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TalkLP host Amber Bradley teams up with industry veteran and owner of the D&D Daily Gus Downing to talk legislative updates with NRF experts Jon Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain & Customs Policy, Jason Straczewski, Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs and David Johnston, Vice President of Asset Protection & Retail Operations. Amber and Gus cover what retailers need to know about the INFORM Act, where it stands today and how they can help get it over the goal line!

For more information on how to take action, retailers should visit NRF's website here.

To learn more about HSI's Operation Boiling point, listen to Amber's interview with HSI's Deputy Assistant Director Raul Aguilar here.

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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

NYC Stores 'Terrorized' by Repeat Offenders
Park Slope shop owners terrorized by uptick in 'brazen' crimes
Sunday's $2 million smash-and-grab heist at a Park Slope jewelry store is just the latest audacious attack in the once-quiet, upscale Brooklyn enclave, The Post has learned. Two other shops have been targeted by crooks in recent months, including Glitz Jewelers and an AT&T outlet - next to Facets Jewelry, which was ransacked this past weekend.

"The criminals are brazen," said Eddie Khanimov, owner of Glitz Jewelers, where sledgehammer-wielding robbers made off with a third of his store's inventory - $200,000 in gold and diamonds - in less than 10 minutes on Aug. 17. "They don't care. It's like the wild, wild west. They are in and out in five minutes."

Park Slope's uptick in crime is the worst Khanimov has seen "since the '80s," he said - and he blames the state's controversial bail laws.

"The people doing these crimes are repeat offenders, who the courts keep letting out. ... The laws have to be changed," he said. "Repeat offenders should go to jail and stay in jail. They have to stop letting them out."

Under the controversial 2019 state criminal justice reforms, judges are prohibited from setting bail on most crimes - including nearly all non-violent larcenies. Critics had long complained that the statute creates a revolving door for repeat offenders - releasing them to the streets to commit more crimes, including serial thieves.

A downward Slope

NYPD statistics reviewed by The Post show that shoplifting and retail thefts in Park Slope jumped more than 55% in the 78th Precinct - which patrols Park Slope - through September compared to the same nine-month time span in 2021. And the trend seems to be continuing into the new year. nypost.com

Retail's War on Theft Continues to be The Hot Topic
Lowe's to sell power tools that won't work if they're stolen - similar to Home Depot's 2021 initiative

Lowe's is combining RFID and blockchain technologies to ensure stolen products are rendered inoperable.

Lowe's isn't messing around with shoplifters. Through Lowe's Innovation Labs, the company is planning to launch an anti-theft initiative, called "Project Unlock," that uses RFID chips and scanners to activate products that are legitimately purchased.

In other words, if a power tool is stolen from Lowe's, it isn't going to work.

Project Unlock has two main components. First, products are loaded with RFID tags that have unique serial numbers. When customers check out, a scanner reads all tags on the products, and if they have the correct serial number, the product is activated at sale.

Additionally, Project Unlock focuses on transparent purchase records. More specifically, the company said it is utilizing blockchain technology to create a "secure publicly accessible anonymized record of authentic product purchases."

Essentially, when a product is purchased, it is recorded in the blockchain - or a system in which a record of transactions is maintained across computers that are linked. And if a thief tries to resell stolen goods to other individuals or third-party marketplaces, potential buyers can check to make sure they're not buying a stolen good.

Lowe's isn't the first company to get creative with anti-theft measures. In 2021, Home Depot began selling power tools that won't work unless they're properly scanned and activated at the register via Bluetooth technology. businessinsider.com

Florida Trying to Stop Credit Card Companies from Tracking Gun Store Sales
Credit card companies track gun sales amid concerns over violence & mass shootings

New bill seeks data protection after gun and ammo sales

Florida may soon fine some financial institutions that identify gun store purchases under a pending proposal ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

The proposal - known as the "Florida Arms and Ammo Act" - seeks to thwart the emerging corporate practice of identifying and potentially flagging an individual's financial data after a purchase at a gun retailer.

Proponents, including Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, describe the proposal as a "first in the nation." The effort comes as some credit card companies track and categorize gun store sales amid growing concerns of violence and mass shootings.

Zephyrhills Republican Sen. Danny Burgess and Palm City Republican Rep. John Snyder are the bill sponsors. The pair, alongside Simpson and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, characterized the practice of tracking sales at gun stores as a danger to liberty and privacy. What's more, they warned of the potential for a "backdoor firearm registry" by financial corporations. State law prohibits firearm registries.

Under the proposal, credit companies may face fines up to $10,000 per violation. Several companies, including Visa and Mastercard, have embraced the use of new transaction codes to categorize purchases at retailers that primarily sell ammunition and guns. Gun store transactions were previously recorded within a broader category, such as sporting goods.

It is difficult to quantify how many guns are owned in Florida. The state, however, is home to more than 2.6 million residents with a concealed weapon permit as of December, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. mynews13.com

NY Has No Intention of Changing Bail Reform Law
NY Gov. Hochul offers bail reform rollback that changes little in State of the State speech
Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered a State of the State address - her first as New York's elected governor - that offered little change to the controversial bail reform law passed by the legislative leaders seated behind her.

While talking tough Tuesday on the scourge of crime and shootings, her proposal would merely give judges a bit more discretion in setting bail for defendants accused of serious crimes.

In addition, the governor glossed over the issue of recidivism, which the NYPD has repeatedly pointed to as a critical factor, with a small handful of repeat offenders responsible for major amounts of shoplifting arrests and other illegal activity.

"Data from before and after the enactment of bail reform actually shows that eliminating the 'least restrictive' standard for bail eligible offenses - while retaining it for less serious crimes - will not increase the overall rate of pretrial incarceration," according to a briefing book distributed to reporters.

State Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R-Lockport) also said that Hochul's speech "While the governor echoed our themes, she ignored the stark reality that one-party, progressive policies have made New York less safe and less affordable. New Yorkers deserve action that matches the rhetoric." nypost.com

Progressive Prosecutor Movement Gaining Momentum
From Bail Reform to Not Prosecuting Low Level Crime - i.e. Shoplifting

2023 Presents Reform Opportunities for Prosecutors Across the Nation

Time and again, pundits and tough-on-crime forces have prematurely predicted the demise of the reform-minded prosecutor movement.

We saw innovative local prosecutors reelected last year in rural regions and large cities alike, from Dallas and Indianapolis to Burlington, Vermont and Jefferson County, Alabama, all of whom have been making transformative changes to the communities they serve and were supported by diverse swaths of voters who embraced their inspiring visions of justice.

The midterm elections also swept in a new class of groundbreaking DAs across rural, suburban and urban jurisdictions, including Mary Moriarty in Minneapolis, Kimberly Graham in Polk County, Iowa and Steve Mulroy in Shelby County, Tennessee. . In Memphis, DA Steve Mulroy, who assumed office in August.

In Michigan, Prosecuting Attorneys Eli Savit and Karen McDonald established conviction review units.

Prosecutors like Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney Kim Foxx have also led the way in rectifying hundreds of past convictions. thecrimereport.org

Philadelphia Sending 100+ More Officers to City's Most Violent Districts - North Philadelphia, Kensington and Tioga-Nicetown

Federal crackdown continues as violent crime ebbs

New Zealand: Retail crime is skyrocketing, but what's behind it?

Luggage thieves can be charged with federal crime



COVID Update

665M Vaccinations Given

US: 103.1M Cases - 1.1M Dead - 100M Recovered
Worldwide: 669.3M Cases - 6.7M Dead - 640.8M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 362   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 828

The Formal End of the COVID 'Public Health Emergency'
Biden team eyes end of Covid emergency declaration and shift in Covid team

The Biden administration wants to lift the yearslong emergency declaration for the pandemic. But first, it needs to manage the latest Covid threat.

When the Biden administration renews the Covid public health emergency this week, it will mark the 11th time since the coronavirus arrived that the government declared its presence a national crisis. It may also be the last.

Senior Biden officials are targeting an end to the emergency designation for Covid as soon as the spring, after debating doing so last summer and taking a pass, three people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO. Should they do so, such a move would represent a major pivot point in the country's battle with the pandemic.

The decision, which has not yet been finalized amid more immediate efforts to manage a recent spike in Covid cases, would trigger a complex restructuring of major elements of the federal response - and set the stage for the eventual shifting of greater responsibility for vaccines and treatments to the private market. It would kickstart a transition away from the White House-led crisis operation and toward treating the virus as a continuous long-term threat. politico.com

COVID's Toll Continues Silently
The covert winter wave of Covid-19

The coronavirus that caused the pandemic has largely vanished from public discourse - but it's still causing deaths.

In late October 2022, epidemiologists and infectious disease experts around the world began to notice an unsettling trend. As the epidemiologist Adam Kucharski explained in a Twitter thread, there was a new wave of Covid-19 afoot - but it was going largely unnoticed. Today the alarming spikes of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalisations, which we had all become familiar with during the grim days of 2020 and 2021, have been replaced by a more insidious, but unrelenting succession of daily fatalities.

As an example, let's take a figure for 21 December 2022 - 133 Covid-19 related deaths in England according to the UK government website - a number which may sound unremarkable compared to 2020 when people were being killed in their thousands by the virus (in the same week in the US 2,919 people died from Covid-19). But as Kucharski points out, over time even low levels of deaths can accumulate to a striking, perhaps even shocking number. bbc.com

Pentagon drops COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops
The Pentagon formally dropped its COVID-19 vaccination mandate Tuesday, but a new memo signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also gives commanders some discretion in how or whether to deploy troops who are not vaccinated.

NY, NJ COVID Hospitalizations Near Year-Highs as Wildly Contagious Variant Spreads

Satellite images show crowds at China's crematoriums as covid surges

Strategies for Retail Success in the New Year
The 2023 Top 5 Strategies and Top 3 Technologies for Retail Success

By Tony D'Onofrio, Global Retail Influencer & Prosegur's CEO & Managing Director, Global Retail Business Unit

A cornerstone of my social media growing personal brand has been the continuously updated "Disruptive Future of Retail" presentation that I have delivered on global stages in the past seven years. Crystalizing in the 2022 editions are the five strategies and the three primary technologies that will deliver a more profitable future of retail into the new year.

At the core of these strategies are two stakeholders that hold the key to what happens to retail next: the consumer and the store associate. The smartphone as now the third retail innovation megatrend has re-defined the successful retail formula.

This article summarizes the five strategies for success into 2023, along with the three technologies that are the strategic levers to their successful implementation. It closes with a summary of the smart more profitable store of the future.

The One Chart that Defines the Successful Future of Retail

In 2022, all my deliveries of my "Disruptive Future of Retail" have concluded with this chart.

Read Tony D'Onofrio's full article here

California Storm: The Retail Impact
Target Using Makeshift Drains After Dozens Of Roof Leaks
The west coast is still gettin' hit HARD with flash floods ... and one Target store's roof isn't holding up well -- based on the look of dozens of leaks caught throughout the store.

Video obtained by TMZ shows the makeshift response to a seriously leaky roof at the big-box store location in Irvine, CA Monday night. Employees appear to have set up tons of strategically-placed plastic bags that take water directly into buckets below.

As we reported, this new year weather is no joke -- Montecito locals, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Oprah, and Ellen DeGeneres, were ordered to evacuate after being hit with a TON of rainfall. Cleanup on aisle everywhere. tmz.com

17 Dead - $1B in Damage
California storm death toll reaches 17 as more rain, winds arrive

Damage could top $1 billion

he latest in a series of intense winter storms continued to lash Northern California on Tuesday, bringing periods of thunderstorms, heavy rain, wind and hail to the already waterlogged region as the death toll from the extreme weather climbs.

