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Despite solid December sales, overall holiday sales lower than projected. 
According to the NRF, total holiday sales did increase by 3%, but were lower than the 4.1% increase they had projected. In October, also projected that non-store sales would grow by 12%, when in actuality they only grew by 11.1%. (Source

Walmart is Trying Hard to Debunk its 'Made In China' Image.  
Wal-Mart Stores Inc will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade in areas like sporting goods and high-end appliances in what the world's largest retailer called a bid to help boost the U.S. economy. Walmart says about two-thirds of the goods it buys for its stores are made, sourced from or grown in the United States, citing data from its suppliers. It has previously run "Made in America" campaigns, and in the early 1990s it was criticized for promoting foreign goods as domestically made. (Source

Swatch Group to buy luxury jeweler Harry Winston in $1-billion deal.  
Swiss watch giant Swatch Group is scooping up Harry Winston Diamond Corp.'s luxury goods operation in a deal valued at as much as $1 billion. The Swiss firm will pay $750 million and assume up to $250 million in debt of the Toronto-based diamond specialist. The part of Harry Winston that is not sold will be re-dubbed Dominion Diamond Corp. and will source polished diamonds for Swatch. Adding a well-known, high-end jeweler to its portfolio will help Swatch compete in the luxury market against competitors such as Cartier. Harry Winston will focus the profits on the diamond mining, which was twice as profitable for them last year compared to retail jewelry sales. (Source

Saks CEO to succeed Terry Lundgren as NRF Board Chairman. 
Stephen Sadove, Saks Inc chairman and CEO, was elected chairman of the NRF board of directors and chairman of the NRF executive committee on Sunday at Retail's BIG Show. Sadove succeeds Terry Lundgren, chairman, president, and CEO of Macy's. Kip Tindell, chairman and CEO of the Container Store, was elected first vice chairman of the board, treasurer and chairman of the finance committee, and Mind Grossman, CEO of HSN, was elected second vice chair of the board and secretary. (Source

Apple's VP of Retail, Jerry McDougal is leaving the company. 
McDougal, assisted Ron Johnson and Steve Jobs in building the Apple Retail business will be leaving the company to focus on his family. Sources indicate that McDougal may have been passed over for the number one spot to fill the vacancy of Ron Johnson when he left Apple to run JC Penney in 2011. Jim Beam, the VP of Finance will move into the VP of Retail position. (Source

Cabela’s to open two new stores in 2014. 
With the rustic look of a 100,000 square foot log cabin, Cabela’s will open two new stores in 2014, Greenville, South Carolina and Magnolia, Minnesota. This is the first Cabela’s in the state of South Carolina. (Source

Dunkin' Donuts plans to open in California by 2015. 
The chain announced Wednesday that it's looking to open locations in LA, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Orange counties, starting in 2015. With plans to open 330-360 new locations in 2013, the company's long-term goal is to have over 15,000 Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. (Source

UK’s Tesco facing PR nightmare, ground beef found to be 29% horse meat. 
Tesco’s efforts to win back U.K. shoppers were dealt a blow after the discovery of horse DNA in some beef products caused the U.K.’s largest grocer to remove them from stores and prompted a barrage of negative publicity. The burgers that were withdrawn from stores in the U.K. and Ireland were own-brand products, an area that Tesco has been focusing on as cash-strapped shoppers seek cheaper alternatives. (Source

Jessops to close all 187 Camera Stores. 
With competition from online retailers and everyone now in the world carrying a camera on their cell phone, the camera business is taking a hit. Jessops was founded in the UK in 1935, yesterday the administrator, PricewtaerhouseCoopers revealed that they will be closing all 187 stores and terminating 1370 jobs. (Source

Medical group fined $140K for tossing patients' health records into public dump.
Names, Social Security numbers, and medical diagnoses for more than 67,000 Massachusetts residents in the US were tossed into a public dump as is - no redacting, no shredding, no nothing - according to the Attorney General Martha Coakley last week. For the alleged mishandling and improper disposal of medical records, former owners of a medical billing practice, along with the doctors involved, have agreed to pay a $140,000 settlement. (Source

Zaxby’s Restaurants warn customers of potential ID fraud.  
A Georgia-based restaurant firm says suspicious computer files have been found at some of its locations, prompting it to warn customers about the potential for fraud. Zaxby's Franchising Inc. said in a statement that the suspicious files may have resulted in unauthorized access to credit and debit card information at more than 100 stores. The Athens-based firm says the affected stores are in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Virginia. Company officials say the issue involves malware files, which could have been used to export guest names and credit and debit card numbers. The company says it notified law enforcement of the potential criminal activity. Zaxby's says a forensic investigation hasn't determined whether credit or debit card data left the processing systems of any stores. (Source

Texas brothers charged with stealing 16 pallets of car batteries.  Two South Texas brothers have been charged with stealing about $120,000 worth of vehicle batteries from a warehouse. Bexar County jail records show 26-year-old Justin Harris and 28-year-old Christopher Harris were being held Wednesday on felony theft charges. The investigation involves more than 700 vehicle batteries stolen Dec. 1 from Exide Technologies in San Antonio. Justin Harris faces one theft count with bond set at $20,000. Christopher Harris faces two counts and his bond is $35,000. Police say a tip helped lead to the brothers and the stolen property. (Source

