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LVT's ACCESS Task Force

40% Decrease in Shoplifting from ACCESS Taskforce - Collaboration with Local Law Enforcement, Government Officials, and Retailers

Greater collaboration led to a reduction in weapons violations, burglary, trespassing, and disorderly conduct, across two cities

Watch the video here to learn more

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Target Announces Wave of Crime Closures

9 Target Stores Closing Across 4 States Over Theft & ORC
Target Closes Select Stores to Prioritize Team Member and Guest Safety

We have made the difficult decision to close nine Target stores across four states, effective Oct. 21.

In this case, we cannot continue operating these stores
because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance. We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all.

Before making this decision, we invested heavily in strategies to prevent and stop theft and organized retail crime in our stores, such as adding more security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business. Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully.

Looking ahead,
we remain committed to serving these guests with more than 150 locations open in markets where the closures are taking place and an always-open experience at Target.com.

Our Efforts to Combat Theft and Organized Retail Crime

In our stores:

Additional security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business.

On a limited basis, implementing tools such as locking cases

Investing time and resources in training our store leaders and security team members

In technology:

• Making significant investments in cyber defense to combat retail theft, fraud and abuse.

• Partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division to combat retail theft.

• Applying our cyber capabilities to combat organized retail crime.

   Read Target's full press release here: corporate.target.com

   More Coverage of Target's closures: WSJ | New York Times | CNN | Axios 

The Industry Responds to Target's Crime Closures
RILA Statement on Target Store Closures
Washington, DC - The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to today's news that Target is closing select stores due to retail theft and organized retail crime threatening the safety of their employees and customers:

"Organized retail crime, habitual theft, and violence are significant challenges for retailers of all sizes, compounded by complex societal issues like mental health, addiction, and homelessness. Target's announcement today lays bare the substantial problems that exist in communities across the U.S., and the tough decisions that many retailers currently face.

"With that understanding,
RILA launched a partnership with the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) to help drive collaboration, education, and resources to help combat the problems of organized retail crime and habitual theft. As part of that partnership, RILA recently launched the Vibrant Communities Initiative, a whole-of-community, holistic approach to addressing retail crime. Our goal is to better understand the underlying, systematic drivers of habitual theft and recidivism so that retailers can help communities craft an effective long-term response. By collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, including police, prosecutors, social service organizations and technology solution providers, our aim is multifaceted: Pilot new technologies and collaborative tools across the retail and law enforcement ecosystem, arrest and prosecute career offenders and those who are violent in stores; develop practices for identifying individuals qualified for diversion and steering them to appropriate social services as an alternative to incarceration.

"We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution, nor will there be an overnight resolution to the challenges facing retailers, law enforcement and local community leaders. But
our objective is to identify effective approaches that can be shared and applied across the country
to enact long-term, systemic change in how communities can tackle this challenge."   rila.org

NRF's 2023 National Retail Security Survey in the News

NRF's Findings Leave Shoppers Worried Ahead of Christmas Shopping Season
A troubling retail trend may make holiday shopping more dangerous

The National Retail Federation released its annual retail safety survey this week.

Shrinkage - a measurement of losses calculated by retailers - has been
the topic of earnings calls from everyone from CVS Health to Foot Locker to Target, but with the holiday shopping season creeping up on us, consumers should be worried about a rise in a dangerous trend when it comes to retail theft.

It doesn't take much effort to find videos of large groups of people grabbing large amounts of merchandise off of store shelves and racks before running out of the stores. The latest numbers from the National Retail Federation's annual Retail Security Survey show that while
the problem has gotten worse in recent years, shrinkage as a percentage of of sales has remained within historical limits.

Retailers reported average shrinkage of 1.6% in 2022. While that number was from 1.4% in 2021, it is in-line with the 1.6% that was reported in 2020 and 2019. Retailers reported average shrinkage of 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.2% in 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

When taken as a percentage of total retail sales,
shrinkage represented $112 billion in losses for retailers in 2022 compared to $94 billion in losses the previous year, with internal and external theft accounting for about two-thirds of losses.

But the biggest issue retailers are facing is
the rising level of violence associated with the shrinkage they are seeing. thestreet.com

CNBC's Take On The NRF Survey Results
'Retail theft isn't actually increasing much, major industry study finds'

The effect of theft on retailers' bottom lines is largely in line with what it has been in past years, according to a key National Retail Federation study.

