primarily sold as a marketing tool to evaluate turnover rates and to gauge correlations between traffic and sales, people-counting technologies are soon to be deployed as an environmental, health, and safety (EHS) measure—ensuring stores don’t exceed mandated occupancy thresholds and to help control queue areas in locations. As we adapt to the “new normal” of the retail space post-pandemic, we’re going to witness an impact at every turn. Customers’ needs will change, and operations protocols will have to be significantly adjusted. Through it all, we’ll have to reexamine existing technologies for new applications and innovate rapidly to ensure we keep all parties—from employees to patrons—safe and healthy
remote work and collaboration, so we transitioned quickly to a 100 percent remote workforce with no drop off in our ability to serve and support all our clients. Secondly, geography played a role in how our clients and their consumers were affected and how we responded. We were challenged to provide services to a variety of retailers facing unique situations. Countries and regions placed different demands on their “essential” and “nonessential” retailers, and we reacted to support our clients in their various, uncertain stages of open, partially open, closed but operating, and furloughed situations. Since our client services team is experienced in many disciplines, they became the clients’ sounding boards, offering suggestions and support well beyond the scope of our current engagements. Our engineering team stepped in and modified solutions rapidly to meet new needs. One client asked us to adjust their checkout process to reduce consumers’ touch interaction with fuel pumps. It took
pandemic is expected to result in increased retail risks, like fraud, loss, and merchandise returns. Our solutions are flexible and stand ready to help our clients adapt to and change approaches to return policies and other risk areas as stores reopen. Like our clients, we are also looking ahead. Our expanded data analytics help retailers make sales secure and returns streamlined in all channels. We are also finding ways for retailers to recapture disrupted consumer loyalty and increase incremental sales to achieve liquidity objectives. Lastly, Appriss Retail is proud to be part of the strength of Appriss. Our finances and market mix will help us outlast this pandemic, providing the capability to help our clients now with the flexibility to address their needs into the future.
“The crisis did not reduce innovation—in fact, it accelerated it.” – Steve Prebble, Appriss Retail
President, Appriss Retail
ppriss Retail is a business unit within Appriss, an international company with a global clientele. When the COVID-19 crisis began, employee safety was our first responsibility. We already had infrastructure in place to support
a few days, but we deployed it from half a world away. Third, the crisis did not reduce innovation—in fact, it accelerated it. Omni-channel commerce is one example. While most of our solutions operate in-store, they already support e-commerce as well. We have helped retailers adjust to new environments of fraud prevention and real-time inventory. Additionally, the increase in unemployment caused by this LP MAGAZINE
Segment Development Manager, Retail, Axis Communications
ost of our workforce is working remotely; however, we are equipped and ready to support our network of distributors, partners, and end users. The team has pivoted to using video conference calls, relying on software such as Microsoft Teams and Webex to stay connected. We have enhanced our communications
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC
“We prefer the term physical distancing because the context is more suitable for what we have been asked to do. You know that this community is social!” – Hedgie Bartol, Axis Communications by holding weekly operations calls as well as daily digital trainings. Our distributors and partner networks are supporting end users by providing curbside pickups, remote call center customer service, and video calls in place of in-person trainings. Additionally, those partners or distributers with warehouses have been alternating shifts to be compliant with physical distancing and safety regulations. Fortunately, we have been seeing the market lean toward more integrated systems, and we plan to continue in that direction. Today, our focus is on providing solutions for the current unique challenges including physical distancing. We prefer the term physical distancing because the context is more suitable for what we have been asked to do. You know that this community is social! Our technologies can be used to assist with tasks like queue-line management, occupancy estimation, cross line detection, audio announcements, and curbside pickup, to name a few, simply by working to integrate the existing technologies where possible and adding minimally when necessary. The key for us is to listen to our customers and be there for them as opposed to being opportunistic. Being flexible with our day-to-day schedule has helped improve our internal operations as we do our best
to continue with business as usual. We recognize the value of engaging with our customers and have established an open-door policy so that if anyone were to need anything, or even to speak to a friendly voice or bounce ideas off of us, we’re here. We have also developed a forum, like the Axis Retail Leadership Forum, where our end customers can share ideas and best practices amongst one another. One of our core values here at Axis is to “Act as One,” and we practice this every day. We’re all in this together. That goes for everyone in retail and beyond, and we must all pitch in if we have the means to do so. Axis employees have been encouraged to utilize their civic responsibility and to reach out to the communities around us. One example is that we are organizing meal deliveries to security staff and other behind-the-scenes ancillary services at the frontline throughout the country. Another is that some of our headquarter employees in Lund, Sweden, have been 3D printing protective visor parts for hospital employees at a nearby hospital. We are also holding Webex calls with our integrator partners about virtual patient observation solutions, analytics, and audio solutions to improve patient care, and using video as eyes and ears to support clinical staff. It has allowed more patients to be observed remotely and efficiently and reduces the stress on medical professionals, especially when staff is reduced because of infection. We wish our crystal ball wasn’t still in the shop, so we could tell you what the future holds. We don’t know what we don’t know, but we need to be prepared. Having tabletop discussions about the current state of your process, systems, and team is a great place to start, especially your team as they are the most important asset. Additionally, beginning to develop a plan for ramp up and reopening in this rapidly changing landscape is something we need MAY–JUNE 2020
to address week to week. We can do this by looking at our available technologies and how they can be utilized for the future. Do we have the tech foundation that can support us? Is it scalable, or will it be flexible in six months, one year, or five years?
STEPHEN B. LONGO
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, CAP Index
he COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous impact on business operations across every industry. Regardless of its end date, the pandemic is likely to alter the social environment in which we live and work for the foreseeable future and beyond. At CAP Index, we are watching closely how these dramatic changes are affecting crime and loss patterns at customer locations. As the leaders in crime risk forecasting, we have added new tools to our core product offering to help our customers manage loss and risk in this challenging environment. These new tools ensure our customers have the right data and information to accurately assess crime risk for their short- and long-term needs. We have just released our 2020 update to the CAP Index Scoring System. As a part of that effort, we added new mapping layers and COVID-19 data within our
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC CRIMECAST platform. These features help our customers visualize how COVID-19 cases and rates interrelate with crime and loss risks at their various locations. Additionally, our COVID-19 Situation Summary enables customers to view COVID-19
“We have just released our 2020 update to the CAP Index Scoring System. As a part of that effort, we added new mapping layers and COVID-19 data within our CRIMECAST platform.” – Stephen B. Longo, CAP Index information at the county and state levels, as well as a directory of contact information for nearby support services such as pharmacies, fire stations, and emergency medical service locations. During the pandemic, many businesses have also had to change the way they serve their customers. For some, this means an increased reliance upon delivery operations and in-home service calls. Some have had to build these operations from the ground up. These changes have created significant new challenges in terms of the safety of delivery personnel and in-home technicians, as well as the security of products in transit. CAP Index has been working with customers to develop new risk-sensitive delivery and service protocols to help them address these concerns. CAP Index always strives to meet the needs of our customers. At this challenging time, we want to be the Dr. Fauci of risk assessment, providing steady, reliable products and services for data-driven security decisions.
CEO, CONTROLTEK t the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, like most companies we approached it as we had approached past crises. Our preparedness and remote capabilities allowed us to provide uninterrupted, reliable, and responsive customer support. Our long-term relationships and constant communication with our supply chain partners allowed us to avoid disruptions. And our distribution centers, which are considered essential services, ensured employees followed safe and healthy measures while staying fully operational to deliver for our customers. We quickly discovered this pandemic was unlike any other crisis any of us had experienced, and there was no playbook to navigate the unprecedented challenges. We stuck with the basics and focused on our core values. In everything we do at CONTROLTEK, we provide solutions that protect. We are the people that deliver, and our focus and commitment is devoted to our customers. We kept business as usual delivering loss prevention solutions for our retail partners while also evaluating whether our customers needed different solutions to “protect” in this moment. The impact of this crisis increased the concern of protecting the health and safety of
“Our long-term relationships and constant communication with our supply chain partners allowed us to avoid disruptions. And our distribution centers, which are considered essential services, ensured employees followed safe and healthy measures while staying fully operational to deliver for our customers.” – Rod Diplock, CONTROLTEK people, and we began to hear from our customers the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer, masks, face shields, countertop shields, and gloves. We have provided essential security and operational supplies to our retail, banking, and logistics customers for many years. We were able to leverage our diverse supply chain to secure the vital PPE our customers were looking for from trusted sources. These relationships allowed us to also manage the costs as best we could with the current demand and deliver it very quickly for our customers. We are extremely grateful for the partnerships that we have throughout the retail industry, and it has never been more important to us to provide our partners the support and solutions you need. We look forward to continuing to support those on frontlines in any way we can. As we begin to experience the new normal, we are here to collaborate and will continue to work diligently to offer resources, tools, and solutions to best support the retail industry.
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC
Vice President, Client Relations, Protos Security
rotos has always had disaster recovery planning in place and the ability to have our operations continue without disruption, even when facilities or dispatch centers are unavailable. However, COVID-19 has presented an ongoing work-from-home scenario for which we had not originally planned. Fortunately, being a forward-thinking and moving company, we’ve been able to easily shift our software and systems to a cloud-based business model, which has allowed Protos employees to respond quickly while working from home. In addition, the use of various web tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom has facilitated with relative ease the internal and external communication necessary to continue as if we were in person at the office. These are unprecedented times for our nation. These are uncertain times where our security officers are being asked to be deterrents against not only visible subjects but also now an invisible subject. Officers are now expected not only to carry on with their usual security responsibilities, but also to incorporate the needs of providing health safety. We have communicated to our strategic partners the importance of following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control for COVID-19. Cleaning carts, enforcing social distancing, and monitoring
“We are holding more meetings in general. We do not have the luxury of conversing with each other while passing in the hallway or the ability to stop by someone’s cubical to have a quick chat. Discussions and group think-tank situations need to be better planned in scheduled meetings.” – Kris Vece, Protos Security temperature checks are a few things we have had to incorporate into our services in recent weeks. We are holding more meetings in general. We do not have the luxury of
Teams also makes file sharing easy and organized. Internally, we regularly check in on our employees and seek to meet any of the needs that might arise with them personally. We believe the current new normal of social distancing, wearing masks in public areas, and thermal checks of employees and customers will evolve into a more normalized and planned ongoing effort for many after the doors of our clients are reopened. We understand that some areas hard hit by the virus will be more restrictive or have prolonged policies in place. The Northeastern US and California will see more severe new norms of protection, while the efforts will be less severe in more rural states such as Wyoming, West Virginia, and Montana. While the efforts to adjust to the new normal may be different by location, the overall awareness of COVID-19 and its effects will be felt for generations. We believe this awareness will help us to be better prepared for the next major health crisis, should there be one.
