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March 27, 2013

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Scott Flint was promoted to Director of Loss Prevention for Emerging Markets for Nike Retail. Scott is a 15 year veteran of Nike and most recently served as Global LP Operations Manager. Prior to Nike, he worked in Loss Prevention for several other large retailers and has over 20 years of Loss Prevention experience. Over the past few years, Flint has traveled extensively to emerging markets such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and China. Congratulations Scott!

Jerry Biggs, Director ORC Division at Walgreens, with ABC News on Organize Retail Crime. ABC Nightline Reporter travels with Jerry Biggs, Director ORC Division of Walgreens to the underworld of organized retail crime. (Source go.com)

JC Penney changes pricing strategy; Forbes is less than kind in its review of CEO Ron Johnson.  J.C. Penney is in the process of raising prices on millions of its own branded items to protect profit margins, as it reverts to a strategy of offering discounts in an effort to win back the bargain-conscious shoppers it lost last year. The move marks a return to a standard pricing tactic in retail also used by rivals like Macy's Inc and Kohl's Corp called "high-low" in the industry. Forbes stated, “the difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits”. (Source forbes.com)

JC Penney recalls 73,000 baby cribs sold between 1998 and 2008.  A total of 14 different models were sold through the JC Penney catalog and JCPenneys.com. The manufacture states consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact customer service at Modus Furniture International to get a free immobilizer kit that will immobilize the drop side. The immobilizer kits will be available in May 2013. In the meantime, parents are encouraged to find an alternate, safe sleep environment for the child. (Source businessinsider.com)

Five Below sales and profits rise in Q4; 60 new stores to open in 2013.  Five Below reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Feb. 2 rose to $19.2 million, compared with $12.4 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 4.4%. For the full year, profit rose to $20 million from $16.1 million and revenue increased 41% to $418.8 million. The company said it expects to open 60 stores this year, including new markets in Texas, as well as adding units in existing markets. (Source benzinga.com)

Signet Jewelers to open 65 to 75 stores in the U.S. this year.  Signet Jewelers fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 10 percent, helped by an acquisition and as customers made more purchases at its U.S. Kay and Jared jewelry stores. The company got a boost from its $57 million acquisition of the Ultra jewelry store chain, which closed in November. (Source chainstoreage.com)

H&M still developing an online presence for the US market; program has been delayed almost 2 years.  Back in 2011, H&M announced that a U.S. e-commerce site would be launched, they already have a site in eight of their 48 worldwide markets, but continuing delays has H&M a little shy about when the site may be ready. H&M says it wants to enter the market smoothly, without any of the problems that shoppers have sometimes encountered on other sites. And that it needs more time to fix issues with security, customer service, logistics, and the assortment of items offered. (Source businessinsider.com)

Vera Wang backs down on charging a $500 fee to try on a wedding dress in Shanghai.  When a China-based newspaper announced that Vera Wang's Shanghai-based bridal boutique was charging the substantial fee of 3,000 yuan, or about $482, for a 90-minute try-on session, the designer faced accusations of classism and snobbery. Yesterday, she announced that her brand would no longer charge such fees anywhere. It's not unheard of for designer stores in China to charge a modest sum for try-on sessions, supposedly to dissuade counterfeiters from "looking at" dresses for knockoff purposes. (Source nbcnews.com)

GameStop sales forecast slashed; customers waiting for the newest technology.  Microsoft which launched its Xbox 360 in 2005, may release the next version late this year. Sony Corp. has announced a similar release date for its next PlayStation, last completely refreshed in 2006. This hiatus between console generations has been painfully long versus prior cycles. Last month, U.S. retail sales of videogame hardware and software were down 25% from a year earlier. (Source nbcnews.com)

Researchers believe U.S. Street Gang activity is not focused on high tech cybercrime; may or not be true.  A research project conducted by the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston University believes street gangs in the United States are just about ‘normal’ when it come to the sophistication of computer crime. The street gangs use computer to identify possible theft targets, steal music downloads, sell drugs and communicate between members. Researches believe they do not get involved in phishing, identity theft and hacking into commercial enterprises. The study says they interviewed 600 gang members across the county; wondering if they missed a few who were on the computer at the time. (Source csoonline.com)