Retail theft has caught the attention of the masses in recent years, from startling smash-and-grab videos during the depths of the Covid pandemic to corporate earnings calls where retailers like Target and Foot Locker are discussing losses from organized retail crime more than they ever have.

the effect of theft on retailers' bottom lines is about the same as it has been for years, according to the latest data released Tuesday in the widely used industry survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

Total retail shrink grew to more than $112 billion in 2022, up from $93.9 billion the year before, according to the newest National Retail Security Survey. The metric, which accounts for various types of inventory loss including theft, damage and vendor error, generally rises as retail sales climb.

retailers and the NRF are increasingly saying crime is cutting into profits, losses from internal and external theft last year were largely on par with historical trends. They made up 65% of total shrink, the survey found.

External theft, which includes
organized retail crime, was again reported as the largest source of shrink last year at 36.15%, but that was slightly below 37% in 2021. Internal theft, or goods stolen by employees, rose slightly to 28.85% from 28.5% in 2021. Process and control failures and errors made up 27.29% of shrink in 2022, up from 25.7% the year prior. cnbc.com

   More Coverage of the NRF survey: Reuters | MSN | Chain Store Age | Footwear News

   Read the NRF's National Retail Security Survey here

How Some Retailers Are Beating the Theft Surge
Costco, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Tractor Supply are winning the battle against retail theft in a strikingly similar way

Leaders from Costco, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Tractor Supply have said their businesses aren't so affected by the theft surge.

Even as these retailers acknowledge a major problem facing their peers,
they are managing to limit its effect on their businesses - Lawton even said shrink rates at Tractor Supply have come down for two years running.

Taking a closer look, it's clear that these four companies have
several striking similarities - qualities that are helping them win the war on retail theft.

1. Store location and layout - With the exception of Best Buy, three of the four chains tend to have their stores in more suburban and rural locations that see fewer people.

2. Big, heavy merchandise - A lot of the merchandise these four retailers sell is too unwieldy to be conveniently stolen.

3. Secure displays - For smaller or more expensive items, all four retailers aren't afraid of requiring customers to get help.

4. Less self-checkout - Another big theme is the way each retailer handles self-checkout, which has been blamed for spikes in theft rates when it is introduced at stores.

5. More staff per square foot - All four retailers prioritize having knowledgeable, helpful staff and have high levels of customer engagement. businessinsider.com

Los Angeles DA Squabbles with Retail Group Over Theft Funding
Can anything be done to combat retail thefts? DA Gascón discusses
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said his office is
committed to prosecuting these crimes to the fullest, and that they try to obtain the highest bail possible in certain circumstances. Despite that, overcrowding in the jail system can mean people who commit crimes like retail thefts are quickly released and sometimes reoffend.

"We're trying to make sure that our response to this is tailored based on the realities that we work with," he said. "So when people are there that... are
repeat offenders, that they're gonna be held back in confinement until they face their charges and it's determined whether they're guilty or not."

Recently, the state of California offered various jurisdictions up to $2 million in grant money.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office did not apply.

Gascón points to many things as to why, including the resources the Los Angeles County Sheriff and Los Angeles Police departments already have, the capacity to hire in a timely fashion and the way bureaucracy works.

That is not a sentiment echoed by
Rachel Michelin, President of the California Retailers Association. Michelin is disappointed Gascón did not apply for the funding, saying more resources are needed to combat retail theft and other issues throughout L.A. County. She believes that money could have augmented some of the other funding in the county.

Michelin also believes
the amount of retail theft happening in the state may be more than what we realize. She thinks this is due to either retailers not reporting the crimes or police reports not taken at the scene of these thefts. abc7.com

San Francisco: Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland or Victim of a Media Narrative?
'They're making up stuff': How the narrative of S.F. as dystopian hellscape is affecting the city

A barrage of vitriolic stories might make you think San Francisco is a post-apocalyptic wasteland

San Francisco is
a dystopian hellscape overrun by armed criminals and fentanyl addicts, its streets teeming with human waste, its buildings crumbling before our eyes.

That's the situation according to recent stories in major media outlets from CNN to Good Morning America, from the Financial Times to Newsweek, along with legions of posters on TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, and perennial S.F. haters like Fox News, the New York Post and, of course, Elon Musk. Presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also chimed in last week.

They're making up stuff," said Rodney Fong, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. "It is absolutely unfair."

