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Terry Sullivan joins Auror as
 Vice President of Retail Solutions

Auror announced recently that Terry Sullivan has joined its leadership team as Vice President of Retail Solutions. Previously, Sullivan led the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) for 5+ years.

"I couldn't be more excited to join Auror for this next chapter of my career," said Sullivan. "The Auror team is leading the way when it comes to industry innovation and making our retail communities safer."

"Terry is an important leader and advocate for our industry and will make an immediate impact at Auror," said Bobby Haskins, Vice President of Retail Partnerships. "He is perfectly aligned with Auror's guiding principles and greater vision for addressing crime, loss, and violence in retail communities."

Terry Sullivan, LPC will work alongside Bobby Haskins to serve its current and future customers in the North American market.

Learn more: auror.co/the-intel/spotlight-on-leadership-terry-sullivan






Dustin Wells, CFI promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Savers | Value Village

Dustin has been with Savers | Value Village for more than six years, starting with the company in October 2016. Before his promotion to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager, he served as Regional Loss Prevention Manager. Prior to that, he held another stint with Savers as Regional LP Manager / Logistics up until March 2016. Earlier in his career, he served as an Asset Protection District Manager for Rite Aid, and Multi-Unit Loss Prevention Manager for Kmart. Congratulations, Dustin!

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




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

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Store Crime Has Local Leaders Waging War on Dollar Stores
Cities across the country are pushing back on dollar stores in part because of crime

As Dollar Stores Proliferate, Some Communities Say No

More than 70 proposed dollar stores have been rejected since 2019, a report shows. It's a small number compared with those that opened but evidence of opposition to the industry.

There is a movement of municipalities across the United States that have pushed back against the dollar store industry's rapid growth during the pandemic.

Since 2019, at least 75 communities have voted down proposed dollar stores, while roughly 50 have enacted moratoriums or other broad limits on dollar store development, according to a new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, an organization that is critical of corporate retailers and their impact on communities.

By comparison, from 2015 to 2018, about 25 communities voted down proposed dollar stores while only six enacted moratoriums or ordinances limiting their growth.

Rural, Republican-leaning communities in places like southern Virginia and North Carolina are pushing back against dollar stores. (In 2020, President Donald J. Trump easily carried Morgan, Minn.) And leaders in cities like Toledo, Ohio, and Birmingham, Ala., have also mounted opposition, saying the stores are fueling crime and unhealthy food choices. Across Georgia, 18 cities and towns have restricted dollar store development, according to the think tank's report.

Ms. Cochran-Johnson, a Democrat, was elected to the ommission in 2019. The next year, she persuaded the commission to pass a moratorium on dollar store developments in DeKalb County.

The moratorium ended in December, but the county is putting into effect new requirements for dollar stores, including that they install video surveillance in their stores and parking lots and turn over security camera footage to the police within 72 hours of a crime.

Regarding the issue of crime, Dollar Tree said, "We continually invest in deploying proven crime-reduction technologies in stores located in higher-crime areas and use risk-based analysis and tactics to reduce incidents in our stores." The company added that it turned over surveillance footage whenever law enforcement requested it. nytimes.com

Walmart Crime Closure?
Some shoppers say Walmart is closing an Albuquerque store over rampant crime

The Albuquerque Police Department reportedly had 708 calls to service at or near the store in 2022.

The San Mateo Boulevard store is set to close on March 10 after opening in July 1985, according to Walmart spokeswoman Lauren Willis. The store has 287 employees, all of which are eligible to transfer to another store in the area.

Walmart did not answer questions about whether crime rates at the Albuquerque location were responsible for the decision to close it. But Albuquerque police officers had their hands full with the store in the past year. The Albuquerque Journal reports that 708 calls were made requesting police service at or near the store in 2022.

"There is no single cause for why a store closes," Willis told Insider. "We do a thorough review of how a store performs and weigh many factors before making the difficult decision to close a facility."

She added that the Albuquerque Police Department "has been a great partner and we are extremely appreciative of their efforts to combat crime at this store."

The Walmart is one of at least eight stores closing soon across five states and the District of Columbia. These closures come months after Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon warned in December that select "stores will close" if high theft rates didn't slow down.

The San Mateo Boulevard store itself is located in Albuquerque's International District, which has been called by locals the "War Zone" for decades due to high levels of criminal activity. businessinsider.com

Mall Shootings Prompt Apple Store Closure
Apple Shutters Store in North Carolina After 3 Shootings in 75 Days

Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina saw a third shooting incident in 75 days

An Apple store in Charlotte, North Carolina saw its doors closed permanently on Wednesday, following three nearby shootings in three months, Bloomberg reported. The store in Northlake Mall was open for business in the morning, before staff were told that the location would be closing immediately, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

The previous night, the mall suffered its third shooting in 75 days - and second in February - according to local news station WSOC-TV.