The back-to-back atmospheric rivers that have battered the Golden State have killed at least 17 people, including two motorists who died early Tuesday in a crash on Highway 99 in Tulare County when a tree that had been struck by lightning fell into the road, authorities said. latimes.com

The New Era of Zoom Layoffs & Social Media Criticisms
The Debate Swirling Inside HR Departments: How to Lay Off Workers
When exactly to fire employees, whether to cut once or multiple times and how much severance to offer can vex executives; the Zoom question

Executives considering downsizing are currently grappling with the same problem: finding the most effective way to let employees go.

Is it better to get layoffs over with all at once even at the risk of cutting too deep? Is firing over Zoom more humane than making an employee come into the office to lose their job? How much severance pay is fair?

Some human-resources teams are building spreadsheets to track how many positions peers cut and what they say to employees during the reductions. Laid-off workers, meanwhile, are comparing severance agreements and pushing back if they feel terms fall short, which has sometimes led to tense all-hands sessions.

"I'm not sure there's one recipe" for a layoff, said Katy George, a senior partner and chief people officer at McKinsey & Co.

This is also among the first job downturns in the era of increasingly empowered and vocal employees who are adept at using Slack and other tools to amplify their criticisms. Companies say it is important to handle layoffs carefully to protect employers' reputations and help maintain morale among those who remain.

The era of hybrid work only complicates matters, executives say. Bosses once insisted on delivering bad news face-to-face, a practice that changed in the pandemic. Some executives are now debating whether it is easier for employees to learn of a layoff on Zoom versus in-person, said Andy Challenger, senior vice president at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

"It almost seems cruel to ask someone to commute into the office just to let them go," he said.

"Take accountability, recognize the problem, be more generous than you have to be and as transparent as you can," Mr. Hoffman said. "That's the playbook." wsj.com

The Latest Workplace Trend
'Quiet hiring' is the opposite of quiet quitting, and workers are furious about it
Here's how it works: A company assesses its current workforce, mainly those who have gradually begun taking on responsibilities beyond their job description (which many quiet quitters already vehemently insist against). A thoughtful manager then notices that these workers have effectively started working in the position they wanted before being given the job-a sort of independent upskilling. If all goes according to plan, the manager will dole out a requisite raise or promotion, thereby saving the worker a job search, the company a hiring spree, and everyone time.

Like many viral workplace trends that have become popular in recent years, quiet hiring is a new name for an old tactic.

Some companies have spent considerable time and resources upskilling employees and giving them new avenues to put them to work, Anthony Nyberg, a scholar at The Academy of Management and program director of the human resources masters program at the University of South Carolina, tells Fortune. "Neither of these concepts is new, but moving talent internally to match [their new] talents to the optimal task does seem to be more appreciated." finance.yahoo.com

Podcast: The state of the retail industry in 2023
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay joins the "Retail Gets Real" podcast to discuss the current economy and consumer behavior insights gathered from holiday data, anticipating what's to come in 2023. Shay comments on the challenges the retail industry has faced considering the inflationary environment and impact of the pandemic, emphasizing NRF's advocacy efforts in repealing tariffs and combating organized retail crime. Listen here.

Five Below to open 200-plus stores, convert 400 locations to higher-price format

FASB continues push for corporate detailed expense disclosures

Dollar stores pose increasing threat to grocery chains: report

Improving Workplace Safety Through Warehouse Automation - Robots

Babies "R" Us to make store comeback - at American Dream

Quarterly Results

Aritiza Q3 retail comp's up 26%, boutiques sales up 58%, eCommerce up 47%, net revenue up 62.9%

Albertson's Q3 comp's up 7.9%, digital sales up 33%, revenue up 8.5%

All the News - One Place - One Source - One Time
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If it wasn't for them The Daily wouldn't be here every day for you.






Six Security Solutions for a Post-Pandemic
Retail Environment

Sean Foley, Interface SVP Customer Success discusses vital changes in retail security and top technology solutions in this Security Journal Americas (SJA) article.

Click here to read the full article







In Case You Missed It

Retail & Hospitality ISAC and National Retail Federation Partner to Enhance Cybersecurity in the Retail Industry

New partnership will bring together RH-ISAC's expertise in cybersecurity and threat intelligence with the resources and advocacy of NRF

Vienna, VA (January 10, 2023) - The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC) today announced a new collaboration to strengthen their collective efforts to improve cybersecurity within the retail and related consumer-facing sectors. This partnership will bring together RH-ISAC's expertise in cybersecurity and threat intelligence with the resources and advocacy of NRF, the world's largest retail trade association.

Through this partnership, the RH-ISAC and NRF will deepen their collaboration to provide retailers with the tools and resources they need to protect their businesses and customers from cyber threats. This includes sharing intelligence, curating relevant cybersecurity content at the other's annual conferences and other events, planning virtual cyber threat exercises, and developing educational resources. Additionally, the organizations will collaborate on benchmark and research reports and coordinate their engagement with government agencies and other industry stakeholders in support of the retail sector's cybersecurity priorities.

As part of this agreement, NRF will end-date its cyber threat-sharing portal, the NRF Cyber Risk Exchange, and its members will be able to migrate to the RH-ISAC's cyber threat-sharing systems and working groups. At the same time, the RH-ISAC's members will participate in NRF's cybersecurity-related policy, regulatory and risk management-focused programs and activities, including those developed for non-technology retail executives.

Read more here

Cybersecurity Gets a Seat on the Board
Nordstrom adds a CISO to Board of Directors
Atticus Tysen, CISO at financial software maker Intuit Inc., joined the board of retailer Nordstrom Inc. Mr. Tysen, who also serves as Intuit's senior vice president of product development and fraud prevention officer, brings Nordstrom's director count to 10 and adds specific cybersecurity expertise to the board. Nordstrom is one of the relatively few Fortune 500 companies with a technology committee at the board level.

