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Raul Ramirez, CFI was promoted to Director - Asset Protection NA at Luxottica Retail.

Nordstrom Rack hostage update: multiple arrests made  This morning the LAPD announced that they have arrested more than one suspect in connection with last week's hostage situation. While an official announcement will be made sometime today, Sgt. Dennis Beacham told AP that the arrests were made Sunday night. The LAPD told the LA Times that a total of three people have been arrested, with two being arrested on Friday morning and another on Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. The three hour ordeal took place Thursday night, when the suspects took 14 Nordstrom Rack employees hostage, stabbing one, pistol-whipping another, and sexually assaulting a third. The ordeal ended early Friday morning.  (Source (Source (Source

Armed suspect shot in San Diego movie theatre.  Wielding a handgun, the 20-year-old fled after allegedly attacking his girlfriend in a California shopping mall parking lot on Saturday, and was eventually tracked down to a nearby multiplex cinema. "As the officer approached the suspect, the officer gave the suspect verbal commands to determine if he was armed," said San Diego Police Department spokesman Ernie Herbert. "The suspect initially complied by raising his empty hands, but then lowered them quickly into his lap. The suspect raised a handgun and turned it toward the officer. "The officer shot the suspect and the suspect was taken into custody," he said, adding that the other film-goers were able to get out safely. The suspect was shot in the arm and the chest, and taken to hospital. He will be booked into the San Diego County Jail when released from hospital, on so-far unspecified charges. (Source

Where you might not shop in 2013 
Christmas season was a disappointment. GDP growth is slowing. Taxes are going up. What’s the retail industry to do? There’s really only one choice: close more stores. Through the first nine months of 2012, closings were up 25% over the same period from the prior year and the pace is expected to continue into 2013. Even those retailers doing okay are dealing with excess capacity, at least in the U.S. These New Year predictions are always an eye opener but nothing we all haven't heard before. It's easy to make predictions but they never account for the one thing that can always change things - reinvention. And its always in the heat of the battle when all things appear lost that the most creative new things appear and save the day. Or at least for some. This article lists a number of retailers facing some head winds and store closings. But we'll not post them here. (Source

Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. announces Q4 2012 direct-to-consumer comparable sales and preliminary full year 2012 results.  During the fourth quarter, Kate Spade performed at the high end of our expectations, delivering direct to consumer comparable sales growth of 27%. Lucky Brand also had a strong quarter, generating direct to consumer comparable sales growth of 3% and strong gross margins. Juicy Couture posted disappointing direct to consumer comparable sales and gross margins in November and December as the company tightly managed its inventory through very aggressive markdowns in response to sales softness." Their financial outlook for 2013 for their three brands is as follows: Kate Spade “Low Teens”, Lucky Brand “Mid-High Single Digits” and Juicy Couture “Slightly Negative to Flat”. (Source

OfficeMax Inc. has amassed five straight quarters of positive earnings surprises with an average beat of nearly 26%.  Earnings estimates for this office supplies retailer are trending higher, underscoring its Zacks #1 Rank. Gross profit inched up 0.2% to $460.4 million during the quarter, whereas gross profit margin expanded 50 basis points to 26.4%. Operating income increased 8.7% to $44.9 million, and operating margin expanded 30 basis points to 2.6%. OfficeMax is repositioning itself in this turbulent consumer environment. The company is containing costs, closing underperforming stores and focusing on innovative products and services. The company's digital as well as technology and document solutions are also gaining traction. (Source

How Apple inspired the design Of America's first bookless public library. 
Come this fall, people in Bexar County, Texas will soon have an Apple Store-like experience in bookless libraries. The first bookless library, called BiblioTech, will be a test and is set to open on the south side of the county. But these bookless libraries will not replace the current system. Instead they are meant to enhance them. (Source (Source

NRF to honor founder as retailer of the year
Jeff Bezos, founder and Chief Executive of Amazon will become the first web-only merchant to win the award. Bezos has also been named "Businessperson of the Year" for 2012 by Fortune magazine, and Harvard Business Review has him ranked as the number one living CEO. Bezos will receive the NRF's Gold Award today at the NRF's 102nd annual convention in NYC.  (Source

