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January 31, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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Designated a "level 1" national security event, the Super Bowl makes New Orleans this week's safest city to be in  Designated by the Department of Homeland Security as a "level 1" national security event the Super Bowl is a type of event most likely to be targeted by terrorists. Once an event is assigned this designation, the federal government in a sense overtakes security plans for the event. This in turn means that federal dollars are spent providing security for the Super Bowl. Over 4,000 security and crowd management personnel have been hired for the event. (Source

55% of Wal-Mart's net sales are now groceries, or roughly $244B in sales in 2012  Ten years ago it was only 20% of their sales, or about $48B. Now where did those sales come from? Just look around at your local grocery stores or lack thereof and you see the impact. (Source

Casey's General Store settles CCTV surveillance lawsuit 
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against Casey's General Stores Inc. filed by a former employee who says a video camera was placed in an office she used to pump breast milk. Stepheni Salz gave birth in March 2011. Her lawsuit says when she returned to work at a Casey's store in Garner, she was told she could use an office to pump breast milk. The lawsuit says on July 28 she discovered a video camera had been installed in the office and had been operating since July 15. The lawsuit claimed the company violated her privacy and a federal law that says employers must provide women a private place. The terms of the lawsuit were confidential. (Source

IBM security tool can catch insider threats, fraud 
IBM today rolled out a tool it says can cull massive terabytes of data, including email -- to help customers detect external attacks aimed at stealing sensitive information or insider threats that might reveal corporate secrets. (Source

Ernst & Young’s fraud investigation team has created software that pinpoints the exact language used in email conversations when fraud is occurring  It can also identify unusual changes in tone that suggest an underlying problem and can be targeted to specific sectors, particularly traders, according to a press release announcing the software. (Source

UK’s HMV electronics store employee Tweets of mass termination, going out to 63,000 HMV followers.  HMV is seeking a new buyer for the business and cuts needed to be made, including the termination of 190 employees. What HMV probably didn’t want were Tweets going out live from the actual termination; "We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired! Exciting!!" the employee tweeted to HMV's 63,000 followers. "There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand.". HMV has not responded to the tweet. (Source

Stolen tractor-trailer filled with $3M in cigarettes recovered in Johnson City, Tenn. with help of CargoNet  Trooper Street and local law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle on Interstate 26 inside Unicoi County. The initial investigation revealed the driver’s identity and that stolen tags had been applied to the trailer. It was also discovered that the company logo had been painted over with what appeared to have been white paint. Sergeant Robert Johnson of the THP Criminal Investigation Division was notified and responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. It was determined the trailer contained nearly 550,000 packs of cigarettes with a retail value, according to the company, of $3 million. Further investigation by Sgt. Johnson and CargoNet representative Dereck Magath, revealed that the shipment had originated from Greensboro, North Carolina and was en-route to Peoria, Illinois. (Source

Super Bowl brings out the big league counterfeiters of fake NFL merchandise.   NBC’s Jeff Rossen joins Federal Investigators from U.S. Department of Homeland Security on a search for fake NFL products in New Orleans. (Source

Springfield, Mo. police see "dramatic increase in shoplifting" with a 23% increase in robberies as a direct result  "We saw a dramatic increase in shopliftings," said Springfield Police Major Kirk Manlove. "The robberies really parallel the increase in shoplifting, so that's one explanation that we saw and we haven't seen that before." This last year, Springfield became a target for even more shoplifters, including out-of-state crime rings. Very organized and they steal thousands of dollars. "We saw several of those groups move through and we think we were able to successfully make criminal cases on them," Manlove said. (Source

Peoria, Az., police warning retailers of rash of thefts by "brazen" suspects 
The most common targets are thrift and “dollar” stores, according to police. In the last few weeks, police received several reports of a suspect entering a store, approaching the cashier with an item and waits for the cash drawer to be opened. Once open, the suspect quickly reaches in and takes a handful of cash. (Source

Atlanta Police and Fire Departments are looking for a fake Fire Inspector.  A man impersonating an a City of Atlanta Fire Marshall is being sought by Police after stopping into three restaurants in the Lenox Mall, making off with $900. The suspect charged Subway, Great Wraps and Which’ Wich, all in the Lenox Mall Food Court, $300 each after conducting a fake fire inspection. (Source