AutoZone employee injured during a robbery struggling with the suspects 
The two suspects, one armed with a handgun and the other with a shotgun, entered the Wisconsin store and ordered the store clerks to the floor. A struggle between the suspect with the shotgun and one of the employees ensued. The employee was struck in the head with the shotgun and was later transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken. The shotgun utilized by the suspect has been recovered at the scene. (Source

Bomb Threat at a hospital used to cover a Jewelry Store heist in North Carolina.  Police believe the two events are connected, but still looking for suspects both in the bomb threat call as well as the smash and grab jewelry robbery. The bomb threat was called in at 2:13am indicating there was a bomb inside the Annie Penn Hospital. Twenty minutes later, suspects hit the Eden Jewelry store a crossed town. The suspects are believed to have scattered hundreds of nails on the street in front of the store to slow down law enforcement responding to the call. (Source

Former Burlington Coat employee returns to the store to shoplift, now facing robbery charges.  Lexington, Kentucky Police are still searching for the get-a-way van and its driver, but have charged a former employee of the Burlington Coat Factory store with robbery. Aarion Allen is accused of shoplifting $500 worth of merchandise concealed in a baby stroller from the store, pushing the stroller into an awaiting van. Loss Prevention attempted to stop Allen but she ran, the van and the merchandise fled the scene, Allen was apprehended shortly later. (Source

Busy weekend for shoplifting in Port Chester, New York.  Four separate incidents took place over the weekend in Port Chester. One of the accused, Baron Blizzar was charged with trying to steal 1000 feet of electrical wire valued at $408 from The Home Depot. (Source

Humans aren't the only ones caught stealing. 
At a grocery store in Invercargill, New Zealand, a three-legged dog was caught red-pawed as it stole a $5.40 roll of dog food. The dog walked over to the meat cooler, picked up the food in its mouth, and quickly walked back out of the store, past a few dumbfounded customers. The dog returned five days later to attempt another theft and was caught by the owner.  (Source



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Orlando Credit Card suspect arrested with $7000 of gift cards. 
An unidentified man was arrested in Orlando in connection to $7000 of gift cards he had purchased from Walmart. The suspect was using stolen/ altered credit cards. Eight counterfeit credit cards were found by police during the search. (Source


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Vendor Spotlight

Tyco Retail SolutionsTyco Retail Solutions and RetailNext Team to Offer Comprehensive In-Store Analytics

New York, NY – NRF Big Show 2013 Booth #2611 – January 14, 2012 – Tyco Retail Solutions (, a leading global provider of retail performance and security solutions, today announced a key alliance with RetailNext, the leader in delivering in-store analytics. Tyco Retail Solutions will round out its existing embedded sensor-based Traffic Intelligence solutions by offering a suite of advanced traffic analytics provided by RetailNext’s appliance-based system. Deployed at more than 80% of the top 200 retailers in the world, Tyco Retail Solutions will help extend the global footprint of RetailNext’s comprehensive traffic analytics platform.

“The RetailNext alliance provides a natural extension to our unified solution for Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS), Traffic Intelligence, Inventory Intelligence and In-Store analytics,” said Nancy Chisholm, vice president and general manager, Tyco Retail Solutions. “Our customers will now have more options for understanding how traffic impacts their businesses, and armed with the most sophisticated traffic analytics on the market, can focus on improving store operations and profitability.”

The key alliance will extend the analytics capabilities of Tyco’s TrueVUE Store Performance Platform to include:

 · Dwell time analysis
 · Display analysis
· Kinetic/Heat maps
 · Facial detection
 · and more

"Retail is entering a new era, the Renaissance of the Store," said Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights. "Successful retailing now requires setting stores in the mainstream of omni-channel commerce as places where the consumer's digital and physical engagements with the brand converge. Instrumenting stores with video and other advanced analytics is emerging as a key capability for making this happen. Store analytics will soon be seen as the omni-channel complement to web analytics for customer-centric merchandising, customer service, and operations in stores."

“We’re very pleased to partner with such an established, trusted solution provider to this industry,” said Alexei Agratchev, CEO of RetailNext. “By offering the most comprehensive and feature rich in-store analytics available, our platform helps customers to increase sales, reduce theft, and ultimately improve the bottom line. This partnership will make it easier for more retailers to take advantage of these opportunities than ever before.”


Jim Caudill
Tyco Retail Solutions
+1 (561) 912-6066
Sarah Murray
Attune Communications
+1 (781) 378-2674


Thought Challenge

Thought Challenge Review

By Chris McGourty
Multi District Loss Prevention Manager
NAPA Albany NY & NAPA Boston Ma

as published on July 31, 2012

Over the 23 years in Loss Prevention I have seen this industry grow & change as I was growing with it. I started my career in Loss Prevention as a store detective at Filene’s Basement as part of a Co-op Job from Northeastern University in Boston. I enjoyed the challenge of catching shoplifters and educating the store employees on how the company was suffering losses and what we all can do to help the company be more profitable. As my friends at Northeastern University became FBI, Customs, Secret Service Agents I thought about a career in Law Enforcement but decided to continue on my career path as a Loss Prevention Professional. At Filene’s Basement I later became a Loss Prevention Manager, Multi Unit LP Manager and Senior Corporate Investigator.