Nobody was injured during the incident outside a Macy's store, police said, nor was anyone hurt after a single shot was fired on February 5. An incident on December 15 outside a jewelry store in the mall, however, saw a 19-year-old charged with attempted murder, per WSOC-TV.

The Northlake Mall Apple store's website says it is "temporarily closed" at the top. A statement reads: "In preparation for a new store we plan to open in the Charlotte area early next year, we will be permanently closing Wednesday, March 1st at 4pm."

Plans for that new store were underway before the shootings, Bloomberg reported, but people familiar with the situation told the outlet that the recent violence contributed to the decision. businessinsider.com

New Mexico's Retail Theft Bill Update
Editorial: Get retail theft bill to governor's desk

"There's no question that organized retail crime is having a detrimental impact on the bottom line for New Mexico businesses, especially small ones. This cowardly crime also means higher prices for New Mexican consumers - it's time to crack down on organized retail theft."

- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Jan. 30 news release

Our governor was channeling every retail business owner and every law-abiding customer in the state when she announced her support of House Bill 234, which will target the plague of theft rings that send folks out to steal $499.99 over, and over, and over again.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas made the case for HB 234 last year, saying "it is more profitable now to go and steal from our local retailers than it is to sell drugs and guns in New Mexico." He told KRQE-TV "what's occurring is you have major drug dealers sending out armies of shoplifters into these retail centers, and they're stealing these goods and exchanging them for fentanyl and other drugs."

So it is heartening that so far, our state lawmakers are listening and voting to finally protect our businesses and our consumers. As Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce says, "employees are scared and employers feel helpless."

HB 234, sponsored by Albuquerque Democrats Marian Matthews, Natalie Figueroa, Antonio Maestas and Speaker Javier Martínez, has been honed to focus on aggregating the crimes so these repeat shoplifters are charged with felonies, not misdemeanors, and on the coordinated and planned gang element of the crimes.

The bill is headed to the House floor, where it deserves swift passage. Ditto for the Senate.

The governor has made it clear she sides with business owners and consumers on this one, that no one should feel scared and helpless in the face of rampant retail theft. Let's get HB 234 to her desk and take back our retail operations, for N.M. business owners and consumers. abqjournal.com

Record-Breaking Theft Across the Globe
Record retail theft puts pressure on Australian supermarket giants
Retail theft has hit record levels in Australia, government statistics show, putting pressure on grocery giants Woolworths Group Ltd and Coles Group Ltd that are already struggling with soaring supply costs and freight blockages.

Store theft rose 23.7% in New South Wales, the home state of a third of Australians, from 2021 to 2022, state government figures showed on Thursday, the fastest year-on-year increase since records began in 1995.

Queensland, Australia's third-largest state, had the highest monthly rate of shop stealing on record this January, according to publicly available police data.

The data underscores concerns raised by analysts and social researchers that surging living costs - from grocery shelf prices to power bills to mortgages - will drive up crime. That may impact profit at Woolworths and Coles, which together ring up two-thirds of Australian grocery sales and noted rising store theft in trading updates last month.

"Supermarkets operate on very thin profit margins. You only need a small change in the stock loss to have an impact on profitability," he added. Supermarkets refer to goods lost to theft, expiry or payment error as stock losses.

Woolworths and Coles declined to comment. On a Feb. 22 earnings call with analysts, Coles Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells said the company was experiencing "elevated theft" and was investing in staff training and technology to counteract it reuters.com

'Crime Doesn't Pay': Chicago Violence Sinks Mayor's Re-Election
Lori Lightfoot's critics sound off on Chicago mayor losing re-election

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, lost her re-election bid Tuesday night, and critics are celebrating the end of her term.

Under Lightfoot, Chicago has seen soaring crime rates, which became a theme of her opponents' criticism. In 2021, homicides in Chicago rose to their highest numbers in 25 years, outpacing other crime-ridden cities like New York City and Los Angeles.

Throughout her tenure, the mayor has been blasted for her poor relationship with law enforcement, as the city's police department lost a significant number of officers in recent years amid the rise in crime.

After the mayor's defeat, critics wasted no time in expressing their pleasure on Twitter that Chicago will soon have new leadership, touching primarily on the city's crime wave.

Gianno Caldwell, a Fox News political analyst whose brother was killed in Chicago last summer, wrote that the Lori Lightfoot "experiment" is "officially over. Thank you, CHICAGO."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wrote, "Lori Lightfoot. Crime doesn't pay."  foxnews.com

NYC agrees to pay up to $6 million to hundreds of protesters roughed up by the NYPD during George Floyd demonstrations

WS Chamber Public Safety Roundtable covered police training, crime trends and more

COVID's Lasting Business Impact

How COVID Impacted Business Budgets
Reconsidering Financial Budgeting after a Pandemic

Business budgets might not look quite the same after COVID-19. With these tips, companies can get back on track with their budgeting in the post-COVID world.

After years of dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on their budgets, companies are beginning to get back to a sense of normalcy. Businesses may be able to stick more closely to their budgets, but creating a budget in the post-COVID world might look a little different than it did before.