OtterBox leading the fight against counterfeit cases.  OtterBox, based in Colorado, is the number one case provider for iPhones and iPads and other smart phones in the American marketplace and in a press release today the company highlighted the struggles it is having with counterfeiters in the United States and in China. OtterBox has revealed that in 2012 alone, the company and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection worked together to confiscate over 118,000 counterfeit OtterBox items. (Source deverpost.com)

Counterfeit Goods Operation busted on Long Island; five arrested in nationwide trafficking operation.  Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced Thursday that a truckload and storage facility containing counterfeit merchandise was seized. The operation is believed to have supplied five states with counterfeit handbags and apparel. (Source news12.com)

Three Wisconsin Walmart armed robbery suspects arrested.  With more than a few odd twists and turns, the holdup unravels after an informant tells the FBI where Wauwatosa Police can start looking. Three Milwaukee men are in custody in the armed robbery early Friday morning of the Walmart Market in Wauwatosa. The robbery was an inside job according to the suspects' statements. Two of the suspects, were discussing robbing a bank or business Thursday night. The third man, 23, told them that he could plan and take part in a robbery of the Walmart because he knew the place well. He had been fired from his job there a week before. He drew a map of the interior and told them about the store's policies on storing money. He and one of the others donned all black clothing and took two guns, one a loaded pistol and the other a short rifle. (Source fox6now.com)

Rock Hill, SC Police Officer injured as shoplifters attempt to flee in a car.  Two women have been arrested and charged with shoplifting, failure to identify and reckless driving following an incident at the Kohl’s store in Rock Hill. Once outside, the women were asked to stop. They failed to comply with the police. The women got into their car and began to drive away as the officer grabbed the door handle of the car. The speed of the vehicle spun him around causing him to strike the rear of the car. The suspects were later apprehended and the police officers injuries were minor. (Source heraldonline.com)

Concord Mall Sears shoplifting apprehension turns into a near car jacking; loss prevention agent was bitten.  A shoplifter in Delaware was stopped by Loss Prevention but was not going to go quietly. Kenyetta Reed ran through the parking lot, bit the loss prevention agent several times, and then tried to steal a customer’s car who was attempting to help the agent. Once under control, Delaware Troopers arrested Reed, but remembered her from an incident at Sports Authority where she stabbed an LP agent with her keys, bit him and escaped. (Source delcotimes.com)

Santa Fe man will serve 8 years in federal prison for pointing a gun at Kmart Loss Prevention agents.  Anthony Guitierrez was sentenced to eight year for the firearm conviction from a 2011 shoplifting / robbery at a Kmart. Guitirrez stole DVD’s and when approached by Loss Prevention he fought them and then drew his weapon. (Source kob.com)

Pregnant Store Associate held at knifepoint during robbery.  Vermont State Police are looking for a man who robbed a convenience store at knifepoint and then took off in an employee's vehicle. Police said the man approached the female employee at the Smart Shop store in Wallingford early Tuesday. They said the employee was forced into a bathroom. The man took cash from the business and left in her vehicle, which was later found in North Clarendon. The employee, who is pregnant, was not hurt. (Source wcax.com)

Gardena, Cal. UPS store robbery caught on tape.  Two armed gunman were inside the store for over two minutes while a UPS associate attempted to get a second register unlocked. As the gunman waited, several other customers enter the store and are immediately forced to the ground. No one was injured in the robbery; the suspects are still at large. (Source dailybreeze.com)

Two robbery suspects hospitalized following a high speed chase from Rite Aid in Yarmouth, Maine.  State police have identified the two persons involved in a high speed crash in Freeport Wednesday afternoon. That crash followed a robbery at the Rite Aid store in Yarmouth and the car was being chased by Yarmouth Police when the driver lost control attempting to exit Interstate 295. Troopers said the driver was 21 year old Dylan Libby and his passenger was 18 year old Madeline Damon, both from North Yarmouth. Both are hospitalized with multiple injuries. No charges have yet to be lodged against the two. (Source pressherald.com)

Burglary suspect apprehended at Lowe’s in Hanford, California; bolt cutters, a loaded weapon and police scanner.  Simon Rylaarsdam, 21 was apprehended following a stake-out of the Lowe’s parking lot where the Store Manager complained about items being stolen. Early morning on Tuesday, Rylaarsdam attempted to steal a utility trailer which was secured outside the store. Rylaarsdam admitted to police that he usually followed a circuit of stores each night looking for items to steal. (Source hanfordsentinel.com)

