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April 25, 2013

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Spotlight on Leadership
 
By Jennifer Overstreet
Published: April 18, 2013
 
As we’ve been talking about all week here on the blog, the retail industry offers some unique and fascinating careers. With our Loss Prevention Conference and EXPO coming up in June, we decided to talk to some of our Loss Prevention Advisory Council leaders for a three-part blog series on the evolving careers of LP leaders. We’ll cover three perspectives on what it means to work in retail loss prevention, asking each LP professional how he got his start, why he loves it, and where the profession is headed.

To kick off the series, we started with one of our LP Advisory Council’s vice chairs, Dan Faketty, vice president for asset protection at BI-LO/Winn-Dixie. Read on to find out how he changed his mind about a career in retail, how his experience as a young store employee prepared him for leadership, and why today’s LP professional needs to have a head for data.

When were you first exposed to the loss prevention profession? What made you decide to pursue a career in loss prevention/asset protection?

I had completed my two-year associate’s degree and had just gone through the regional police academy. I was back in school, and at the same time looking for employment as a police officer. That’s when I received a call from a district LP manager who worked for Shopko Stores, Inc. He saw my resume and wanted to know if I would be interested in applying for a single-store loss prevention manager position. I responded immediately with “no” and proceeded to tell him I was a certified police officer and had no interest in a career in retail! Fortunately for me he said “before you say ‘no’, don’t you think you should understand what you’re saying no to?” Based off his statement, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to meet and listen. The following day we met at a local store and after a couple of hours he convinced me that a career in loss prevention was at least worth a shot. He then hired me, on the spot, contingent on me relocating. The rest is history!

How has your unique personal background helped you succeed in your LP career?

I worked at a Ben Franklin store all through high school, so I learned a lot about store operations and merchandising. When I went to college I was a full-time student, working and managing a restaurant. When I left college, I went to work in stores for a couple of years before being promoted to a district manager. When I think about it now, I had eight years of retail experience before going to work at Shopko. I think the time I spent in stores along with what I learned in school gave me unique insight into how things worked from a practical application standpoint. Even today, every process, every control, every system that our department implements is meticulously scrutinized and tested from an end-user standpoint. These programs must be simple to execute and user friendly to store personnel. If not, they will never achieve the desired result. This thought process has enabled me to gain credibility as we drive organizational change in all parts of the business, not just asset protection.

Tell us about a particular moment, challenge or success that made you certain this was the right profession for you.

After only two years of working stores a promotional opportunity for district manager presented itself. I never thought I had a real opportunity to land the job because so many internal candidates had applied, some of whom had more than 10 years of experience. After going through a series of interviews and testing, I learned I was one of two final candidates. A few days later the director of loss prevention showed up at my store. I thought he was there to tell me I didn’t get the job but instead he said, “I am going to hire you over a lot of other candidates with much more experience.” When I asked why, he said, “Because you can’t take a Missouri mule to the Kentucky Derby and expect to win!” It was at that moment that I realized this was my profession. If for no other reason than because someone had noticed me and my accomplishments.

The role of LP is continuing to expand and grow. When it comes to hiring and promoting team members, what kind of talent and skill sets are you looking for to be successful now and in the future?

Rather than skill sets, I tend to focus on competencies because if someone has a strong base of core competencies, they should be able to learn the skill sets necessary to be successful. I have identified 10 competencies that are important to me. Some of the most important are the ability to champion change, lead courageously, be results-driven and work cross-functionally. The interview process, for new and existing promotional opportunities, is behavioral in the form of questioning designed to solicit responses to measure if a candidate poses these competencies or not. Additionally, anyone entering high-level loss prevention management positions must be technologically savvy and data-centric. If you have the competencies, love technology, are data-centric and can work cross-functionally, then you are going to be very successful in this line of work.

Faketty will be presenting at NRF’s Loss Prevention Conference in San Diego, June 12 – 14. For more about the conference, visit www.nrf.com/lp13.