1. Know Your New Normal - Across every industry, major adjustments were made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those changes may be scaled back, while others are here to stay. New health standards, work-from-home options, online shopping offerings, and supply-chain adaptations may become permanent solutions for businesses. When building a budget after COVID-19, businesses must determine what the new normal is and how it will affect cash flow moving forward.

2. Forecast, Forecast, Forecast - With some pandemic-related hardships in the rearview mirror, forecasting can enable businesses to take a look at past performance and anticipate how to get through economic uncertainty that may loom on the horizon.

3. Rebuild Your Emergency Fund - When it comes to an emergency fund, size matters. Plan for major events with a large enough fund to cover expenses for several months.

4. Payback Is a Cinch - Be sure to understand what needs to be paid back and whether forgiveness guidelines have been met. Decide the best way to pay back debts.

5. Be Realistic - Using more conservative estimates for revenue and growth can keep goals more in line with reality. This is an opportunity to look at where the company is headed. cpapracticeadvisor.com

The Post-COVID Lockdown Retail Comeback in China
From condoms to cosmetics, China sales grow as lockdowns end
The world's top consumer and luxury goods companies have seen sales of everything from cosmetics to condoms grow in China since Beijing ended strict COVID-19 curbs, another sign that the world's No. 2 economy is reviving after the pandemic.

Upbeat comments on Wednesday from Reckitt Benckiser, Nivea-maker Beiersdorf, Moncler and Puma came after data showing China's factory sector grew in February at the fastest pace in more than a decade.

"After a very volatile January, with traffic still heavily impacted by the release of COVID restrictions in December, we see a clear turnaround in retail sales starting in February," he said in a briefing for analysts. reuters.com

FBI director says COVID pandemic 'most likely' originated from Chinese lab
"The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan," Wray told Fox News in an interview that aired Tuesday. "Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab."

FDA authorizes first at-home test for both COVID and the flu

Troops discharged for refusal of vaccine now have pathway to rejoin military



Stores Shift from City Centers to the Suburbs
Another Blow to City Centers: Retail Stores Move Outward

Major brands are eschewing both downtowns and malls in favor of smaller residential locations in the US, compounding the financial strain of office vacancies.

After Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. closed a large store in Water Tower Place, a mall near Chicago's city center. It was one of a spate of pandemic-related retail closures in downtown urban neighborhoods that have since become permanent. But the clothing retailer had other plans in store.

At the end of 2021, the company opened a new boutique-style shop in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, where a large customer base was making online purchases.

It's part of a pattern among US retailers that are abandoning malls and large-format stores in city centers in favor of neighborhood locations that aim to serve the work-from-home generation. And while retail presence is shrinking in many big cities, apparel retailers' brick-and-mortar locations are growing overall. They're just moving outward, with smaller footprints in residential neighborhoods.

Brands including Macy's Inc. and Kohl's Corp. have taken on similar strategies, experimenting with new formats and neighborhoods. Macy's Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in January that customers now want to shop in the ZIP code in which they live, noting that "off-mall is quite attractive."

While the shift serves the retailers themselves, allowing them to meet their customers closer to home, it threatens both metropolitan downtowns and traditional malls that for decades benefited from tax revenue and foot traffic generated by shoppers. Cities have already been suffering from a steep decline in office occupancy - which is currently at about 50% of pre-pandemic levels - and fewer retail stores in dense urban areas will only add to the trouble of luring people back. bloomberg.com

Judge Orders Starbucks to Reopen Stores & Reinstate Workers
Sen. Bernie Sanders is also forcing a vote to subpoena Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Starbucks committed 'egregious' violations in battling union, judge rules

The judge's order requires the company to stop a long list of behaviors and reinstate workers who began a nationwide union drive

Starbucks committed "egregious and widespread" violations of federal labor law while trying to halt union campaigns, ruled a federal administrative law judge, who ordered the coffee giant to reopen closed stores and reimburse backpay and damages to employees who launched a nationwide organizing drive at the company.

Starbucks showed "a general disregard for the employees' fundamental rights," Judge Michael A. Rosas wrote in a 220-page order released Wednesday.

In resolving an extensive case that combined 33 unfair labor practices charges from 21 stores in the Buffalo area, Rosas held that the company retaliated against employees affiliated with Starbucks Workers United as they began a union drive in 2021. Since then, 268 of the roughly 9,000 company-owned U.S. stores have voted to unionize, and Starbucks's interim chief executive Howard Schultz has drawn the ire of liberal political leaders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said Wednesday that he would force a vote to subpoena Schultz as part of a hearing about unionization efforts at Starbucks.

"To order a company to reopen stores that it's closed should be embarrassing for Starbucks," said Rebecca Givan, an associate professor of labor studies at Rutgers University.

