The Intersection of Innovation and Asset Protection
"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction." Pablo Picasso's timeless
quote can artfully be tied to many innovations that have recently swept across
the retail industry. But these disruptions bring as many opportunities as risks
across all areas of an organization. It was with this idea that Alec Ross kicked
off NRF PROTECT. Seeing parallels to retail in his experience as a senior
advisor for innovation at the U.S. State Department, Ross noted that the
intersection of technology and security helped to create a system that encrypted SMS text messages for anyone in Mexico to safely and anonymously report crime
directly to trusted officials. The result was an uptick in crime being reported
and the eventual capture of high-ranking leaders in the Mexican cartel. The
common denominator in this example and for retailers, Ross stressed, is people.
Nearly 90 percent of all security incidents across the top four incidents
identified in the Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report came back to
people, not systems.
Loss prevention can and should play an integral role in driving strategic
initiatives around technology. Scott Draher, director of loss prevention
process and strategy for Lowe's Companies, and Kris Douglas, business
relationship manager, discussed how Lowe's collaborates to stay ahead as new
technology emerges. Douglas represents the IT department inside Lowe's, a
business unit Draher admitted his team used to be wary of working with. But
strengthening this relationship has opened more in-roads, making it easier to
utilize information found in video surveillance - a traditional loss prevention
tool - into actionable insights. Traffic patterns and insights on customer
engagement have helped teams perform more efficiently at the store level. This
efficiency ties back to the challenge of optimizing its stores as a major
distribution channel and embracing the Internet of Things. Many loss
prevention processes and systems have been integral to tackling the
opportunities and risks that come with initiatives like flexible fulfillment.
The same approach has also helped Lowe's stay innovative. "If we don't keep
up with the rapid rate of change we're going to be left behind," Douglas said.
Keeping up is a tall order as the waves of change keep getting bigger. It could
come back to integrating loss prevention people and perspectives across the
organization that gives retailers the best chance to effectively embrace
technology, and ultimately, protect.
Five steps to advance your LP career
The quickly evolving retail landscape is fertile ground for driven and ambitious
professionals. But retail employees need more than ambition to move up the
corporate ladder, especially in the demanding field of loss prevention. Two
industry veterans from Office Depot, Kevin Ach, senior director of retail LP and
safety, and John Voytilla, vice president of global loss prevention, shared some
career advancement tips with attendees at the NRF PROTECT Loss Prevention
Conference this week. While the two leaders addressed peers in loss prevention,
these tips are great reminders for anyone looking to take their professional
life up a notch.
|● Make a plan and write it down.
|● Find a mentor - and be one.
|● Build and expand your network.
|● Differentiate yourself.
|● Don't stop learning.
Survey: Most retail returns are preventable
A research report from retail analyst firm IHL Group, commissioned by
OrderDynamics, "Retailers and the Ghost Economy: The Haunting of Returns," finds
that quality problems/product defects are the leading cause of retail returns.
The report shows quality and defect issues account for $162 billion in returns
worldwide, representing one in four retail returns and 1.1% of total retail
sales worldwide. Sizing issues plague the retail apparel market, with more than
$62 billion in global returns. In all, the survey indicated that up to half of
all retail returns are at least partially "preventable."
According to IHL's research, the leading causes of retail returns are:
|1. Defective/poor quality: $162 billion
|2. Bought wrong item: $99.3 billion
|3. Buyer's remorse: $88.7 billion
|4. Better price elsewhere: $83.4 billion
|5. Gift returns: $64.1 billion
|6. Wrong sizing on item: $62.4 billion
|7. Return fraud: $28.2 billion
|8. Didn't match online description: $6.1 billion
|9. Late delivery of items: $4.6 billion
|10. All other reasons: $43.8 billion
|Total: $642.6 billion
Attendance at the USS Foundation's Charity Golf Tournament
With 96 participants at this year's Seventh Annual Charity Golf Tournament, the
USS Foundation broke its own attendance record. Held on June 23 at the
world-famous Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, the event raised over
$50,000 for disadvantaged children, preliminary data shows.
"We had representatives from some of the nation's top retail and LP companies
participate at this year's event," said Denise Canfield, executive vice
president of USS and secretary of the USS Foundation. "The weather was
wonderful; the course by the ocean was spectacular; and everyone had such a
The proceeds from the tournament will benefit the programs of the USS Foundation
and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The top sponsors
this year were LP Magazine; Contact, Inc.; LP Jobs; and Stanley Security.