Civic and business leaders, as well as marketing experts, readily acknowledge that San Francisco faces major social problems amid a sluggish pandemic recovery. But
the overwrought narrative that the city is in zombie apocalypse territory can only hurt it, they say.

It is misrepresenting the city badly," said longtime press agent Lee Houskeeper.

In GMA's segment about
Westfield giving up its namesake mall, a correspondent broadcasting live said it was "simply too dangerous" for him to be in Union Square or outside the mall at that hour, although, in fact, he was standing on a city sidewalk in the predawn darkness.

"It's definitely making prospective tenants think," said Kazuko Morgan, vice chair of real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. "The due diligence is taking longer than ever before.
This whole thing is just so blown out of proportion. They make it seem like it's Armageddon."  sfchronicle.com

Texas Walmart shooter to pay more than $5M to families over 2019 racist attack

From Tyson's Corner to Berkeley, Crime Surge Strikes Retail's Biggest Names

Palm Springs will spend millions to fight retail theft


Half of Frontline Employees Plan to Quit Over Safety Issues
Are US Retail Workers Calling It Quits?
There has been a
distinct rise in the potential danger that employees have to face while working for retailers. Even if they obey company policy and avoid interactions with shoplifters, they might still be attacked, as in the case of an elderly woman "who's had products being lobbed at her from the next aisle over while she's straightening up," according to NJ Pen.

Bloomberg stated that "
nearly four out of five companies have seen a rise in 'guest-on-associate violence' over the last five years," per a recent survey from the National Retail Federation.

Additionally, Fast Company reported that "
one-third of frontline workers felt unsafe at their jobs last year, while 40% are more worried about physical safety than they were a year ago. Last year, 76% of employers had a security incident, with 80% of banking and healthcare reporting an incident," according to a study done by Verkada.

The study also notes how a "
quarter of people have turned down job opportunities because they were worried about their safety, and over 50% of frontline employees say they plan to quit within the next year if their employers don't improve safety."

If turnover stays as high as it currently is - 95% for part-time retail workers "who make up the bulk of the in-store work force," per Bloomberg -
staffing shortages might be imminent, and this could lead to shortened store hours, according to Nasdaq. Already, stores like Costco are relying more on self-checkout lanes, while McDonald's and Chipotle have reduced hours in many locations due to staff shortages.

Having fewer workers in a store may also cause the employees who remain to feel more overworked and stressed, which could lead to a poor customer experience. Hopefully, with the projected holiday hiring season just around the corner and more measures being taken against retail theft, things will turn around before retail stores find themselves sold out of employees. retailwire.com

900 CVS Store Closures by End of 2024
CVS is permanently closing hundreds of stores for a surprising reason

The drugstore and health-care chain announced a slew of changes planned before the end of 2024.

A policy change first put forward in 2021 meant that
hundreds of CVS locations would close as the chain worked to cut costs and get ahead of losses.

"The company has been evaluating
changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business. As part of this initiative, CVS Health will reduce store density in certain locations and close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years," the company said in late 2021.

The drugstore has already shuttered locations in
Des Moines, Iowa; Berkeley, Calif.; San Francisco; Albany, N.Y., Houston, Kansas City, Mo., and Tallahassee, Fla.

"We consider many factors when making store-closure decisions, including maintaining access to pharmacy services, local market dynamics, population shifts, a community's store density, and ensuring there are other geographic access points to meet the needs of the community," a spokesperson said of the decision.

As many as
900 stores are expected to close through the end of 2024. thestreet.com

The Ongoing Expansion of Facial-Recognition Tech to Boost Customer Safety
Soccer-Palmeiras' facial recognition on match tickets helps police arrest criminals
(Reuters) - Facial recognition technology used on match tickets by top flight soccer club Palmeiras has helped the Sao Paulo Public Security Secretariat (SSP)
arrest 28 criminals in four games at the Allianz Parque stadium, the government body said on Friday.

The facial biometrics system, implemented this year by the Brazilian club through the 'Muralha Paulista' programme,
aims to ensure that the person who has purchased a ticket from Palmeiras is the same as the fan entering the stadium.

However, its use has also helped the SSP apprehend criminals before they enter the stadium to watch the team play.
It has also identified 253 missing persons.

"We invested in the implementation of facial recognition to protect our greatest asset, which is the Palmeiras fans," club president Leila Pereira said in a statement. "We want our home to be
increasingly safe for all the families that visit it and we are pleased to contribute to the public security authorities."

