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July 10, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

The Goodwill of Greater Washington DC has announced the appointment of Paul G. Talbott, CPP as Director of Loss Prevention. Paul has an extensive Loss Prevention background that spans a broad array of retail categories and segments to include full line and big box department stores, specialty electronics, jewelry, apparel and furniture. Paul is a recognized expert and author in the fields of Loss Prevention and Asset Protection having held the positions of Director and Vice President of Loss Prevention for three other nationally recognized retail chains, including Ritz Camera Centers, Kay Jewelers and Reliable Stores, Inc. Paul is board certified in Security Management with more than 30 years of retail Loss Prevention management experience. Congratulations Paul!
 

Question: If Your new Chief Marketing Officer lost a 1.6 million inactive customer database what would you do? Do you assist and help locate it? Do you open an investigation and really try to get to the bottom of it? After all it’s a significant asset to the organization and highly coveted by the senior management team and with the right marketing plan it could be worth millions. And what do you do if a former executive took it with them? One retailer just experienced this and luckily found the database. But in a world where data is king and corporate espionage is easy to pull off and widely publicized where are you on this matter. Just a thought

Gamified Learning is Taking Off in the Retail Training World With Wal-Mart...."
  Based on some simple but proven Brain Science concepts this unique and very Milennial approach is popping up all over North America with significant and measurable results. Axonify, the Canadian firm who is delivering it to the Loss Prevention industry is leading the effort and is experiencing rapid, strong growth. Visit www.axonify.com to learn more. As the concept is cross-functional we’re seeing it being used in virtually every business sector and on the consumer end as well.
Walmart confirms cancelling the opening of 3 new D.C. area stores if Wage Bill Passes.  Walmart confirmed in an op-ed in the Washington Post that it will pull the plug on three planned stores in the Washington, D.C., area if the D.C. Council passes a bill setting a higher minimum wage for large retailers. The bill, the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) of 2013, is scheduled for a vote on today. The bill would require large retailers with stores over 75,000 sq. ft. and parent companies grossing at least $1 billion per year to pay a "living wage" of $12.50 an hour. (The District has a minimum wage of $8.25.). (Source washingtonpost.com)

Barnes and Noble names President who has "history of spinning off units"  The company is considering splitting up its businesses after Barnes and Noble chairman, Leonard Riggio, said in February he planned to make an offer for its 680 stores and website. The company also created a digital-media division just last year with the goal of spinning it off. Last month, the company announced a halt on making tablets, and would partner with a device manufacturer, continuing to make the black-and-white e-readers and selling digital books through mobile apps. The resignation of the former President came less than two weeks after a loss in the quarter ended April 30, which ended up being twice as wide as was expected. (Source crainsnewyork.com)

Barnes & Noble Comes to Fork in the Road
Just last January, the chief executive of the retail chain, Mr. Lynch, was showing off the new Palo Alto, California office, the center of the e-reader operations. Now, 16 months later, Barnes & Noble's digital plans are not where they wanted to be. The company announced it would stop manufacturing tablets last month, and just on Monday, Mr. Lynch announced his resignation. Executives of the company have acknowledged one fact: 'the digital business that was to be the centerpiece of its growth strategy must be retooled.' (Source nytimes.com)

Details begin to emerge of the $1.3 Million Tiffany’s theft  Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, the former Vice President of Product Development was careful to steal Tiffany items that were valued at $10,000 or less. According to an outside investigator, Tiffany’s has a policy to only investigate missing pieces valued at $25,000 or more. Lederhaas-Okun position with Tiffany’s was downsized in February, shortly after; Tiffany’s began conducting a world wide audit of all missing pieces throughout the chain. When Tiffany’s asked Lederhaas-Okun about the missing pieces which she had signed out, she stated that they were for her supervisor and that to her knowledge the merchandise was still in an envelope in her desk. Tiffany’s investigated the claims which her supervisor denied any knowledge and a review of Lederhaas-Okun emails on her company computer revealed a string of conversations selling the stolen pieces. (Source businessweek.com)

“Theft — intentional or not — is up to five times higher with self checkout than when cashiers are working.”  Both Costco and Sam's Club are debating letting customers check out their merchandise without a cashier. The odd thing is that the two retailers have come to different conclusions: Sam's Club is doubling down on it, while Costco is getting rid of it. Sam's Club is adding 10,000 self-checkout lanes and Costco's CEO told Bloomberg Businessweek that they were getting rid of self-checkouts because their cashiers can ring up merchandise faster. Self-checkout technology has its advantages and disadvantages: it is cheaper, some people prefer checking out their own merchandise rather than having someone else do it for them, and it could become the way of the future. The drawbacks: Thieves have an easier time stealing merchandise because they aren't monitored as closely in self-checkout lanes, and customer satisfaction could lower. (Source time.com)