Tysen has more than three decades of engineering and information security experience. In his current role as senior vice president of product development, chief information security and fraud prevention officer for Intuit, Tysen is responsible for the applications supporting the company's core IT functions as well as its cybersecurity and fraud prevention operations. Previous roles at the company include senior vice president and chief information officer, vice president of product development for Intuit's financial management solutions group, director of new technology and head of the company's intellectual property protection program. nordstrom.com

Establishing National Standards & Placing Liability on Operators
Once completed will it include all sectors - including retail?

Biden Administration to Unveil New Cybersecurity Regulations For Private Industry in Critical Infrastructure Sector
While acknowledging that voluntary approaches to cybersecurity compliance have produced some important improvements, the Biden administration says those improvements have been mostly incomplete and inadequate, particularly in the face of mounting attacks from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. As a result, President Biden's Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) is in the final phases of approving national requirements to strengthen cybersecurity for critical infrastructure. Among other things, the strategy calls for placing liability for attacks on operators who fail to take "reasonable" steps to strengthen their computer systems.

Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, reported to have opposed previous attempts to mandate cyber standards, has accepted the need to "harmonize" its member's interests with regulatory policy. To that end, the new strategy requires that plans need to be developed in consultation with industry experts so they are less burdensome, more workable and address some the issues that prevented a successful voluntary compliance program in the first place. Make no mistake, further regulation is on the way. jdsupra.com

Growing Concern Over Dangerous Deepfakes
Media, government seem clued into the danger of deepfakes. Is it too late?
For whatever reason, concern and even fright is building over deepfakes. The concerns are real, it just is not clear why the last three weeks has seen multiple news stories pop into the news stream.

AdvertisementIt is possible that people started getting more nervous after a deepfake entertainment startup named Deep Voodoo announced December 20 that it had received $20 million in venture capital.

On the same day that the investment was announced, The Atlantic, a long-form journalism publisher noted for not caring if its sentences cannot be read by adults who read at a seventh-grade level, posted a story with the headline: We Haven't Seen the Worse of Fake News. But its browser tab reads: It's Time to Worry.

The story is a primer on deepfake technology, how it has been used to date and, of course, how it could reduce life on earth to radioactive broth. A not dissimilar piece of analysis was published last week by Global News, a Canadian publication.

News publisher and cable channel CNBC is reporting on how China is readying "first of its kind" regulation to control deepfakes domestically. The always-nervous authoritarians running China are stepping up regulation of any digital information to make sure it does not disturb Beijing's masters.

But they know one unvetted idea that gets out can overturn things, so they are also readying a law managing how tech companies can use recommendation algorithms. That would go a long way in preventing anything dangerous from ever getting out in the wild.

And across the Taiwan Strait from China, Taiwanese legislators this week are crafting content-controlling legislation, part of which addresses deepfakes. People producing and disseminating deepfakes would face five years in jail - seven if profit is the motive, according to Taipei Times.

The Atlantic might be hyperventilating by saying it is time to worry, but a consensus seems to be building behind "we haven't seen the worst of fake news."  biometricupdate.com

The Future of AI Legislation
AI experts see legislation moving forward in 2023

Various legislators and policy experts have recently shared their views on the imminent future of artificial intelligence (AI) legislation.

Regarding biometrics, the Council of the EU tweaked the remote biometric identification system definition in December 2022 by clarifying that such systems can be used only in cases where it is "strictly necessary for law enforcement purposes."

Caroli also adds that while the legislation has now been approved by the Council of the European Union and should be fully approved by the end of 2023, the law will only come into force two years later.

AI regulations to be driven by ethics efforts

SalesChoice CEO Cindy Gordon also recently contributed to the AI legislation dialogue, saying that ethics will play a vital role in regulating AI applications, not just in the EU but worldwide.

Writing in Forbes, Gordon believes several new laws will pass in 2023, tightening up citizen privacy and creating risk frameworks and audit requirements for data bias, privacy and security risks.

The AI expert further explains that regulators must evolve an entire global ecosystem to ensure that AI audits are effectively conducted and by whom.

Canada to review Bill C-27 this year

Meanwhile, in Canada, the AI legislation discussion revolves around Bill C-27, aka the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA). First proposed in June 2022, the legislation fell under scrutiny in October when legal expert Richard Stobbe dissected the act, highlighting its weaknesses in terms of scope. biometricupdate.com

China Has Remote Access to User Data TikTok Collects
It's actually stated in TikTok's Privacy Policy - Your Company & Employee Data Going to China?

TikTok Chief Meets With Top EU Officials

Meetings come as Chinese-owned company faces heightened scrutiny in U.S.

The meetings come as the EU prepares to enact some of the globe's toughest rules aimed at forcing companies to police content on their platforms. The law, called the Digital Services Act, will by the middle of this year require social-media companies with more than 45 million users in the EU-such as TikTok-to maintain systems for removing content that European national governments deem to be illegal.

TikTok also faces two existing investigations under the EU's privacy law. One probe examines TikTok's handling of children's data. Another investigation looks at TikTok's overseas data flows, and could potentially lead to an order to suspend transfer of European user information to China. TikTok's privacy policy says it grants entities in some countries, including China, limited remote access to some of the user data it collects. wsj.com

Open-source tech leaders urge new Congress to prioritize privacy in blockchain regulation

Ukraine weighs whether Russian cyberattacks could fall under war crimes



Retail Secure Conference
Protecting People, Property, and Assets.

March 21, 2023 | The International Centre, Mississauga ON

RCC's Retail Secure Conference brings top retail loss prevention experts, industry suppliers, security and law enforcement professionals together to explore actionable systems and forward-thinking retail solutions.