“We see a heightened awareness around cleanliness and safety, and new protocols and procedures put into place that will be long lasting.” – Robb Northrup, Siffron conversing with each other while passing in the hallway or the ability to stop by someone’s cubical to have a quick chat. Discussions and group think-tank situations need to be better planned in scheduled meetings. In addition, the use of tools similar to Teams, where all your coworkers are listed and just a click away, helps to keep the conversations easy and enables spontaneous conversations. MAY–JUNE 2020
Director of Marketing Communications and Support, Siffron
s the needs of retail have changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so our business has changed to meet those new needs. While many of our current solutions are still needed, new demands have arisen. These
SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC demands revolve around health and safety products, cleaning supplies and solutions, and increased review of loss prevention products for anticipated increased needs as stores look to reopen. We’ve added products to address health and safety concerns, like sneeze guards, face shields, no-touch thermometers, social distancing floor graphics, and more. We have also focused on our existing solutions that include antimicrobial properties or our easy-to-clean displays and fixtures. Our manufacturing facilities have remained open and operational, but we have increased the safety component for our employees, providing face masks, social distancing markings for areas of break rooms, temperature taking on entrance to the building, and more. All office workers are doing remote work from their homes. We see a heightened awareness around cleanliness and safety, and new protocols and procedures put into place that will be long lasting. With the high level of unemployment and people who are
struggling in our communities, we also see the potential for a spike in retail theft. We believe that we are uniquely positioned to supply retailers with the solutions they need to face these challenges and equip them as more stores start to reopen.
n retail, we have a saying: “Strategy over Stress.” This is the business approach that we have been taking to address the current situation. We also have another saying: “Crisis Creates Opportunity.” This double-edged
“At the end of the day, I just want to pay forward all the wonderful things people have done for me over the years and try to make someone else’s day just a little better than before we spoke.” – Rhett Asher, ThinkLP RHETT ASHER
Vice President, Strategy, ThinkLP
approach not only has us focusing on how to help our current clients
They have a great shopping experience.
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SPEAKING OUT IN A PANDEMIC pivot and adapt during these difficult times but also has allowed us to capitalize on product and development activities. “Strategy over Stress” has also been our approach for our employees and their well-being. When you have employees switching from working in a close-knit, collaborative office environment to everyone working individually from home, this can be a real challenge. However, as a leading-edge technology company, we are uniquely positioned to pivot quickly and adapt to the situation at hand. Early on, we set clear expectations and developed regular daily and weekly touch points between managers and their teams, as well as our leadership group, to ensure efficient and effective communications across the organization. We send out regular encouraging company communications to all
our employees in an effort to keep bodies and minds sharp and have even instituted several virtual company events—water cooler chats, lunch and learns, product development idea sharing, and the occasional frosty Friday! The main goal in all of this was to focus our efforts on ensuring we continue to provide excellent service to our clients to help them manage the crisis as best they can, explore additional product development ideas, and keep our employees safe. This crisis, while truly immense in nature, is nonetheless a crisis. And all of us who have been in retail for many years are no strangers to adversity. From terrorism threats, dangerous crimes, severe weather events, a pandemic, or a major economic fallout, we are resilient! I am truly proud of the men and women who have and
currently work beside me in this industry. They are and have been my close friends for many years. So I am doing what I always do—picking up the phone daily and calling my friends and colleagues in the industry to check on them. I am sending encouraging notes through LinkedIn to let people know they are appreciated. Most of all, I just want to make sure they are okay and offer any help that may be needed. Nurturing my relationships and sharing my knowledge or guidance is the best way I know to lead by example every day and help someone who may need it. At the end of the day, I just want to pay forward all the wonderful things people have done for me over the years and try to make someone else’s day just a little better than before we spoke.
Tired of Waiting on a Promotion? Take control of your future, get loss prevention certified and STAND OUT from your competition.
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CERTIFICATION Interview with Raymond J. Sosa, LPC
Industry Knowledge and Credentials
Sosa is a division asset protection director for CVS Health, where his team supports over 1,000 stores and pharmacies. With over twenty years of experience, he has led and motivated teams within the retail, financial, and pharmaceutical sectors while serving in a diverse capacity of leadership roles. Sosa also served in the Marine Corps and completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Columbia Southern University.
Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification? I decided to pursue my LPC certification for two key reasons—industry knowledge and industry credentials. Though I’ve served in this industry for many years, I was still unfamiliar with some elements of loss prevention before my certification. The LPC was created by LP professionals and industry subject matter experts, and I trusted it would fill gaps in my knowledge. Upon completing the LPC certification, it certainly challenged my knowledge, complimented my existing experiences, and provided further education in functions I had not been exposed to. Secondly, I recognized the LPC held the highest level of industry creditability among LP leaders. As part of my professional development and eagerness to further my career, I was encouraged to join other leaders with this certification. Was the coursework what you expected? The course work was what I expected—a well-organized curriculum focused on detailed and relevant information, processes, protocols, and industry standards. The layout of the online material, coupled with Study Gopher notes, quizzes, and exams made for an efficient and productive learning experience.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course? Taking the course has provided multiple benefits, including increased industry knowledge, rapport-building with other LPC leaders, an opportunity to support LPF as an active member of their advisory council, and an amazing opportunity to lead and mentor other LPC students on their paths to further their development. If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be? I’ve recently been granted an opportunity by CVS Health to lead an amazing group of LP professionals on their paths to furthering their professional development. They’ve each received a scholarship from CVS Health to take the LPC course and exam. The key takeaway I would provide to someone currently considering getting certified is the same advice I provided our CVS Health LP professionals, and that was, “Do it!” Our industry is always looking for professionals focused on continuing their educations, sharing knowledge with peers and partners, and giving back to their organizations with increased knowledge and skills. Like every other industry, many competitive individuals are focused on positioning their careers, so own your development and invest in yourself. As you sign up for the certification, discipline yourself to complete one course per month and stay on track to complete the full curriculum in six months. I’ve learned that students who commit to weekly development time find themselves well positioned to retain the material and have increased comfort taking the exam.
Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam. The curriculum was well organized into six main courses, which allowed for appropriate planning and scheduling. I appreciated that every course contained relevant industry information, formatted in an easy-to-navigate platform. In addition, the ability to add notes and take quizzes were a great approach to verifying knowledge. Upon completing the course, the leadership team at the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) assisted with credentials to schedule my proctored exam. The testing facility was exactly as expected, and I was able to learn that I passed immediately upon submitting my final response. Looking at your own background and knowledge, what information helped you the most? Though I feel I benefited from nearly all the course materials, I likely benefited most from Course 2: Business Principles, specifically pertaining to building an effective program and financial analysis and accounting. During the time in which I completed the course, I had recently been promoted into a role that allowed me to immediately leverage and utilize this knowledge. LP MAGAZINE
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum? The most eye-opening information was Course 4: Safety & Risk Management. Even with my undergrad in occupational safety and health, I was quite impressed with the information and practical processes documented within the course. In addition, the risk management portion provided clear insight into this segment of the industry.
How would you compare the foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken? I’ve been blessed with opportunities to take other educational courses and industry-recognized certifications; however, none of those experiences encompassed all of the aspects of our industry in a single curriculum like the LPC, nor did they provide the same level of synergism and active partnerships. continued on page 38 MAY–JUNE 2020
continued from page 37
Our Success Starts with Our Partners
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others? Though I’ve always recognized my progressive career in loss prevention, the LPC certification helps solidify the reality of a future in this industry. For others encouraged to seek a career in loss prevention, I would hope they recognize the Loss Prevention Foundation’s efforts to elevate our profession and intentions to provide credentials to leaders within the industry.
DOCTORATE LEVEL PARTNERS
Would you recommend certification to others? I would certainly recommend certification to others. As mentioned previously, I currently have an opportunity to lead our LPC certification efforts within CVS Health. This initiative has granted me an opportunity to support others as they pursue the next level of their development. As a leader, the greatest privilege I receive is watching colleagues grow in their personal and professional lives. For some colleagues, LPC certification may be the next step in your development; I would recommend you invest in your development and get LPC certified.