Former NFL player charged with check fraud, the FBI wants him to sell his 2003 Super Bowl ring.  Ramondo North played at North Carolina A&T then went on to play in a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now the former receiver may go to jail for 36 years for check fraud. North is accused of trying to steal money with counterfeit checks in his hometown of Charlotte. The FBI will not say how much money is involved, but asked North to sell his NFL Super Bowl ring to repay restitution. (Source

Suspect to be sentenced today in NH, first of three who stole $600,000 from Walmart in a counterfeit payroll check scheme.  Quentin West of Pittsburgh will be the first of the three suspects to be sentenced; it is believed that West helped investigators catch his fellow accomplices. Walmart officials say that Rose and West presented at least 835 counterfeit payroll checks totaling more than $600,000 at Walmart stores across the country. (Source

Man gets 24 years for attempted kidnapping at Thornton, Co., Wal-Mart 
On Jan. 3, 2012, the suspect followed a 24-year-old woman around inside the Wal-Mart before he tried to abduct her at gunpoint in the store's parking lot. The woman was able to get away. Wednesday he was sentenced to 24 years in prison. (Source

Babies R Us carjacker in jail in Atlanta. 
Two weeks ago two male suspects approached a female customer in the Babies R us parking lot, stealing her BMW, and taking her Louis Vuitton purse and wallet. The car was later recovered. The female customer was unharmed and the suspects were carrying a semi-automatic pistol. Ladarius Gibbs, 21 has been arrested on felony armed robbery and carjacking, his accomplice Derek Turner is still being sought by police. (Source

Credit card fraud suspect hitting Walgreens stores in Philadelphia area  
Someone used cloned credit cards to purchase gift cards during the second week in January at different Walgreens Stores located in the Flourtown, Drexel Hill and the Feasterville-Trevose areas, according to police. Employees of Walgreens and other pharmacy-type retail locations are encouraged to be vigilant for this individual and immediately report any suspicious activity — including the use of multiple credit cards — to police, police said. (Source

Man steals a Les Paul guitar in Cherry Hill, NJ, concealed in his pants The man is working with a female accomplice, both are still being sought by police. The couple is believed to have hit the store before, stealing a saxophone. (Source

Greensboro shoplifter files $10,000 law suit against Food Lion for use of force.   Leroy Ormond Jr. has filed a lawsuit in Greensboro, that when he was stopped by Loss Prevention excessive force was used. Ormond was caught with beer concealed in his pants, but is claiming that the Loss Prevention agent threw him to the ground. Food Lion had an incident in December where a shoplifter died after fighting with police and loss prevention. (Source

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Tractor Supply Q4 up 4.7% with net sales up 3.7%

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Two year cross-country fraud ring investigation nets 17 arrests in Florida for a half a million $$$$$  Fake IDs and fake bank accounts lead investigators to 17 people for stealing checks and information from innocent people and stealing upwards of $500,000 over three years. Targeting big box stores, including Albertsons, Publix and Sam's Club the defendants used the checks, along with counterfeit driver’s licenses and identification cards to buy merchandise. They’d then return it for cash or gift cards. Investigators say this was an organized scheme that was traced from among Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Volusia counties. (Source

ORC? Three suspects hit CVS store for shopping bags full of Rogaine and Olay products in North Cornwall, Pa.  North Cornwall Township police are asking for the public's help in identifying three suspects wanted for alleged retail theft from CVS Pharmacy. The three allegedly stole Olay Facial Products and Rogaine men's hair products totaling more than $1,600. Anyone with information is asked to contact North Cornwall Township police at 717-274-0464. (Source

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Checkpoint Systems Launches Interactive Public View Enhanced Monitor Designed for Retail Loss Prevention Applications

Extends Capabilities of Original IPV Monitor With Advanced Design Features, Numerous Media Options Engineered for Retail

THOROFARE, N.J., Jan. 30, 2013 Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CKP), a leading global supplier of shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions for the retail industry and its supply chain, today announced its latest innovation: the Interactive Public View (IPV) Enhanced monitor.