Rosas's order requires Starbucks to halt a sweeping list of behaviors that include: retaliating against employees for unionizing; promising improved pay and benefits if workers renounced the union; surveilling union-supporting employees while on-site; refusing to hire prospective employees who back the union; and relocating union organizers to new stores to halt the group's activity, overstaffing stores ahead of union votes. washingtonpost.com  cnbc.com

RELATED: Starbucks employees sign petition to reverse return to office mandate and stop alleged union busting

Register Now: 2023 ISCPO Global Supply Chain Security Conference

April 11-13 at the 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas

There will be a wide range of topics related to global supply chain security, Ecommerce, industry trends, and investigations. As in year's past, the conference provides a great venue to network with global industry peers, transportation/logistics professionals, law enforcement, and select vendor partners.

We encourage Solution Providers to participate in this event. Those interested should submit requests to Rhett Asher at Rhett.Asher@iscpo.org or Byron Smith at Byron.Smith@iscpo.org.

Agenda Topics

• Social Media Investigations
• Workplace Violence and Police Interaction
• Human Recourses in a Challenging Labor Market
• Unions in Supply Chain
• Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain
• Global eCommerce Security

By attending the conference you'll stay ahead of the latest technologies, manage risk across all supply chain channels, and bring best practices back to your company.

   Register now

Walmart and Poshmark are the latest to cut jobs as layoffs creep into the retail world
Here's the full list of major retailers that have laid off workers in 2023.

Dollar Tree ramping up store growth as momentum continues
Dollar Tree operates 16,340 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces

Consumer confidence slips again in February, Conference Board says

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Retailers Face a Growing Number of Cyber Threats
Fortifying Your Retail Operations in the Face of Growing Cyber Threats
In today's fast-paced retail and consumer industry, the shift towards hybrid shopping is rapidly changing the way retailers do business. As the shift to hybrid shopping persists, however, it also creates new security challenges for retailers and wholesalers to protect sensitive customer information and its supply chain network.

To protect themselves and their customers, retailers and wholesalers must take proactive measures to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology and security. Here are some key recommendations to keep in mind:

1. Stop Blaming the User: Traditionally, the blame has been placed on the user for clicking on malicious links, but it's time for the focus to shift towards training and providing the right technology to protect users from falling victim. Implementing strong multi-factor authentication (MFA) can prevent unauthorized access and limit the impact of a potential attack. Additionally, retailers should regularly monitor their systems, restrict access to servers and applications to the minimum required carry out their jobs, and design their networks such that in case of a breach, its impact can be contained and confined to a specific region.

2. Reduce your Attack Surface: Prioritizing discovery of sensitive assets on your perimeter, understanding your exposure to phishing attacks and reducing those attack surfaces further contribute to holistic security. Finally, organizations must extend their asset management programs to include source code, credentials and other data that could already exist on the internet or dark web.

3. Speed up Response Times: Quickly identifying and mitigating threats can help minimize the damage and prevent a ripple effect throughout the supply chain. For retailers, a rapid response to a cyberattack is crucial in protecting their customers' sensitive information and financial data. With numerous transactions being processed every day, a breach in security can lead to widespread financial fraud and a tarnished reputation.

4. Think Like an Attacker and Continuously Test: By regularly performing threat hunting, penetration testing, and red teaming, retailers can identify weaknesses and improve their security posture, protecting their customers' sensitive information and financial data.

5. Fortify Data with Artificial Intelligence: By leveraging the power of data and artificial intelligence, retailers can proactively enhance their cybersecurity posture. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and anomalies that could signal a potential threat, allowing retailers to detect and respond to cyber-attacks faster, more accurately and efficiently. chainstoreage.com

Biden to Congress: Renew Surveillance Tool That Helps Battle Cyberthreats 
White House faces deeply skeptical Congress as it advocates for controversial surveillance tool

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expires in December, is in perhaps its most precarious position yet.

AdvertisementAs the Biden administration begins its campaign to urge Congress to renew a controversial surveillance provision that authorizes intelligence agencies to carry out warrantless data collection, it will face a skeptical Congress where distrust of government spying runs deep.

Those signs of early opposition to the law, which is set to expire at the end of this year, may be the reason the White House has started to publicly push for its renewal 10 months before 702 expires. In statements released Tuesday and during an event at the Brookings Institution the same day, top law enforcement and national security officials made their case that 702 has become an essential tool for protecting Americans against a growing number of threats.

"The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports the reauthorization by Congress of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a vital intelligence collection authority," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement released Tuesday. "This authority is an invaluable tool that continues to protect Americans every day and is crucial to ensuring that U.S. defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies can respond to threats from the People's Republic of China, Russia, nefarious cyber actors, terrorists, and those who seek to harm our critical infrastructure."

The intelligence community has posed losing the tool as disastrous for U.S. national security, including against growing cybersecurity threats. "Section 702 is critical to our ability to understand the nature of the cyber attacks that we face on a consistent basis from nation states - China, Russia, Iran," U.S. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said at the Brookings event.