Stay tuned for the next installments of our series, where we’ll talk to LP leaders from Gap Inc. and The Vitamin Shoppe.

This article was published by and recently appeared in LP portion of Retail's BIG blog, a part of the National Retail Federation's (NRF) website.  An excellent resource for LP executives to incorporate in your quest for information and education of the LP industry. This is an industry leading publication and one of the best, if not the best, resource for industry leading, thought provoking material that you need to use as you continue to build your career.

 

 

News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.
Every week one or two people are killed and dozens injured in the retail industry in the U.S. from security related incidents  The majority being young men committing crimes with robberies in the fast food and convenience store industry being the #1 area. The injuries almost always come from the shoplifting incidents with the vast majority happening in the parking lots of our nation's retailers. While for decades, parking lot apprehensions have been against policy, they continue to happen due to the aggressive nature of our young store detective population and the "thrill-of-the-chase" adrenaline that attracts us all to the industry to begin with.

Hundreds of employees from stores such as McDonald’s Corp., Macy’s Inc. and Victoria’s Secret walked off the job Wednesday in Chicago for higher wages  Three weeks after a similar strike by fast-food workers in New York. The employees marched in the Chicago Loop and near the Magnificent Mile shopping area, calling for US $15-an-hour pay, 82% more than the states minimum wage, and the right to form a union without intimidation. The one-day strike was arranged by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a group of retail and food workers, according to a statement yesterday. (Source financialpost.com)

The importance of in-store video for retailers 
Today’s shopper craves personalization – they want to feel as though the shopping experience has been created with them in mind. Live video content is an effective way to engage shoppers; it works by bringing an outside experience into the store and allowing shoppers to feel part of the scene on show. Surf-inspired brand Hollister uses live content in its store on Fifth Avenue New York. Editors note: An inevitable evolution that only adds to the ability for Loss Prevention to piggy-back and drive more value for your retailer. Harnessing this development and finding ways to use it for shrink reduction efforts is the key. (Source guardian.co.uk)

LP Job growth in the future may be tied directly to the increased real estate growth and demand in warehouses and distribution centers worldwide  Europe is exploding in warehouse properties and distribution development, and every month we see Amazon announcing new mega-distributions centers being opened across the U.S., Canada and worldwide, all of which require Loss Prevention teams and physical security needs. There's not going to be much job growth in the overall LP retail industry over the next 5 years but there will be growth in the DC and warehouse world. Just a thought for you to consider.

Retailers Account for Second-Most Data Breaches  Retailers and restaurants accounted for 24% of all data breaches in 2012, second to financial organizations, which accounted for 37%, according to a new report from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. The Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, which tracks cybercrime globally, cited POS terminals as a key point of attack, with POS smash-and-grab incidents comprising 111 of the 621 data breaches captured in the report. (Source supermarketnews.com)

'More Industrial Mass Murder' as Scores Dead in Bangladesh Factory Collapse  Workers were told to enter building despite known cracks in structure. A large building that houses several garment factories in Bangladesh collapsed on Wednesday, leaving at least 145 people dead, and more than a thousand injured, with the final death toll yet to be told. Factory owners, who produce clothing for western brands ignored warnings not to allow their workers into the building after a crack was detected the day before. This follows the massive fire that killed 112 last November. Among the factory owners in the building were Phantom Apparels Ltd., New Wave Style Ltd., New Wave Bottoms Ltd. and New Wave Brothers Ltd. garment factories, companies that make clothing for a number of brands including Benetton, The Children's Place and Dress Barn. (Source commondreams.org)


Big data can be a big headache for data defenders
  Technology is outrunning the security needed to keep it safe. The technology allows tons of threat data to be analyzed and used to thwart intruders. In the enterprise, it can be used to analyze volumes of network traffic to reveal insider trouble and advanced persistent threats. Problem is, the network architecture that supports big data wasn't created with security in mind, which can create problems for system defenders. (Source csoonline.com)