Improving on popular features from the original IPV monitor, like stylish look, remote low-voltage power and the ability to integrate with additional Checkpoint products, the IPV Enhanced now offers programmable pre- and post-event recording, triggered or sequenced media playback, and a built in file browser.

The IPV Enhanced was designed to be used as a loss prevention tool and an in- store marketing communication vehicle, where ads, videos and announcements can be displayed through any combination of customized looping still images and video clips. Loss prevention partners helped Checkpoint Systems design the alarm-driven screens, complete with audio, video, images and/or live camera feeds when someone enters a high-shrink aisle or activates a nearby system, such as an EAS pedestal or smart shelf. Alarms may be activated by video motion, up to four contact closure inputs or by Checkpoint’s innovative wireless option. The new monitor also displays live video full-screen or as a picture-in-picture.

To enhance theft deterrence, the IPV Enhanced can record, playback, and store event video to removable flash memory. Retailers can show an “instant replay” of a triggered event as it is occurring—a unique feature that tells would-be shoplifters that their actions have been captured. The new monitor produces video that may be recorded by any standard surveillance system—allowing it to function as a stand-alone device or as part of a building-wide security solution.

Its network capabilities allow easy management of new media and interactive functions via LAN/WAN or Internet connections using Checkpoint’s IPV Network Application, a utility software that allows the customer to transfer information. Messaging rollouts to stores are now easily accomplished by configuring a setup file and loading it at a central location and downloading it to the monitors chain-wide.

“Public view monitors are a proven tool to combat shrink in retail,” noted Farrokh Abadi, president and COO, Checkpoint Systems’ Shrink Management Solutions business. “Working closely with our retail customers allowed us to prioritize the key features they most wanted in an IPV that will allow it to be used to sell more and lose less. The additional capabilities offered by the IPV Enhanced allow retailers flexibility in their branding messaging as well as an effective shoplifting deterrence tool.”

Interested parties may see a short introductory demo of the IPV Enhanced monitor here.

The IPV Enhanced monitor is available immediately.

George Cohen (for Checkpoint)
GCC, Inc.


Thought Challenge 

Thought Challenge Review

A Fresh Rotation
Finding a compromise between freshness, sales, and losses.

By Adam Smith, CFE, CFI
Senior Regional Asset Protection Manager
Winn Dixie Stores

as published on August 22, 2012

A busy customer just selected a product from one of your shelves. The customer quickly made their purchase and hurried home to be with their family. Everything about the product looked well – the package didn’t seem damaged and the store associates were friendly. However, in this case, we can only hope this customer is planning to use the product immediately, because it has an expiration date of today.

In some cases, the customer may notice the expired product before it is consumed. Other times, the customer may consume the product without ever checking the expiration date. At any rate, this sale has the potential of a negative experience for the customer.

While this scenario may result in a negative experience, the store did not do anything wrong. Laws and policies allow the sale of product up to the expiration date. Moreover, many products are safe to consume several days after their expiration or sale by date. However, many customers will not use them. A customer-focused organization will seek to reduce negative experiences for their customers regardless of whether the practice is in-line with regulations.

The first step is to understand the implications of reducing the amount of days up to the expiration of products available to customers.

The Close Date

The purpose of leaving close-dated product on the shelf is to sell it. However, this begs the question of how many units could be sold. Put another way, what stands to be gained by leaving the product on the shelf until its expiration? Yogurt is a good test case since it has a relatively short shelf life. The average case of yogurt contains 12 units with an average shelf life of 28 days. Therefore, any yogurt selling 3 or more units per week will not be affected by expiration dates, as long as orders are placed appropriately.

Only varieties selling 2 or less units per week will be affected by the expirations date. Sales of two per week would leave four to expire and sales of one per week would leave eight units to expire. Under normal operations, these expired units would be available for sale up to the very last day.