Examples of threats to U.S. national security foiled by Section 702 intelligence include identifying foreign ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure, according to the Justice Department. Officials say getting information to stop such attacks fast enough without Section 702 would be impossible. cyberscoop.com

The Cybersecurity Benefits of Making Developers Key Team Players
Developers can make a great extension of your security team
Developers care about the quality and security of their code, and when empowered to help, developers make great security advocates who can help harden your supply chain security while reducing the burden on DevOps and security teams. Introducing security tools that allow developers to own code security within their existing development process can increase early risk identification and simplify the process of mitigating risks, slowing the growth of (or even reducing) vulnerability backlogs.

Organizations are growing wise to the benefits of decentralizing security efforts and incorporating developers in their hardening processes. Some studies have even found evidence that developer-integrated security practices are a sign of maturity seen in successful security organizations. In an annual study, the Building Security in Maturity Model (BSIMM) team found that all 10 of the firms with highest BSIMM scores had implemented satellite teams that augment security efforts, and that these same satellite teams were missing from all 10 of the lowest scoring firms.

A complete approach to supply chain security must include developer security champions. Developers should not only be included in the security process, but they should also be empowered to act on known risks with developer-oriented security tools that work within their existing development process. helpnetsecurity.com

'Catastrophic' Breach of Password Management Service
LastPass breach: Hacker accessed corporate vault by compromising senior developer's home PC
LastPass is, once again, telling customers about a security incident related to the August 2022 breach of its development environment and subsequent unauthorized access to the company's third-party cloud storage service that hosted backups:

"The threat actor leveraged information stolen during the first incident, information available from a third-party data breach, and a vulnerability in a third-party media software package to launch a coordinated second attack."

The results of both breaches are catastrophic and the list of data and secrets stolen/compromise as a result is extensive. helpnetsecurity.com

CISOs Share Their 3 Top Challenges for Cybersecurity Management

Microsoft Exchange admins advised to expand antivirus scanning







Securing Cannabis: A Conversation with Sapphire Risk CEO Tony Gallo

For about as long as there has been a legal industry, Sapphire Risk has been helping cannabis companies manage their security needs.

Founded in 2012 by Tony Gallo, a 30-year veteran of the security business, Dallas, Texas-based Sapphire Risk originally provided consultation services to pawn shops, gun shops, jewelry shops, and similar businesses. In time, as Gallo explained during a recent call with Cannabis Business Executive, cannabis not only joined the list of industries served by Sapphire Risk; it became the main focus of the company, which to date has worked with more than 800 cannabis business owners in 35 states and Canada.

According to Gallo, the security industry overall has three main components to it. "There's the industry that is called security, which is more of a physical position; you would consider a guard a security person, somebody that physically protects the assets of the company. Then there is loss prevention, which is someone who identifies a problem that's occurring, and puts things in place to prevent those losses from occurring again. If you had a location that had an armed robbery, you would put things in place to prevent future armed robberies from occurring. And then there's the position that I call asset protection, and that position identifies a potential problem before it even happens. You didn't wait for the robbery, or you didn't wait for the employee theft, or you didn't wait for the emergency procedures. You perceive that these things could occur, and then you put those procedures in place."

The Elements of Security

As Gallo explained, the basic elements of security have not changed even if the tools have. "The core of any program in retail security - which is what cannabis is, and everything I've done - is identifying where your losses are, and the majority of losses in any retail business is internal employee-based," he said. "Whether it's employee theft, or employees damaging product, or hurting the margin in some way, it always revolves around the employee. I would say about 80 percent of all the losses in the cannabis industry are due to employee involvement in some way, compared to most retailers, where somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of all their losses are internal.

Sapphire Risk's menu of services includes consulting, application writing services, security floor plan design, secure facility build-outs, SOPs, and risk assessment. In addition to retail, Sapphire also provides security for cultivation sites of all sizes.

But Gallo also stressed that a lot of people have misconceptions about the security risks associated with cannabis. "We do around 100 city council meetings every year, give or take," he said. "I did 50 in New Jersey alone last year, and a lot of people are under a misconception that crime goes up [around dispensaries]. Believe it or not, crime actually goes down when you have a dispensary in that neighborhood simply because of the amount of security that's required.

Security Boon

Even as the overall industry struggles to find its footing, security remains an essential component of running a cannabis business, and with new states coming online or expanding their programs, Sapphire has plenty of business, especially when states schedule application deadlines for the same day.

"When we do our applications - and we do floor plan design, so we take your floor plan and add the security on: the video, the alarm, the access control - we have 35 people, which includes contractors and a design team, and you can only turn so many screws. So, when you get hit with a double state application process, we can only take on some of the people."

   Click here to read the full conversation

   Learn more about Sapphire Risk here

Taking On Black Market Cannabis in Canada
Ontario is dropping its weed profit margins to get the 'upper hand' over the illegal market

Drop largely triggered by strength of illicit pot sales, which still made up 43% of market last March

The Ontario Cannabis Store says it will be reducing its price margins in a bid to help pot retailers compete with the illicit market. The provincial pot distributor announced the margin change Thursday, saying it will be implemented in September.