MASTER LEVEL PARTNERS
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications
Recent LPC Recipients
BACHELOR LEVEL PARTNERS
Anthony Auciello, CFI, LPC, Farm Fresh | Supervalu Ryan Ballard, LPC, ULTA Beauty Jonathan Constantine, LPC, CVS Health Joshua Crippen, LPC, Whole Foods Market Christopher Dunn, LPC, Walmart Stores Jason Goodrich, LPC, CVS Health Kenneth Gray, LPC, Old Navy Carter Gulli, LPC, Amazon Christopher Hagerdon, LPC, Ruler Foods by Kroger Dave Harben, LPC, Ascena Retail Group Craig Holcomb, LPC, Kroger Charles Houde, LPC, TransformCo, formerly Sears Holdings Melissa Knox, LPC, Albertsons Jerry Paddack, LPC, Safeway Robert Parks, LPC, Hard Target Homes Michael Rubino, LPC, Village Super Market Duncan Smart, LPC, The Beer Store Johnathan Timek, LPC, CVS Health
ASSOCIATE LEVEL PARTNERS
Recent LPQ Recipients
Angela Andolina, LPQ, TJX Jennifer Bailey, LPQ, Kate Spade New York Andrea Bonilla, LPQ Antwon Carson, LPQ, Stage Stores Richard Collins, LPQ, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Jack DeBussey, LPQ, The Home Depot Terrell Foster, LPQ, Rite Aid Tom Fox, LPQ, TJX Alisha Hess, LPQ, Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana Christopher Kane, LPQ Kimberly Lund, LPQ, JCPenney Skyler White, LPQ, The Home Depot
Professional development is key to a fulfilling career. Visit www.LossPreventionFoundation.org to find out more. SM
Educating an industry, one leader at a time. 38
Dotted Yeti/ Markus Gann/Shutterstock.com Photo illustration by SPARK Publications
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19 By Jacque Brittain, LPC, LPM Editorial Director
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19 executive director at the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP). “We took a look back at retail theft activity following two Caroline Kochman recent galvanizing events, September 11th and the 2008 financial crisis, and there were notable increases in shoplifter referrals after both.” She explained, “Following 9/11 there was a 16 percent increase in shoplifter referrals from court systems nationwide. September 11th shocked the senses of Americans. It changed the mood of the country and the outlook on stability for everyday citizens. The fear, uncertainty, and emotional toll resulted in a meaningful increase in shoplifting. During the 2008 financial crisis, we saw an even bigger increase, with a 34 percent
What Recent History Shows
“Our experience tells us that we are going to see a spike in retail theft and organized retail crime as our stores begin to open back up,” said Caroline Kochman,
“The best defense against organized retail crime is employee awareness. Right now, every employee is watching everyone who’s coming through the door for a lot of different reasons, and that certainly helps curb ORC efforts.” – Ben Dugan, Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail 40
jump in referrals from the criminal justice system. In fact, early in 2009, 84 percent of retailers reported seeing an increase in retail theft.” During these difficult times, offenders who were not employed increased by 11 percent. Almost one in three reported they didn’t have the money to purchase what they took. There was also a jump in adults and juveniles who said they shoplifted simply to survive. Twenty-five percent of adults and 38 percent of juveniles had been asked to shoplift for someone else, and shockingly, 12 percent of adults and nearly 20 percent of juveniles—one in five—were offered money to steal from retail stores. But Kochman and the team at NASP believe the current situation will be even more impactful. “We believe the existential threat we’re now facing with COVID-19 will be both financially and emotionally traumatic, and could lead to even greater increases,” Kochman said. “Times of hardship make it easier for ORC teams to recruit regular people and employees. We know going forward that even after this crisis subsides, once a person allows themselves to make excuses and justify their behavior due to the economic situation, they don’t just stop when the economy gets better. They’ve already formed a habit and confirmed for themselves that theft is, in fact, a low-risk, high-reward endeavor, and they’ll continue to push the envelope.”
Establishing a CLEAR Plan
As retail stores begin to reopen, retail companies have established operational plans and strategies to ensure that the stores open smoothly, productively, and safely. But it’s just as important that our loss prevention teams apply a similar approach to make sure the stores have a plan to mitigate retail crime as the stores return to business. “We’ve heard a lot of bad news about how the coronavirus
SocialDistance/ SuspiciousGroup/ CKA/Shutterstock.com Photo illustration by SPARK Publications
n modern times, the impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives and the global economy is unprecedented, beyond what most of us have ever imagined. At the very least, it’s certainly not a situation that we ever fully planned for. But the legitimate retail community isn’t alone in this dilemma. While stores have been closed and merchandise unavailable to retail customers, that same product channel has also been interrupted for the criminal element that is organized retail crime—and they are anxious to get back to business. History has proven that theft increases after national and global events that have major economic impact. With the prolonged current crisis, retailers are likely on the verge of a significant increase in internal theft and organized retail crime (ORC), and we need to be prepared. In response, LP Magazine recently held a webinar with several subject-matter experts on organized retail crime to get their thoughts on how ORC activity will respond as retail stores begin to reopen after nearly two months of store closures.
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19 is impacting our lives and businesses, and ORC investigations are no exception,” said Ben Dugan, CFI, Ben Dugan president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR). “Police response has been further slowed as a result of the pandemic. Courts are closed, and the criminal justice system has basically shut down. To make matters worse, at least 8,000 nonviolent offenders have been released from jails, many of whom are ORC offenders that will once again be stealing from our stores before we know it. Put that together with all of the restrictions that have been placed upon us due to the current situation and limited field work, and we find ourselves in a very difficult situation.” But for those who have a plan, there is some good news. “The partnership with law enforcement has never been better,” noted Dugan. “The increased cooperation with property crimes detectives and prosecutors has been unprecedented. The detectives are still working, and we’re making a lot of great connections. We’re getting amazing cooperation, and we’re identifying more suspects now than we ever have before. What we really need to make sure we do is take advantage of that and all it offers.” He added, “Now is the time to set our strategy—we shouldn’t wait. While we need to ensure that all our actions fall within current state restrictions, corporate guidelines, and safety practices, we need to take the steps to refocus on our previous efforts and prepare for what lies ahead.” Dugan believes that this includes taking deliberate measures to review previously gathered evidence, verify intelligence,
“ORC groups are actively targeting our employees on social media and other outlets. Many employees have been home and out of work for several weeks and may be vulnerable. ORC groups are very aware of that and are actively trying to recruit employees for collusive activity.” – John Matas, CFE, CFCI, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators “The best defense against organized retail crime is employee awareness,” added Dugan. “Right now, every employee is watching everyone who’s coming through the door for a lot of different reasons, and that certainly helps curb ORC efforts. But these efforts should be organized to keep our employees safe and our merchandise protected. When we put those things together and keep our employees engaged, it helps us put an effective plan in motion.” thoroughly research all available information, complete necessary documentation, and finalize case presentations. It requires following up with ongoing leads, surveillance efforts, and other assessment plans. There should be an urgency to refocus communication and prepare the stores and the ORC investigation teams for the next wave of retail crimes. “If you’re not preparing now, you’re going to be overwhelmed with the new external cases that you’ll be dealing with,” he said. But there’s more. While loss prevention departments and their teams must be prepared to step up in the face of this potential threat, it’s also essential that we prepare retail employees through awareness training and education.
Understanding Our Vulnerabilities
“When the brick-and-mortar stores start to reopen, there’s no doubt that there is an anticipation of significant theft issues,” said John Matas, CFE, CFCI, cochair of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI). “We John Matas need to take a hard look at where our particular exposures and vulnerabilities are, while making sure that our employees know what to anticipate and how they should safely and appropriately respond.”
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19
– Caroline Kochman, National Association for Shoplifting Prevention Matas reminds us that ORC activity will extend beyond merchandise theft to include gift card fraud, fraudulent returns, credit fraud, identity theft, counterfeit money, money laundering, and collusion with store employees. “Collusion between ORC groups and store employees can be especially concerning,” noted Matas. “ORC groups are actively targeting our employees on social media and other outlets. Many employees have been home and out of work for several weeks and may be vulnerable. ORC groups are very aware of that and are actively trying to recruit employees for collusive activity. Cash is the top priority for many employees during this time, and we have to be especially aware and prepared for these potential issues as employees return to work.” In response to all of this potential activity, Matas stresses the importance of keeping our employees informed and aware.
We should tell employees what to expect and reinforce the need to focus on suspicious behaviors rather than appearance, especially with so many employees wearing masks. Controls and perceived controls can be very important, such as using store greeters and uniformed guards for the first few weeks as the stores reopen. We should step up our communication efforts with law enforcement, in-house communications, and our retail partners. Further, we should step up MAY-JUNE 2020
Selling Stolen Goods
As has been true for most of mainstream retail, the opportunity for organized retail crime groups to resell stolen merchandise has also experienced some difficulties in light of the global pandemic. The use of digital platforms to sell stolen merchandise has grown exponentially in recent years, but with traditional shops and markets closed, many have further expanded their online channels to sell stolen products. So what are some of the things to look out for while investigating online auction sites? “Historically, we look for long-term sellers who have big accounts and are selling common ORC items,” said Christian Hardman, LPQ, Christian Hardman global asset protection supervisor at eBay. “But we’re also seeing a lot of newly created accounts that cannot be underestimated if they’re selling common ORC-related items. It’s definitely more appealing right now to sell these goods on these types of digital platforms, especially when other common venues for pawning these stolen goods are closed or unavailable.” Hardman also offers some common warning signs to look for when investigating these sites. “In addition to keeping an eye out for
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“Following 9/11 there was a 16 percent increase in shoplifter referrals from court systems nationwide. September 11th shocked the senses of Americans. It changed the mood of the country and the outlook on stability for everyday citizens. The fear, uncertainty, and emotional toll resulted in a meaningful increase in shoplifting. During the 2008 financial crisis, we saw an even bigger increase, with a 34 percent jump in referrals from the criminal justice system. In fact, early in 2009, 84 percent of retailers reported seeing an increase in retail theft.”
efforts to utilize available resources for learning and intelligence, to include organized retail crime associations (ORCAs), industry associations, and social media outlets such as LP Magazine. “Make sure you use all the resources at your disposal,” he said. “It’s much better to be alert, aware, and educated as to what’s going on now more than at any other time in the past.” (See page 47 where John Matas expands on this topic.)
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19 items commonly targeted by ORC teams, look for sites listing multiple items that are among your proprietary brands, designer brands, or multiple new-with-tag items,” he explained. “While these are not definitive signs of illicit activity, they may warrant a closer look.” Hardman also recommends that investigators take full advantage of all the tools available to them, to include advanced search options associated with most auction sites, and the special investigations teams that are part of the auction platform and available for both retailers and law enforcement. “We welcome and encourage your questions, and are available to help where we can,” he said.
