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Nicholas Cranfill promoted to Sr. Director of Loss Prevention for Variety Wholesalers Inc.
Nicholas has been with Variety Wholesalers for four years, starting with the company in 2019 as Regional Loss Prevention Manager. Before his promotion to Sr. Director of Loss Prevention, he served as Director of Loss Prevention for more than two years. Prior to Variety Wholesalers, he spent nearly 15 years with Sears as Zone Asset & Profit Protection Manager. Congratulations, Nicholas!

Lance King promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Variety Wholesalers Inc.
Lance has been with Variety Wholesalers for more than three years, starting with the company in 2020. Before his promotion to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager, he served as Regional LP Manager. In his new role, Lance is supporting South Carolina and Coastal North Carolinas. Prior to Variety Wholesalers Inc., he spent more than 13 years with Sears as Area AP Manager and LP Manager. Congratulations, Lance!

Marty Maberry promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Variety Wholesalers Inc.

Marty has been with Variety Wholesalers for more than two years, starting with the company in 2020. Before his promotion to Senior Regional LP Manager, he served as Regional LP Manager. Prior to Variety Wholesalers, he spent nearly two years with Target as Executive Team Lead AP. Earlier in his career, he served as District LP Manager for Kmart. Congratulations, Marty!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position







Webinar Coming Tomorrow

Protect your supply chain from
rising retail theft

February 28 | 2:00 p.m. EST

As retail theft increases due to organized and opportunistic groups, supply chains are becoming a more lucrative target. Join experts from Under Armour and Verisk as they discuss recent supply chain and cargo theft trends and statistics, highlight changes in criminal methods, case studies and best practices to ensure internal and external collaboration to protect your goods against increased loss.

This webinar is opened to NRF Members-only, is closed to the press and off the record.


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Retailers Push for ORC Laws
Is Shoplifting Surging? What a Panic Reveals About U.S. Crime Policy.
During an appearance last year on the morning show, Fox and Friends, a former chief executive of Home Depot described a rise in shoplifting in dire terms. "Today, this thing is an epidemic," he said. "It's spreading faster than COVID." The executive joined a long list of industry leaders, from Walmart to Walgreens, encouraging police and prosecutors to crack down on theft. Retailers say they'll be forced to raise prices or shutter affected stores without help to address a growing threat - organized bands of shoplifters ransacking stores with the intent to resell the looted merchandise.

In a handful of states, lawmakers have reacted swiftly. Last year, legislators in California, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina stiffened penalties for stealing from stores, adding language to target people who act in concert or rob multiple outlets. Under a law amended in Louisiana, for example, anyone caught stealing as part of a group could now face up to seven years in prison.

Retail lobbyists say this kind of theft is a problem for stores large and small in every state. But it's unclear how much worse retail theft has become. National statistics are unreliable. Nearly 40% of law enforcement agencies did not report their most recent crime data to the FBI, The Marshall Project reported in June. Even if they had, most police departments do not have a separate category to distinguish retail theft from other kinds of robberies and larceny.

And yet, lawmakers in at least 11 states are considering legislation that would more harshly punish people caught stealing from stores with the intent to resell merchandise.

Changes to bail policies make it easier to entice people to steal, the federation argues, because they won't spend time in jail before trial should they get caught. The lobbyists also fear that increasing the value of goods someone must steal before triggering a felony charge - a common reform - similarly encourages thefts.

Online marketplaces such as Amazon and Facebook Marketplace have enlarged the market for stolen goods. Criminal enterprises recruit people to steal from stores in exchange for drugs or a small payment. These "boosters" may steal items from multiple stores across state lines. And in recent years, retailers say the episodes are becoming more violent and chaotic.

The main focus, retail lobbyists say, needs to be on punishing the masterminds behind the crime rings who exploit the shoplifters. To do this, the federation encourages lawmakers to enact statutes that create a new category of crime: organized retail theft. The industry defines organized theft as anyone shoplifting for personal gain versus personal use. To date, the federation says it has helped enact such laws in 34 states.

"We want to go after the heads of the snake," said David Johnston, the federation's vice president of asset protection & retail operations. "We want to go after the people who are orchestrating and taking advantage of these folks who serve as boosters."  slate.com

States Fight Back Against ORC
Virginia's new ORC legislation making national headlines

Organized retail theft to become Class 3 felony in Virginia

Those convicted of organized retail theft in Virginia will be eligible for prison sentences of up to 20 years

Virginia lawmakers approved legislation on Thursday that will make organized retail theft a Class 3 felony. Those convicted of the crime will be eligible for prison sentences as long as 20 years.

It will be a Class 3 felony for anyone to conspire or act in concert with one or more people to steal retail merchandise with a value exceeding $5,000 in a 90-day period, with the intent to sell the stolen goods for profit.

"They're not stealing so they can go home and feed their family. This is theft for some kind of financial gain," Republican Del. Kathy Byron, the lead sponsor of the House bill, told The Associated Press.

Byron's bill and a separate one sponsored by Republican Sen. Richard Stuart have met resistance from some Democrats and criminal justice advocates. Opponents said that the legislation could trap people who may resort to stealing to survive.

Notably, the original bills contained a lower theft threshold. The legislation has drawn support from retailers, as well as the Virginia Retail Federation, the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys and the National Federation of Independent Business.

At least two dozen states have enacted laws to address organized retail theft, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The National Retail Federation, in its 2022 security survey of retailers, found that inventory loss when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses in 2021, up from $90.8 billion in 2020. foxbusiness.com

The Alarming Rise in Mall Violence
Could it send shoppers back home like COVID did?