Topics covered this year include:

Responding to data security breaches
Future-proofing retail risk management strategies
Mitigating modern fraud trends
De-escalating violence in stores

Who should attend?

Loss prevention retail professionals, retail team leaders in IT, e-commerce and finance, loss prevention solution providers.

Click here to get tickets and learn more

In Case You Missed It

CONTROLTEK Announces a New Fulfillment Center in Canada

Bridgewater, N.J. - CONTROLTEK, a global leader in asset protection, tracking and visibility solutions, announced the addition of a fulfillment operation located in Montreal, Quebec. This expansion reinforces the company's commitment to providing exceptional service and value to its customers in Canada.

"As we continue to drive momentum in the Canadian marketplace, we further our investment in expanding our presence," said Tom Meehan, CFI, president of CONTROLTEK. "We have established this dedicated facility which offers a full breadth of fulfillment capabilities to serve as our primary point for order fulfillment to meet the growing range and demands of Canadian retailers."

"Our new fulfillment center is another display of our commitment to building long-term relationships with our Canadian clients," said Brian Gross, chief operations officer at CONTROLTEK. "Our First Time Right approach to solution delivery is designed to provide unparalleled service and support to exceed our customer expectations and is what sets CONTROLTEK apart from any other solutions provider in the industry."

CONTROLTEK's strategically placed offices, partners, and manufacturing processes situated across North America and around the globe, ensure clients receive reliable products quickly - without compromising attention-to-detail or service standards. To learn more about CONTROLTEK's presence in Canada, visit their website.


Click here to see pictures of the new center


Security & IT Becoming Tightly Entwined
The convergence of security and IT operations

The worlds of security and IT are becoming entwined as security initiatives become a top priority for all lines of business.

Whether they like it or not, security and IT operations are increasingly finding they must collaborate in the development and implementation of their organizations' data security and protection strategies. Specifically, they need to work hand-in-hand to determine where their organization's critical data assets are located, and then jointly implement a strategy that can prevent cyberattacks from reaching these assets, identify attacks when they breach their defences, and remediate any damage caused by an attack. Integrations between IT management and security platforms such as Security Orchestration, Automation and Remediation (SOAR) are also helping with this.

One example of the intersection of security and IT is backup and recovery, traditionally the purview of IT ops. This area has become a key part of an organization's security posture and the "last-line-of-defence" against ransomware and other cyberattacks. Data protection solutions not only enable IT teams to quickly and comprehensively recover their critical data, but they also significantly minimize the disruption caused by a ransomware breach or malicious attack - a primary challenge security teams are focused on solving.

Mitigating ransomware and other cyberattacks is crucial. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security reports that Canada is one of the top countries affected by ransomware. In the first half of 2021, more than half of Canadian ransomware victims belonged to a critical infrastructure sector, such as health, manufacturing or energy. Such attacks can disrupt services and organizations we rely on.

The challenge of bringing IT and security together

Security and IT traditionally having different charters. Implementing a successful data security strategy requires both teams to define clear roles and responsibilities, break down organizational silos, and ensure design collaboration between data owners, IT and security.

This can be a challenge in hybrid cloud and shadow IT environments in particular. The absence of documented playbooks and runbooks significantly inhibits an organization's ability to mitigate and respond to attacks. canadiansecuritymag.com

RCMP too short-staffed to follow up on tips from Fintrac?
The RCMP says many tips from Canada's financial intelligence agency about possible crimes "may not get investigated" due to a lack of policing resources and conflicting priorities.

The Mounties make the candid admission in a briefing note prepared for Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on the working relationship between the national police force and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac.

The RCMP receives financial intelligence from Fintrac, which could shed light on money laundering or terrorist financing, in two ways.

The RCMP briefing note says Fintrac's analysis is of "significant tactical importance" to the force, as it may uncover previously unknown conspirators, assets, transfers and relationships.

Overall, Fintrac's financial intelligence contributed to 335 major, resource-intensive investigations in 2021-22 as well as hundreds of other individual investigations at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, the centre said. thecanadianpress.com

In-Person Holiday Shopping Comes Back in Canada
Consumer Spending In Canada Strong For Holiday Season: Mastercard Study
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, Canadian retail sales, excluding automotive, increased 3.8 per cent year over year (+15.6 per cent year over three years) in November. While e-commerce sales were down three per cent year over year, growth remained strong since pre-pandemic at 56.2 per cent from three years ago. In-store sales in November were up 5.3 per cent year over year (+7.3 per cent YO3Y).

Canadian retail sales on Black Friday (November 25) were up 5.6 per cent year over year, with Apparel (6.6 per cent) and Electronics (5.8 per cent) among the sectors showing sales growth. In-Store sales saw an increase in spend at 7.5 per cent on Black Friday, indicating a strong return to in-person shopping this holiday season.

The Canadian numbers for December aren't in yet but November was a good sign of what retailers in the country could expect for the holiday season. retail-insider.com

Could Decriminalization of Opioids Go Canada-Wide?
B.C. poised for drug decriminalization experiment, but will it help stem deadly tide?
On Jan. 31, B.C. will become the first jurisdiction in the country to start what will be a three-year experiment on decriminalization allowing drug users aged 18 and over to carry a combined 2.5 grams of opioids like heroin and fentanyl, as well as cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, also known as ecstasy. The federal government is currently reviewing an application by the City of Toronto, but it does not include any thresholds.

"If we do succeed in helping people, I'm sure the rest of Canada could do the same," he said, quickly adding that greater access to a regulated safer supply of prescription drugs, like hydromorphone tablets or fentanyl patches, is part of the answer to stemming the tide of the overdose crisis. vicnews.com

Zellers teases its 2023 return to Canada
The iconic Canadian discount retail chain is prepping its long-awaited return after a more than decade-long absence from the retail landscape.