The facial recognition technology at matches
allows real-time analysis to detect fans who have bought tickets from touts, the use of false or third-party documents, outstanding arrest warrants, non-compliance with court orders and sanctions. saltwire.com

Apple workers in France stage strike on iPhone 15 launch day
Workers at Apple stores in France began a nationwide strike over pay and working conditions on Friday in a protest designed to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 15. It is the latest headache for the tech giant in France after it was forced to stop selling its iPhone 12 model earlier this month for above-threshold radiation. Apple disputes the findings of the French watchdog.

Dick's to shutter 11 Moosejaw stores amid integration with Public Lands

Nearly 3,200 stores are closing across the US in 2023. Here's the full list.

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'Retail Crime Uncovered' Podcast Presented by Sekura

Stream 1st Episode Now - Featuring The D&D Daily's Gus Downing

From the shop floor to the court room: Each episode will share insight, stories and solutions from guests including the police, LP/AP professionals, store employees, and security experts.

Stream the first episode of the fascinating podcast hosted by Emmeline Taylor, Professor of Criminology, supported by Sekura Global. You'll get retail theft insights from leading crime and loss experts, shop staff and policing bodies, as well as hard-hitting interviews with ex-offenders and retail criminals.

In the first episode, available now, Emmeline speaks with a range of experts, including
The D&D Daily Publisher & Editor Gus Downing, about the various understandings and experiences of what organized retail crime looks and feels like in our retail stores.

Gus will also join Emmeline later in the series to discuss organized retail crime associations in the U.S. and their partnership work with law enforcement. Stay tuned!


Stream It Here: Spotify | YouTube







This is Especially Important Following SEC's New Disclosure Rules
4 Pillars for Building a Responsible Cybersecurity Disclosure Program

Responsible disclosure must strike a balance between the immediate need to protect users and the broader security implications for the entire community.

Crafting a responsible disclosure program is
in the best interest of every constituent in the software community. Consider the following four principles as core pillars for constructing an effective responsible disclosure program.

1. Be Clear and Transparent

A clear and transparent communications process
should outline the key elements of the disclosure process, identify the designated points of contact, and chart expected timelines for a response. Balancing the urgency for immediate disclosure against allowing the software vendor sufficient time to rectify the issue is a crucial aspect of this process.

2. Foster Trust, Not Fear

Consistent and open communication with researchers and ethical hackers who identify vulnerabilities is vital to cultivate an environment of shared accountability, open conversation, and mutual trust. Assuring contributors they won't face legal consequences for reporting a vulnerability is paramount.

3. Establish a Comprehensive Triage Process

Investing in
a well-documented triage framework is a cornerstone of every mature vulnerability management program. It provides security teams with a structure for prioritizing vulnerabilities based on their potential impact and their likelihood of exploitation.

4. Continuity Is Crucial

Today's threat environment is highly dynamic and requires
a continuous and adaptable process for identifying, reporting, and patching vulnerabilities in a timely manner. It's likewise important to routinely review and update your disclosure program to ensure its efficacy and relevance in the context of the current threat landscape. This means your procedures, tools, and strategies should not only address existing vulnerabilities but also prepare for future ones. darkreading.com

'Radicalizing Young People into a life of Online Crime'
Youth hacking ring at the center of cybercrime spree

An online community known as "the Com" linked to a string of prominent breaches is radicalizing young people into a life of online crime.

AdvertisementOver the past two years, a string of prominent cybersecurity breaches all have one thing in common: the involvement of a small online community of primarily young people dedicated to carrying out brash incursions.

Speaking on the sidelines of the SentinelOne's second annual LABScon cyber threat intelligence conference, a team of researchers who have studied these online communities described to CyberScoop how an online community calling itself "the Com" has
carved out a key role for itself in the broader online criminal ecosystem - including by participating in recent attacks on Las Vegas resorts that crippled several prominent hotels and casinos.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to describe the actions of
a hacking group with a history of violence against its perceived enemies, the researchers say the emergence of the Com illustrates the need for policymakers and the cybersecurity community to take a much harder line against the youth-led cybercrime ecosystem.

Teenagers and culprits in their early 20s are increasingly pulling off high-profile hacks using advanced skills and loudly bragging about their exploits in language filled with racism and misogyny, with the Com serving as a radicalizing environment for some of these cybercriminals. cyberscoop.com

Has Sony been hacked again?

Ransomed.vc, a relatively new ransomware / cyber extortion group, claims to have hacked Sony and made off with valuable data.