Experts worry mall violence could discourage shoppers
Since mid-summer of 2022, five people have been shot to death at central Indiana shopping malls. Retail experts fear that gun violence may discourage shoppers from returning to malls that were empty due to the COVID pandemic of 2020.

"If these incidents become more salient, and unless indoor shopping malls can convince shoppers that they are taking active security measures to mitigate that risk, there is a chance that shoppers like you and I might start preferring open-air shopping malls or even on line shopping," said Professor Vivek Astvansh of the IU Kelley School of Business.

"What the shopping mall owners need to do is enforce those rules and convince the shoppers that they are taking all the precautionary measures. So, it's one thing to take actions, but it's another thing to communicate those actions so that the shoppers will be perceiving elevated risks might realize that, 'Yeah, we're in a safer environment and the shopping mall owners are aware of the risk and taking precautionary measures'."

Following last week's shooting at Castleton Square, mall management issued a statement that its own security personnel, who work alongside off-duty IMPD officers, utilized a K9 officer to help apprehend two suspects and that IMPD would provide stepped-up patrols over the weekend which were in place for the two arrests late Saturday afternoon which resulted in one man being banned from the mall for life.

"I can imagine there will be an erosion of trust, an ongoing erosion of trust," said IU Kelley School Professor John Talbott. "I think there will be groups of individuals to make that decision that, 'I don't feel safe,' and because of that choose to make that purchase online."

Talbott said that while researchers have surveyed consumer attitudes regarding the online retail experience versus in-store shopping, he's unaware of any studies on the impact of perceived safety on store foot traffic.

"Now you have this perception that someone is suffering harm in a shopping center every single day. That's probably too strong," said Talbott. "The incidents of it is still relatively low and I would say truthfully there probably is more danger in parking in a shopping center mall from a statistical probability standpoint but that doesn't change peoples' fear." fox59.com

Lawmakers Grapple Over Who is to Blame for Crime Surge
15 cities saw record homicide numbers in 2021

Op-Ed: This is what soft-on-crime insanity does to American families
Public safety is the foundation of any free society. In the United States, our families deserve to live in safe communities without the constant fear of violent crime and lawlessness threatening their personal security.

Unfortunately, due to soft-on-crime, defund-the-police agendas, too many Americans have been victimized by violent criminals who are allowed to walk free because Democrat prosecutors won't even charge them with a crime.

Crime is skyrocketing in major U.S. cities nationwide because Democrats have defunded their police departments, ended cash bail and allowed violent criminals back on our streets to terrorize communities with no more than a slap on the wrist.

Naturally, these dangerous policies have consequences. More than 15 U.S. cities - including Atlanta, Austin, and St. Paul - saw their 2021 homicide numbers break previous records.

According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association's 2022 crime report, homicides have increased by 41% in Chicago, 45% in Philadelphia, and 236% in Portland since 2019. These alarming statistics should serve as a wake-up call for Democrats to reevaluate their failed agenda. However, in our nation's capital, pro-criminal policies are the extreme left's gold standard.

In Washington, D.C., just this year, sexual abuse is up 100%, motor vehicle theft is up 111%, and homicides have increased by 18%. But, just weeks ago, even despite the liberal mayor's veto, the Washington, D.C. City Council approved legislation to slash prison sentences for the worst offenders, eliminate penalties for a slew of violent crimes, and release scores of dangerous criminals back onto our streets foxnews.com

Teens Fueling the Violence Surge?
St. Paul weathers spike in violence among teenagers
City residents wonder what can be done to stop the cycle of youth violence plaguing St. Paul. Although no easy answers seem apparent, some held out hope that a combination of personal action, community activism and political will can make a difference.

"One of the biggest problems is, there's not as many dads in the household," said Bob Cruz, president of the West Side Boosters, an all-volunteer group that provides programming and activities for more than 800 youths. "Your mom can only do so much. If mom's working two jobs, who's watching that baby?"

Cruz set up a table at the rec center Saturday with cookies and orange juice for parents, children and anyone else who wanted to talk about keeping the community safe. The shooters, he said, "weren't West Side kids," but guns don't care who's pointing them.

"We've got to change these gun laws," Cruz said. "It's crazy to me how easy it is to get a gun. You're cool if you get a gun." startribune.com

All U.S. extremist mass killings in 2022 linked to far right, report says
Right-wing extremists committed every ideologically driven mass killing identified in the U.S. in 2022, with an "unusually high" proportion perpetrated by white supremacists, according to a new report

Santa Fe, NM: House leaders signal focus on retail theft

Police warn of alarming crime trend at funerals, car washes


COVID's Lasting Business Impact

Businesses Missing Office Worker Spending at their Shops
Big city businesses missing office workers' spending on Mondays & Fridays

Hybrid work is costing cities and their businesses billions of dollars a year, according to new research.

Many restaurants and hotels in city downtowns are seeing sales come back to pre-pandemic levels - but only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

In cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, the three-day in-person work week has posed challenges for hospitality businesses. With fewer workers in offices on Mondays and Fridays - which for some businesses were their strongest sales days - many businesses have been forced to shift work schedules or launch initiatives to pull in customers at the start and end of the week.

WFH Research, which conducts surveys and research projects on working arrangements and attitudes, released findings last week showing that remote work is costing cities billions a year. According to data collected from June to November, the per-person reduction in spending in New York City was $4,661, followed by $4,200 in Los Angeles and $4,051 in Washington, D.C. The study outlined a dozen cities with a reduction in yearly spending of over $2,000 per person.

