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The D-D Daily Mobile Edition

January 6, 2014

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Lisa Benson was named Director, Asset Protection - Internal Investigations for Saks Fifth Avenue.  Lisa was previously the Senior District Loss Prevention Manager for Abercrombie & Fitch for over four years. She also worked in Italy for a few years doing work in Counter-Surveillance, Anti-Terrorism Operations. Lisa earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina - Columbia. Congratulations Lisa!
 

Loss Prevention new internet job postings down 9.5% for 2013  According to the Daily's research and tracking of over 150 sites in North America the new internet job postings for Loss Prevention jobs in 2013 was down 9.5% over 2012. And while certainly not a dramatic drop it does show almost a 10% trending down ward rate. Interesting in really looking at the numbers monthly is the overall down ward trend throughout 8 months of the year with only 4 months showing increases. Now certainly that doesn't necessarily mean we lost jobs, especially with the job changing market slowing to 09' levels as previously mentioned in the Daily with supporting evidence. But it does show a trend if viewed on a monthly basis.

T-Mobile supplier hacked - data breach leaks personal information, including name, address, Social Security number and/or Driver’s License number but no credit card numbers  According to a letter template published by the California Attorney General, T-Mobile is gearing up to send an unknown number of notification letters this month, after a file stored on a server maintained by one of their suppliers was accessed improperly. From the letter: "We are writing to inform you of a recent incident of unauthorized access to a file stored on servers owned and managed by a T-Mobile supplier. This file contained personal information, including name, address, Social Security number and/or Driver’s License number... "Although we believe the primary goal of the access was to obtain credit card numbers (which were not included in the file), the information that was accessible could also potentially be misused. Our supplier has taken immediate measures to secure the impacted servers..." T-Mobile is planning to offer customers identity theft insurance for up to one year due to the incident. Experian will handle the details. (Source csoonline.com)

FMI's Safety Quality Food Institute (SQFI) to require unannounced-audits starting in July of Food Industry  The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a division of the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute (FMI), said that an unannounced-audit protocol would be included in the next revision of the SQF code (SQF), making it the first internationally accredited third-party assessment program to do so. Set to be introduced in February and implemented in July, the protocol will require that one out of every three SQI audits be unannounced. The SQFI provides consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on scientific principles applied across all industry sectors. More than 5,000 plants are SQF-certified in 31 countries. (Source progressivegrocer.com)

Number of states reporting widespread flu activity jumped from 10 to 25 last week - Does Your Team get Flu shots?  "Widespread" means that more than 50% of geographic regions in a state -- counties, for example -- are reporting flu activity. It addresses the spread of the flu, not its severity. The only atypical thing seen this year is that the most common strain has been H1N1, which became known as swine flu during a 2009 outbreak. "It's the same virus that we saw in 2009 that caused the pandemic," Jhung said. At the time, it was called swine flu since it was seen for the first time in humans. The strain is so common that it was included in this year's vaccination, he said. (Source cnn.com)

Customers paying the price after Target breach  Three weeks after news broke that 40 million accounts of Target shoppers were breached in a widespread hack, some customers of smaller banks are beginning to feel the repercussions. Customers have "zero liability" on most debit accounts, but there are questions about which party—the bank in question, Target, or industry authorities—will ultimately be found liable. (A Target statement at the time the breach was disclosed only sought to reassure guests they would not be held financially responsible.) Citigroup and Wells Fargo, for instance, have been monitoring accounts for fraudulent activity on a case-by-case basis but have stopped short of initiating customer-wide policies. Of the country's largest banks, only Chase has taken similar actions on customer accounts to thwart potential fraud. Chase has clipped spending by affected debit customers to $250 at ATMs and $1,000 on purchases—and banned any debit usage overseas. (Source cnbc.com)