Vancouver man wants to open Canada's first crack and heroin store

Manitoba cannabis company laying off staff amid cannabis industry struggles

Store Owner in Critical Condition After Robbery Shooting
London jewelry store owner in the ICU after alleged shooting by Toronto suspects
Employees at a London, Ont., jewelry store who witnessed their boss being shot during a robbery are trying to pick up the pieces after the brazen daytime attack. On Thursday morning, four men held up London Gold Buyer on Highbury Avenue, prompting a swift police response, arrests and multiple charges against the suspects.

The owner of the family-run business was shot and is currently in an induced coma in hospital, employee Chris Stevens said Friday. Another employee was injured but is now recovering at home. The four suspects who were identified Friday by the London Police Service did manage to flee the store in a vehicle. The Ontario Provincial Police arrested the men outside of Woodstock a short time later. cbc.ca

Man allegedly cuts employee's clothing during a Kitchener business robbery
Police said they responded to the store at around 6:30 p.m. and learned that the male was seen trying to leave the store without paying for merchandise. When a staff member of the store approached the male, he used a knife against the employee, cutting their clothing, police said.

Dec. 16: Edmonton pawn shop employees shot during daytime robbery

1 arrested after shots fired at Canadian Tire store in Bancroft: OPP

Winnipeg youths robbed store, bear sprayed man: police

Two youth in custody after robbing vape shop and running from police

Police seek suspect involved in Halifax convenience store robbery

Male suspect sought in Brantford armed robbery

View Canadian Connections Archives






"Cyber Threat Supply Chain" - Organized Retail Crime Online?
Scamming Consumers & Stealing Retail Sales & Damaging Brand Reputations

With Many Retailers Offering Online Sales, Phony Sites Blend In

Preying on shoppers strapped for cash and time, scammers are setting up fake sites that claim to have deep discounts on premium brands.

"It's been a total game of whack-a-mole," said Dave Heath, the chief executive of Bombas, which has taken a proactive approach to rooting out fake sites that purport to sell its products. "The second that we report a site and it gets blocked on one of the social media channels or blacklisted, they just spin up another instance and then there's ads running almost kind of instantly."

Online scams, which have existed for as long as things have been sold on the internet, are adapting to the budget-conscious behaviors of American consumers. That dynamic has created a ripe environment for fake sites to dupe unassuming shoppers who are strapped for cash and time by claiming to offer deep discounts on premium brands.

"It's playing on the emotion of the consumer," said Douglas LaGore, a principal in KPMG's cybersecurity services division.

Many of these fake sites are run by networks of swindlers seeking to target large organizations. Over the past couple of years, many of these networks have produced a "cyber threat supply chain," he said, meaning different groups gain specialized skills. One group in the network might identify potential targets, for instance, while another creates the deceptive material. nytimes.com

Online Sales & Returns Up This Holiday Season
Salesforce: Online holiday spending rises 5%; returns up 63%
Soft November online sales were offset by Cyber Week discounting and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) offerings, according to new Salesforce data.

Consumers spent a total of $1.14 trillion online globally and $270 billion in the U.S. across the 2022 holiday season (Nov. 1 - Dec. 31), according to an analysis of November and December shopping data from over 1.5 billion shoppers on retail sites using Salesforce Customer 360 (including 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers). Those figures represent flat performance from $1.14 trillion in global online holiday sales during 2021, but 5% growth in the U.S. from $257 billion.

After Salesforce initially tracked soft online holiday sales during the first few weeks of November 2022, the company observed retailers increasing discounts during Cyber Week and into December. In the end, shoppers saw better deals than the 2021 holiday season, with a 21% average discount compared to 19% the year prior.

Salesforce previously predicted that 1.4 billion orders purchased during the 2022 holiday season would be returned. Data shows that 1.39 billion holiday orders, or 13% of the total, were returned, marking a 63% increase in returns year-over-year. Returns especially rose in the six days after Christmas (Dec. 26-30), with 16% of orders returned during that week - a 5% increase from 2021. chainstoreage.com

Amazon's Buy with Prime increases shopper conversion by 25% on average

New Year increase in online scams




Floridian Burglary Crew Busted in New Jersey Gets Fed Prison
DOJ: Five Florida Men Sentenced for Conspiracy & Interstate Transportation of over $1.3 Million of Stolen Perfume
NEWARK, N.J. - Five men were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to transport over $1.3 million worth of stolen perfume products out of New Jersey to Florida.

In November 2017, the defendants broke into a warehouse storing perfume products in Edison, New Jersey, and drove away with two tractor trailers filled with stolen perfume products. The value of the stolen perfume products was over $1.3 million. The defendants were arrested in May 2018 while attempting to break into another perfume warehouse in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced each defendant to three years of supervised release and were ordered to pay total restitution of $1.36 million.

Carlos Duvergel, 58, Miami Gardens, Florida, 33 months in prison.
Hialeah, Florida, defendants:
Juan Crespo, 46, 37 months
Felix Castillo, 49, 33 months
Asnay Fernandez, 32, 33 months
Ismael Manzano-Suarez, 25, 33 months in prison.

Menlo Park, CA: Police arrest 4 in suspected retail theft ring
Police in Menlo Park arrested four people Monday suspected of being involved in a retail theft ring. The arrest comes three days after two of the suspects were arrested for the same offenses in another jurisdiction, police said. Menlo Park officers responded to a 2:19 p.m. call from Safeway employees reporting that four people were inside the store stealing items off the shelves before leaving in a red Chrysler sedan, which was driven across the street to a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in the 700 block of El Camino Real. Police said the foursome entered that store and continued their crime spree, stealing a large amount of clothing before leaving the scene in the same red Chrysler. Moments later, police saw the vehicle and pulled it over and detained all four people, recovering a large amount of stolen items from the two stores as well as from Home Depot, Petco, CVS and Walgreens. Police said they also found in the vehicle some narcotics, drug paraphernalia and credit card skimming machines. kron4.com