In-person work days declined the most, 37%, in Washington, compared with pre-pandemic levels, followed by Atlanta at 34.9% and Phoenix at 34.1%. The information, finance, and professional and business services sectors lead in working from home. cnbc.com

Businesses & Big Cities Want Workers Back in the Office
Employers aren't the only ones pushing for the end of hybrid work
Big cities stand to lose thousands of dollars per worker each year due to the continued prevalence of remote work. That's according to a new analysis by Work From Home Research, which surveyed thousands of workers and analyzed government data to explore the impact of remote work on cities.

The working paper by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom and Steven J. Davis, found annual losses topping $3,000 per worker for a number of major cities as employees stay home rather than commute to city centers and spend money at restaurants, retailers, small businesses and other outlets during the workday.

As we've noted before, the stakes are extremely high in the battle over remote work - not just for employers and employees, but for the small businesses, city governments and real estate developers whose budgets are tied to commuter spending.

Inner-city politicians, business leaders and developers are often pushing for returns to the office while many workers, unions and workforce advocates are pushing for continued hybrid flexibility. bizjournals.com

Florida county Republican Party votes to ban the COVID-19 vaccine
The "Ban the jab" resolution passed with a majority vote in the Lee County Republican Party and will now head to Governor Ron DeSantis' desk.

The impact remote work has had on mental health

Lab Leak Most Likely Origin of Covid-19 Pandemic, Energy Department Now Says

The Expansion of Retail RFID
The Ever Growing Omnipresence of Retail RFID

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

The history of RFID is long and interesting. As I wrote in a previous article, the technology has its roots in World War II. For the retail industry, the adoption fuse has been slow to burn. Multiple times, I have asked the question myself, are we there yet?

In my view, we are closer than ever to making RFID one of the key standards to address inventory visibility whose importance was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the problem of inventory distortion worldwide totaled an astounding $1.993 trillion.

The same IHL research confirms that the number 1 reason, why customers leave your store without buying are empty shelves or out-of-stocks. "This occurred 62.2% of the time consumers didn't buy, and panic buying in 2020 was a significant driver for this reason. In 2022, this issue overall dropped to 58.9% of the problem in the minds of consumers." By comparison the next reason for leaving the store without buying was "can't find help" at only 13.8%.

The most dramatic insight from the IHL research is inventory distortion lowers consumers trust with the retailer. Note the increase in trust in Amazon in the last two years.

Omnichannel or harmonized retailing requires intensified focus on accurate inventory across the enterprise. RFID today is one of the leading technologies to deliver it.

Read Tony D'Onofrio's full article here

'Old-School Union Busting'
How US corporations are quashing the new wave of organizing

Victories at several companies energized organizers, but hostile corporations - and an impotent labor board - stymie negotiations

US corporations have mounted a fierce counterattack against the union drives at Starbucks, Amazon and other companies, and in response, federal officials are working overtime to crack down on those corporations' illegal anti-union tactics - maneuvers that labor leaders fear could significantly drain the momentum behind today's surge of unionization.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that polices labor-management relations, has accused Starbucks and Amazon of a slew of illegal anti-union practices, among them firing many workers in retaliation for backing a union. Nonetheless, many workplace experts question whether the NLRB's efforts, no matter how vigorous, can assure that workers have a fair shot at unionizing.

Newly unionized workers are also frustrated and angry that efforts to reach a first contract are taking so long, with some unions asserting that companies are deliberately and illegally dragging out negotiations - an assertion the companies deny. Workers won breakthrough union victories at Starbucks in December 2021, and the next year saw several other organizing victories. REI workers had a successful union vote in March 2022, Amazon in April, Apple in June, Trader Joe's in July and Chipotle in August, but none of those companies have reached a first contract.

The extraordinary recent wave of unionization that corporate America has faced over the past year has been met with what union supporters say is an equally extraordinary wave of union-busting that has slowed and even stopped some unionization efforts.  theguardian.com

The U.S. Dominates the Global Retail Market
U.S. companies dominate upper ranks of world's largest retailers

The three largest retailers in the world are based in the United States.

Rivals Walmart Inc. and Amazon took the two top spots respectively in Deloitte Global's annual "Global Powers of Retailing 2023 Report," which identifies the 250 largest global retailers (based on publicly available data for fiscal years ended between July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022).

Along with Walmart and Amazon, the other retailers on the top 10, in numerical order, are Costco Wholesale Corp.; Schwarz Group (based in Germany); The Home Depot; Kroger Co.; JD.com (based in China); Walgreens Boots Alliance; Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. (based in Germany); and Target Corp. (See end of article for list of 25 largest retailers in the world). chainstoreage.com

Claire's ramping up its presence in grocery stores
The young women's fashion accessories retailer has more than 10 grocery partners, including Albertsons, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Food City, Winco, Smart and Final, Schnucks, giving it a presence in more than 2,200 grocery stores.

Two Portland Walmarts to close, eliminating 580 jobs

Marco's Pizza on fast track with 200 stores in development

Chick-fil-A restaurant bans unaccompanied minors, citing 'unacceptable behavior' from young patrons

Last week's #1 article --

Retailers Turning to Dogs to Tackle Brazen Theft?
Desperate NYC merchants turn to K-9 units to sniff out shoplifters

In New York City, one non-profit retail trade group has started using dogs to combat the problem.