Virginia Deactivates Nearly 4,000 Benefits Cards After Target Security Breach

December Same Store Sales Results

Walgreen's up 6.1%
Rite Aid up 2.9%

Last week's most popular news article --

73 Security officers killed in line of duty in 2013 with retail Loss Prevention listed in top 4 most dangerous assignments TOTAL SECURITY OFFICER DEATHS 80 - 73 CONFIRMED 80 ESTIMATED. This is a sharp decrease over the 2012-2013 deaths. DEADLIEST STATES: CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK, FLORIDA, ALABAMA - MOST DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENTS: RETAIL/LOSS PREVENTION, NIGHTCLUBS, RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES, ARMORED TRUCKS. The majority of security officers died from gunshots, followed by trauma, medical conditions, stabbings and car accidents. Armed confrontations including deadly force used by private security officers increased by 24% over the prior two years. Security officers found themselves in the middle of gun battles more than four dozen times and killed several dozen people during those shootings. (Source privateofficer.com)

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Trade Associations, Conferences & Events

New England ORC Symposium & Tradeshow - Lisa LaBruno, Part 1

In this two part series, Lisa LaBruno gives the audience an overview of RILA and how they focus on crime-related areas and the steps they are taking to mitigate and address criminal risk. She also talks about the committees in RILA and their efforts in combating organized retail crime.



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Can't make it to NYC next Monday, Jan. 13?

Watch our LIVE stream of the event online here:

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We will be shooting the event in NYC live on the Internet during the entire afternoon and evening. An industry first! With guest industry executives helping out with interviews and MC'ing for the viewers and general directing of the cameras during the live broadcast.

We have a number of scheduled interviews as you've all seen and we have one or two more we're trying to schedule. We're also going to be shooting 5 minute interviews of LP attendees - for the viewers and for our LPNN broadcasting at a later date.

We'll have a live Social Media feed for viewers to actually ask questions of the interviewees during the filming and will be talking about it in the upcoming NYC columns we'll be running.

We've lined up Ted Potrikus, EVP Dir of Gov't Relations for the Retail Council of New York to talk at the dinner itself and give everyone an update on the developments around the current racial profiling news that's impacting the entire retail LP industry. A timely and very important issue we felt needed to be covered at the event.

Event will be held at Maloney & Porcelli's, 37 East 50th Street, NYC

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Thought Challenge
 

The High Cost of Financial Crimes in Retail Loss Prevention
 

David A. Picard
Financial Crimes Investigator
The Kroger Co.


According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), losses from retail fraud, theft, and waste were $34 million in 2011. Check Point Systems Inc. estimates retailers internationally lost $112 billion or 1.4% of sales due to shrinkage, which is attributable to “shoplifting”, employee and supplier theft, organized retail crime and administrative errors.”

A significant portion of shrink for retailers is attributable to financial crimes committed in stores. There are multiple organizations reporting financial losses due to check fraud and electronic card fraud. FINCEN reported in 2008 that check fraud in the United States was estimated at $1.024 billion. The American Banking Association reported check fraud was $11 billion in 2010. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice reported credit card fraud in the United States was estimated at $5.5 billion. From these various statistics it can be extrapolated that retailers worldwide are losing millions, if not billions, to check and electronic card fraud each year.

As evidenced from these statistics, retail financial crimes comprise a large portion of overall shrink losses. Despite the large and growing losses from financial crimes, many retailers often choose to down play or altogether ignore financial crimes. This can be attributed to the “invisible and silent” nature of financial crimes. Fraudulent checks and electronic card transactions are not immediately identified or recognized as losses until weeks after the transaction has been conducted. Due to the lack of immediacy and physical presence of the fraudster being observed by loss prevention personnel at their stores, financial crimes are often times ignored or never fully investigated and therefore, not referred to law enforcement for prosecution.