Partnering with Law Enforcement
Organized retail crime is already a tremendous national problem, and the continuous growth of these criminal networks makes it difficult
for retailers and law enforcement agencies to keep pace. Retail’s ability to communicate and work closely with our law enforcement partners has always been a key factor in the fight against organized retail crime. Considering the current conditions, the ability to show patience, be flexible, and communicate effectively becomes even more critical. From a law enforcement perspective, the overriding principle is to protect and serve the community as a whole. Limited resources are available to accomplish the mountain of tasks necessary to maintain order and keep the people safe. “Protection” expands across a spectrum of possibilities while carrying the same meaning to all those in need, with every individual and every business in the community just as important as the next. Still, many federal, state, and local governments have established agencies to work with retailers and combat the blight of organized retail
crime. While resources have been strained under the current crisis, these agencies are available to provide greatly needed support. Decisions are prioritized and resources allocated based on the overall needs of the community. However, under the current COVID-19 crisis, this also means that some priorities have shifted. Even those law enforcement partners that work with retailers on a regular and consistent basis are tasked with new challenges and concerns in the face of the current circumstances. “We’ve had some detectives mandated to stay at home due to the pandemic, which limits our ability to follow up in some instances,” explained Lt. Brandon Brandon Shipwash Shipwash with
LEARN MORE: Checkpointsystems.com/us/SmartOccupancy/ LP MAGAZINE
PREPARING FOR AN ORC EPIDEMIC POST COVID-19
– Paul Jones, LPC, Loss Prevention Foundation the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Organized Retail Theft Crime Task Force (CHP-ORCTF). “This requires a lot more collaboration to try to figure out how to manage caseloads, track suspects, and conduct surveillances to put them at the scene of the crimes, and work with the courts that have been at about 50 percent staffing. “Under the current circumstances, if we have someone picked up on an arrest warrant, that person has to sit in jail until they can see a judge. Once they see the judge, they will be sent home because it’s unsafe due to the pandemic,” added Shipwash. “Through it all, we’re still very encourage by the progress being made. We have a fantastic team of officers that work and partner well with the retailers, the prosecutors, and the courts. Right now, we have a stack of warrants waiting, and once the situation starts to clear up and restrictions loosen a little, we can serve the warrants and get these individuals into custody.” This only further emphasizes the need for complete and detailed reporting, effective communication, and exemplary case management as retail doors begin to reopen and customers return to the stores.
Bringing It All Together
Retail organizations have quite a hill to climb as they work their
way back from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The steeper that hill has become, the more we realize the need for strategic planning, effective management, and strong leadership. But this is also an important time to underscore the true formula for retail success. Without question, sales, service, and everything that is otherwise implied is essential for retail viability. But it’s also critical to avoid the downfalls of retail loss and the lost profits that result. Theft is lost profits—period. Especially now, this is an outcome that must be avoided. We simply can’t afford the alternative. “With all the great advice we’ve received from those who have been part of this discussion, it only makes it more clear that we need to utilize all the resources at our disposal as the stores begin to reopen,” said MAY-JUNE 2020
Jacque Brittain, LPC, is editorial director for LP Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation’s LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com.
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“Be sure to reemphasize the importance of social distancing and occupancy limits. While they may be frustrating to deal with, they can also be played to your advantage by increasing the opportunity for great customer service and slowing down theft opportunities.”
Paul Jones, LPC, vice chairman of the Loss Prevention Foundation. “But we can’t wait. We need to start taking Paul Jones the steps right now—building coalitions with other retailers and law enforcement, talking with store operators and getting them engaged, and training the teams as they come back to work.” Jones emphasized, “Make the extra effort to build awareness with your store partners and store teams. Be sure to reemphasize the importance of social distancing and occupancy limits. While they may be frustrating to deal with, they can also be played to your advantage by increasing the opportunity for great customer service and slowing down theft opportunities. Finally, control your box. Keep exchanging information with your peers and keep networking.” Over the next few months, retail companies are going to be creating plans and making a lot of decisions that will impact the strength and stability of their organizations for years to come. Let’s not mess up the easy ones. To watch the recorded webinar presentation or listen to the podcast version, “Preparing for an ORC Epidemic Post COVID-19,” visit the magazine website at losspreventionmedia.com.
Getting Back to Business Safely W
by Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Dr. Hayes is director of the Loss Prevention Research Council and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida. He can be reached at 321-303-6193 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2020 Loss Prevention Research Council
ell, here we are. Our asset protection and loss prevention teams have planned for organized retail crime, routine theft, and even floods and riots. But probably never this. President George W. Bush, Dr. Larry Brilliant, Bill Gates, and many others have warned us over the decades about emerging pathogens and the likelihood of an actual global pandemic. We’ve even had some false starts including Ebola and H1N1. However, I don’t recall anyone laying out detailed epidemic survival and recovery plans for all individuals, health care, retail, travel, museums, offices, and every other entity. And I imagine very few of us deeply planned for an almost total worldwide economic shutdown. The overriding goal here is to encourage phased, safe, confidence-building reestablishment of more typical daily living before tens of millions of people’s livelihoods are permanently destroyed. We do this by reengineering workflows and human-interaction places and spaces using the best science and human-centered design thinking concepts.
deeply explore and discuss what they’re seeing and doing to deal with and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic (with more calls and a webinar to come). The retailers want to relate good ideas and real-world experiences, and they want good research and development to enable their companies. Corporate offices, distribution centers, and stores are all affected, and so are their suppliers and support partners. And all must somehow function to restore good commerce. We’ve also already conducted two large calls with solution partners and are grateful the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) shared results with us on a call they did with solution providers to gather needed solution R&D concepts since solution executives are constantly talking with their customers.
Redirecting and Repurposing
The overriding goal here is to encourage phased, safe, confidence-building reestablishment of more typical daily living before tens of millions of people’s livelihoods are permanently destroyed. We do this by reengineering workflows and human-interaction places and spaces using the best science and human-centered design thinking concepts.
A major discussion point during these cluster calls, and the regular working group calls, is around redirecting and repurposing human and technological resources to handle the newest normal. Several retailers are, of course, moving store employees around to greet customers, meter their store entry, and help fulfill orders at curbside. Others are now busy nonstop cleaning every vertical and horizontal surface they can find. Many are busy pushing key items toward the doors for curbside transactions. Some LP team members have started deterring suspected shoplifters rather than making apprehensions due to infection concerns and lower law enforcement response levels. They’re even acting in other customer service and logistics roles. These are some other COVID-19 moves LPRC member retailers are taking: ■ Installing plexiglass barriers placed at checkout and pickup points, pharmacies, returns and exchanges counters, and office desks ■ Implementing new safety and compliance audits driven by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ■ Trialing CDC and other safe-practice signage versions, such as capacity, social distancing, shopper directions, curbside, buy online pick up in store, no return, or special returns ■ Providing special training on personal protective equipment use guidelines and examples, proper store behavior and de-escalation, and cross-department training for LP ■ Using LiveView towers to provide parking lot and curbside-operations safety broadcasting ■ Broadcasting special in-store messages
Where to Start: Cluster Calls
Many people have used the phrase “we’re all in this together,” and it’s true of course. Ten major retail chain vice presidents started the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) in 2000 to collaborate with each other and scientists to generate more effective theft, fraud, and violence prevention frameworks and tools. And the key word here is collaboratively. To that end, the LPRC has now conducted two rounds of five cluster calls enabling groups of eight to ten retailers to LP MAGAZINE
Leveraging existing or new CCTV systems Monitoring traffic flow ■ Confirming virtual audits ■ Monitoring events (masks, confrontations) ■ Protecting curbside operations ■ Using different tactics for entryway monitors ■ Rotating shifts differently ■ Providing special hand-hygiene stations ■ Testing mask distribution options ■ ■
Our University of Florida (UF) infectious diseases advisor and a founder of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute (epi.ufl.edu) has been providing very detailed ideas to build on as we design and adapt safe practices that reduce exposure, as well as the viral dose of potential exposures. Listen to the CrimeScience podcast episode featuring Dr. Fred Southwick. First and foremost is reducing pathogen exposure. We do that by: ■ Identifying and keeping infected people out of confined spaces and away from uninfected people. Our retailers are trialing quick-ask symptom surveys, using fever apps, disposable or easy-to-use thermometers, or thermal cameras to keep people with symptoms, including elevated body temperatures, out of the workplace. New tactics and tech are emerging weekly to help us with this task. ■ Reducing airborne viral spread via physical separation, not directly talking at anyone (watch where our mouths are aimed), and using plastic shields, and of course masking. Tech is enabling store operators to meter customers into their store spaces, detecting symptoms like coughing, as well as intentional aggression and product tampering. ■ Reducing how many times we touch our eyes, noses, and mouths after touching a surface or viral cloud. And frequently and carefully cleaning our hands, and constant, effective surface cleaning are vitally important. All this guides store, office, distribution center, pick-up and other areas’ layout designs, clear messaging and marking, stock handling, low- or no-contact customer and employee to employee interaction, and sales transactions protocols.
Via working groups, cluster calls, and the LPRC Innovate advisory panel, retailers have prioritized some immediate, protective, R&D-support efforts. Our team has embarked on the priorities described below using our virtual reality, emersion simulation lab, simulated store or engagement lab, and camera connections with multiple stores. Infection reduction mask dynamics are important now and possibly going forward in many ways. Retailers have asked us to make them a priority research focus. Three areas appear important and are now being studied: how masks are providing criminal offenders and aggressive guests anonymity, and how we might neutralize that; how we might reduce shopper and employee intimidation by masked people; and how we might best use masks to provide employees and shoppers more safety assurance. Curbside interaction has dramatically grown and may continue while in-store shopping traffic grows over time,
creating the need for enhanced ways to safely accommodate a mix of two-ton vehicles and a flow of pedestrians in a confined outdoor area. Low- or no-touch transactions are a priority since it may take a generation or more to reestablish close spacing and surface touching comfort and safety. The area layout, technology, and human use mechanisms of indoor and outdoor purchase, pickup, and return are all being worked on to provide suggested actionable packages to varying retail formats. Retailers have been very innovative in creating interior spacing using entry-metering, signage and stickering, one-way aisles, and many other tactics. The team is using our remote viewing and tour tech to propose and test layout and messaging options, precluding expensive actual store testing or repeated scale rollouts.
The LPRC CrimeScience podcast offers two to four new episodes weekly featuring practitioners, scientists, and industry and medical experts providing concise ideas and updates. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. Another significant R&D area is leveraging rapidly emerging computer vision AI to inform managers to better serve and protect, including our team working with UF engineering faculty and Malong and other tech partners to assemble robust human activity datasets and build more powerful algorithms, especially around hazardous behavior recognition.
An abundance of pandemic information is out there from a variety of sources. Our team is working every day to curate LP-focused, actionable information for you and your teams. The LPRC CrimeScience podcast offers two to four new episodes weekly featuring practitioners, scientists, and industry and medical experts providing concise ideas and updates. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. And our COVID-19 landing page at lpresearch.org/covid-19-resources is updated daily with new resource links and studies.