Shoplifting has become so rampant that one of the Big Apple's busiest commercial districts is turning to "man's best friend" to sniff out thieves, The Post has learned.

The 34th Street Partnership - the trade group serving the neighborhood that includes Macy's Herald Square, Penn Station and Madison Square Garden - is trying to take a bite out of crime by contracting with a firm that provides K-9 units.

The dogged pursuit was launched this month at the CVS at Eighth Avenue and West 34th Street in the heart of the district that has been plagued with thefts.

The program - which the trade group says costs in the "low-five figures monthly" - was a necessary investment amid a flood of shoplifting complaints and lax enforcement tied to the state's soft-of-crime laws, according to Ward.

"We decided to have a very visible deterrent," said Ward, a retired police officer who was chief of staff to former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.  nypost.com

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Fight Organized Retail Crime with ALL TAG Box Seals, Overlays, and Q Guards

The video above highlights some of ALL-TAG's latest innovations such as the AM or RF Q-Guard, Overlay, Box Seal, and Non-EAS Box Seal. All of these solutions can be fully customized with store logos, deterrent messages, if found elsewhere, please call messages, store numbers, and much more.

ALL-TAG's Q-Guard will be completely new to shoplifters, and they will quickly learn that it cannot be removed from a product without irreparably damaging the packaging, and thus significantly reducing the resale value of the product. This, of course, will deter Organized Retail Crime attempts. The Q-Guard will also be very effective against common theft, as the RF or AM label underneath is very well protected. The Q-Guard does not have an unlocking or removal mechanism like those of hard tags, spider wraps, and keepers. Therefore, shoplifters cannot use magnetic detachers they bought online to remove a Q-Guard. The Q-Guard allows retailers to openly display the well protected merchandise, it does not require additional shelf space, and it will not interfere with the shopping experience. The Q-Guard does not need to be removed at the point of sale, so regular checkout and self-checkout processes are quick and easy.

ALL-TAG's Overlays allow RF and AM labels to do their job by protecting them from being removed from merchandise inside retail stores. The Overlays are built with a combination of unique material and aggressive adhesive that makes them the most tamper resistant Overlays on the market.

ALL-TAG's Box Seals offer the same benefits as the Overlays, but they also seal both ends of the product packaging. Shoplifters cannot remove the product from the package, or insert additional or more expensive products inside of the packaging.

For retail stores that aren't currently equipped with EAS technology, we recommend using Non-EAS Box Seals to keep packages completed sealed.

To find out more about ALL-TAG's solutions, please visit https://all-tag.com/.








Automation: The Solution to Disrupting Ransomware & BEC?
Microsoft announces automatic BEC, ransomware attack disruption capabilities
Last year, Microsoft announced automatic attack disruption capabilities in Microsoft 365 Defender, its enterprise defense suite. On Wednesday, it announced that these capabilities will now help organizations disrupt two common attack scenarios: BEC (business email compromise) and human-operated ransomware attacks.

Reaction speed is paramount for disrupting attacks

A fast defensive response to initiated cyber attacks is becoming increasingly crucial for organizations: According to IBM Security's X-Force team, the average time to complete a ransomware attack dropped from 2 months down to less than 4 days and the rate at which attackers target employees via compromised email accounts and by exploiting existing email threads has doubled.

In an ideal world, all organizations would have the right technology deployed and a well-staffed security operations center (SOC) capable of spotting the very first signs of an attack in progress. In this imperfect world, though, SOC analysts are few, overworked and burned out, overwhelmed with alerts and wading through a sea of false positives - and often finding crucial clues too late.

The solution, according to many security vendors, is automation. According to Microsoft, it's automation and reaction at machine speed.

BEC and ransomware attack disruption

The signals on which Microsoft 365 Defender takes automated disruption actions are gathered from endpoints, identities, email, collaboration and SaaS apps. They are then aggregated and automatically analyzed and - if a high level of confidence is established - acted upon.

"The intent is to flag the assets that are responsible for the malicious activity," says Eyal Haik, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft.

In the current public preview, the automatic attack disruption capabilities include:

Suspending the account in Active Directory and Azure AD of the user delivering the attack (if the user has been onboarded to Microsoft Defender for Identity)

Containing devices to prevent them from communicating with the compromised machine (possible for environments using Defender for Endpoint)  helpnetsecurity.com

Apple Products Exposed to Takeover Attacks
'New Class of Bugs' in Apple Devices Opens the Door to Complete Takeover

With the right kind of exploit, there's hardly any function, app, or bit of data an attacker couldn't access on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

AdvertisementA new class of bugs in Apple's iOS, iPadOS, and macOS has been uncovered, researchers say, that could allow an attacker to escalate privileges and make off with everything on a targeted device.

This new class could "allow bypassing code signing to execute arbitrary code in the context of several platform applications," Trellix researcher Austin Emmitt wrote in a blog post on Feb. 21, "leading to escalation of privileges and sandbox escape on both macOS and iOS."

Were an attacker to exploit these vulnerabilities, they could potentially gain access to a victim's photos, messages, call history, location data, and all kinds of other sensitive data, even the device's microphone and camera. They could also use their access to wipe a device altogether.

Patching Might Not Be the End of the Story

If they haven't already, Apple users should update their system software, as the newest versions include fixes for the vulnerabilities so described. That doesn't mean, however, that vulnerabilities of this kind won't pop up again.