Russian Checkout Counters Use Cameras and Emotion Recognition Software to Check Out You, the Customer 
The 280-location strong retail chain, Ulybka Radugi, is partnering with marketing tech firm, Synqera, for a project to revolutionize checkout counters as we know it. The checkout counters would be equipped with technology able to read customer's facial expressions and register their emotions while purchasing items. The data received from the sensors could be used to provide the customers with discounts or ads when they leave the store, via SMS text messages. The new technology is scheduled to start rolling out this month. (Source fastcompany.com)
 
LPRC Update

LPRC’s over 35 retail chains are working with the same number of solution providers, as well as UF/LPRC scientists, to improve in-store, parking lot, and supply chain protection and cost-benefits. Senior OfficeMax, Toys R Us, Big Lots, and Walmart LP/AP executives have recently been in Gainesville, FL setting up their corporate StoreLabs, with more to follow as 20 chains now have Gainesville “lab” locations.

As part of LPRC’s ongoing StoreLab innovation program, the field research team is preparing to assess multiple current and modified product protection treatments on video in a large store. Offenders will be video-taped as they are exposed to the treatments, and are later interviewed. Commencing in two weeks the team is going to first interview 20 active shoplift offenders around 16 anti-theft treatments to assess the differential offender see/get/fear responses.

In the second phase of the research, over 40 offenders will take selected items from four test stations with varying treatment options for very precise statistical modeling to better understand what treatment enhancements and enhancement combinations boost noticing, recognizing and fearing the countermeasures.

To join in the discussion, go to the group's LinkedIn Page

Report indicates Omni-Channel Integration slower then expected with many retailers.  EKN conducted a research report sponsored by Epicor which indicates that retailers are moving slowly in system integration across channels. The report stated that only a third use the store as a delivery hub for online orders, one in four offer smart devices to their sales associates, and one in ten have features in their mobile app that are useful in the store.  (Source marketwire.com)

Shopper Track expects 4.3% increase in back to school sale this August  Retail foot traffic is also expected to increase .6%, with parents spending and shopping more during the back-to-school season than last year. As the first major 'shopping season' of the year, and with our economy growing stronger with lowered unemployment rates this year as opposed to back-to-school season last year, an expectation for a rise in sales and traffic is not out of the question. Last year, back-to-school sales increased 5.9% compared to the previous year. (Source drugstorenews.com)

MAPCO EXPRESS facing additional Class-Action suits over Malware Attack; Data breach leads to three class action lawsuits seeking unspecified damages.  Three class action lawsuits have been filed against MAPCO Express following a malware attack that exposed private customer information. The attack may have compromised data at all of its 377 convenience stores that connect to its corporate network. The attacks occurred between March 14 and April 21. One suit alleges losses of as much as $5 million, though it’s a figure that industry experts say is hard to pinpoint. A similar suit was filed in April against Schnucks Markets Inc. following a malware attack that involved as many at 500,000 cards. While some media reports cited an $80 million loss estimate, Schnucks spokesperson Lori Willis disputed that figure. (Source csnews.com)
 

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Retail Crime News
 
Arleta Store Owner Shot Dead During Apparent Robbery.  The 34-year-old owner of a San Fernando Valley wireless store was fatally shot Monday night during an apparent robbery. The incident occurred shortly after 8:40 p.m. at a store near Woodman Avenue and Osborne Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Emergency personnel found Nestor Hernandez shot multiple times, lying on the sidewalk, just feet from his business. (Source nbclosangeles.com)

Gas Pump card readers tied to National Fraud Scheme.  Skimmers used at a Minnesota gas station were tied to at least 900 credit card accounts being victimized. Plymouth, Minnesota police discovered six skimmer devices hidden inside the pumps at one gas station alone. One of the gadgets also contained DNA that matched a suspect from California. Sarkis Mkhsyan and his wife told the officer who stopped them that they came to Minnesota to visit the Mall of America, but investigators say they were actually shopping around for places to pilfer other peoples' money. Pump security is a problem, partially because there are only two companies that make gas pumps and both have one universal key that can unlock any of them. (Source myfoxtwincities.com)

FBI investigates Wells Fargo Bank robbery inside HEB store in Houston. Authorities are searching for a man they say robbed a bank inside a grocery store Monday afternoon in west Houston. The robbery occurred about 1:45 p.m. at a Wells Fargo Bank inside the H.E.B. store at 11815 Westheimer near Kirkwood, according to the FBI. FBI officials said the man walked into the bank and handed a teller a note, which demanded money. After he was given cash, the man left. He was seen getting into the passenger side of a blue-gray Ford Taurus. No injuries were reported. (Source khou.com)