Many retailers focus their loss prevention efforts on shoplifting, internal theft and other forms of loss of property from criminal activities. Although these are significant types of retail crimes, they are often elevated in priority due to the physical and visual presence of the perpetrators at store locations. Often time retailers choose to gloss over or minimize the impact of financial crimes. Many of these financial crimes are surprisingly large in scope and losses often times exceed those of shoplifting and theft cases. The lack of effective and strong financial controls, aggressive investigations and enforcement of retail financial crimes creates a culture and environment where check and electronic card fraud can thrive, - externally and internally. Seeing no aggressive investigation of financial crimes, or any enforcement or prosecution, the employees themselves may take advantage of the situation and conduct internal financial crimes for their own benefit.

There are substantial numbers of perpetrators who have cashed countless fraudulent checks and electronic card transactions for many years with very little concern in being apprehended, prosecuted, or convicted for their crimes. Many retailers choose to simply absorb these financial crime losses as a “cost of doing business”. This lackadaisical approach to retail financial crimes leads to criminals conducting hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of fraudulent financial transactions at stores with little fear of being caught or arrested for their crimes. In cases where retailers do attempt to have the fraudster arrested and prosecuted, financial crimes are not a high priority for law enforcement.

In many cases, financial crimes are directly linked with Organized Retail Crime. It is often the preferred method of acquiring retail goods and reintroducing these goods back in to the supply chain. Many check and electronic card fraudsters use these transactions to purchase high theft ORC items such as laundry detergent, cigarettes, liquor and baby formula to sell to fencing operations. Acquiring these goods with counterfeit checks and electronic cards is usually a much easier and safer method for the criminals than shoplifting, push outs or other methods used in acquiring stolen goods. The chances of being apprehended prosecuted and incarcerated for using fraudulent financial instruments to obtain stolen retail goods is far less than shoplifting or theft. Criminals also use fraudulent financial instruments to purchase merchandise to disguise the fraudulent nature of their transactions and later return the merchandise and receive gift cards. This doubles the losses for the retailer in terms of cashing the fraudulent financial instruments and the lost revenue from the merchandise not being sold. The criminal proceeds from the fraudulent financial instruments in purchasing these retail goods is often times used as “seed money” to fund other criminal activities such as drug trafficking, prostitution or supporting corrupt organizations here and potentially overseas.

The solution for retail companies in combating financial crimes is to incorporate oversight and tight financial controls over all aspects of their financial operations. Employees should be educated and trained to strictly adhere to policy and procedures set forth by their company in conducting financial transactions. When fraud is detected, there should be timely intervention, investigation and prosecution of any financial crimes, both externally and internally, using both civil and criminal remedies. Retailers should consider establishing Financial Crime Investigation Units focused on these specialized types of retail crimes. Law enforcement and prosecutors should be briefed and educated on the significance of retail financial crimes and how it negatively impacts and drives the overall criminal activities in their communities.

Retailers ignoring or doing nothing in regards to financial crimes will most likely lead to mounting financial losses, an internal employee environment which is seen as conducive to dishonesty and an external reputation to criminals which suggests financial crimes can be conducted at those retailers without impunity.

*Submitted on December 31, 2013

 

EHS & Safety
 

When the Weather Outside is Frightful: Safety Tips for Outside Activities in the Winter  Whether you are spending time outside in the snow with family and loved ones, or traveling in the blizzards for work, it's important to take some safety tips into consideration as they could help keep you safe! Shoveling your driveways at home or if you're trying to get into your workplace, can lead to very dire injuries if not done properly, so make sure you're pushing the snow, not lifting and always lift with your legs. Dressing for the weather is another biggie; even though you may not think you are going to be in the cold that long, in negative temperatures, it doesn't take long to get frostbite. Read more of these winter safety precautions to keep this season one of fun, not pain. (Source ehstoday.com)