Albuquerque, NM: Two people were arrested in connection to an alleged scheme to shoplift at Target store
Laura Garcia and Loisel Sotelo were arrested around 8:00 p.m. Sunday night at the Target on Montgomery. A loss prevention employee called Albuquerque police about two repeat offenders in the store. While in the parking lot, one officer saw Sotelo push a cart full of merchandise out of a fire exit and was immediately taken into custody. As this was happening, Garcia was caught walking out the front door with stolen items in her purse. In total, the items were worth more than $700. Both are charged with shoplifting and conspiracy. Police also found what is believed to be fentanyl in Sotelo's pocket and he's facing charges for possession.  krqe.com

Union Gap, WA: Photos released after Union Gap JCPenney's looted in organized retail theft
Union Gap Police are asking for the public's help in solving an organized retail theft. Police say a group of at least four people committed the organized theft from the Union Gap JCPenney's. In a social media post Union Gap PD posted surveillance images of several of the suspects as well as a car police say was involved. In the photos several of the suspects are in hoodies, one of the suspects is covered head to toe in what appears to white painters coveralls. kimatv.com

Seattle, WA: Five Arrested in Retail Theft Operation near Mount Baker Neighborhood
The Seattle Police Department's Community Response Group officers conducted a Retail Theft Operation in the 2700 block of Rainier Avenue South Friday morning near the Mount Baker neighborhood, resulting in five arrests. At approximately 11:00 a.m. Friday, officers began identifying shoplifters while working with loss prevention personnel within the business. During the operation, the items observed stolen were recovered and returned to the business by officers. Police not only identified suspects of shoplifting, but also people suspected of other crimes during the operation, some of whom had outstanding warrants. One shoplifting suspect attempted to use a stolen credit card to purchase merchandise valued at about $900.00. Officers recovered the stolen credit card, identified the suspect, and continue to investigate this incident. spdblotter.seattle.gov

Memphis, TN: Store owner finds stolen items on Facebook Marketplace
A man who broke into an HVAC supply store on Christmas Eve was arrested after police say the business owner saw him selling the stolen items on Facebook. The owner of Garrett Supply Company in Northeast Memphis said the burglar was caught on camera smashing the front door of his store and was wearing neon yellow and black gloves. Wesley Garrett said the thief took $600 in cash and two Dewalt Battery chargers worth about $200 each. After scrolling through Facebook Marketplace for three days, Garrett saw a man wearing the same neon gloves and selling the same battery charger. wreg.com

Cherokee County, GA: Store owner says over 1,000 trading cards stolen during break-in, valued at $119,000

Tukwila, WA: Tukwila Police respond to Organized Retail theft ring in Southcenter District

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Shootings & Deaths

Harrison Township, OH: Suspect dead after attempted theft at Boost Mobile
The suspect of an attempted theft at a Boost Mobile in Harrison Twp. is dead, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reported that at around 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 officers were dispatched to the Boost Mobile at 3801 N. Dixie Dr. for a shooting. Investigation showed that an adult male and a female juvenile were breaking the business. Police said a resident in an upstairs apartment confronted the male suspect which was already inside the business, attempting to steal items. The resident fired shots at the suspect, striking him and the suspect then fled the scene. Police reported that the suspect drove to a residence in Dayton, and was then transported to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.  wdtn.com

Columbus, OH: Victim, suspect identified in fatal shooting outside grocery store
A woman died Tuesday after she was discovered shot inside a car in the parking lot of a shopping plaza in Blendon Township near Westerville. Around 5:50 p.m., Blendon Township police were called to Sunbury Plaza, a shopping plaza on South Sunbury Road anchored by a Kroger's grocery and located just north of Dublin Granville Road/ Route 161. Police found a woman inside a white car suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, according to police dispatchers. Medics transported her to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. The woman has been identified as 24-year-old Amara Jones by Blendon Township Police. Police are searching for a male suspect, Rodney Amir Perry, 29, of Columbus. An arrest warrant for Perry on a charge of murder has been obtained by police. wkbn.com

Wheat Ridge, CO: Man accused of killing store owner claims he was 'ripped off', planned to 'rough up' owner
A North Carolina man who is accused of killing a Wheat Ridge store owner last week told a detective that he went to the gas station to "rough up" the owner because he believed he had been ripped off two days earlier, according to the arrest affidavit in the case. Shawnathan Chance, 26, was arrested Friday in Indiana after he was spotted speeding by Indiana State Police troopers who were unaware he was wanted for homicide. Chance didn't pull over, and troopers chased him until he lost control and crashed, Indiana State Police said. He's accused of attacking and fatally shooting Vesha Raj Lamicahhane at the Valero gas station/convenience store at 12300 W. 44th Ave. around 7:50 p.m. Thursday. Lamicahhane was the store owner. 9news.com

Rochester, NY: Update: Police identify Officer involved in shooting, release surveillance video
The Rochester Police Department has identified the officer who shot at a man suspected of robbing a corner convenience store and dragging the officer with a stolen car. Police said Officer Adam Gorman responded to the store at the corner of Culver Road and University Avenue just before midnight Dec. 29 for a report of a robbery. James Brumfield, 33, stole two 18-packs of Budweiser, according to police, before Gorman approached Brumfield's car and ordered him to get out. Brumfield allegedly tried to drive off, with the officer entangled between the driver's door and the vehicle's frame, dragging him across the parking lot. Police said while being dragged, Gorman shot Brumfield once in the upper body. Officers tracked down Brumfield about 1 mile away in the area of Atlantic and Anderson avenues. Brumfield was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and treated for a gunshot wound. He was arraigned Jan. 3 on charges of robbery, assault, resisting arrest and criminal possession of stolen property. Gorman sustained scrapes to his hands, forearms and knees. He's now on administrative duty as the investigation continues. 13wham.com