Orange, Texas man found guilty in bloody jewelry store robbery.  On Tuesday, it took the jury less then 2 hours to find Joshua Nowland guilty of robbery and attempted murder of a jewelry store owner in Beaumont, Texas last year. The owner was shot through the leg during the hold-up, but was able to grab his weapon and return three shots striking the suspect. When Police arrived on the scene, the robber was laying on the sidewalk in front of the store with the owner holding him at gunpoint. (Source beaumontenterprise.com)

Sears Loss Prevention agent stabbed in Winston-Salem.  Winston-Salem police said a loss prevention officer in Sears saw a man on camera take three pairs of cargo shorts and then leave on Sunday. The victim told officers he followed the suspect outside, confronted him and then began escorting him back inside to call police. While walking back, police said the suspect pulled out a sharp object – possibly a box cutter – and stabbed the victim in the arm. Authorities said a struggle ensued, and the suspect then stabbed the victim once in the cheek and was able to run off before police arrived. Police said the victim was treated at the scene by emergency medical responders. (Source wxii12.com)

Washington suburb repots an increase of 175% in alcohol thefts since privatization.  The Walla Walla Police Department reports a 175 percent increase in alcohol thefts between the first six months of 2012 — before privatization took place — and the first six months of this year. Officers have responded to more than 44 reports of alcohol thefts in the city since January. Organized theft groups as well as juveniles have been arrested at Rite Aid, Safeway and Albertsons but Police believe the problem is truly even larger with unreported cases of loss. (Source yakimaherald.com)

Two suspects in Tulsa plead guilty in federal identity-theft case.  Two people have pleaded guilty to a federal criminal complaint of engaging in an identity theft conspiracy that reportedly involved the use of the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of others to obtain credit cards, gift cards and cellphones. Rahamanh Katumbusi and Denmetra Voncil Sherman were both charged in a complaint posted last Thursday night. Katumbusi said during his plea hearing Tuesday that the pair traveled to the Oklahoma City area, where they obtained credit cards, store credit and cellphones using the fraudulent cards. During a search of the suspect’s vehicle, deputies found several fictitious identification and credit cards as well as at least 17 new iPhones and at least 40 gift cards from various retailers. (Source tulsaworld.com)

Two suspects being sought in Woodhaven, Michigan Sav-0n-Drugs smash and grab. Two suspects smashed out the front glass of the Sav-On-Drugs store in Woodhaven to steal cash and cigarettes. Two registers tills were emptied and 160 packages of cigarettes were stolen. An estimated $1000 worth of damage was done to the store. Police are reviewing the surveillance video. (Source thenewsherald.com)

 

NRF Loss Prevention Conference & EXPO
 

NRF honors retailers, law enforcement with Loss Prevention Awards


By Jennifer Overstreet
Published: July 9, 2013

More than 2,600 loss prevention professionals attended last month’s Loss Prevention Conference in San Diego. Among all the networking, education and innovations in the exhibition hall, a few themes emerged. The retail industry is moving forward fast, and with it, new challenges from new technology and changing behaviors, as well as new tools to counter retail crime. Partnerships are more important than ever for solving investigations, and building them takes a little old-fashioned networking along with virtual collaboration. And the face of the loss prevention profession is evolving as well, with the loss prevention role being so critical to many retailers’ initiatives for the future.
 
As many of our attendees and committee members will tell you, loss prevention is a difficult but rewarding career path. During a special ceremony at the conference, attendees paused to applaud the winners of the 2013 Loss Prevention Awards. The winners include LP teams that excelled in making a difference in their communities; a law enforcement professional who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist a retailer; two investigators whose work has made a significant positive impact on their company, community and the industry at large; and a professional who has significantly shaped the industry throughout his career.

These winners received special congratulations at the show, but within retail organizations across the country, thousands of loss prevention professionals are also hard at work. We hope you take a minute today to thank them for their contributions throughout the year.

NRF 2013 Loss Prevention Award winners

Loss Prevention Volunteers in Action
 

Aspect Loss Prevention
Gap Inc.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio Inc.
Limited Brands
Macy’s Inc.
TJX Companies Inc.

Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award
 

Kara Kaufmann, Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service

Loss Prevention Case of the Year Award
 

Dan Ensing and Denis Tarabrin, Organized Retail Crime Investigators, Dominick’s Finer Foods (Safeway Inc.)

NRF Ring of Excellence
 

George Luciano (Ret.) honored for his more than 30 years of retail loss prevention experience. Learn more about Luciano in his interview with LP Magazine.

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.