The USS Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in
need. It is known for its Adopt-a-Bike program; holiday meals for low-income
families; and visits to children recovering from serious illnesses.
Photos from the event are being posted at the USS Foundation's Facebook page:
Canadian property owners struggle to find foreign retailers in wake of Target
departure of discounter Target Corp. and a raft of other retailers from Canada
leaves landlords with plenty of space to fill at a time when many merchants are
downsizing amid the rise of e-commerce. In all, an estimated 21 million square
feet of retail real estate will be vacant this year - almost three times the
amount of new retail development that comes on the market annually, John Crombie,
senior vice-president of retail leasing at property manager Triovest Realty
Advisors, said on Wednesday. Property owners are racing to find replacements for
Target and other retailers that have abandoned their stores in Canada, feeling
the heat of a fast-changing market and rising digital sales. Landlords feel the
pressure to invest in finding new retail tenants and redesigning their empty
space, an effort that can take years and reshape many malls.
President's Choice and Save-On-Foods among brands Canadians trust most
President's Choice and Shoppers Drug Mart are earning trust from their
customers, but Canadians are still the most loyal to their Tim Hortons coffee
fix. The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has
launched its first national analysis of what corporate and products brands are
most trusted by Canadians. A sample of 3,125 Canadians ranked 249 corporate and
product brands in 22 industries. Brands were judged based on value, quality,
social equity, brand energy and brand trust. As it turns out, Canadians are more
apt to trust homegrown brands. Tim Hortons, President's Choice and Shoppers Drug
Mart topped the list, followed by Google and Canadian Tire. Food manufacturers
Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Company and Heinz also broke the top ten most-trusted
Sobeys to cut 1,300 jobs as it streamlines distribution operations
Sobeys Inc. is preparing to shave 1,300 jobs in the wake of its takeover of
Safeway Canada as the country's second-largest grocer looks to consolidate its
distribution and office operations and cut costs. The retailer is closing three
of its distribution centres and launching a new one as well as an expanded one
in the next couple of years, Marc Poulin, chief executive officer of parent
Empire Co. Ltd., told analysts on Thursday.
Is the Staples and Office Depot Merger Really at Risk?
Why investors have to be concerned here is that the office supplies space
already saw consolidation when Office Depot acquired OfficeMax. Now the move is
to push three top office supplies stores into one. There is a stronger argument
than ever now that they will not dominate the office supplies space. Amazon and
many online-only sources have been a constant irritant to these companies.
Drugstores, big-box retailers, grocery stores, private chains, Best Buy and tech
retailers, and giant destinations like Target and Wal-Mart have all eaten into
the office supplies space for more than two decades. Still, there are some extra
risks now in this merger. This means that there will be no Easy Button today.
Now investors in both companies will have to decide how they feel about the
fiscal profitability of two less profitable cut-throat competitors forced
against each other.
RadioShack Working On 'Peace Treaty' To Aid Ch. 11 Exit
A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday allowed the RadioShack Corp. estate to
move forward on its strategy to solicit votes for its proposed Chapter 11 plan
after hearing that the debtor is working on what it called a "broad peace
treaty" to resolve lingering disputes in the case. During a hearing in
Wilmington, RadioShack attorney Gregory M. Gordon of Jones Day said that the
debtor and creditor Salus Capital Partners LLC have agreed to stand down for the
moment in a fight to have what remains to be done in the iconic retailer's
bankruptcy estate case converted into a Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding, in the
hopes that several sides still fighting might be able to resolve their
differences. "At least for now, we're going to put litigation aside and try to
come to some sort of consensual agreement," Gordon told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Brendan L. Shannon.
Bed Bath & Beyond misses Q1 profit, same-store sales
Net earnings dropped 18% to $158.5 million from $187.1 million, with increased
selling, general and administrative (SG&A) and interest expenses offsetting
higher gross profit. Net sales totaled $2.74 billion, an increase of 3% from
$2.66 billion. Same-store sales increased by 2.2%, including the negative impact
of Canadian currency fluctuation.
Hundreds More NFL Counterfeit Sites Ordered To Shut Down
Lululemon Recalls 300K Tops For Hazardous Draw Cords
CVS President on how a tobacco-free CVS plans to make up $2B in lost revenue
Amazon's New 'Treasure Truck' Will Sell One Discounted Item Daily
Ikea plans new form of expansion in the UK