Raytown, MO: Police investigate shooting outside QuikTrip, woman wounded


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Memphis, TN: Walmart shoplifter threatens security with gun, no injuries
Memphis Police said Monday night, the man and his mother were approached by the loss prevention officer at the Walmart on Raleigh Lagrange Road after she noticed they were not checking all of their items at a self-checkout register. The officer looked at the pair's receipt and saw they had not paid for all of the items. The officer said the man became irate and told her he was going to get his gun. Police said the suspect returned a few minutes later with a gun. They said the suspect's mother convinced her son to leave the store. MPD posted the surveillance photos of the man, who is facing a charge of aggravated assault.  wreg.com

Gold Bar, WA: Family Grocer hostage suspect surrenders; no injuries to victim
A suspect who held a victim hostage inside the Gold Bar Family Grocer on Croft Avenue on Monday night has surrendered, according to Snohomish County deputies. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and the SWAT Team responded to the grocery store around 7:30 p.m. for reports that an armed man was holding one person hostage inside the store. Courtney O'Keefe with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says no one else was in the store at the time when the situation unfolded. It's unclear if the man and the victim were shopping or if they were both employed at the grocery store. The man is believed to have behavioral health issues, O'Keefe said.  q13fox.com

Detroit, MI: Police investigating smash-and-grab at weed operation
A smash-and-grab on Detroit's east side exposed an apparent marijuana growing operation after a giant hole was left in the side of the building on Tuesday morning. WWJ's Charlie Langton reported live from the scene off Gratiot and Hazelridge near McNichols on the city's east side where Detroit police officers were conducting an investigation into what left exactly happened around 4 this morning. "A big hole in the building lots of debris on the ground and then in that hole, lots of plants growing big plants and yes, it looks like marijuana to me and as does the Detroit Police there on the scene as well," Langton reported. Langton said police are trying to determine who owns the building. Langton said there are several businesses advertising on the side, including an auto body shop and advertising for free estimates for insurance work.  audacy.com

Canton, GA: Robbers cut hole through roof of Kay Jewelers store during heist
Burglars stole an unknown amount of merchandise from a Cherokee County jewelry store by cutting a hole in the roof of the business, according to Canton Police Department. Police responded to an alarm call on Jan. 4 around 11:30 p.m. at the Kay Jewelers store on Cumming Highway in Canton. Once officers arrived at the store, they began checking outside the store and saw the entrances to the store were closed and locked up.
Officers also checked the store's windows and did not see anyone in or around the jewelry store. The following day, officers came back to the store in response to a report of a burglary. Investigators said officers determined the robbers got inside the business by cutting a hole in the roof. Investigators said the robbers got away with an unknown amount of merchandise. wsbtv.com



Boost - Harrison Township, OH - Burglary / Suspect shot-killed
C-Store - Boynton Beach, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store- Atlanta, GA - Robbery
C-Store - El Paso, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Cherokee County, KS - Burglary
C-Store - Gilmer County, GA - Robbery
C-Store- Eden, NC - Robbery
C-Store - New Ipswich, NH - Burglary
Collectables - Cherokee County, GA - Burglary
Gas Station- Old Hickory, TN - Robbery
Grocery - Menlo Park, CA - Robbery
Grocery - Lower Allen, PA - Robbery
Grocery - Erie, PA- Robbery
Jewelry - Canton, GA - Burglary
• Jewelry - San Antonio, TX - Burglary
• Jewelry - Overland Park, KS - Robbery
Liquor - Chicago, IL - Burglary
Liquor - Spotsylvania County, VA - Robbery
Marijuana - Detroit, MI - Burglary
Restaurant - Madison, WI - Burglary (Taco Bell)
Restaurant - New Orleans, LA - Burglary
Restaurant - Houston, TX - Burglary
Sport - Menlo Park, CA - Robbery
Target - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Walmart - Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 11 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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An Industry Obligation - Staffing 'Best in Class' Teams

Every one has a role to play in building an industry.
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Help your colleagues - your industry - Build 'Best in Class' teams.

Refer the Best & Build the Best
Quality - Diversity - Industry Obligation


Field Loss Prevention Manager
Seattle, WA / San Francisco or San Jose, CA / Portland, OR - posted January 11
The Field Loss Prevention Manager (FLPM) coordinates Loss Prevention and Safety Programs intended to protect Staples assets and ensure a safe work environment within Staples Retail locations. FLPM's are depended on to be an expert in auditing, investigating, and training...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Seattle, WA - posted January 11
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Regional Asset Protection and Safety Manager (UK)
London, UK - posted January 3
Responsible for ensuring application of Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS), occupational safety, and loss prevention programs and policies at the store, region, and cross-regional levels. Works with the Team Leaders and Team Members to ensure education, communication, and understanding of safety and loss prevention policies, including how safety and asset protection contributes to profitability and business success...


Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - posted December 9
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the physical security, safety compliance and reduction of shrinkage for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs for all PCHI locations...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Boston - Framingham, MA - posted December 2
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

District Asset Protection Manager
Phoenix, AZ - posted November 17
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture. Oversees Asset Protection Programs by providing leadership and guidance to Asset Protection teams and General Managers on methods to successfully execute programs in stores...


Asset Protection Associate
Riverhead, NY - posted November 4
The Asset Protection Associate (APA) is responsible for the detection, apprehension, or deterrence of customer and associate activity that could result in a loss to Ralph Lauren. APAs are also responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all customers, associates, and vendors. APAs promote and monitor compliance to Polo Ralph Lauren policies and procedures related to theft prevention, safety, and inventory control...

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The difference between success and failure is in the planning and the execution. Taking something from a thought or idea to a reality can be a long and painful process lined with failures and detractors. But a great idea is only as good as the plan you have to bring it to life and the execution everyone delivers to give it a life. Because without the two the great idea never existed. As one "C" level executive once told me- He never saw a bad great idea as it was always the failed plan to roll it out and the poor execution that killed it.

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