Off-the-Job Safety: Tis the Season for Slips and Falls  Your neighborhood snowplow truck may not have hit your work parking lot yet, or there may not be enough salt on the ground, so make sure you are keeping these tips in mind when getting from your car to the door of work. The odds of falling increase as we get older, and it gets even higher when you mix in icy sidewalks and snowy parking lots. "Many falls can be successfully avoided or the impact minimized by applying a few basic strategies," says Ross, author of "The Balance Manual." Use these tips when trekking in the winter weather to help prevent slips and falls. (Source ehstoday.com)

 

Retail Crime News
Sponsored by Sony

Houston counterfeit $100's gang busted in Baton Rouge - hitting retailers for small purchases  Detectives with the Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office arrested five suspects from the Houston area this week for their alleged involvement in a counterfeit ring around Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge detectives located the suspects at a local hotel where they discovered several packages from area retail stores and a significant amount of cash consisting of twenty dollar bills and smaller bills. During the investigation, detectives began receiving information of counterfeit bills found in at least four different retail business in Baton Rouge. (Source yourhoustonnews.com)

Dozens of gunmen sought after recent armed robberies in Philadelphia  The Philadelphia Police Department blog has posted more than two dozen surveillance videos of suspects wanted in connection with armed robberies. (Source guncrisis.org)

Glendale, AZ Police seek pair following shooting at Arrowhead Towne Center mall  On Friday, officers responded to a report of shots fired at the mall and upon arrival learned a male and female suspect had entered the Sears department store and were allegedly in the process of shoplifting when they were confronted by a store security guard. “At the same time, there was a 61-year-old male Glendale resident sitting in a vehicle outside, waiting on his wife who was inside Sears. The male Glendale resident saw what was going on and saw the female suspect point the weapon at the loss-prevention officer. The male Glendale resident was armed and exited his vehicle and began to come to the aid of the loss-prevention officer,” Mr. O’Neill continued. At that point, the male resident saw his wife, 64, leaving the store, and concerned for the safety of both her and the security guard, began firing in the direction of the couple, possibly striking one or both suspects. (Source newszap.com)

Target theft spree comes to end after male suspect's license plate caught on camera in Memphis, Tenn.  Four times, Brantly Burton went into area Target stores, took portable electronics out of their packaging and left with the items, police said. Burton was also arrested last Aug. 26 in Bartlett for another theft. (Source commercialappeal.com)

British police officer foiled $1million jewelry robbery in the Cayman Islands  A former Manchester police chief foiled a $1million jewelry robbery in the Cayman Islands, ramming his car into the getaway vehicle, on the same day he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. Baines saw three men running from the shop, jumping into a getaway vehicle, but Baines thwarted their attempts to escape, ramming his car into the fleeing vehicle before arresting two suspects. (Source dailymail.co.uk)

FBI Warns Against Counterfeit Cosmetics, Fragrances  In early December, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it had teamed with 10 foreign law enforcement agencies to seize hundreds of websites that were selling counterfeit merchandise to unsuspecting consumers. (Source thephilanews.com)

Man accused of more than 10 robberies held on $5.5 million bond in Durham, NC Suspect accused of robbing at least 2 Dollar Generals, a Kroger, BP and a Kangaroo Express in December. (Source newsobserver.com)

Serial robber pleads guilty in Mahoning County, OH  Assistant Mahoning County prosecutor is seeking an 11-year prison term for a man who pleaded guilty to a series of Family Dollar discount store robberies and a Subway shop robbery late in 2012. (Source vindy.com)

26 year-old female shoplifter gets 1 yr prison for punching 70 yr-old Walmart clerk in Batavia, N.Y. Christmas Eve 2011

14 Bank robberies in 14 days in metro Washington D.C.

Home Depot employee busted for $3500 cash theft in Jonesboro, AR

Walgreen’s Pharmacy Tech accused of stealing drugs in Urbana, IL

New Jersey Police Dispatcher busted for 2 pharmacy armed robberies

Suspect ID'd in Diamond Theft from Zale’s in Exton Square Mall in West Whiteland Twp., PA