The OCS estimates the move will put $35 million back in the hands of licensed pot companies this fiscal year and $60 million in the 2024 fiscal year. The OCS expects these amounts to compound annually in the years thereafter as the legal cannabis market grows.

The margin drop was largely triggered by the strength of the illicit pot market, which still made up 43 per cent of Ontario's cannabis market last March.

"This announcement will allow producers to better compete with the illicit market, particularly when it comes to dried flower," said Charlie Bowman, chief executive and president of licensed producer Hexo Corp. in an email. cbc.ca

Larger Share of Americans Support Legalization
GOP Congressional Lawmakers Tout Poll Showing Republican Voters Back Federal Marijuana Legalization
Three Republican members of Congress are celebrating the results of a new poll showing that more than two-thirds of likely 2024 GOP presidential primary and caucus voters support federally legalizing marijuana so that states can make their own decisions on the issue.

The survey, released on Wednesday by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), found that 68 percent of respondents back ending federal marijuana prohibition. There was majority support across age, gender, educational and religious groups.

The overall level of backing for reform has increased by 10 points from a similar poll the group conducted a year ago. GOP lawmakers who have championed marijuana reform in Congress are welcoming the results. marijuanamoment.net

California's Cannabis Sales Declined In 2022, The First Time Since Legalization

Virginia's adult-use cannabis market stalled indefinitely






99 Amazon Facilities Canceled, Closed or Delayed Across 30 States
Amazon closes, cancels more warehouses as cost-cutting persists
Amazon's fulfillment network cuts have bled into 2023 as the e-commerce giant continues to slash operating expenses, according to data from a consulting firm tracking the company's logistics footprint.

Amazon has canceled, closed or delayed 99 U.S. facilities, impacting nearly 32.3 million square feet of active or planned ground-level space in 30 states, Marc Wulfraat, president and founder of MWPVL International, said in a Friday email. In September, the firm had recorded 66 impacted facilities totaling 24.6 million square feet of ground-level space.

Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly disputed MWPVL's figures in a statement, arguing the firm "says we're selling or abandoning land or buildings that we're keeping, or buildings that we never had in our possession to begin with." Kelly did not specify which recorded closures, cancellations or delays were incorrect.

After a whirlwind of facility openings to keep up with the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom, Amazon made big cuts to its operating costs throughout 2022 as excess capacity in its fulfillment network weighed on profitability. Those efforts are slated to continue this year.

In a Feb. 2 earnings call, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said reducing the cost to serve customers within the company's operations is a top priority. Amazon's aggressive efforts to expand its fulfillment center and transportation network have created areas within it where the company is working to become more efficient and productive. retaildive.com


Amazon's Tug-of-War Over Return to Work Policy
Hundreds of Amazon employees join a new Slack channel to support the company's return-to-office policy after others call for permanent remote work

The move came after thousands of employees joined a separate Slack channel opposing the RTO plan.

A tug of war is brewing at Amazon over the company's new return-to-office plan.

Hundreds of Amazon employees joined a new Slack channel last week that supports the company's new return-to-office policy, Insider has learned - just days after a much larger group of staff rushed to a separate Slack channel that's fighting against the RTO mandate.

The description of the new Slack channel says it intends to "Think Big" about the benefits of the RTO plan, which is in "danger" of getting overturned by the opposing "remote advocacy" group. As of Monday, the RTO supporting channel drew just a little over 750 people, versus the 28,000-plus in the opposing channel.

"Sensing the danger of #remote-advocacy resulting in an overturning of the RTO plan, we seek to Think Big in this channel to elaborate on the hidden benefits of RTO," the description says, according to a screenshot of the channel seen by Insider.  businessinsider.com

Chinese E-Commerce Flourishes on U.S. Soil

E-commerce continues to grow in the EU






Orange County, CA: 2 arrested for over $460,000 in stolen merchandise
Two suspects were arrested in Orange County for obtaining nearly half a million dollars worth of stolen goods on Feb. 24. The suspects were identified as Jesus Ortiz, 48 from Lynwood, and Yolanda De La Rosa, 49 from Anaheim, by the California Highway Patrol. An investigation into an organized group of retail thieves began in January, led by agents with the CHP Border Division's Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF). Authorities witnessed "multiple suspects arriving and delivering suspected stolen property to an apartment in Anaheim," while investigating. Two other locations in Bellflower and Lynwood were also found to be associated with the organized theft crew, said CHP. On Feb. 24, authorities served a search warrant and discovered 14,018 stolen items worth over $463,746.27 among the three locations ktla.com