Emmitt highlighted in the blog post how NSPredicate had already been exposed by a security researcher back in 2019, then exploited by NSO Group in 2021, in an espionage attack targeting a Saudi activist. Apple attempted to close the hole but evidently didn't finish the job, paving the way for the new discoveries.

"Elimination of a bug class is often extremely difficult to accomplish as it often requires not only code changes but education of developers," explains Doug McKee, director of vulnerability research for Trellix. "Like all bug classes, unless a mitigation is put into place which would eliminate the entire class, it would be expected that more similar vulnerabilities would be found in the future."  darkreading.com

Attackers Continue to Evolve, Even as Defenders are More Successful
Defenders on high alert as backdoor attacks become more common
Although ransomware's share of incidents declined only slightly from 2021 to 2022, defenders were more successful detecting and preventing ransomware, according to IBM.

Despite this, attackers continued to innovate with the report showing the average time to complete a ransomware attack dropped from 2 months down to less than 4 days.

According to the 2023 report, the deployment of backdoors, which allow remote access to systems, emerged as the top action by attackers last year. About 67% of those backdoor cases related to ransomware attempts, where defenders were able to detect the backdoor before ransomware was deployed.

The uptick in backdoor deployments can be partially attributed to their high market value. X-Force observed threat actors selling existing backdoor access for as much as $10,000, compared to stolen credit card data, which can sell for less than $10 today.

"The shift towards detection and response has allowed defenders to disrupt adversaries earlier in the attack chain - tempering ransomware's progression in the short term," said Charles Henderson, Head of IBM Security X-Force. "But it's only a matter of time before today's backdoor problem becomes tomorrow's ransomware crisis. Attackers always find new ways to evade detection. Good defense is no longer enough. To break free from the never-ending rat race with attackers, businesses must drive a proactive, threat-driven security strategy." helpnetsecurity.com

TikTok Ban Hits EU Commission Phones as Cybersecurity Worries Mount
Employees of the EU Commission are no longer allowed to use the TikTok app thanks to concerns over data security.

Canadian Telecom Firm Telus Reportedly Investigating Breach

CISA: Beware of DDoS, Web Defacements on Anniversary of Russia's Ukraine Invasion







Monitoring Fake Online Goods with AI
How Artificial Intelligence Helps Protect Intellectual Property

It's imperative to monitor the internet, find these fake listings and take them down. But how can a company undertake such a massive task? By leveraging AI technology.

The Challenges To Protecting Your IP

The prevalence of counterfeit and pirated goods is on the rise. It's estimated that counterfeit goods cost the global economy $500 billion annually, and global trade in counterfeit goods represents 3.3% of all global trade today.

The rise in e-commerce is making it easier for counterfeiters to do their work. Today, anyone can create a website where they can sell their products, or become a third-party seller on major retail hubs like Amazon, where 57% of products were purchased from third-party sellers in Q2 of 2022. By cloning products, logos and names, counterfeiters are able to deceive customers who think they're just getting a good deal on a name-brand product.

Counterfeiting's impact is more than just an annoyance to companies. Not only are counterfeiters taking customer dollars, but counterfeit products can also impact brand reputation and confidence as well, as counterfeit products are often made cheaply or without the same safety regulations as authentic products.

Why AI Is The Future Of IP Protection

Popular brands may encounter tens of thousands of new counterfeits a week. That's why brands that are serious about protecting their IP will leverage tools like AI to help them hunt out counterfeit products. Why is AI the right approach?

The sheer volume of product listings across online marketplaces is in the millions. With so much volume, it's necessary to be able to collect data across thousands of online marketplaces, take snapshots of listings, see if the listing is relevant to your brand, and then check to see if you have relevant IP rights in that specific region. This is where AI can help. Image recognition models can scan through millions of listings from global marketplaces to visually classify similar products to your brand's authentic products and alert you without having to do the manual work yourself. The top-in-class AI models can classify thousands of product listings by not just product types (i.e., earrings, necklaces) but by different product models. forbes.com

A Big Year in the Books
Walmart eCommerce by the Numbers
As we set our 2023 plans in motion, we're taking a moment to look back at 2022 - and what a year it's been! We listened to feedback from our customers, sellers and associates and delivered new and enhanced experiences across the digital shopping journey. And every innovation has brought us one step closer to delivering a seamless experience for our customers and sellers.

We launched new initiatives to enhance the digital experience, including refreshed holiday wish lists and a registry suite, auto care scheduling, virtual try-on, augmented reality, a streamlined deals experience, virtual queuing and so much more. We've continued to grow and diversify pickup and delivery, from increased slot capacity to expanding our InHome services across the country. We've created more time, more options and more ways to take the work out of shopping for our customers and sellers, and we're just getting started.

Watch the video to see a few of our highlights: corporate.walmart.com

Why retailers & platforms are rushing to incorporate AI & ChatGPT into online shopping

Can Amazon crack the code on grocery?






Stopping ORC with the Tally
"ORC Early Warning System"

"Shouldn't the bad guys be locked up,
not your merchandise?"