 
ORC News
Sponsored by Protection 1
Three member distraction team hits a Scarsdale jewelry store with precession.  Village detectives on Tuesday released pictures and video surveillance tapes of three people sought in the June 29 theft of $50,000 worth of rings from Sam Lehr Jewelers. The images show the suspects inside the 28 Harwood Court store, and police are asking for the public's help in identifying the two men and a woman. They walked into the store and distracted employees while one opened a locked case and swiped five gold rings with blue stones and diamonds about 2:15 p.m. (Source cbslocal.com)

Paramus police chase, arrest suspect in $4,500 sunglasses theft.  Paramus police are investigating whether a Paterson man arrested and charged yesterday in the theft of $4,500 worth of sunglasses from a Garden State Plaza store is connected to more than $8,000 worth of designer shades boosted since January from malls and borough-area stores. An employee at the Sunglass Hut called police after spotting a man suspected in the theft last Saturday of 22 pairs of assorted styles and brands of sunglasses valued at $4,509.43. (Source northjersey.com)

Pair sought in theft of TV sets from Gonzales Wal-Mart.  Two men are wanted for allegedly stealing two big-screen television sets from the Wal-Mart store in Gonzales on Saturday night. The two men were seen on surveillance video around 9:30 p.m. taking two 50-inch LG TV sets with a combined value of more than $1,600 from the store on Airline Highway. They pushed the TVs into the exterior portion of the store’s garden center, and while one waited with the TVs, the other drove a vehicle around to the center. The television sets were then taken out of the store through a fire exit. (Source wbrz.com)

Zara, Gap, Forever 21 and H&M targets for Shoplifting gangs in SE Asia.  A total of 19 people have been arrested, all believed to be tied to two shoplifting gangs hitting stores in Shanghai . A group of eleven suspects staying at the same hotel in the Huangpu district were busted with over 1000 clothing items stored in 2 hotel rooms. Shanghai Police arrested a total of 19 people with a total of 1500 items believed to be valued at over $48,000. An H&M store employee told the press that they have 3 security guards in the Shanghai store who apprehend around five shoplifters per month. (Source globaltimes.cn)

Two Shoplifters hit an Academy store employee with a car during get-a-way. An Academy store employee followed the women outside attempting to write down their license plate number when one of them backed into the worker with the car. The employee suffered an injury to the arm. (Source khou.com)

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eBay News
 

ebay Coordinates with Law Enforcement and Retailers To Launch South Florida ORC Task Force


Yesterday at the ICE Homeland Security Headquarters, eBay’s Senior Director of Global Asset Protection presented an overview of eBay’s efforts in partnering with retailers and law enforcement to combat Organized Retail Crime.

Doral Police Chief Richard Blom, said that when he first started in law enforcement, police 'relied on the community' to catch store thieves. 'Today, we have a new partnership,' Miami may not be the worst city in the nation for “organized retail crime” — that dubious distinction belongs to Los Angeles — but the problem has gotten so big that South Florida authorities Tuesday announced a new task force with the goal of containing it.

Click here to read the full article.

For further information on PROACT email inquiries to; PROACT@eBay.com

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We’ll partner with you to design the optimum overlay of your current video monitoring systems, and help you to leverage that investment to maximize your ROI. It’s part of our total service commitment in our Premier Managed Services offering that includes Business Intelligence, Managed Access, Networking Performance Analysis, Remote Video Surveillance with Interactive Audio, and Advanced Burglar and Fire Alarm systems for most any application.

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Paul G. Talbott, CPP was named Director of Loss Prevention for Goodwill of Greater Washington, DC.

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Your Career
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3 Motivational Mind Tricks Designed to Power Progress  Progress is a powerful fuel for our minds and our motivates our performances daily. Progress helps us see how much we have accomplished and what we have yet to achieve. Understanding progress can be a bit tricky, though, so here are some tricks to see how progress is helping you be productive. (Visualizing progress can stimulate performance)

How Clutter Cramps Your Productivity
Having too much at your desk or workspace of choice can make you less productive than you would think! The more things you have around you, the more attention each thing requires of your brain. All the stuff on your workspace screams for your attention, resulting in frustration and lack of productivity. (Clutter, be gone)

Unlimited Vacation Doesn't Create Slackers--It Ensures Productivity  Where we assume our precious vacation time is to be spent away from the office, the hustle and bustle of work, and especially our inboxes, those weeks of freedom could be what you need to rev up your game! Studies show that workers feel guilty when not at work! (Unlimited vacation has even yielded more efficiency in some organizations)

Policing Your Productivity: 7 Tools to Help You Focus 
With technology rapidly changing, it's no wonder there is software out to help block out those annoying distractions, and help you regain control of your busy day. An app called LeechBlock will block your desired websites at certain times of the day, allowing you to stay focused. (An app to force you to focus too!)

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Tip of the Day
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Making judgments on people is a serious thing and has a ripple effect that goes well beyond your immediate group. We all make judgments on every executive we know and it's human nature to be critical. Leave it to say that the best opinion is one of direct first-hand experience and is based on both sides of every story. It's easy to react to the self-serving opinions of others, but the real professional takes the high road and focuses on what's best for their organization, their team, and their industry.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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