South Hill, WA: Theft suspect caught after GPS tracker hidden in stolen items
Pierce County deputies caught a shoplifting suspect Monday after following a GPS tracker built into the stolen merchandise. Deputies were called to a beauty store near Meridian Ave E and 168th St E in South Hill. Employees reported a man walked in and stole $2,862 worth of fragrances, then left. Employees also said one of those bottles had a GPS tracker on it. Law enforcement tracked the GPS, which showed the suspect was in the parking lot of a nearby department store. Deputies went there and found the man's car, then went into the store, where they found and arrested him. Authorities say the man was carrying the stolen merchandise in his backpack. The suspect reportedly told deputies he planned to sell the stolen items for "blues"-meaning fentanyl pills. Deputies searched the suspect's car, where they found more items stolen from a nearby store.  q13fox.com

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Moment alleged thieves steal $30K worth of jewelry as accomplices distract staff
The moment a group of alleged thieves stole $30,000 worth of jewelry at a Florida department store while their accomplices distracted a staff member has been caught on surveillance footage. Fort Lauderdale Police have released this clip of a group of four people they are looking to identify in connection with the theft at a Macy's store on 18 February. Two suspects distracted an employee while the other two stole the goods. independent.co.uk

Baton Rouge, LA: Officers arrest woman tied to 'dozens' of theft cases; accused of hitting same store 3 times in 5 days
A woman accused of being tied to dozens of thefts totaling thousands of dollars was arrested Wednesday, officers say. Arrest documents from the Baton Rouge Police Department say that Morgan Derozan, 20, is tied to multiple thefts from in and around Baton Rouge. The first theft the documents report is from Nordstrom in the Mall of Louisiana in early December 2022. Officers say Derozan, along with four others, two identified as Twanne and Joshua Derozan, stole approximately $1,100 worth of merchandise. Police also say that between Dec. 26 and Dec. 30, the five entered the DSW shoe store outside of the mall and stole $1,000 worth of brand-name shoes on three separate occasions. Each time, when employees attempted to stop them, Derozan threatened them with violence. During BRPD's investigation, officers found the group was allegedly tied to a different theft at Walmart on Old Hammond Highway from Dec. 31. The group was also arrested in Gonzales on Jan. 4 for felony theft charges. Police said the group has been allegedly tied to dozens of felony thefts. Derozan was arrested through BRPD for four counts of organized retail theft between $5,000 and $25,000 as well as two counts of simple robbery.  wbrz.com

Lehigh Valley, PA: $3K worth of over-the-counter meds stolen in pair of thefts from CVS

Springfield Township, PA: Macy's Assat Protection nab Polo thieve with $1000 of merchandise

Springfield Township, PA: Police arrest suspect in Best Buy theft; electronics recovered in nearby motel

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Shootings & Deaths

Oklahoma City Police investigate deadly shooting at Hobby Lobby distribution center
The Oklahoma City Police Department is investigating a deadly shooting at a Hobby Lobby distribution center on the city's southwest side Wednesday afternoon. Officers were called to the scene near SW 44th and Council Rd. just before 5 p.m., where they found one person dead. According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, police received the initial call around 4:45 p.m. Police say an employee of the distribution center went in to speak with a manager when an altercation began. The employee then took out a weapon and shot the manager who is now deceased. OKCPD PIO Robertson has confirmed the suspect is now deceased, killed in a vehicle crash on Highway 31.  kfor.com

Jefferson Parish, LA: Video released of deadly police shooting at C-store
Sheriff Joe Lopinto maintains the deadly shooting of a man in Terrytown by one of his deputies was justified. Portions of the body cam footage and surveillance video were released Wednesday, showing the moments before Kevin Veal pulled out a gun and pointed it at deputies at a Terrytown convenience store. Prior to the shooting, the suspect called 911 multiple times. "He had a truck that was parked illegally across three different parking spots, had two flat tires on the right-hand side, certainly needed a tow truck but was very paranoid. Thought some people were trying to kill him," Lopinto said. Moments later, Veal is seen walking into Brothers' Food Mart shortly after 4 a.m. Minutes later, he interacts with officers and refused to leave the store. Officers pleaded with Veal numerous times to come from behind the counter, but he visibly seems paranoid. Shortly after a struggle ensued, Veal is seen pulling a gun from his waistband and aiming it at the officer's head.  wdsu.com

Stamford, CT: Update: Man Sentenced In Murder, Robbery Of Stamford Jewelry Store Owner
A New York man convicted of killing a Stamford jewelry store owner during a robbery in March 2020 was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison. Robert Rallo, 59, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty in April 2022 to interference with commerce by robbery, interstate transportation of stolen property, and using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport, according to a news release from Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. Two other men - Thomas Liberatore, 65, of White Plains, N.Y., and Paul "Tony Pro" Prosano, 62, of Brooklyn, N.Y., - were each found guilty in December 2022 by a federal jury in Bridgeport of interference with commerce by robbery, an offense that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years; and interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.  patch.com