Click here to watch the video

Inglewood, CA: $500,000 worth of diamonds taken during car robbery in Inglewood
A viral video shows a car being robbed in Inglewood across the street from City Hall and the Inglewood police station. The incident, which was caught on video, happened Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. on the 120 block of S La Brea Avenue in front of the Inglewood Swap Meet. Police say $500,000 worth of diamonds were taken during the robbery and a knife was used by one of the suspects. No injuries were reported. 2urbangirls.com

East Hanover, NJ: Shoplifting Incident at Ulta Leads to Arrest
A shoplifting incident occurred at Ulta Beauty Store in Cedar Knolls on February 23. Hanover Township Police Det. Peter Hermans was conducting surveillance when he observed a vehicle containing multiple individuals driving suspiciously through the parking lot approximately 15 minutes prior to Ulta closing, said the Hanover Township Police in a press release. The vehicle backed into a parking spot close to the store and was left running with its headlights on. Several of the occupants exited the vehicle and entered Ulta carrying large bags, the release continued. Det. Hermans radioed in the plate number to dispatch and approximately a minute later, the individuals came running out of the store towards their parked running vehicle carrying bags stuffed with stolen merchandise. Three of the five occupants were immediately apprehended following the crash, but two ran from the scene. Arrested were Jade Lindsey, 25 of NYC, Catherine Sanoja, 19 of NYC and three juveniles. Lindsey, the driver, was issued a motor vehicle violations summons and criminal charges were handed over to the Hanover Township Police Department.

Police later learned that the male juvenile is wanted for stealing over $200,000.00 worth of merchandise from 25 other thefts from Ulta's throughout the state. The juveniles were transported to the county youth detention center pending their court dates. Sanoja was charged with shoplifting, conspiracy to commit shoplifting, eluding, resisting arrest, aggravated assault on law enforcement officer, obstruction and employing a juvenile to commit a crime. Lindsey was charged with shoplifting. Conspiracy to commit shoplifting, obstruction, resisting arrest and employing a juvenile to commit a crime. Both were lodged in the county jail pending their court dates. Multiple bags of merchandise from the Cedar Knolls Ulta were recovered from the vehicle valued at over $20,000.00 with several other bags with unknown value from other locations were recovered as well tapinto.net

Gettysburg, PA: Baltimore Woman's Baby Formula Scam Catches Illegal Romanian Man In Gettysburg
Eglisa Ciuciu, 25, of Baltimore, MD, and Sandrino Trifu, 32, of Croaova, Romania were arrested along with an unnamed 15-year-old in connection to a bizarre baby formula theft at the Gettysburg Walmart on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. Ciuciu used the 15-year-old to transport the stolen goods from the store that she supposedly needed "to send to her family members in Ukraine and Romania," according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Brock McCulloch. In sum, five transactions were made valued at approximately $890, according to the affidavit. Although, Walmart staff also told the police that they "were able to verify that the same female had purchased additional containers of baby formula at another Walmart earlier in the day," according to the affidavit. Ciuciu would not identify herself to the police but her fingerprints helped PSP determine that the was wanted on a warrant for burglary in California, according to the court documents. Daily Voice has confirmed that Ciuciu is wanted for a 2017 Glendale burglary according to Los Angeles County court. Ciuciu was Trifu was not with Ciuciu at the time of her arrest, but when Ciuciu had her "cousin" arrive at the station for her ride home, he provided a fake Washington ID card, police explain. charged with forgery, buying/exchanging SNAP benefits, fraudulent trafficking related to SNAP benefits, tampering with records, false identification to law enforcement, and corruption of minors and released on $25,000 in bail, according to her court docket.  dailyvoice.com

Houston, TX: Thousands of dollars worth of shoes stolen from small business only weeks before grand opening
A new local business in Houston is recovering after multiple thieves stole most of their product, only weeks before a scheduled grand opening. "We've been building this brand pretty much our whole lives," said Khamron Micheals, co-owner of Shewz Houston. "We thought we were getting somewhere. This is kind of just a huge step back for no reason." Surveillance video shows multiple thieves early Tuesday morning dragging several large boxes of shoes from a backroom of the store to a car outside. The thieves were stealing from the new business, located near Weistheimer and South Voss Road, for about four minutes.  fox26houston.com

Newark, DE: Three teens charged with $1500 burglary of a Tobacco store

Streetsboro, OH: Woman wanted for stealing $700 worth of merchandise at Streetsboro Walmart

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Shootings & Deaths

Rocky Mount, NC: 1 man killed, woman and 11-year-old injured in 2 Rocky Mount shootings
Rocky Mount police are investigating two Sunday morning shootings that left one dead and two injured, including an 11-year-old boy. Around 1:30 a.m. police responded to a report of a youth shot on Meadowbrook Road. The 11-year-old was taken to ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a Rocky Mount Police Department news release. An hour later, police found two people shot in a Shell Food Mart parking lot on West Raleigh Boulevard. Nhazavias Coppedge, 25, died at the gas station. A 22-year-old woman was also shot and taken to the hospital with injuries that weren't life threatening, police said.  aol.com 

Lewisville, TX: Arrest made in Lewisville pawn shop owner's murder
An 18-year-old has been arrested and is charged with the murder of Lewisville pawn shop owner Daniel White. JaTevon Marquise Johnson was taken into custody by Dallas police on Saturday. Lewisville police say Johnson is believed to be one of three suspects who attempted to rob the Lewisville Pawn Shop on Mill Street on the morning of Feb. 14. White was shot in the chest shortly after the store opened. He had worked at the family business since he was 16. Johnson is charged with capital murder. He is in the Lewisville jail on $1 million bond. The search for the two other suspects is still underway.  fox4news.com

Pompano Beach, FL: Quadruple shooting outside a Restaurant in Pompano Beach: 2 killed and 2 hurt
The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating a quadruple shooting Sunday night that left two people dead and two others hurt, officials said. Investigators said deputies were called shortly after 9 p.m. about a report of gunfire near a restaurant in the 400 block of NW 27th Avenue in Pompano Beach. When deputies arrived, they found the four people who had been shot, two of them were dead. Dozens of bullet casings littered the ground. The conditions of the two who were injured have not been released.  cbsnews.com