As time moved on and so did I. Thinking I have made it I landed a Regional Director Job with Wet Seal / Contempo Casuals at 26 years old. Very "Green" I thought I could solve all the loss issues. Responsible for 118 stores in 18 states I was all over the United States Training, Educating and promoting Awareness. To show you how "Green" I was I have a funny story while I was at Wet Seal. I had to travel to a security meeting in New York. I flew in and had $60.00 bucks in my pocket. I got to the meeting and the seats were shaped in a "U" pattern and of course no seats left around the Tables so I had to sit in the middle. The average age in the room was 50-55 and I was out of sorts. As they begin to order their lunches, Es’ cargo, Steaks, etc. and the cheapest thing on the menu was a turkey sandwich I chose that. Remember I had only $20 bucks left because my cab ride was $40. The waiter looked at me and said "light lunch". I later found out that the companies pay the bill.

As time rolled on I moved around to other jobs because I was trying to support my wife and three daughters. I worked for Lechmere, Filene’s Upstairs, Lowes, and later TJX as a National Task Force Investigator. I was with TJX for close to 10 years chasing down Organized Retail Crime cases. Over my time there I closed 77 cases totaling around 2 million dollars. I have a passion for uncovering complex retail cases. I have seen all kinds of schemes and frauds in business and personally.

There are many in our industry that think Organized Retail Crime is hype but I disagree. I have seen individuals who live off of corporations. They travel store to store committing Identity theft, Refund Fraud, Check, and Credit Card Fraud. Many think it’s not worth spending the money to have special investigators work these types of cases. What do you think? Promoting Education, Training and Awareness is essential to prevent these types of crimes and prosecuting them 100%.

In my current role at Genuine Parts Company as a Multi District Loss Prevention Manager I get to promote, train, and make all the associates aware of all of these types of crimes and be the go to person to help catch and prosecute them.

Time has changed when I first started my career. We have evolved as an industry and continue to make strides to combat all kinds of retail thefts. The internet has thrown that "Monkey Wrench" in the pot but I know we will find ways to prevent thefts. I myself am looking to continue my education in "Cybercrime" because I feel strongly it’s needed.

We must as an Industry continue to Educate, Train, and Promote Awareness and build relationships with all levels of Law Enforcement, and the Criminal Justice System.



AFA Protective Systems, Inc. Joins The Loss Prevention Foundation as a Doctorate Level Partner

Matthews, NC (January 16, 2013)
—The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) announces its newest doctorate level scholarship partner, AFA Protective Systems, Inc. (AFA). The Doctorate level partnership secures numerous course scholarships for distribution to retailers. It also enables AFA to provide LPF memberships to loss prevention practitioners.

Based in Syosset, New York, AFA is an industry leader and nationwide provider specializing in the design and installation of security and life safety systems including central station monitoring and test and inspection services.

“We are excited to announce our new relationship with AFA,” said Gene Smith, president of The Loss Prevention Foundation. “AFA is demonstrating its commitment to the loss prevention industry by sponsoring the Foundation at the highest level. This level of investment is an illustration of AFA’s dedication to support elevating our industry to a true profession. Our scholarship partners are vital to continuing our mission of education through certification initiatives such as the LPQualified (LPQ) and LPCertified (LPC).”

“AFA is proud to support this worthwhile industry initiative,” said Steve Hyle, vice president and director of national accounts at AFA. “Promoting individual employee development by advancing competency within a profession stands at the forefront of AFA’s ongoing tradition of excellence. This is evidenced by AFA’s commitment to encourage its employees to obtain National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Fire Alarm Certification as well as many other certifications in the technologies, products and services it provides.

At AFA, we view our chain accounts as true business partners. To this end, it is our unwavering goal to work collectively to help them meet their professional goals of achieving individual competency and excellence within their professions. AFA’s respect for and support of The Loss Prevention Foundation provides a meaningful and rewarding path to achieve these goals.

We are honored to serve the Foundation as a Doctorate Level Partner,” continued Hyle.

LPF - Media Contact: Donna Murphy, 866.433.5545,

AFA - Media Contact: Jared Kleinman, 516-496-2322,



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How to Ace the 50 Most Common Interview Questions  Recently Glassdoor released a list of 2012's most oddball interview questions. The moral of the story was that job seekers need to anticipate less conventional questions. However, most companies will ask more common interview questions, so it's important to be prepared for these too. (Your strengths?)

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Sometimes you have to lose in order to win long term. Picking your battles is an art that many never acquire, but those that do are usually two steps ahead of you. So while the loss may seem to set you back, regroup and focus two steps ahead because that's where the winner of the last battle is. And remember always lose with dignity and win with humility.

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

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