Taking it a step further, we can see that there are very few sales to gain in the last few days of the product’s life. Since slow sales are the reason that the product is available to expire, these products will generate very few sales in the final days of shelf life. A product selling two units per week represents the worst-case scenario, since selling any more would not cause expiration. In this scenario, a product selling two units per week will average only one sale up to four days before expiration. Therefore, leaving the product on the shelf up to the sell by date will sell only one unit. The figure below illustrates that the optimum point to pull close dated product is four days before expiration.

By pulling the close-dated product four days prior to expiration, hardly any sales are sacrificed and a negative customer experience is adverted. The reality is that slow-moving products are destined to be pulled at some point, and pulling them a few days early does not significantly increase the amount of discards.

Taking Up Space

Slow moving products may be offered by a store to grow a product line or promote variety. At the same time, these products are destined to expire. In some cases, very few units will sell. Some slow moving products do nothing more than take up space on a shelf.

Since retailers generally avoid empty spaces on their shelves, leaving slow movers on the shelf may be serving a purpose. In extreme cases, a negative customer experience would never occur because of the lack of sales in a slow moving product. Pulling these products early will result in increased losses with very little upside.

In the example of a case of yogurt with twelve units, pulling the product four days early represents 14% of the products shelf life. Therefore, we could expect losses on this product to increase by 14%. However, this example would be a worst-case scenario since it assumes just-in-time delivery of new product.


This can present a dilemma for slow moving product. Few retailers would mind sacrificing the sale of one unit to avoid negative customer experiences; however, a 14% increase in losses could give pause.

However, the issue does not have to be entirely black and white. Retailers could carefully monitor slow moving products, removing them as needed. Additionally, suppliers should have some amount of accountability relating to the increased losses needed to rotate products early.


The close-date issue may seem to be a choice between freshness and losses, but there is some room for compromise. In order for a compromise, the retailer needs to be up-front with their customers about products with close-dates. Retailers will want to avoid instances in which customers purchase products assumed to be fresh, but discover a close-date after the purchase.

This can be done by reducing the price of a product when it is four days from expiration. Reducing close-dated products is a practice that has been around for a long time, but the intention is usually to avoid losses. However, this practice also alerts customers to close-dated products. Some customers may avoid the products, but others may purchase them to take advantage of savings. In either case, the retailer is being honest about the freshness of the product.

Unfortunately, reducing close-dated products is not without flaws. There may be times in which a customer intends to pay full-price for a product, but decides to take advantage of a reduced close-dated product. This could result in unintended down selling. Moreover, diverting full-price sales could exacerbate the losses of a slow-moving product. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to fully understand how many times this happens, and how much it affects the losses of a product.

The Bottom Line

Whether it’s taking losses earlier or reducing close-dated products, being up-front with customers about the freshness of products is important. Any company dealing with perishable goods should have a strategy in place to avoid the bait-and-switch feeling a customer gets when they unknowingly purchase a close-dated product.

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

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Leave This Info Out of the Interview  Everyone knows someone privy to sharing too much information. They have no boundaries and no shame. They will tell you any and every piece of personal information, whether it's filling you in on her latest try at the fertility doctor or the dream he had about your boss last night. (TMI)

Top 10 Biggest Interview Mistakes Hiring managers don't want to hear a lot of things during an interview confessions of a violent past, a cell phone ring, a toilet flush. Yet job seekers have committed these interview gaffes and worse, according to's annual survey of the worst interview mistakes. (Blunders)

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Interviews No matter how strong your skills or experience are, you won't land a new job without first securing an interview with a prospective employer. Job seekers often consider this step of the hiring process the most difficult -- and perplexing. (You're ideal)

5 Worst-Case Interview Scenarios You thought you were prepared for that interview. But sometimes even the best laid plans can't ward off unexpected disaster. Besides having a getaway car waiting to quickly whisk you away from an awkward situation, there are ways to overcome even the most embarrassing interview situations. (Only human)

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Repetition is one of the keys to success. Developing and evolving your approach, your message, your actions and processes and focusing on repetitively delivering them, you'll be able to almost transcend your message and focus on its delivery as opposed to its action. We all have core things we do every day and if you can develop repetitive responses, that ensures continuity, you can then begin to master what you do and truly make an impact on the group you're working with. 

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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