Second robbery of same Walgreens draws 8-years for Fort Wayne, IN man

Robbery suspect dead, 1 injured after Butte, OR standoff at card and coin shop

Kay Jewelers Outlet in Woodbridge, VA hit with a #2399 Grab and run

Richland, WA woman pleads innocent to thefts; hitting Safeway, Burlington Coat and Walmart

Robberies and Burglaries

Zales Outlet store armed robber drops most of his loot in Houston, TX.
2 convenience stores armed robberies in Cranston and Coventry, R.I.
Rally's and Little Cesar's armed robbery by same suspect in El Cajon, CA.
Restaurant employee shoots two male would-be robbers in San Diego County, CA.
Walmart money center armed robbery in Wake Forest, N.C. Friday night
Family Dollar store-Liquor Cabinet store armed robberies in North Escambia. Fla.
Two armed robberies in Beaufort County, S.C. Sunday night
Two armed robbers pistol whip restaurant employee in West Philadelphia Monday morning
Rite Aid Armed Robbery Sunday in Oswego, N.Y.
CVS Drug Store armed robbery Sunday in San Diego - Southcrest neighborhood
Oakville, Ontario, Ca. Danny's Jewelers store robbery Friday
Three gas stations armed robbery in Albany, N.Y. Sunday
Alcohol and Beverage Control – Burglary - Spotsylvania, VA – glass smashed, several cases missing
Atra Mart – Robbery - Coventry, RI – high speed chase, suspect eluded police
Big O’s station – Armed Robbery – Campbell County, TN – captured on video, no injuries
BP Station – Shooting / poss. Robbery – St. Paul, MN – customer shot and killed outside the store
CVS – Burglary – Oklahoma, City, OK – cart smashed through the window; steal cigarettes
Dollar Mart – Armed Robbery – Santa Fe, NM – poss. related to 2nd robbery in Santa Fe
Electomania – Robbery – Newark, NJ – truck used to smash the store front
ExxonMobil – Robbery – Durango – suspect forced the female clerk into the backroom of the store
Family Dollar – Armed Robbery – Columbus, OH – clerk refused to cooperate, suspect fled with nothing
MVD Express – Armed Robbery – Santa Fe, NM – shot fired inside store, no injuries reported
Pleasant Garden Pharmacy – Armed Robbery – Guilford County, NC - suspect demanded drugs
Rite-Aid - Armed Robbery - Tucker, IL – no injuries reported
Shoe Show – Robbery – Huntsville, AL – suspect approached to employees for money, fled with nothing
Sprint – Armed Robbery - Chicago, IL – two suspects arrested just blocks away
Stop-n-Go – Robbery –West Fargo, ND – no weapon displayed, no injuries
Suburban Armory Gun Store – Collingdale, PA – 2 suspects arrested wearing Muslim type clothing
7-Eleven – Robbery – Carson City, NV – suspect used a crowbar on the register, no injuries
AT &T - Armed Robbery – Suffolk, NC no injuries
Kum & Go - Armed Robbery – Omaha, NE – no injuries reported
Fred Meyer – Armed Robbery – Spokane, WA – suspects also connected to Safeway robbery
Mobile – Armed Robbery - Rutland, VT – no injuries
Safeway – Armed Robbery – Spokane, WA – suspects connected to Fred Meyer robbery
Speedway – Armed Robbery – Fond du Lac, WI – weapon was never displayed, no injuries
Star Beauty Supply – Armed Robbery – Toledo, OH – suspect arrested
X-tra Mart – Armed Robbery – Springfield, MA – suspect arrested
7-Eleven – Armed Robbery – Leitersburg Pike, MD – no injuries reported

 

