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