Declining Worldwide PC shipments as tablets eat into sales. 
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to preliminary results by Gartner. "Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by 'cannibalizing' PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. HP regained the top position in worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012, however the company's shipments did not grow compared to a year ago. (Source

Open all hours? Let the shoppers make choice. 
Retailers are backing consumer sentiment to decide whether the state's retail trading hours should be deregulated. Calls from the retail traders associations to revisit the long-standing debate reintensified this week when the United Retailers Federation changed its position to pro-deregulation. "If the major chains, for example ... if they are allowed to open all hours, the 7-11-type stores would be put under pressure." (Source

Swatch buys luxury jeweler Harry Winston.  
The Swiss company said it would pay up to $1 billion for the Harry Winston brand and its jewelry and watches business, which includes 535 employees and a production company in Geneva. (Source

More people flocking to pawn shops 
The National Pawnbrokers Association estimates that there are 10,000 pawn stores in the U.S., up from 6,389 reported in 2007. Recently, pawn shops have found a new type of customer: white collar customers "as small businesses and affluent customers are leveraging their luxury items, art and estate quality jewelry to fill the need for cash." (Source  

Big box retail thefts affect more than the retailers 
"What goes out the door not paid for drives the price of everything else up," said Middletown, Ohio police Major Mark Hoffman. Thousands of dollars in merchandise are stolen each year from some of the largest retail chains and experts say it comes at a cost for honest citizens. (Source

Police shooting inside a Houston Radio Shack. 
A Houston police officer in uniform was working security when he came face to face with an armed gunman holding up a Radio Shack store. The officer came upon the masked man as he was walking toward the front of the store. The officer got off one shot but missed his target, and the suspects escaped. (Source

Man faces sentencing for credit card scam. 
Authorities say Johnson and accomplices used the stolen cards to collect thousands of dollars in cash advances at Mohegan Sun casino and make retail purchases of tens of thousands of dollars in Connecticut and elsewhere. An accomplice testified that Johnson bought tickets to movies that were popular with women. She said Johnson slithered like a snake across movie theater floors before reaching inside partially opened purses and taking the credit cards. (Source

Two people open fire in Kmart parking lot.  
Albuquerque police say a shoplifting suspect suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a car and then shot in a parking lot where he'd fled after being confronted by a store employee. According to police, the man ran out of the store after pulling a knife on a store employee. Then he was struck by bullets fired by unknown people inside a car which struck the man Sunday evening. (Source

Trial date set in Longs Drug Store manager’s death during a shoplifting stop in Hawaii.  Peter Schmidt pleads not guilty to manslaughter and first degree robbery charges in Wailuka, Hawaii. Schmidt is accused of stealing a case of beer on December 23, when approached by the store manager in the parking lot; the manager was knocked down by the car door, suffered brain damage and died on December 28. (Source

Two suspects in custody following Target break-in in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.  Target Security reported to Police that at 2:30 am they were remotely monitoring two masked suspects breaking into the store. Arriving officers found the loading door open and the two suspects running from the store. One suspect was caught quickly, the other was tracked by the Police k-9 unit. (Source

Three suspects use stolen car to smash into a Hutchinson, Kansas Jewelry Store.  Armed with crowbars, the suspects quickly smashed out showcase glass and stole an undetermined amount of merchandise from R. Westphal Jewelers. The stolen car was left inside the store, the thieves only took 19 seconds to hit and run. The same store was hit in December by a shoplifter for a total of $18,000. (Source

North Miami convenience store the target for ATM thieves.  Using a car and a tow chain, thieves ripped off the store front and made off with an ATM machine, throwing it into the back of the car. Minutes later, police believe the same thieves hit a grocery store, again ripping off the store front, but the ATM could not be moved. Police believe the first ATM contained over $2000. (Source

True Value Hardware associate just missed confronting a masked burglar in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  The associate was arriving for work at 6:30 am Saturday morning when he saw a man running from the store. The suspect gained entrance and exited the store through a window. (Source

Hungry Howies Restaurant store manager arrested for $5000 deposit theft.  Investigators say that Richard Williams began stealing from the company in early December, he is charged with six counts of grand theft, three counts of fraud, and one count of scheming to defraud. (Source