Only 28% of consumers consider processing card payments on a mobile device to be secure  Today, Javelin Strategy and Research released a report that found mobile point-of-sale (POS) technology poses a significant and growing threat to terminal-based solutions, and security is an important concern for consumers, given the above finding. Mobile POS is not only changing the POS industry, it is also changing the retail industry as a whole. The possibilities for integrating the online and offline experiences are endless. Javelin said this technology “will change the way Americans think about the shopping experience.” (Source venturebeat.com)

Illicit trading worst than thought in Ireland - New Study shows $1.95B U.S. impact on the economy in Ireland alone  For a relatively small country this is a huge number and represents 12% of their interest bill on their national debt in 2013. The figures include uncollected taxes of as much as $1,21B U.S. and $711M U.S. in losses to retailers and businesses such as record companies. The figures include up to $605M U.S. lost from fuel laundering and $898M U.S. from counterfeit cigarettes. Elsewhere, illegal downloads of music, computer games and computer software are said to cost in the region of $349.7M U.S., partly leading to financial difficulties and job losses at companies such as HMV, Golden Discs and Game. (Source independent.ie)

Federal Reserve Announces Day of Issue of Redesigned $100 Note.  The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday announced that the redesigned $100 note will begin circulating on October 8, 2013. This note, which incorporates new security features such as a blue, 3-D security ribbon, will be easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. The new design for the $100 note was unveiled in 2010, but its introduction was postponed following an unexpected production delay. More information about the new design $100 note, as well as training and educational materials, can be found at www.newmoney.gov. (Source kimatv.com)


JCPenney's Vice President of Real Estate and Construction left the company; Investigations into no building permits for shop-in shops construction projects.  Benjamin Fay, who was brought on board by former CEO Ron Johnson, left the company last week, and has now been replaced by Tom Clerkin who had retired from JC Penney last year. Fay was the former EVP of Real Estate and Construction at Apple. JC Penney is allegedly investigating whether its construction teams are remodeling stores without proper building permits. In-house lawyers have been questioning employees about bending rules as the retailer rushes to unveil 700 new shop-in-shops nationwide. "'Keep building, don’t worry about the permits," one senior Penney construction exec told underlings in a meeting this spring, according to a source close to the retailer. "The message was, ‘This project must get done, and if you fail, JC Penney fails,'" as reported in the New York Post. (Source bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com)

Walmart fights Publix for market share in South Florida.  Publix currently enjoys a 52.8 percent of the South Florida grocery market and Walmart is looking to continue to cut away at that number. Walmart has 14.7 percent of the market according to The Shelby Report publication. Walmart has run ads stating lower prices, while Publix has countered those claims. Walmart Neighborhood Market’s has and will continue to open new stores around the corner from Publix locations. (Source sun-sentinel.com)

Cabela’s overnight staff puts out an electrical fire in Dundee, Michigan: store hopes to re-open by the weekend.  The plastic housing of a ceiling light fixture caught fire and dripped down to a clothing rack below. The Cabela’s over night stocking crew was able to extinguish the fire before it got out of control. Firefighters used the store’s scissor lift to extinguish the light fixture fire. Firefighters believe it was lucky the fire was contained to an Under Armour display, the materials are fire-resistant. (Source toledoblade.com)

Polo store at Tanger Outlets hit by Atlanta gang 30 Deep  Authorities suspect that a notorious Atlanta gang is behind a brazen crime at a Locust Grove store. Surveillance video shows several men stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise after backing a truck into a store. Authorities say the men stole $30,000 worth of merchandise and caused $90,000 of damage to the building in the December break-in, which lasted less than one minute. Locust Grove Detective David Donehoo says five men have been arrested, four others are in other jails. He says five more suspects remain on the loose. They will move out of the central Atlanta area figuring that they're going to have a leg up due to the, maybe you could say, a less police presence," Donehoo said. (Source myfoxatlanta.com)