ORC News
Sponsored by Protection 1

Caught hitting multiple stores in Palm Beach, Fla. - Male ORC Suspect says "I have to make a living somehow"  Caught hitting CVS, Walgreens, and Home Depot in the same night with multiple outstanding warrants out on him for failure to appear on other retail theft cases this suspect is now behind bars. When a Walgreens store manager stopped him Thursday night she asked him for a receipt. Zucchini handed her the items. “I don’t have one. You caught me,” the affidavit quotes Zucchini as saying. Asked what he thought he was doing, he reportedly said: “I have to make a living somehow." (Source palmbeachpost.com)

Walmart Employee and 2 others arrested for theft of over $1000 of merchandise in Wilton, NY  The Walmart employee assisted the two other suspects in passing and under-ringing merchandise for over the last several months. (Source poststar.com)

Idaho Falls, ID man arrested at Walmart; theft of baby formula, batteries and make-up

Career shoplifter in Erie, PA goes on trial for Walmart theft

“Protection 1 is proud to be sponsoring the D-D Daily ORC column to ensure the LP industry gets the information, education and critical data they need to fight this  national epidemic.” Rex Gillette, VP Retail Sales, Protection 1.

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Vendor Spotlight
 

Start the New Year Right
Eliminate Wardrobing with WG Security's Seal Tag

Recently, news outlets such as ABC News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Yahoo!, Fox, and even the Daily Mail in the U.K., published stories about the new and exciting method Bloomingdale's has initiated to fight the scourge of wardrobing. According to these stories and citing the National Retail Federation, wardrobing is a form of fraud that cost retailers $8.8 billion last year. While Bloomingdale's is to be commended for an outside-the-box way to reduce shrinkage, what you don't know is that this revolutionary wardrobing prevention plan was a collaborative effort between Bloomingdale's and WG Security Products Inc., the California-based company that has developed a reputation over the last 15 years for innovative and original EAS technologies.


The device in use at Bloomingdale's locations throughout the nation to stop wardrobers in their tracks is the Seal Tag, available now from WG. It is not an EAS tag, but a one-time use device which is typically applied at the point of sale, to a noticeable area of the garment. Customers are instructed that removal of the Seal Tag voids any return policy. This prevents customers from wearing the garment for a day and attempting a return, therefore ensuring honest returns. The Seal tag is very easily removed by hand and once removed, cannot be re-applied. It can be personalized, with your business logo imprinted on the front, adding a degree of elegance. You can watch our video for more information about wardrobing and the Seal Tag.

If wardrobing is a concern for your business (and judging from the comments section of these stories, it should be), the Seal Tag is the answer for you. Contact info@wgspi.com for more information on the Seal Tag.

For the retail subject matter experts, read the recent column in Retail Wire!

 

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Lisa Benson was named Director, Asset Protection - Internal Investigations for Saks Fifth Avenue.
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5 Things Jazz Can Teach Us About Job Success  If you are a jazz fan, it may be in your favor to keep listening to those great musicians as they are not only an excellent source of music, but they can teach you a few things about success on the job! Jazz musicians seem to get lost in the music with such joy; such is how you should feel about your work! (Find the fun)

Emotional Intelligence Predicts Job Success: Do You Have It?  Your emotional intelligence is key for helping you stand out from the crowd, especially if your workplace is full of extremely intelligent people. You can train yourself to have a higher EQ by being more agile with emotions or being self-aware. (What's your EQ characteristic?)

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6 Fundamentals That Can Make You a Better Manager in 2014  Time to make your resolutions, but what will you try to accomplish or perfect in your workplace? If your goal is to be a better manager then try following these six guidelines and get a strong start in this new year! (Can you be flexible?)

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Tip of the Day
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In preparing for any interview or meeting, I would suggest that, not only do you educate yourself about the potential employer, but that you study their competitor as well, because not only do these executives know their business, the good ones will know their competitors business even better. And if you show them you've taken the time to really learn their business and the number one thing that impacts them beyond the customer which is their competitor, then they'll be impressed that you went to that effort. And at the end of the day you'll learn an entire channel of trade.

Just a Thought,
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