2020 LPRC IMPACT and STRATEGY@
Finally, this year’s IMPACT conference is a full go for October 4–6, as is the third year of STRATEGY@ for the most senior LP leaders. The big difference is that both will be digital using new virtual-conference platforms, but they may still include on- or near-campus components depending on safety and travel conditions near that time. Please reach out to us at email@example.com with any of your questions or suggestions. As always, I look forward to your insight, comments, and questions, and we’d love to someday work with you and your team.
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THE EVOLUTION OF
ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY
By John Matas, CFE, CFCI
THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY
n today’s constantly changing retail landscape of omni-channel and omni-commerce consumer buying, another aspect of retail that continues to evolve is organized retail crime (ORC). The ORC phenomenon has become even more organized, and the thefts and frauds committed have become more complex and lucrative. With the changes in our retail landscape, ORC must be recognized for its evolution over the years. Here is a list of the top ten most important ORC issues and concerns in today’s world.
1 Update the
The current definition of ORC does not apply in today’s sophisticated retail landscape or to the types of ORC crimes that have propagated since the definition’s origin. A current general ORC definition compiled from various sources is as follows: Organized retail crime involves the association of two or more persons engaged in illegally obtaining retail merchandise in substantial quantities through both theft and fraud as part of an unlawful commercial enterprise. The primary objective of these professional crime rings is to steal from retail organizations for the purpose of turning retail products into financial gain, rather than for personal use. Typically coordinated under well-planned procedures and rules, organized retail crime can
operate on a local, regional, national, or international scale. These intricate criminal operations are responsible for tens of billions of dollars in losses each year that can devastate a retail business. Here is a proposed new ORC definition: Organized retail crime is any organized criminal, conspiratorial attack on the retail establishment. ORC involves the association of two or more persons engaged in illegally or fraudulently obtaining retail merchandise, tender, confidential data, and customer personally identifiable information for the sole purpose of converting it into criminal financial gain. Typically coordinated under well-planned procedures, rules, and technical expertise, organized retail crime can operate on a local, regional, national, and/or international scale. These intricate and highly technical criminal
operations are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in global losses each year. It would be helpful if the retail industry could agree on a concise, acceptable definition that accurately describes ORC today.
2 Current Types
of ORC Crimes
Organized and conspiratorial criminal entities attack retail far beyond the traditional physical theft of goods and subsequent criminal fence of these goods for a profit. ORC groups that attack retail have evolved into the following crimes: ■ Sophisticated fraud schemes ■ Deep supply chain theft ■ Identity theft ■ Complex return frauds ■ Money-laundering operations ■ Creative con games ■ Cyber frauds ■ Near-perfect counterfeiting In addition, ORC bosses commonly hire programmers, hackers, and mathematicians to infiltrate a company’s cyber infrastructure to identify account algorithms in order to launch cyber point-of-sale attacks, web application and e-commerce
TOP ORC AREAS OF THE COUNTRY
THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY
attacks, insider threats, and well-choreographed attacks against a retailer’s databases and proprietary operating systems.
3 ORC and
The introduction of criminal reform by state has obviously impacted the proliferation of ORC on the retail establishment. Criminal reform in any context fuels the “low-risk, high-reward crime” concept. Some organized criminal enterprises, gangs, mafias, and syndicates that traditionally monetized their efforts with violent and drug-related income have now converted their criminal operations to attack retail based on the low-risk, high-reward thought process. Combine criminal reform by state with federal law enforcement investigation thresholds, and you have even more flexibility for ORC groups if they operate in multiple states. ORC groups know that operating in criminal-reform states equals less pain inflicted by local law enforcement, and if they move from state to state and stay under the federal investigations thresholds, they are significantly immune from painful high-dollar federal prosecution.
via social media or in-person, these complicit employees are offered sums of money to process fraudulent transactions, overlook theft, or participate in actual thefts. Financial institutions and credit facilities are recruited similarly for customer account information, personal pedigrees, or to systematically approve suspicious transactions. Recent trends over the last few years have been recruitment of in-store asset protection personnel to engage in theft and overnight burglaries.
5 Brand Integrity Customers observe theft in stores to the same extent employees do. Large-scale theft hits are both shocking and scary when customers observe the incident live instead of on the local news. This creates a brand integrity concern because customers should have a feeling of safety in a retail environment. The brand is also at risk when fraud is conducted using customers’ credit cards or stolen identities. Retailers are encouraged to study this within their own environments by simply measuring customer purchase patterns before and after fraud to determine sales lost due to negative brand experience. Some confidential
ORC groups know that operating in criminal-reform states equals less pain inflicted by local law enforcement, and if they move from state to state and stay under the federal investigations thresholds, they are significantly immune from painful high-dollar federal prosecution. retail feedback shows 60 to 80 percent lost customer credit sales after fraud incidents.
6 National ORC Database
Currently, forty-seven regional organized retail crime associations (ORCAs) operate across the nation, and each regional ORCA maintains an intelligence information database. These individual databases are disparate and patchworked with no centralized or master file. Any smart ORC group knows to cross state lines in retail thefts and frauds, with
4 Employee/ORC Collusion
ORC groups openly and actively recruit retail and financial company employees to be active components of their conspiracies. Primarily done LP MAGAZINE
THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY many operating nationwide. The need is long overdue for high-level data from each regional ORCA to feed into one master database. Retailer and law enforcement ability to research ORC theft and fraud activity on a national level, with access to detailed information at the ORCA level, would allow expedient inquiries and larger case values for federal prosecution.
7 ORC Violence Surveys by the National Retail Federation (NRF) reflect an industry consensus among retailers that in-store violence has grown, and it’s an issue that retailers need to confront, suggested Robert Moraca, NRF’s vice president for loss prevention in a May 2019 LP Magazine article titled “Tools and
Retailers are encouraged to study this within their own environments by simply measuring customer purchase patterns before and after fraud to determine sales lost due to negative brand experience. Some confidential retail feedback shows 60 to 80 percent lost customer credit sales after fraud incidents. 50
Training Help LP Teams Punch Back Against Violence.” Moraca explained, “We’ve always told our people to not resist, so no one gets injured, but how does that fit today’s more violent ORC criminals? There is a level of violence that we’ve never really seen before, and it’s not just active shooter and active assailant, but just more aggression in general.” Industry statistics on violent crimes and retail fatalities continue to increase. This increased violence has negative employee sentiment and increased workers’ compensation claims for AP teams. Many AP teams nationwide have seen dramatic increases in terroristic threats from ORC operating in their physical stores. Many of these terroristic threats come from states with significant criminal reform, such as California.
8 Retailers Owning
Their ORC Problem
As retailers, we depend heavily on industry trade associations like the NRF and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), as well as each state merchant association, to help lobby state and federal government on issues that impact retailers. However, that dependence needs to be shared equally within each major retailer government relations teams. Often, we see that the issues of crime are not on the agenda of the government teams within major corporations. The importance of corporation lobbying efforts on state ORC legislation, criminal reform, and felony thresholds needs to be a top priority MAY-JUNE 2020
of corporate teams and not overly dependent on trade associations to be properly represented on these important legislative action items.
9 Cost of ORC Over the last several years, ORC has been reported to cost retail an estimated $30 billion per year. That amount has been used but never adequately sourced. Knowing the vast opportunities for different types of ORC crimes, that figure is a low estimate that has not helped to get the attention of government legislators to understand the massive impact the ORC phenomenon has on the economy. To understand the real ORC dollar impact, an estimate must be based on more than retail loss in the form of shortage, fraud loss, cash loss, bad debt, and margin loss. You must also include the financial industry’s losses, including those from financial and e-commerce frauds, identity theft, and other nonretail crimes. Adding all these factors leads us to a good, common-sense estimate of ORC loss at a minimum of $100 billion per year. On top of that, consider this scary question: how many small and local retail operations closed their doors or declared bankruptcy due to ORC and don’t even realize it?
10 The Perfect Storm Just like a perfect storm in weather patterns, the variable impact of all the issue above can come together at just the right time at just the right strength to continued on page 52
THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY
Support for Complex Fraud Investigations Investigative Support
In 1968, a small group of law enforcement officers and special agents of the credit card industry formed an organization to represent professional fraud investigators. They formed the International Association of Credit Card Investigators (IACCI), which evolved into the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI). IAFCI is an international, nonprofit organization focusing on the financial crimes industry, especially as it applies to complex ORC financial crimes and fraud. It provides investigative resources and an environment in which the exchange of information concerning fraud investigations, prevention, and training can be collected and distributed for the good of its members. I became an IAFCI member when I first started conducting fraud investigations in 1992. It was and still is the single best resource to network and gather investigative information to build any fraud case. I can’t imagine how you can successfully conduct a complex fraud inquiry without the IAFCI network infrastructure as a resource. I require membership for any member on my team. IAFCI gives its members the means to effectively communicate in a secure environment to promote the exchange of information in the never-ending effort to apprehend and prosecute financial crime law breakers. IAFCI expansion mirrors the payment systems industry’s usage and acceptance throughout the world. Local and regional chapters have and are being formed across the world. Members come together from all segments of the financial community, law enforcement, and retail establishments. Our one goal is to stamp out financial fraud. Member benefits are listed on the right.
Online global directory with access to over 5,500 financial industry and law enforcement members ■ Access to the Visa and MasterCard BIN directory ■ Access to the Federal Reserve E-Payment Routing Directory ■ Development of listings of state and federal laws pertaining to financial fraud ■ Ability to post intelligence and requests on a 24/7 secure website and with CrimeDex ■ Links to investigative resources websites ■
Intelligence Access to intelligence reports, fraud trends, reports on new technologies, and industry tips on a 24/7 basis. ■ IAFCI newsletter highlighting industry and government initiatives and key case activities ■ Worldwide networking capabilities with investigation peers within the financial crime industry ■ Partnership with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to coordinate their efforts in support of public and private sector financial crime and fraud investigators ■ Employment opportunities ■
Training Regularly scheduled regional chapter intelligence meetings with forty chapters worldwide ■ Annual international training conference ■ Ongoing regional training seminars ■ Training webinars ■ Certification programs ■
Legislative Provides a unified voice and resource on financial investigative issues ■ Supports research and expertise regarding financial fraud ■
Special Offer: IAFCI is offering two- for-one membership discounts for qualified investigations professionals. Go to IAFCI.org for details.