Oakland Mall security manager charged with breaking-and-entering, larceny  Oakland Mall’s security manager was arraigned Wednesday on charges of breaking-and-entering and larceny at his own workplace. On Monday, Troy police responded to a breaking-and-entering report at Manic Shoes inside Oakland Mall, where about $300 was missing from a locked cash register. Officers reviewed video from an in-store camera with mall security, and “a possible perpetrator was observed on camera going to and entering the register,” according to a statement from the Troy Police Department. A mall security officer recognized the suspect as the mall’s security manager, police said. Troy police interviewed Maul, who admitted to the theft at Manic, along with four other thefts that have happened at the mall since Jan. 7, police said. (Source themorningsun.com)

Stamford Man admits to fake robbery to cover his theft of $70,000 from a check cashing business.  Police say an armed robbery of a check-cashing place reported on Tuesday was a hoax created by one of the store's employees to cover up an embezzlement scheme. The employee, a 24-year old Bridgeport man, confessed to police that he lied about the store being robbed because he stole approximately $70,000 from the X-Bankers store. (Source stamfordadvocate.com)

Store turns bumbling videotaped burglar into TV ad.  A Northern California grocery store owner is trying to profit from a suspected thief's botched burglary attempt that was caught on video and went viral. Footage shows the man breaking the Redding store's window last month and tripping twice as he ran away. Now store owner Kent Pfrimmer has turned it into a television commercial for his business, Kent's Meats and Groceries. (Source nydailynews.com)


Walmart evacuated temporarily due to grenade scare.  Multiple crews were dispatched around 3:00am Thursday morning to investigate a report of a grenade with a pin in it was found on top of a phone booth near Walmart in Clewiston. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office bomb squad was called to the scene and determined the grenade was in fact a fake, and was not considered a threat.  Deputies said it was a training grenade, which were popular in World War II. Customers were allowed to reenter the store at 9am.  (Source wpbf.com)

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Safeway Q1 up 1.5%
Tractor Supply Q1 up 0.5% with revenue up 6%
Supervalu Q1 down 4.1% with sales down 2.3%
Croc's Q1 down 5.2% globally & 10.3% in the America's with revenue up 15%

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In Memoriam
 
Loss Prevention Memorial Fund

The untimely passing of Angelo Longo Jr. is just another reminder that none of us knows the time or place when we will be called home.

Often when we hear the news of a colleague passing... we pause for a moment to reflect on memories of the individual, and pay homage to their life’s work, recall our fond memories of encounters with them, and after a brief period of mourning or reflection, we go on with our daily lives.

The families of these departed colleagues however are forever changed. Income provided by the deceased colleague ceases immediately, however the living expenses for the surviving family do not.

Even if the colleague planned well, and the family has access to financial resources, it will take time to move through the processes to gain control of those resources.

Many people in the LP community may want to help by donating money, but just don’t know where to go, or what cause to support.

The LP Foundation has established the LP Memorial Fund for exactly that reason and purpose.

The LP Memorial Fund was established as a resource for the LP Community to financially support the families of their LP colleagues after a colleague passes while on duty. Angelo’s passing certainly qualifies.

If you would like to donate money to help the family of Angelo Longo Jr. as well as other colleagues of the LP community, the link below will take you to the LP Memorial Fund donation page of the LP Foundation website.

http://www.losspreventionfoundation.org/loss-prevention-memorial-fund.html

 

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ORC News
 
Five New Yorkers arrested in Clarksville for credit card theft.  Federal indictments have been returned in what investigators are calling a significant credit card scam. The five suspects were arrested earlier in April, and now a federal grand jury has decided to charge the group with fraud and forgery. Police say five suspects from New York were using the fake credit cards in the Louisville area. They were arrested after an employee at the Sam's Club in Clarksville, Ind. became suspicious and called police. Officers say they followed them and found 300 credit cards in their car. Investigators say the suspects had 40 - 50 cards that were in their names, but were tied to someone else's account. One suspect also had counterfeit bills in his possession. Police say they've racked up $30,000 in charges just in this area. (Source wave3.com)