Charlotte, NC: 'People don't feel safe': Violence at Northlake Mall taking toll on nearby businesses
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say shots rang out outside Macy's at Northlake Mall Tuesday night. No one was hurt, but this latest shooting is the third either in or near the mall in the past three months. Nearby businesses say they're suffering, that the violence is driving customers away. "It used to be busy all the time here, especially at night," Theera Green, the manager at Red Crab, said. "People don't feel safe to come out at night now, so it's greatly impacted us."  wbtv.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Using Bombs to Rob C-Stores
Md., DC men face federal charges, including arson, in robbery of C-Store ATMs with Explosives
Two men, one from Maryland and the other from D.C., are facing charges for an elaborate scheme to rob convenience stores with the use of explosives. A federal grand jury returned an indictment for arson, commercial robbery and use of a destructive device, among others for Stephen Kennedy, 33, of Temple Hills, Maryland, and Donnell Kelly, 33, of D.C. Prosecutors said that from January 2021 to January 2022, the men planned to use explosives to rob 7-Eleven stores and take the cash in the stores' ATMs. These were done while the stores were open. Kennedy and Kelly used the explosive devices to set fire to the buildings. The fire forced the store to close and shut off power to the security cameras, which would enable them to go back to the location and burglarize the ATMs uninterrupted, a news release from the United States Attorney's Office District of Maryland said.  wtop.com

Lynnwood, WA: Entrance to CVS Pharmacy destroyed in attempted burglary
The entrance to a Lynnwood pharmacy was destroyed overnight in an attempted burglary. Police arrived at the CVS Pharmacy at 19507 Highway 99 after receiving reports that a truck backed through its front doors. Lynnwood Police Department spokesperson Maren McKay said it was around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday when at least two people tried to get through the storefront. Though they succeeded in destroying the door, they came up empty-handed. After the crash, the passenger then got out of the truck and went into the store. When officers arrived, the driver fled in the truck, according to Lynnwood police. The passenger tried to run away but was caught and arrested. McKay said the driver then abandoned the truck - which is believed to have been stolen - switched to another vehicle, and managed to get away. Police are still working to identify the driver.   kiro7.com

Shelby, NC: No serious injuries reported after car drives into Dunham's Sports store
No serious injuries were reported after a car drove into a Shelby sporting goods store on Tuesday night. According to Shelby Fire and Rescue, the incident happened at Dunham's Sports inside the Cleveland Mall sometime before 9:30 p.m. Photos showed the car sitting in the middle of the store, appearing to have come to rest after striking a pole. Around it, shelves and items for sale could be seen littering the ground. Officials said crews responded to the scene to help minimize further damage while removing the vehicle. It is unclear why the driver rammed into the store or if they will face any charges. wbtv.com

Bridgeport, CT: Hartford man sentenced to nine years for string of AT&T store robberies
A Hartford man was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in a string of AT&T store robberies, including one that led Massachusetts State Police on a high-speed chase that ended with a police cruiser being struck, officials said. Deshawn Baugh, 20, appeared in court in Bridgeport on Wednesday and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He will also have to pay $124,842.45 in restitution to account for the amount stolen from a store in Canton, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. courant.com

Tacoma, WA: Teen in Santa hat stabs Tobacco store clerk with screwdriver; robbery accomplices sought

Antioch, CA: Police search for woman linked to Armed Robbery at Smart & Final

Manchester, CT: Police seeking suspect who assaulted, robbed FedEx driver

Geneva, IL: Thieves hit 12 Geneva businesses in early morning smash-and-grab

Manchester, VT: Police getting security cameras in wake of smash and grab burglaries

Fire / Arson

Madison, OH: Burger King fire causes total loss; no injuries
Madison Fire District says the fire started in a roof vent stack and spread to the kitchen hood ductwork. When crews arrived they found that the fire had already extended to the roof and structural support, the fire department says. Officials say due to structure damage, crews were ordered outside of the building to fight the fire. All three employees who were in the store at the time were able to evacuate safely and without injury, officials say.  cleveland19.com



C-Store - Warner Robins, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Grants Pass, OR - Robbery
C-Store - Escambia County, FL - Robbery
C-Store - Tumwater, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Philadelphia, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Taylor, MO - Burglary
CVS - Lehigh Valley, PA - Robbery
CVS - Lynnwood, WA - Burglary
Clothing - Springfield Township, PA - Robbery
Dry Cleaner - Fresno, CA - Armed Robbery
Electronics - Springfield Township, PA - Robbery
Gas Station - Rockville, MD - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Orland Park, IL - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Antioch, CA - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Clayton County - Armed Robbery
• Jewelry - Cabazon, CA - Robbery
• Jewelry - Palmdale, CA - Robbery
• Jewelry - Douglasville GA - Burglary
Pets - Batavia, IL - Burglary
Restaurant - Ridgeway, SC - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Queens, NY - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Chattanooga, TN - Burglary
Restaurant - Geneva, IL - Burglary
Restaurant - Geneva, IL - Burglary
Restaurant - Staten Island, NY - Burglary
Shoes - Geneva, IL - Burglary
Thrift - Fresno, CA - Burglary
Tobacco - Batavia, IL - Burglary
Tobacco - Tacoma, WA - Armed Robbery / Clerk stabbed


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 11 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.
Filled your job? Any good candidates left over?
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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