THE EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IN RETAIL TODAY continued from page 50
create a perfect storm for retail. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at what drives the United States economy. Retail in the US represents 25 percent of the annual gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 25 percent of available jobs. When you look at what is fueling ORC, you must include the impact of criminal reform, added types of ORC crimes, and ORC proliferation, the minimum estimate of $100 billion annual losses is a more logical representation of retail loss to ORC. In fact, putting an ORC dollar loss to just the United States is ambiguous considering global e-commerce sales and fraud. The retail community faces a perfect storm—the combination of sophisticated ORC enterprises operating nationally and globally, states adopting criminal law
reform, retailers downsizing talented ORC teams and reducing store staff to maintain liquidity, bad actors offering dark web services, and legislators responding slowly to ORC issues leading to an absence of coordinated and effective international response. Yet in this storm, we also have an opportunity by recognizing these ten ORC issues and acting on them quickly to neutralize the storm and slow down ORC proliferation.
To download the organized retail crime infographic, see the digital version of this article on the magazine website.
JOHN MATAS, CFE, CFCI, is the corporate principal of fraud and profit protection for Macy’s and FDS National Bank. Prior to his current position, he was vice president of investigations, fraud, and ORC for Macy’s. Matas has thirty years of industry experience and currently is cochair of the ORC Industry Group for the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators. He can be reached at John.Matas@macys.com.
Connect With Your Crew Let your audience choose their preferred platform to increase awareness and participation. At LPM Media Group, our mobile and digital solutions move meaningful connections from possibility to reality.
#connectwithyourcrew | www.LPMmediagroup.com 52
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Supply Chain Theft Activity
By Ryan Shepherd Shepherd is currently general manager of crime analytics and supply chain solutions at Verisk. He has over thirty years of experience in the construction, agriculture, and supply chain industries holding various positions throughout his career including equipment operator, equipment analyst, law enforcement trainer, asset salvage coordinator, and company president.
hroughout this unprecedented global health emergency, many cargo theft criminals will see this as an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that securing cargo may not be the immediate priority. Several organizations have contacted CargoNet to inquire what the COVID-19 outbreak might mean for cargo theft and the security of the supply chain. We’re in uncharted waters, and it is difficult to know exactly how people will react, but we can offer our observations of how theft has changed so far and potential future issues. For several years, the efforts of law enforcement task forces and agencies across the United States had led to a reduction in cargo theft and the disruptions it causes to commerce. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began disrupting daily life in the United States, we recorded and continue to record a severe increase in cargo theft and the theft of trucking vehicles.
Theft Activity Analysis
CargoNet’s COVID-19 analysis period covers theft of trucking vehicles or cargo between weeks nine and seventeen
of 2019 and 2020 (February 25–April 28, 2019, and February 24–April 26, 2020) when the crime was reported within ten days of occurrence, to control for historical data collection. During this time period in 2020, CargoNet recorded 197 theft events in the United States and Canada, an increase of 49.24 percent over the same time period in 2019. The weeks with the most significant increases were week twelve (March 16–22) with an increase of 150 percent and week sixteen (April 13–19) with an increase of 140 percent.
The Impact of Economic Hardship
Industry experts indicate concern that shipments of food and beverage products, medical supplies, or other essential household goods may be targeted by thieves looking to exploit the crisis. This will most commonly manifest in the form of burglary of parked, loaded trailers. Seal integrity on shipments for some of these commodities is very important, and even a minor trailer burglary event could lead to the entire shipment having to be destroyed.
Cargo Theft Incident Frequency by Location
These groups deceive logistics companies by either stealing the identities of existing motor carriers or creating new motor carriers, which includes incorporating businesses and registering with US DOT. By the time the logistics company realizes the people they hired aren’t legitimate truckers, the criminals have already taken possession of the shipment and severed all contact.
Trucking Vehicle and Cargo Theft by Year 200
100 50 0
Trucking Vehicle and Cargo Theft By Week and Percentage Change 13%
9 10 11
8% 12% 150%
12 13 14 15
14% 57% 63% 140%
80% 0% 50% 100% 150% Analysis Period: 2019-2020 (Weeks 9-17)
Professional thieves are using the outbreak to their advantage. We’ve seen more brazen heists, like the theft of seven truckloads of copper scrap in Riverton, Illinois, on March 23 and 24. Additionally, CargoNet has noted increased targeting of goods that are now in high demand, including truckload amounts of nitrile gloves stolen in Charleston, South Carolina, whiskey in Atlanta, Georgia, and grocery goods in Perris, California.
These cargo theft groups are primarily using load boards to locate desirable shipments. They then contact the logistics company responsible for that shipment and deceive them into thinking they are legitimate truck drivers looking for work. If the logistics company agrees to tender the shipment, the suspects will attempt to steal it by taking possession of the shipment and never delivering it. They have been doing this by either sending in an associate to pick up the shipment, usually with a burner phone and fictitious driver’s license, or contracting an unknowing, legitimate trucking company to pick up the shipment and deliver it to a secondary location where they can take possession of it. These groups deceive logistics companies by either stealing the identities of existing motor carriers or creating new motor carriers, which includes incorporating businesses and registering with US DOT. By the time the logistics company realizes the people they hired aren’t legitimate truckers, the criminals have already taken possession of the shipment and severed all contact.
Report a Cargo Theft
It is more important than ever to keep our supply lines secure. We’ve sent out notices to the transportation and insurance industry that CargoNet will be providing complimentary cargo theft response services to any victim of theft. It is vital that we learn about any cargo theft in this time, so we can work to make sure law enforcement and public health officials are properly notified. If your agency has received report of a cargo theft, CargoNet is reachable 24/7 by calling 888-595-2638 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uptick in Fictitious Pickup Activity
In 2020, CargoNet has recorded fictitious cargo pickup activity from at least five different cargo theft groups across the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has seemed to only empower these groups to continue operations.
Top Targeted Goods
New Product Spotlight With the cancellation of industry trade shows and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LP Magazine is providing solutions providers this section to showcase new products and services available to the retail industry. Please consider these solutions providers and the other advertisers who partner with the magazine to support the loss prevention industry. For information about future new product showcases and other marketing opportunities, please visit the magazine website at losspreventionmedia.com/advertise.
Stop Organized Retail Crime in Its Tracks with ORC Tracker™ Designed to covertly hide with high-demand goods, ORC Tracker automatically detects and confirms the crime, extending protection beyond the store in robbery and burglary situations. 3SI solutions enable law enforcement to locate criminals and recover assets long after the suspect has fled the scene.
Switch™ Tech : A simple switch…to a smarter lock!
Checkpoint’s SmartOccupancy solution gives retailers real-time visibility of occupancy levels in their stores. For stores that have imposed occupancy limits, SmartOccupancy helps store associates or security guards make decisions based on live data. For stores with high shrink rates, the solution can help managers deploy staff efficiently, combating risk and deterring theft more effectively. SmartOccupancy combines the most accurate overhead people counting sensor in our range Visiplus 3D with our cloud based software portal HALO.
BEST’s Switch™ Core transforms mechanical SFIC locksets into electronic access control devices quickly and easily using secure Bluetooth® technology, eliminating the need for physical keys in your retail or commercial facility. Switch integrates seamlessly with your existing access control system and allows secure user management, plus visibility into who is accessing what, when.
Returns Abuse Protection
Built for Retail
Returns abuse is a growing problem in-store and online, and merchants are eating the costs (lost profits, operational overhead, and poor customer experience). Forters Returns Abuse Protection enables merchants to accurately identify abusers, both online and offline, to mitigate returns abuse, while protecting your profits and maintaining customer trust.
Hanwha Techwin America a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions understands retail. The new multisensor cameras enable retailers to choose from a broad range of customizable angles and zoom settings per sensor and offer cost savings for both system integrators and end users.
Reduce Risk: Temperature Screening Cameras for Retailers
Jahabow’s TDL™ Secure Display Cases – INDUSTRY LEADING SECURITY
Easy-to-operate Hikvision temperature detection cameras can help retailers protect people and reduce risk. They easily and quickly pre-screen employees, visitors, customers, and vendors before they enter your business. Pre-screening takes less than one second, is highly accurate, and offers contactless measurement from a distance.
Jahabow’s TDL™ (Theft Deterrent Level™) Series of Secure Display Cases define the industry standard for reducing loss and safeguarding your most valuable inventory. High-quality construction, materials, and lighting beautifully display your merchandise, while protecting it from unauthorized access. We can build to any custom specification.
Safety Face Shields and Barriers: Why Accuracy Is Worth the Investment The Jogan Thermal Checkpoint provides a precision-stabilized, turn-key, US-made, thermal screening solution that meets and exceeds the recent FDA system recommendations for COVID-19 and the global IEC and ISO standards for thermal temperature screening with integrated AI solutions to address both asymptomatic and symptomatic people.
Protection on a Whole New Level The Aero Glove dispensing unit offers a unique solution to contact contamination. The patented “air” dispensing unit expands a Poly Glove allowing users to slide their hands into the glove without contamination. With other options such as nitrile and latex, users contaminate the gloves while putting them on.
Safety Face Shields and Barriers
Sensormatic / ShopperTrak Occupancy Solutions
In today’s “new normal” environment, the safety responsibilities of all companies have been heightened. Use Se-Kure Control’s Safety Face Shields and Safety Barriers to protect workers and customers from spreading disease. We have shifted some of our USA manufacturing to help respond to your PPE needs. Contact email@example.com or call 800-250-9260.
Sensormatic offers many occupancy solutions to help retailers comply with social distancing. Options include ShopperTrak video devices, EAS systems you may already have, or new solutions that don’t require network access. Set up real-time alerts, mobile or desktop. Analyze store or chain level. Learn more at sensormatic.com.
SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE APPRISS RETAIL
Identifying In-Store Inventory Issues Automatically By Garett Seivold, LPM Senior Writer
hen considering the problem of loss in a retail environment, it’s natural to think first about the register. After all, it’s where money changes hands. It’s the point at which the essence of retail—the transaction—takes place, and where opportunity for theft, collusion, or costly errors resides. Examining how money might leak out from a store at that critical Nathan Smith confluence is at the heart of shrink reduction. And it’s also “only half the puzzle,” noted Nathan Smith, senior vice president of products at Appriss Retail, a leader in data and analytics solutions for retail organizations. The bigger picture includes the movement of inventory throughout the store environment. “After all, inventory is money, so executing effective management of that inventory within the store is critically important,” explained Smith.
much stock, that is dead money to a retailer.” Money tied up in inventory is money that is unavailable to benefit the business, be it for marketing campaigns, store remodels, or any number of ways in which it could be used to build the business. It also prevents brick-and-mortar operations from being lean and mean—increasingly a prerequisite to competing effectively with online sellers. From a sales perspective, overstock is perhaps most clearly a pain point for a fashion retailer, where too much of an item means it can go out of style or be replaced by seasonality before it sells. For a food retailer, the overstock problem can also lead to an increase in waste due to issues related to out-of-date products. Unlike fashion retail where goods can be discounted when they are less seasonally desirable, out-of-date food leads to total loss of product.
A Priority for BORIS/BOPIS
Effective inventory management becomes a growing priority as buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in store (BORIS) further transform the retail landscape. “If you have better tracking, you can reinject [that product that wasn’t picked up and not typically sold in that store] back into the supply chain, rather than selling it at a deep discount,” explained Smith. “The goal is to make sure products are in the right place, at the right time, and that you’re selling them at the best price you can.”
On-Hand Inventory Visibility of Understocks and Overstocks
Inventory management underpins nearly every goal a retailer has: make effective use of capital; have the right product available at the right time; maintain honest, strong relationships with vendor partners; and so on. Without a good grip on inventory movement, those goals are not only unattainable but also replaced by opportunities for disappointed customers, missed business opportunities, or vendor theft. “If you sell out of an item, availability is clearly an issue, but overstock is also a problem. Every item is a cost on the balance sheet of the store,” said Smith. “If you’re holding too
Finding Balance into and out of the Store
The primary challenge facing retailers today is having the right inventory balance within the store. To help them rise to it, Appriss Retail has transferred its expertise from analyzing register transactions to those affecting store stock.
Identifying the Sources of Shrink and Loss
Products come into a store and leave after a sale. Getting a handle on when that orderly flow gets sidetracked is a top mission for retailers. Creating Exceptions for Particular Audiences
“The value here is that we’re creating exceptions for particular audiences, be it supply chain analysts or merchandising department vendor managers, store managers, or loss prevention. We deliver that information in a useable format and not buried deep in some massive generic report.” – Nathan Smith, Appriss Retail “We’ve taken our learnings from POS EBR analytics and use that same capability and technology in service of inventory movement into and out of the store,” said Smith. Appriss Retail examines the retail store as a system, in which products come in from distribution centers and vendors through the back door and, hopefully, leave with paying customers from the front door in the form of a sale. “That’s the ideal. That’s the way it supposed to work, but in reality, stock leaves the store in many ways other than a sale,” said Smith. “How and why?” and “Is it tolerable?” are the questions that robust inventory movement tracking helps to answer, according to Smith, noting that it’s unrealistic to expect a store manager to identify and address all the potential diversions for the potential thousands of SKUs in a store. Appriss Retail is directing the same artificial intelligence and expertise it’s been using to identify point-of-sale discrepancies to those related to handling store product. As it does, it answers a range of vital questions: Do we have too much product in the back room and not out on the floor? Are vendors supporting us or defrauding us? Are items selling faster than our supply rate? For example, a computerized look at anomalies from a product standpoint might show a product isn’t selling through at the expected rate, which can automatically generate an action item for a store manager to check if the product is being properly merchandized on the store floor or if it’s stuck in the stockroom. In that way, it acts as a vital bridge between supply chain and sales. A good supply chain system can get the right amount of a product to a store, but it doesn’t tell you if that product is being managed correctly once it’s there.
Appriss Retail’s Secure™ Inventory examines millions of data points that comprise the flow of products into and out of a store and brings potential problems to the surface. Is it normal to have nine pairs of broken high-end sunglasses per week? Or is the product being mishandled, or is fraud an issue in the store? Is the amount of light beer coming into a store what was ordered? Is shelf capacity enough for that size order? “Secure Inventory provides a model for how products should flow in and out, and when they don’t flow in this way, then it highlights the discrepancy for the relevant stakeholder to investigate,” explained Smith. Key to the solution is its user-friendly presentation of data. It provides actionable information on the most pressing issues to the people who can address them. Stores might have access to some of the data, but not in a digestible way that can highlight priorities and possible fixes. “The value here is that we’re creating exceptions for particular audiences, be it supply chain analysts or merchandising department vendor managers, store managers, or loss prevention. We are delivering it wrapped up with a nice bow, saying, ‘Here is the product, here is the reason why we think something is not right, and here is what we think is going on,’” said Smith. “We deliver that information in a useable format and not buried deep in some massive generic report, highlighting areas of interest and providing guidance and actionable intelligence.” Often, we create visibility that did not previously exist or improve what was once a very laborious process.
A good supply chain system can get the right amount of a product to a store, but it doesn’t tell you if that product is being managed correctly once it’s there. Expanding the View
The company’s Secure Inventory module is a complement to its popular Secure™ Store solution. It allows investigators and others to track products and highlight indicators of merchandise issues and identify their causes. It facilitates a natural expansion of a retailer’s exception-based reporting—to move beyond identifying loss and errors in register transactions to also raise red flags in the movement of stock. “We’ve always provided detailed visibility to register transactions, and now we’re just expanding that view,” said Smith. “It gives a retailer overall visibility of where its money is being stored and the ability to rebalance when necessary.”
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Zach Ryan, LPC is now a
district LP manager at Abercrombie & Fitch.
Lou Dilorenzo is now VP
of national accounts at Allied Universal.
Amazon announced the following new hires and promotions: Jayson Sutton, senior leader of web services; Arya Etessam, senior risk manager of special programs; Fernando Uría Ramírez, LP business analyst (Mexico); Kennarios D. Kirk Sr., regional LP manager; Amye Goady, LPC, regional LP managers; Joseph Coleman, regional LP manager of logistics; Carl Veld, regional LP manager of specialty operations; Othmane Khelouani, senior investigations manager EMEA (France); Maxime Cazelles, cluster security and LP manager (France); Kathryn Sturgill, area logistics manager II; Matthew Smees, senior investigations manager (UK); Nathan Oldacres, BA, CPO, PCI, senior investigations manager (UK); and Terrell Williams LPC, CFI, senior manager of logistics LP and last mile. Gary Hamer is now a
Johan Ideler was
corporate investigator at Big Lots.
Mike Geoffroy was
promoted to AP operations manager at BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Frank Benesz, LPC
is now central investigations manager at Bloomingdale’s.
Patrick Nora was named
factory president and managing director at Boon Edam.
Kristina Nagyova is now a regional LP manager for Germany, Austria, Italy, Eastern, and Central Europe at Capri Holdings Limited (Germany). Adam Cooper is now a business unit LP manager at Circle K.
promoted to VP of AP, quality, and compliance at Delhaize (Belgium).
Trev Rhodes was promoted to senior director of security support Europe at DHL Express (UK). Kevin Kent is now
manager of physical security at Domino’s. Vinnie Vancardo was promoted to regional investigations manager data centers and supply chain at Facebook (Canada). Jorge Meza Muñoz is now risk prevention at Falabella Retail S.A. (Chile).
a regional LP advisor at Claire’s (France).
Paul LaBlanc, CPP, CFE
was promoted to senior director of business enablement at Coinstar.
Mark Agruso is now
a senior security investigator at Comcast.
Tom Doyle is now director of LP and safety at Goodwill of Youngstown. Michael Goldman
a regional LP manager at Cracker Barrel.
Johan Akesson is now
CVS Health announced the following new hires and promotions: Tara Nutley, multidistrict AP leader; Bryant J. Grant, CFI, multidistrict AP leader; Tim Judy, district AP leader; and Amy Spiehs-Hicks, CFI, LPC, southeast ORC and special investigations manager.
Denilson Veiga is now a multistore LP coordinator at Grupo D’avó (Brazil).
area AP managers at JCPenney. Wu Jack is now
business development director at Johnson Controls (Taiwan).
Jordan Chacon is now senior manager of LP training and investigations, and Nadia Abuomar was promoted to district LP manager at Kohl’s. Jeffrey M. McNeill is
now a district AP manager at L Brands.
is now prevention coordinator of store audit at Lojas Riachuelo (Brazil).
divisional AP manager at Asda (UK).
promoted to profit protection manager at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Marc Veilleux and Benjamin Green are now
Alexandre De Genaro is now head of business security for Latin America at General Mills (Brazil).
is now VP of store operations and LP at GrowGeneration Corp.
Kelly Johnson, LPC was
promoted to manager of AP analytics, and Jimmy Liu, CPP is now senior security manager (China) at The Home Depot.
Simon Taylor is now global AP manager at La Perla (United Kingdom).
Dennis McDavid, CFI
Christophe Savary is now
William Rich was
was promoted to regional LP director at Forman Mills.
Kimberly Mitchell is now
director of business development, industry, and critical infrastructure at Axis Communications (Sweden).
Phil DeGorter is now VP of LP at CWG.
Ryan Mason, Int. Dip(FinCrime) MICA, CPP, CFE, LPQ is now
Travis Pilar is now
risk management and AP manager at Hallmark Cards.
is now an area LP manager at Harbor Freight Tools.
Murillo Rugerio Cordeiro
Lowe’s Companies announced the following promotions: Luke Moeller, LPC, corporate AP and safety manager; Ellis Clark, LPC, regional AP and safety director; Nic Horst, LPC, regional AP and safety director; and Audrey Kohler, district AP manager. Aaron Hancart, CFI
was promoted to director of business process improvement at Luxottica.
Jessica McGowin, CFI
was promoted to senior investigator at Macy’s.
director of distribution safety and security for the USA, Canada, Netherlands at Michael Kors.
Ross Stores announced the following new hires and promotions: Chester Blair, regional LP director; Juan Estevez, Dave Lanier, and Carlos Rubio, CFI, senior area LP managers, and Kerondo Dolberry and Ronnie Rubalcaba are now area LP managers at.