Man found with $200K worth of stolen cheese.  A man is facing criminal charges in the state of New Jersey after detectives found a truck that he was driving with around $200,000 worth of stolen cheese from Wisconsin. Veniamin Konstantinovich Balika, 34 from Illinois, was arrested by police at the Vince Lombardi Service Area off the New Jersey Turnpike. Oliver Sissman, a New Jersey State Police Detective, said the he allegedly provided fake documents to the distributor of K&K Cheese in Cashton, Wis. just last week, in order to get over 40,000 pounds of cheese loaded onto his truck. Authorities will have the cheese inspected, and if it passes inspections, then it will be donated to charity. (Source nbcphiladelphia.com)

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Alabama grand jury indicts three in identity theft case.  Three North Carolina residents are charged in what federal prosecutors call an identity theft ring operating in Alabama. Authorities say 38-year-old Terrance Lavon Campbell; 40-year-old Renee Charlene Pointer and 44-year-old Terrence Donnell Wooten were indicted Wednesday on fraud and identity theft charges. The three are accused of possessing more than 350 counterfeit debit and credit cards. U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance says the case is part of a trend of people coming to northern Alabama to commit identity fraud crimes. (Source al.com)

Two men arrested at Kohl’s in Brownsville, charged with ORC.  Two men accused of working as a team have been charged with organized retail theft in the theft of $320 worth of merchandise from a Kohl’s store in Brownsville. Both men attempted to run from police and Loss Prevention, but were quickly apprehended after a short foot chase. (Source brownsvilleherald.com)

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Many companies are bringing teams of five or more executives: 7-Eleven, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Big Lots, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dollar General, Family Dollar, jcpenney, Lowe's, PETCO, PetSmart, Publix, Home Depot, Home Depot Canada, Target, The Pep Boys, Walmart and Walgreens. See registered companies here.

MORE Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time: RILA has added an Exhibit Hall Preview Hour on Monday, April 29, from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. This time will focus on engaging the retailers much earlier in the conference.

MORE Chances to Network: Golf is moving to Sunday, so now you can attend both the charity golf outing on Sunday and the complimentary training session on Wednesday afternoon. And with the event and hotel held in the same location, you are guaranteed to run into retailers in the restaurants and hotel lobbies.

Testimonials from Attendees:

 “The RILA Retail AP Conference is differentiated in many ways. The meaningful topics and subject matter experts that lead the discussions, the commitment to excellence and the balance that RILA leadership purposely drives between the retailers and the vendors, ensuring that both are receiving value from attending.”
- Libby Rabun
(Vice President, Loss Prevention – AutoZone)


“At the RILA Retail AP Conference, breakout sessions are assigned into tracks that allow you and your team to pick what interests you to learn or network. I like the session tracks to pick up new ideas and the vendor show room to see what is new in technology. Additionally, I bring my team to the conference for the tremendous learning experience.”
- Stan Welch
(Vice President, Loss Prevention, J. C. Penney)

“RILA was the first group to really encourage the interaction of practitioners and the companies that support them by inviting everyone to attend the great educational sessions. Sitting next to a LP leader during a presentation gives me an unprecedented opportunity to truly learn and understand the challenges they face now and in the future. As a result, my company can better deliver solutions that help those leaders be successful.”
- Cheryl Blake
(VP of Business Development, Verisk Retail, a Verisk Crime Analytics brand)



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2013 Thought Challenge


Networking...Have a plan and work the plan before you need it!

Kevin M Plante
Director, Loss Prevention Reporting and Analytics
CVS Caremark

If you were training for a marathon, when would you start? A day before the race? A week? Probably not if you actually want to be successful. What if you’d never run for any long distances before? Would you need three months to get ready? Six months or even a year, perhaps? If you really want to run well and have a relatively good chance of finishing (or surviving) the marathon, you probably need the better part of a year to train under normal circumstances. That said; why would you wait until you need to look for a new job to begin networking with people?

Over the last few years, many loss prevention professionals have found themselves victims of reorganizations, downsizing, condensing and shrinking departments and have found themselves on the unemployment line. Once the shock of it all sets in and the realization of what happened is understood, you need to figure out what your next steps should be. It’s important to ask for help. Find out what opportunities are out there, talk to people, call recruiting agencies. The question a lot of people would ask is how many places do you have to go to ask for help or to find out where those jobs are? The answer is easy - if you haven’t networked yourself properly, you may have unintentionally limited your resources.