Two women hitting stores in Mount Pleasant, WI., with stolen credit cards  Police are asking the public to keep a look out for two women who, they say, are using stolen credit cards to buy gift cards from area grocery stores. The women are hitting Piggly Wiggly stores and Pick n Save. (Source patch.com)

Phoenix man accused of running a retail theft operation; sold over $6000 in Jawbone Jambox speakers.  A 29-year-old man was arrested for running a retail theft operation over about three months in Maricopa County. Phoenix Police say Jonathan Vildosola stole approximately 21 "Jawbone Jambox" speaker systems between Jan. 5 and March 28 at various retail stores in the metro area. The value of the stolen systems is about $6,000 and a number of them were pawned or sold on Craigslist and Facebook. He was arrested April 18 and charged with 18 counts of Organized Retail Theft and 17 counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property. (Source azfamily.com)

Two suspects being sought in baby formula thefts from Walgreens and Super Walmart in Rochelle, Illinois.  A week ago the duo hit a Walgreens store for 20 cans of formula; on April 23 the same two women along with an additional female and a small child were spotted in the Super Walmart stealing 18 more cans. Rochelle Police believe the same two women were responsible for the thefts. (Source wrex.com)

Three women caught on tape shoplifting at a Sprint store in Florida.  In less then 45 seconds the three women stole over $1200 worth of merchandise from a secured display at a Sprint store in Hialeah, Florida. Police are now seeking the identity of the three suspects. (Source www.wsvn.com)


Two arrested for stealing thousands in electronics from a Ukiah, California Walmart.  James R. Anson, 24 of Ukiah was a suspect of an investigation into electronics being stolen from the Ukiah Walmart. On Tuesday Anson was arrested inside the Walmart store for probation violations and had stolen merchandise on him at the time of the arrest. When police search his home, they found a cache of stolen electronic and arrested a second suspect. (Source ukiahdailyjournal.com)

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Press Release
 



NFSSC FINALIZES ROUNDTABLE TOPICS


The National Food Service Security Council (NFSSC), the leading trade association for loss prevention and security professionals in the QSR and casual dining restaurant industry, has finalized the topics to be featured at is conference-closing Roundtable Session. The NFSSC will host its 34th Annual Conference, August 4-7, in Las Vegas.

The Roundtable Session, is one of the conference’s highlight events – featuring three, simultaneous 20-minute interactive discussions on key challenges facing the industry. As the session’s wrap-up, a 15 minute overview and Q&A involving the entire group follows – allowing each participant to actively take part in topics that are most important to them, but still having the opportunity to learn solutions to other issues discussed. The sessions highlighted are:

Implementing Training and Awareness Programs
Exception Based Reporting
Loss Prevention and Operations – Working Together.

“The Roundtable Topics are looked forward to with great anticipation by our attendees,” said James Brussow, CPP, Dave & Buster’s Inc., and 2013 NFSSC President. “This session caps our entire program and typically entails some of the most lively discussions that will take place. It’s a great opportunity for loss prevention professionals to learn, share and develop solutions in a short amount of time.”

Sessions will be moderated by industry professionals who have a great deal of working experience and real-life practice in the highlighted fields. The Training & Awareness program will be headed by Mike Keller, Yum Brands; Exception Based Reporting will be moderated by Kevin O’Brien, LP Innovations; Loss Prevention and Operations will be conducted by Anne Sullivan, CKE Restaurants.