A Bronx mom is suing her local Foodtown supermarket for $3.25 million. 
She is alleging that after employees there accused her of shoplifting last Jan. 29, she was made to rip apart boxes and other acts of forced labor for five hours. The mother claims a store manager ordered her and her 11-year-old daughter into the basement to work off the alleged theft, for which no police report was filed. Store manager told The Post the allegations are baseless and he has no memory of the alleged incident. He said he catches three or four shoplifters a week and always calls the cops after taking their photographs for evidence, even keeping them on his wall. (Source

Target shoplifter accused in death of security guard pleads guilty to 3rd degree murder.  The man charged with shoplifting from a Tampa Target store entered a guilty plea Monday morning, the day he was to go to trial for the death of a security officer who suffered a heart attack after a four-minute brawl to stop him. 36-year-old Mervin Bettis pleaded guilty to 3rd degree murder. The Judge sentenced him to 5 years in Florida state prison, followed by 5 years of probation. (Source

Woman involved in armed robbery described by father as 'good Christian girl.'
The 38-year-old is believed by police to be half of a female duo involved in an armed robbery and shootout with a Murray, Utah police officer. Police also say that she's not only a suspect in those incidents, but also in six to nine other recent armed robberies in the Salt Lake City area. Still, her father says he can't believe the woman the police describe is the same person as the daughter he knew. (Source

Last week's most popular news story --

Mall Flash Mob Turns into 200 Person Brawl & Shuts down Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge Saturday  Authorities received reports of a brawl in the food court area of the Mall of Louisiana Saturday evening. Witnesses reported seeing a group of teens overturning and throwing tables, and several cell phone videos show shoppers running through the mall while police chased suspects. At least ten people will reportedly face charges in the brawl and police shut down the mall for the remainder of the day as a precaution. (Source


"A Call To Action"
National Active Shooter & Hostage Certification Program
For all Retail Employees in America

With the events over the last year and violence increasing in the U.S. we firmly believe that, as the retailers' first responders, have an obligation to develop a National Active Shooter/Hostage Certification Program for all retail employees in America. It's time to do our part!



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IOBSE - Save the date! May 8-10, 2013 Spring Conference. Hosted by Limited Brands in Columbus, OH

2012 Thought Challenge Awards Committee

Northern Michigan University, located in Michigan’s incredible Upper Peninsula, offers one of the only baccalaureate loss prevention management programs in the United States. It is offered completely online and accepts up to 92 transfer credits. An affordable investment into a dynamic and growing profession. Learn more here

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Weis Markets Selects Profitect’s Cloud-Based Solution for Chainwide Deployment

Profitect’s Profit Amplification pattern-seeking software selected to improve profit opportunities in all departments and at the point of sale for Weis Markets

Waltham, MA, January 14, 2013 - Profitect today announced that Weis Markets (NYSE: WMK) has selected its cloud-based Profit Amplification solution, a pattern-seeking predictive analytics tool, for deployment throughout the chain. Weis Markets will initially deploy the Point of Sale and Inventory modules of the Profitect suite.

Profitect’s cloud offering was selected by Weis Markets “to provide a single, integrated solution which could transform our teams and stores processes,” said Scott Frost, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Weis Markets. “The ability to quickly impact the top and bottom line and make more informed decisions is a critical component of our strategy to exceed the expectations of our customers.”

After a detailed evaluation of competing industry solutions, Weis selected Profitect’s innovative Profit Amplification modules. “We needed a predictive analytics solution that could identify traditional asset protection challenges, but more importantly, improve the customer experience by reducing out-of-stocks and improving efficiencies in a proactive manner. Thus, reducing the overall cost to our business while increasing profits across the entire enterprise,” said Mike Limauro, Vice President of Asset Protection, Weis Markets.

“We’re excited that Weis Markets is joining our growing customer base. As a first-class grocery retailer, with heavy emphasis on exceptional shopping experiences for its loyal customers, Weis Markets is committed to providing them with the best and freshest products on the shelf,” said Guy Yehiav, CEO, Profitect. “Leveraging our innovative pattern-seeking, cloud-based analytics solution will enable Weis Markets to not only fulfill this commitment to their customers, but quickly increase revenue and margins with minimal IT involvement and easily understand where profit opportunities exist within their stores.”

Media contact:
Catherine Seeds


Axonify. Read how Pep Boys reduced their shrink by 55% by overhauling their LP awareness program. Download.