Madison, WI: Suspect wanted by Madison police fatally shot inside C-store
Authorities say a man wanted by Madison police died after being shot and barricading himself inside a convenience store restroom. The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation says Madison police officers were trying to arrest the suspect Friday afternoon when the suspect barricaded himself inside the restroom, officers heard gunfire, and the suspect was found dead. Madison Assistant Police Chief Matt Tye says police were in the area searching for a 38-year-old man whom they had named as a suspect in a homicide earlier in the week. He says shots were fired by that man and a Madison police officer.  wdio.com

Japan: Shoplifting suspect jumps to his death from apartment balcony while police inside
A man, suspected of being a shoplifter, jumped to his death from his apartment balcony while police officers were waiting inside for him in Oita City, Oita Prefecture. According to an NHK report, a drugstore called police at around 7:30 p.m. on Friday and said that a man had left the store without paying for some items. Police searched the area and found a man in his 40s answering the description of the alleged shoplifter at around 9:30 p.m. They asked the man to accompany them to the police station for voluntary questioning. The man requested that he be allowed to go back to his apartment to pick up some personal items. The police officers went with him. When they entered the fourth-floor apartment, they waited in the living room while the man went into another room. He then went out onto the balcony and jumped. The suspect was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries at around 11 p.m.  japantoday.com

Luzerne County, PA: Jewelry Store owner charged in Wyoming Valley Mall shooting
A man has been charged after a shooting in the Wyoming Valley Mall parking lot Friday afternoon. Police say they have charged Michael Anthony Caruso with five counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly firing five shots into the mall's parking lot, a highly congested public area with cars and people. According to our newsgathering partners at the Times Leader, Caruso reportedly shot at a man police say stole from Devan Diamond and Co., Caruso's store. Investigators say they spoke with several people who were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting and determined Caruso had chased the alleged thief out into the parking lot and fired five shots at him. Officers said the alleged thief fled the scene in a burgundy Cadilac. Caruso turned himself over to the police and told them what had happened. Officials say they searched the parking lot and located five shell casings and a bullet hole in an uninvolved vehicle.  pahomepage.com

Miami, FL: Reports of active shooter at Dadeland Mall unfounded; 3 in custody in connection to theft
Calls about an active shooter that turned out to be unfounded led to panic at Dadeland Mall. The pandemonium unfolded in parts of at the shopping center, located along the 7500 block of North Kendall Drive in Southwest Miami-Dade, at around 7 p.m., Saturday. According to Miami-Dade Police, there were multiple reports of an active shooter at the mall. It was a scary night for those who were caught in the chaos. However, police confirmed no shooting took place. Detectives at the mall investigated reports of a theft and took three people into custody. The mall was cleared out for some time, allowing officers to search for any possible threat. It was reopened to shoppers shortly after.  wsvn.com

York County, PA: Charges filed in York County Furniture store shooting
Two men are facing charges following a shooting at a York County furniture store on Friday morning. Shots rang out shortly after 11 a.m. at the Price Busters Discount Furniture Store in Springettsbury Township. Police say the suspect made threats before opening fire. No one was hurt inside the furniture store. Investigators say several shots were fired and the suspect fled prior to officers arriving. Springettsbury Township Police Chief Todd King told FOX43 News on Friday that there were reportedly as many as 20 shots fired, although he could not confirm that exact number. Kirk Olivier, 20, of Columbia, was arrested Friday night. He is charged with criminal attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated assault. Another man, Michael Charon Whitt, 23, of York, is charged with simple assault and possession of a firearm prohibited. Warrants have been issued for both individuals. It remains unclear what prompted the shooting.  fox43.com

Houston, TX: Man shot to death after approaching group with gun at a Gas Station in Greenpoint

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Brooklyn, NY: NYPD: Robbery pattern targets 7 businesses in Brooklyn and Queens
CBS2 has obtained new video from a string of armed robberies in Brooklyn and Queens. Police say the robbers struck seven businesses and got away with more than $20,000. On Sunday night, one of the victims shared his terrifying story. CBS2 spoke to a cook at a deli who said he didn't think he would survive the armed robbery at his business. Thankfully, he did, but he lost more than $1,000 of his own money. Video shows two people with masks walk into the N7 Deli and Grill in Williamsburg and climb on the counter. An employee pushes one of them back, but then one robber takes out a gun as a third robber walks into the store. They climb the counter again, and one moves to the other end of the deli, where a cook was working.  cbsnews.com

Suspected shoplifter living in $1 million home to rely on Public Defender
A suspected shoplifter living in a $1 million home in The Villages will apparently be relying on the public defender for representation in court. Paul Heath, 66, who lives at 3638 Enterprise Drive, is facing multiple charges of misdemeanor theft following his arrest Jan. 30 by Sumter County sheriff's deputies. Arrest reports indicate that the Birmingham, England native made multiple trips to the Publix grocery store at Colony Plaza and left with stolen merchandise. A man who lives with Heath at the home on Enterprise Drive has written to Judge Paul Militello asking for a week's delay in Heath's arraignment. He wrote that he holds Heath's power of attorney. However, the man said he will be out of the state for Heath's March 15 court date. He wrote that the only action he is anticipating at the court date is seeking to rely on the services of the public defender for Heath. The letter indicates that Heath is suffering from a medical condition, but the name of that condition has been redacted from the letter to the judge, who has denied the request to move the arraignment date. Heath's address is located in the expensive Hyde Park section of the Village of Charlotte. The home was purchased in 2021 for $1.15 million by a woman with a Pacific Grove, Calif. mailing address. In his multiple trips to Publix at Colony Plaza, Heath reportedly stole sushi, Olay Regenerist Moisturizer, L'Oreal Paris Revitalist Derm Intensives Night Serum and L'Oreal Paris Revitalist Derm Intensive 10 percent Pure Glycolic Acid Face Serum. A manager began to recognize Heath from his multiple trips to the grocery store. She ultimately identified him from his driver's license photo after a match was made from the store's surveillance images. Heath is charged in five shoplifting trips to the store.  villages-news.com