When people hear the word “networking” they usually think about social media like Facebook and Twitter for their personal contacts and Linked IN for staying in touch with their professional contacts. These social media options are a lot of fun and are a great way to give people an opportunity to keep up with others no matter what they do or where they go, but there is so much more to networking than that.

When someone I worked with almost 20 years ago called me on the phone out of the blue one day, it took me a few minutes to even place the name with a face in my mind. Once I remembered where I knew this person from, there was a little small talk – “how’s the family...um...do you have kids?” and then the reason for the call started to become clear: “Hey, um...I just lost my job at ABC company last week and I was just calling to see If you happen to know of any positions within your company that I might be a good candidate for?” I most certainly would want to help this person but truth be told, if I have other colleagues that I know better that were in the same position of looking for employment, wouldn’t I be inclined to help them first? Of course I would.

Have a plan – It is important, all the time, to work a plan to keep in touch using The Five Elements:
 
1.   Use social media tactically and regularly. Consider having a strict policy of only having friends and family connected to you on Facebook. You probably don’t want your boss seeing pictures of you from high school at some party! Use Linked IN as your outlet of choice for professional contact management and staying in touch with colleagues. Get in the habit of updating each regularly so people can read about what is going on in your life at their leisure.
2. Find local events that offer situational networking and information sharing. I like to go to regional Law Enforcement meetings, smaller retailer meetings at malls and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts LP committee events. We have quarterly meetings that combine learning, information sharing and networking. The people who go to those meetings represent many of the major retailers in New England and many law enforcement agencies. There is nothing like putting a name to a face and giving out business cards offering to help and collecting business cards in case you need them someday.
3. Attend professional conferences. ASIS, CFI, NRF and RILA all hold annual conferences. Organized Retail Crime has sprouted many regional conferences throughout the US that you can attend each year. Each conference is an opportunity for education and networking. All associations are aware of each others’ events, so events are usually spread evenly throughout the year so you have multiple opportunities to get to at least one per year. Also, if you hold a professional certification, you may find all of these eligible for use as Continued Education Units (CEU) towards your recertification.
4. Work with area colleges. Find a college in your area that has a Criminal Justice Program and offer to mentor aspiring loss prevention professionals. It may help you because not only do you get to know students, but you also get to know professors and department heads in the school. All people who could help you if you find yourself in need of employment or if you are interested in good advice on continuing your education. Who knows, maybe teaching at college level could be something you might decide to do someday!
5. Talk to people in person. There are so many ways to communicate with people at an impersonal level – texting, email, messages through social media – but what about the old fashioned way like calling people on the phone – or better yet – meeting them face to face if you can? Find the 20 people you really, really want to keep in touch with and can help you – maybe you admire them because they’re smart or work for a great company or have been in the business for years – and maybe that 20 person list changes sometimes – call them or try to get together for coffee. Find one hour on one day each week and make those phone calls. By the end of the month, you’ve talked to all 20 people and actually had a meaningful conversation with them.

So what happens when you successfully navigate the “five elements of networking”? You get to know people and they get to know you. You become a resource for people because they get an idea of what your experiences and expertise is while you learn from them. Maybe you find one of them a position at your company or perhaps you find a friend of theirs a position where you work or at another company based on information you heard from another contact. Now your network is larger and people know who you are.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of looking for employment, you will most likely ask yourself “now what do I do?” The first thing you should do is reach out to your contacts and ask for help. The better you’ve networked leading up to that point, the better chance you’ll have of getting the help you need. There’s an old saying that says “It’s not what you know, but rather who you know”. When you need to differentiate yourself from 100 other people with similar experiences and education it does help to know someone. Don’t wait until you need to network; instead make networking part of your regular routine. Start today because you never know when your marathon will need to be run and you’ll need to be in great shape for it.

Kevin can be reached at 401-770-8083 or Kevin.plante@cvscaremark.com

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Sending and delivering the LP message in stores and at the corporate office is probably one of the most critical things one can do everyday. How you communicate and how you deliver your message will determine how they respond and react. If you expect to improve performance and influence change in the stores, then you've got to communicate in their words and their terms. Each company has a message, a mission and core values and your message should fit all of them and be an extension of them and not an addition to them. This breeds integration and results in inclusion, all of which are important elements of a successful executive.

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