ORC News - Sponsored by Universal Survellience Systems

Suspect arrested for multiple thefts from Walmart in Prescott, Arizona.  Prescott Police say 24-year-old Zachary Boyd is being held on suspicion of felony shoplifting, trafficking in stolen property and possession of stolen property. Police say they identified Boyd as a suspect in repeated thefts at a Walmart. Investigators claim that Boyd stole a computer from the store after posing as a vendor in November and then sold it to a pawn shop. Boyd allegedly also stole a PlayStation 3 with games, a heater and several other items. (Source

Four male suspects hit a Jimmy Choo Store in Rockville, Maryland for $10,000 in handbags.  The theft occurred Wednesday at the Jimmy Choo store in Chevy Chase; the story has been updated to include a photo of three of the suspects. (Source

Pulaski County, Kentucky to launch ‘Project Shop-Loss’, bringing merchants, law enforcement and prosecutors together.  Two Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney’s will be meeting with law enforcement and local merchants to share ideas, pooling information and focus on the organized retail crimes hitting the area. (Source


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Vendor Spotlight

Study: Retailers Use IP Video Surveillance for Loss Prevention Today, Business Performance Tomorrow

At NRF’s BIG Show, LPRC Survey Shows Continued Market Shift to
IP Video Surveillance in Retail with Intelligent Video Analytics and
Business Systems Integration as Driving Trends

CHELMSFORD, Mass. and NRF BIG Show, NY (booth #943) – Jan. 14, 2013 Axis Communications, the global leader in network video, today announced the results of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s (LPRC) “CCTV in Retail 2012” report at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show in New York City (booth #943). The survey, commissioned by Axis in October 2012, shows the increased adoption of IP-based video surveillance technology by retail organizations and their growing interest in cross-functional uses of digital video systems, such as video analytics and point of sales (POS) integration for improved sales, marketing and operations.

For the “CCTV in Retail 2012” report, loss prevention (LP) executives from 47 national and regional retailers completed an online survey about their company’s use of video surveillance, perceptions about the effects of video surveillance and the additional uses of IP-based digital systems beyond security and LP. All companies surveyed currently use video surveillance in their stores, with nearly 64 percent of stores having some form of IP-connected system.

This survey followed a similar LPRC study from 2010, which reported that only 31.3 percent of respondents had IP cameras or a combination of IP/analog in their stores. Additionally, the use and awareness of intelligent applications for purposes beyond security and LP has grown. The high-level results of the “CCTV in Retail 2012” report include:

Migration to IP Video:
• In 2010, two-thirds of respondents said they use analog-only systems, as compared to about one-third
  who have analog-only today;
• Of those who use analog-only systems, 43 percent say they have an IP migration strategy in place,
  while 21.4 percent would like to create a plan in the future;
• The main drivers for the adoption of IP video solutions were better image quality/HDTV and integration
  with other business systems and intelligent video;
• Only 38.5 percent of respondents with IP-connected digital systems have access to live surveillance
  footage via a mobile device, yet 87.5 percent would find it beneficial;
• “Cost of technology refresh” remained the biggest obstacle for the adoption of IP video, yet the rise of
  cross-functional uses of digital video for improved sales, operational efficiencies and new revenue  
  opportunities could lead to budget contributions by other departments.

Intelligent Video for Sales, Marketing and Operational Efficiency:
• Of the retailers who use IP-based video systems for cross-functional benefits outside of security and LP,
  93 percent have seen a positive impact on operations, while 40 percent have seen a positive impact on
• Nearly one-quarter named “integration with business intelligent video, such as analytics and POS
  integration” as a main driver for adopting a network/IP system;
• People Counting was by far the most used non-LP analytic application, with 46.3 percent of respondents
  deploying this feature, up from 27 percent in 2010;
• Dwell Time Analysis (20 percent) and Heat Map or Hot/Cold Zone (18.2 percent) usage increased in
  2012, while 38.3 percent of respondents use video analytics to detect POS fraud;
• Queue Counters are used by less than 10 percent of companies surveyed, yet 50 percent say they may
  use this application in future. Similarly, while no respondents said they utilize Out of Stock Alerts today,
  more than 56 percent say they may use them in the future;
• Nearly 32 percent of respondents utilize surveillance to help analyze “shopping & buying behavior,” with
  20 percent using video to measure shelf and product placement effectiveness;
• More than 60 percent of respondents said that having no one to monitor or analyze video data was the
  biggest drawback of a video surveillance system, suggesting the need for improved intelligence and
  proactive alerts.