Amherst, NY: No injuries reported after multiple fights break out at the Boulevard Mall
The Amherst Police Department said a large brawl broke out at the Boulevard Mall on Saturday night. Police responded to calls of large crowds gathering in the eastern part of the mall's parking lot around 9:15 p.m. Multiple fights broke out, spanning across the mall lot, Alberta Drive, and the Wegmans parking lot, police said. The crowds were dispersed, and no injuries were reported.  wgrz.com

Vancouver, WA: Police looking for multiple suspects in four armed robberies Sunday morning

Archie, MO: Tracking device leads officers to suspects in stolen ATMs



Auto - New Albany, MS - Burglary
C-Store - Evansville, IN - Burglary
C-Store- Philadelphia, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Brooklyn, NY - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Farmersville, LA - Burglary
C-Store - Wichita, KS - Burglary
C-Store - Vancouver, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Philadelphia, PA- Armed Robbery
C-Store - Vancouver, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Yonkers, NY - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Cellphone - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Cellphone - Montgomery County, MD - Robbery
Gas Station - El Paso, TX - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Tulare County, CA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Vancouver, WA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Vancouver, WA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Garden Grove, CA - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Inglewood, CA - Armed Robbery
• Jewelry - Rockford, IL - Burglary
• Jewelry - Miami, FL - Burglary
• Jewelry - Chandler, AZ - Robbery
• Jewelry - Chesapeake, VA - Burglary
• Jewelry - Florence, KY - Robbery
• Jewelry - Sarasota FL - Robbery
• Jewelry - Chicago, IL - Robbery
• Jewelry - Montclair, CA - Robbery
Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - Le Mars, IA - Armed Robbery
Shoe - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Sports- Finger Lakes, NY - Robbery
Target - Fort Collins, CO - Burglary
Target - Medford, NY - Robbery
Tobacco - Newark, DE- Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 25 robberies
• 10 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


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.

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Quality - Diversity - Industry Obligation


Retail Partnership Manager
Denver, CO - posted February 22
The Retail Partnerships Manager will play a key role within Auror's North American team; taking ownership of some of our key customers. The role is a great fit for someone who seeks variety and is great at relationship building. You will be seen as a thought leader and trusted advisor for both our customers and the industry alike...

Regional Distribution Asset Protection Specialist
Landover, MD - posted February 24
This role is responsible for leading asset protection initiatives and investigating matters pertaining to inventory shrink, policy violations, unauthorized access, fraud, and theft within assigned distribution center(s) - Landover MD, Severn MD, Bluefield VA, Norfolk VA, Lumberton NC...

Corporate Risk Manager
Charlotte or Raleigh, NC - posted February 14
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: Proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries whether they are to our employees, third parties or customers valuables. They include cash in transit, auto losses or injuries; Report all incidents, claims and losses which may expose the company to financial losses whether they are covered by insurance or not...

Director of Asset Protection & Safety
Mount Horeb, WI - posted January 27
The Director of Asset Protection and Safety is responsible for developing strategies, supporting initiatives, and creating a vibrant culture relating to all aspects of asset protection and safety throughout the organization. As the expert strategist and leader of asset protection and safety, this role applies broad knowledge and seasoned experience to address risks...

Loss Prevention Analyst
Ashburn, VA - posted February 21
The LP Analyst protects the company's assets from internal theft by using investigative resources (i.e., exception-based reporting (EBR), micros reporting, inventory reporting, CCTV, etc.). The primary responsibility of the LP Analyst is to identify potential loss prevention issues such as employee theft in SSP America's operation across North America...

Manager of Asset Protection (Corporate and DC)
North Kingstown, RI - posted February 17
The Manager of Asset Protection - Corporate and Distribution Center ("DC") role at Ocean State Job Lot ("OSJL" and "Company") will have overall responsibility for the ongoing safety and security of all operations throughout the corporate office and supply chain...

Field Loss Prevention Manager
Phoenix, AZ - posted February 2
As a Field Loss Prevention Manager (FLPM) you will coordinate 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...

Business Continuity Planning Manager
Jacksonville, FL - posted January 26
Responsible for developing, implementing and managing the company's Business Continuity (BCP) and Life Safety Programs to include but not limited to emergency response, disaster recovery and site preparedness plans for critical business functions across the organization. In addition, the position will develop and lead testing requirements to ensure these programs are effective and can be executed in the event of a disaster/crisis...

Region Asset Protection Manager (Ft. Lauderdale)
Fort Lauderdale, FL - posted January 18
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...

Region Asset Protection Manager-St Augustine and Daytona Beach Market
Jacksonville, FL - posted January 18
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...

Region Asset Protection Manager: Fresco y Mas Banner
Hialeah, FL - posted January 18
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...


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...

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