“Personally speaking, I get a great deal of value from the Roundtable topics,” said Ted Polensky, Director of Loss Prevention, Boddie-Noell Enterprises, and NFSSC 2013 Planning Committee Chair. “It’s an incredible experience to sit in a room with colleagues and competitors who willingly offer tips and best practices based on their own experiences to help others in the industry succeed. At the end of the day, we are all striving for the safety and protection of our customers and employees and these roundtable sessions bring out the best ideas, solutions and networking capabilities.”

NFSSC will host its 34th Annual Conference, August 4-7, 2013, at the M Resort Spa and Casino, in Las Vegas. The event features executive keynotes, educational sessions and workshops, roundtables, exhibits, scheduled practitioner/vendor meetings, and a host of entertaining networking functions. The education program will highlight speakers from the restaurant and loss prevention industry, presenting real-world topics and best practices, offering a host of solutions and insights for everyday situations.

For up to date speaker and conference information, or other event info, please visit, www.NFSSC.com. For more information about NFSSC membership or the annual conference, please contact Jim Forlenza, Executive Director, jim.forlenza@nfssc.com, or at 240-252-5542.

 

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5 Ways to 'Up' Your Profile
The key nowadays to succeeding is building a platform. You need to be seen but the idea is easier said than done. How can you build your existing platform and be seen more so you can further your career? These five tips will help you become more visible. (Get Involved)

10 Creativity Tips from J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler 
Continue on for ten rules for being successfully creative! This CEO shares his secrets on being creative and we all could learn a thing or two! Looking at a retail business standpoint, his ideas are very informative! (Forward is key)

The Secret to Success: Make Laziness Embarrassing.  How do successful people do it? I am sure we all have asked that question, and this author has the answer. How can they say yes to themselves, and find that internal motivation to get things accomplished? Find someone to hold you accountable! (Get it Done!)

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Unity and Driving an Industry Forward

Sometimes you've got to wonder if the industry is dragging us forward or we're actually steering it, given the pace of change we're all seeing. Obviously it is a mixture of both depending on the issue. But the fact is, in this new millennium the consumer is the one in charge and they will determine the future of all of the retailers we now work for. This group of real-time, crowd-connected, plug-ins are more powerful and more reactionary than any group before. They are redefining brand loyalty as quickly as they can push a "like" button. Something we've never seen before and something that will grow to heights and levels that could put companies out of business.

With all this being said, how does it impact our industry and how do we as an industry evolve with it and help contribute to this massive change we are all experiencing? While there is no simple answer to it, nor would I claim to have it, a few answers are obvious and a couple are aged old adages that I for one hope never change. Mobile is changing the world. The internet and social media are in our stores in real-time, and everyone can be a hacker while there is no separation now between online and offline. It is now an Omni-World and we now have Omni-criminals. Identity theft has become the #1 property crime, data breaches can influence millions, and ORC has grown significantly simply because it's easier to sell in the Omni-World where no one feels guilty. We have real challenges in front of us and our space is changing as fast as it is for our retailers. And quite frankly the answer lies where it has always been, Unity. As the retail Loss Prevention executives are stretched more now than ever and managing more information than we have ever had, it's up to the solution providers, the vendors, to deliver us the solutions, the new pieces to the puzzle, the answers that will help solve these real-time problems. Coming together as one is an absolute necessity if we are to solve these Omni-issues.

The two largest trade shows are in front of us and next week it begins. Where all the solution providers are gathered to show their new answers, with the only requisite being you taking the time to visit with as many as possible and being open to learn and see new things, new products, and meet new people. It is a time to come together and be one, and hopefully help drive this industry forward.


Just a thought,
Gus Downing


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Upcoming Events

Retail Asset Protection Conference 2013
April 28-May 1
Orlando, FL


2013 Annual Spring IOBSE Spring Conference
May 8 -10, 2013
Columbus, OH

NRF Loss Prevention Conference & EXPO
June 12-14, 2013
San Diego, CA

NFSSC Annual Conference
August 4-7, 2013
Las Vegas, NV

CLEAR Fourth Annual Training Conference
November 5-7, 2013
Atlanta, GA


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