Another interesting stat that emerged from the findings was that nearly three-quarters of executives use covert cameras for LP.

“Our most recent survey of leading retail Asset Protection decision-makers indicates the wants are driving the needs for retail video surveillance, as intelligent applications and additional uses of video are opening new doors for the shift to IP solutions,” said Dr. Read Hayes, director, LPRC, and a Research Scientist at the University of Florida. “Retail executives are telling us IP video gives them greater resolution, flexibility and a much better future upgrade path.”

“The need for cameras in stores for LP and security is a given. It’s the cross-functional uses of digital IP video that will propel the industry into the next phase of retail surveillance,” said Jackie Andersen, business development manager for retail, Axis Communications, Inc. “There are many greenfield opportunities ranging from IP migration strategies [video encoder solutions, hosted video, edge storage, etc.] to looping in POS and video analytics data that are taking IP video mainstream for retailers with a quantifiable impact on sales and operations.”

Axis Communications, along with its software and analytic partners, will showcase intelligent IP video surveillance solutions at the NRF BIG Show in booth #943 from January 14-15. Spokespeople will be on hand to discuss full survey results as well as today’s leading LP and video surveillance trends.

Note to editors: About one-half of respondents work for a retailer that operated more than 500 stores, while nearly one-third operated between 101 and 500 stores. A further breakdown of the respondents, including average store size and retail category, can be found in the Executive Summary. For more details or complete results, contact Domenic Locapo at

Matt Flanagan
Fama PR
Domenic Locapo
Axis Communications


Thought Challenge

Thought Challenge Review

By Tierre Chappel
Regional Director, Asset Protection
Rite Aid Corporation

as published on July 24, 2012

We all know that you can't have your eyes and ears everywhere without the help of others. A good leader knows that their shrink goals can be accomplished when they have a team on their side. A good leader is also a good listener; one should be able to connect, motivate & inspire a team. In Loss prevention/ Asset Protection we implement programs, best practices and technologies that change associate behaviors within our store (s). The effectiveness of LP/AP Leadership to reduce store shrink begins with building collaborative relationships; we must remember that management's attitude is vital and essential for the achievement of any Loss Prevention/Asset Protection goals.



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Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Longmont, CO Lowe's
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On the Move: Home of the Industry's Original - Sponsored by Cival Demand Associates

Raul Ramirez, CFI was promoted to Director - Asset Protection NA at Luxottica Retail.
Jim Crispyn was promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager for CVS Caremark.
Matt Woolley was promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention for CVS Caremark.

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Leadership Advice: Ask Employees, "What Do You Think?" "I don't know...what do you think?" That line can make you realizes that what you learned about leadership up to this point was not exactly right. You might have believed that leadership was about making decisions, directing a team, and monitoring results. Or maybe you thought you were supposed to know all the answers and give them to those working for you. (You're wrong)

4 Easy Stress Busters Stress can be distracting, lower your productivity, affect your leadership, and even damage your health. You need peace of mind to work efficiently and make smart decisions. Get back some of your sanity -- and productivity -- with these tips, translated from psych talk. (Regular business English)

Last week's most popular articles --

10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day Want to make a huge difference in someone's life? Here are things you should say every day to your employees, colleagues, family members, friends, and everyone you care about. They're small things, but each has the power to dramatically change someone's day. (Including yours)

8 Tips for Leading Those Who Don't Want to Follow Want to test your leadership mettle? See how well you do when leading those not inclined to follow. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people may be comforting, it might even seem like a good idea, but it's not the stuff of great leadership. (Thrive on it)


3VR - video surveillance, video intelligence

Knowing the basic interview questions is one thing. Having the answers is another. What's more important is communicating openly and honestly in a professional manner that shows thought, vision and your business knowledge. Try to apply your background to the interviewers business and how you can impact it and add value. The key to a successful interview is bridging the gap between your background and the prospective employer's company and needs. Preparation-preparation-preparation!

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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