Joe Box, MBA, CFE was
John Redfern was
Jorgemar Barros is now corporate manager of LP and audit at Maximum Wholesale Grocery (Brazil). Mike Jordan is now
promoted to VP of LP and safety, and Daniel Rikabi was promoted to LP/safety manager at Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM).
Brandon Fleming was
Dustin Mayfield was
Joshua Harris was promoted to district LP manager at Ocean State Job Lot.
Maicon Proensa dos Santos was promoted
regional LP manager at Peloton Interactive. Jesse Charo is
now a field LP manager at Prime Communications. John Feretich was
promoted to VP of LP at Rainbow Apparel Company.
Rite Aid announced the following new hires and promotions: Len Shields, senior leader of investigations; Chuck Lindow, LPC, senior leader of investigations; Matthew Webb, LPQ, regional AP leader; and Julian Moreno, regional AP leaders.
promoted to director of LP at SPARC Group LLC (Aeropostale & Nautica).
Steven Wood, LPEC, CCIP
Glenn Justus was
Jacob Ruiz is now manager of LP analytics, and Anthony Gabino, CFE, CFI was promoted to senior regional LP manager at Tailored Brands. Gary Smith, LPC is
district operations manager at Securitas Security Services.
now senior director of assets protection, Ethan Sommer was promoted to director of technology for AP and corporate security, Debra Heap was promoted to national investigator (Australia), and Peter Nwankwo is now a regional AP business partner for global supply chain logistics at Target.
Brent Hamlin was
Jennifer Peck was
to logistics analyst at São Vicente Supermarkets (Brazil).
Roger Munshaw is now
an area LP manager at Savers | Value Village (Canada).
James P. Carr CPP, CFI, CCIP is now a
promoted to VP of risk and fraud, Joshua Dykstra was promoted to director of fraud and LP operations, and Mike Truax was promoted to director of logistics LP at Sephora.
promoted to LP project specialist at The TJX Companies.
Sandy Chandler, CPP, LPC, CFI is now director of LP, Tony Sheppard, LPC
is now director of LP for organized retail crime, and Kassandra Van Ghle is now an area LP manager at ULTA Beauty.
Virginia Hayes was
promoted to internal audit data analyst at Signet Jewelers.
and audit manager at Union Segurança Eletrônica (Brazil).
an area AP manager at Staples Canada.
is now responsible for threat assessment investigations, and Christopher Mukhar is now a manager, partner & AP at Starbucks.
promoted to market AP manager at Sam’s Club.
Vitor Sergio is now LP
Stephen P. Collins was promoted to director of North American sales at Vector Security.
Kenneth Wu, LPC is now
promoted to national security services manager, and Andrew Partridge was promoted to senior fraud manager at Sainsbury’s (UK).
promoted to area LP manager at Nordstrom.
Adrian Loredo is now a
Brad Milo was
Stan Welch, LPC is
promoted to senior manager of global corporate security and e-crimes, and Jeff Duszak is now senior investigator of corporate security and LP at Verizon. Ryan O’Hara , CFI was promoted to director of LP (Americas) at VF Corporation. Tj Szymanski is now a regional AP manager at Victoria’s Secret. Jennifer Trinidad is
now manager of LP and safety at The Vitamin Shoppe.
Kevin Mrockowski was promoted to program manager of corporate security at Walgreens. Andrea Sanchez is now
safety, compliance, and AP operations leader for e-commerce, Fred Helm was promoted to senior director II, Eric Cormier was promoted to market total loss manager (Canada), Maxime Pepin was promoted to regional corporate investigator (Canada), and Patrick Côté was promoted to market total loss manager (Canada) at Walmart. Christine Cunningham
is now a regional AP and safety manager at Whole Foods Market.
now director of sales at SMS Assist.
To stay up-to-date on the latest career moves as they happen, sign up for LP Insider, the magazine’s daily e-newsletter, or visit the Professional Development page on the magazine’s website, LossPreventionMedia.com. Information for People on the Move is provided by the Loss Prevention Foundation, Loss Prevention Recruiters, Jennings Executive Recruiting, and readers like you. To inform us of a promotion or new hire, email us at peopleonthemove@LPportal.com.
ADVERTISERS 7P Solutions.......................................... 61 7pgps.com ADT Commercial.................................. 19 adt.com/commercial AFA......................................................... 61 afap.com Appriss Retail......................................... 2 apprissretail.com Bosch..................................................... 35 bit.ly/BoschRetailSolutions Checkpoint............................................ 43 bit.ly/smart-occupancy ClickIt....................................................... 3 clickitinc.com CONTROLTEK.......................................... 1 controltekusa.com
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Detex........................................................ 7 detex.com/lockdown21
Guardian Protection............................ 61 guardianprotection.com
Hikvision.................................................. 5 hikvision.com
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VENDOR ADVISORY BOARD ADT Commercial Rex Gillette Vice President of Sales
Checkpoint Stuart Rosenthal Vice President Sales
Guardian Protection Brandon Dixon National Account Sales Manager
Appriss Retail Tom Rittman Vice President, Marketing
ClickIt Inc. Jim Paul Director of Sales
Hanwha Techwin America Jordan Rivchun Retail Solutions & Strategy
Axis Communications Hedgie Bartol, LPQ Business Development Manager, Retail
ControlTek Kim Scott Director of Marketing
InstaKey Security Systems Cita Doyle, LPQ Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Detex Ken Kuehler General Manager
Protos Security Kris Vece, LPQ Vice President of Client Relations
CAP Index Stephen B. Longo Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Sensormatic Solutions Joan Sparks Director of Marketing, Vertical Leader for Americas Siffron Robb Northrup Director of Marketing Communications & Support Solink Rob Tucker President ThinkLP Rhett Asher Vice President, Strategy
Jim Lee, LPC Executive Editor
hese are hard times for many, not so hard for some. It depends on where you are working and what your health is. You cannot control, predict, or be in a position to react to most things. Take a deep breath. It will pass. We can all remember other hard times for us personally. Did i t not pass? I am not going to write about COVID-19 per se. Nothing I could say would change anything or provide any expert advice on what to do, other than to say it will pass, and there will likely be new rules. And we will all adjust and move on with what is planned for each of us. Over the years I have written about personal experiences and thoughts on life’s challenges. I thought I might share some of those with the readers.
Underdogs There has been a lot of television watching these days. I have taken pleasure in rewatching two of my favorite movies—Seabiscuit and Secretariat. I love horses and going to the track. These animals are magnificent to look at and watch run. These two horses are among the greatest of all time; some say Secretariat is the greatest of all time. I agree. Both were what you might call underdogs before they found greatness. Seabiscuit was a poorly trained, beaten, and discarded horse that was believed to have no value. Enter a new owner, new trainer, and some tender loving care. The Biscuit won a match race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral, which inspired a nation during the Great Depression. The race had a radio audience of over 50 million, which was pretty good for 1938. On a personal note, my grandfather heard the race and shared with me the story of America’s best-loved horse. Underdogs do win. Secretariat was the second choice at a special buying auction. Secretariat was bred from the lineage of Bold Ruler who was a speed horse and not gifted to run long races like the Triple Crown events. With a good owner, good trainer, good jockey, and a lot of love, the horse went on to win the Triple Crown of horse racing. The last race was the longest that any horses run. Secretariat set a record time that still stands today. At Secretariat’s autopsy, they found that his heart was half again larger than normal. Underdogs often win
because they have more heart. You may feel like the underdog these days, but when we get through these hard times, the victory will be sweeter.
Things are seldom as they seem. My good friend Paul Jones introduced me to Dusty Rhodes, a professional wrestler and several times world champion. At first blush, one would not be impressed with Dusty. He had bleached-blonde hair, was a little overweight, and spoke with a lisp. He was part of a profession that is typically regarded as fake rather than sport. But you must look under the surface with people to find the true person. I heard Dusty speak at a company meeting. He offered some straight talk and a message that all of us can buy into. He spoke about how you must appreciate, be sensitive, and go out of your way to understand the diversity of others. The real value of diversity is in the collection of differing ideas and applying them to the team strategy. Each little idea, diverse thought, and individual contribution make for a committed team of doers and success stories. Dusty spoke of family. Early in his career he admitted that he had not done a good job of being a father and supporting his family. Being so selfishly driven to your career can cause you to miss the importance of balancing the personal and business aspects of life. On this particular day, he had his son and daughter in the audience, and you could feel the love in his voice when he spoke about his family. A professional wrestler said these things, and they made sense. Things are seldom as they seem. Darkest before the dawn.
Regardless of how tough or proud you are, fear is natural. I suspect that if you are not feeling a little fear these days, you are probably playing it too safe…or not safe enough. And that should be enough right there to scare you. These hard times will pass. Prayers for those who are suffering. Keep your family first and accept the changes.
F ORWARD As we begin to open our doors and get back to work, one thing is clear; there’s a new normal for business. At Protos, we’re ready to help you navigate this new normal. Whether that means helping you enforce new protocols or find new and innovative ways to protect against new types of risks; we are here to move forward with you and to help keep you, your staff, your customers and stores safe.
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Loss Prevention | Traffic Insights | Inventory Intelligence
Safer | Smarter | Sensormatic Protect your people, customers and assets with market-leading smart solutions We are all facing unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now Sensormatic is powering the response to this global crisis with our wide range of innovative solutions.
In addition, we offer video options, such as Personal View Monitors (PVMs) that can deter theft and deliver safety messages. The network versions can be changed remotely as situations change. Plus our source-tagging and inventory systems help efficiently manage the growth of eCommerce and save store associates time.
Our tools help retailers work smart and stay safe. One great example is our Occupancy Solutions. There are many technology options to monitor customers and staff at entrances and exits - to provide real-time occupancy alerts. This can help with social distancing measures.
But this is just a brief glimpse at what we can do. Letâ€™s talk about how Sensormatic can help you.
Visit www.sensormatic.com/covid or call us on 800-642-7505 today.
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This edition is focused primarily on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact of the retail industry in general and asset protection specificall...
Published on May 27, 2020
This edition is focused primarily on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact of the retail industry in general and asset protection specificall...