We have successfully compromissed all of sony systems. We wont ransom them! we will sell the data. due to sony not wanting to pay. DATA IS FOR SALE," the group wrote on their leak site on Sunday.

They've also leaked some data meant to prove their assertion: a file tree of the entire leak (around 6,000 files) and several documents and screenshots. But, as noted by some, the offered proof does not unequivocably back their claims. (Also,
Sony is a huge corporation with many divisions; saying that they have compromised "all Sony systems" cannot but be an exageration.)

"Ransomed.vc may be less known than major ransomware gangs like Cl0p or BlackCat, but when looking at the group's history,
they are responsible for a string of devastating attacks on financial organisations, data providers and managed IT companies," Ryan McConechy, CTO of Barrier Networks, told Help Net Security. helpnetsecurity.com

Retail, Health Care Suffer Most High-Risk Cyber Attacks
The retail and health care industries struggled the most with high-risk cyberattacks launched from the outside in the past year, according to a recent report

Researchers Uncover RaaS Affiliate Distributing Multiple Ransomware Strains

Apple fixes 3 zero-day vulnerabilities exploited to compromise iPhones



In Case You Missed It

Rexall Rolls Out Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence Platform Canada-Wide
Solving the ORC problem with Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence Platform
Rexall is one of Canada's leading pharmacy brands, with nearly 400 locations. Like many organizations, Rexall regularly faced obstacles in combating crime, loss, and harm - especially from repeat subjects and ORC groups.

Lack of structured intel on the incidents reported by stores, delayed intelligence, and the inability to identify and link subjects were frustrating challenges that hindered asset protection/loss prevention (AP/LP).

Rexall partnered with Auror to evolve its approach to solving the ORC problem. Rexall experienced early success during their 90-day pilot, and from 2019 to 2022, reported an impactful 17% reduction in shrink across their locations.

For Daryl Blackmore, Rexall's Director of Asset Protection, ensuring store safety was a key issue to address. "Empowering stores to take safe action is easier with Auror," says Daryl. With the rise in threatening behavior and ORC, actionable intelligence has never been more important. Daryl continues, "With the right information at the right time, our team members can stop accidents before they start."

With Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence platform, Rexall gained a clear view of how significant repeat subjects were to the company's profitability. When compared to non-repeat offenders, their financial impact was obvious. The average loss per incident for repeat offenders was $153, whereas the average loss per incident for non-repeat offenders was $30.

Rexall could now show high value cases to law enforcement in the Auror platform quickly and effectively. Working with Auror, 29% of all incidents were reported to law enforcement, 14 ORC investigations resulted in arrest warrants, and 12 ORC investigations results in criminal charges.

Following their initial pilot, Rexall completed a nationwide roll-out of Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence platform. Since then, Rexall has led a shift from collecting intelligence to driving outcomes. As the wins continue to come in, it's clear their approach is working. And it will only continue to improve as visibility across their stores increases even more. auror.co

Webinar Coming TOMORROW

Sept. 28, 2023 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm ET | 12:00pm - 1:00pm CT | 10:00am - 11:00am PT

Brute force attacks pose a significant threat to the retail industry, where the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive customer information and business data are at risk. As cybercriminals continue to exploit vulnerabilities in various retail modalities, such as e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores, it becomes imperative for retailers to adopt robust security measures to safeguard their digital assets.

Join our panel of industry experts as they share their knowledge and experiences to equip retailers with actionable insights for fortifying their defenses against brute force attacks. Together, we can build a more resilient and secure retail ecosystem while ensuring a frictionless shopping experience for customers.


Employee Theft & Organized Retail Crime Rising in Canada
Theft by employees: a crime that is challenging to detect and on the rise
Employee theft is
difficult to detect since it can take many forms. Those include stealing items without paying for them; pocketing cash, gift cards, coupons or promotional items; taking and returning items for cash refunds; or inaccurately recording financial statements.

Unlike shoplifting, where the accused is caught and charged while leaving the store, it often takes months or even sometimes years to uncover employee theft," says Calgary criminal lawyer Vince Semenuk. "It may go unnoticed or be attributed to shoplifting or record-keeping errors."

He says the most common charges laid are
theft, fraud or possession of stolen property.

"If you have been charged in relation to an alleged theft from an employer, you need legal advice because the penalties can be harsh," says Semenuk. "You will likely be fired and you could face financial penalties and incarceration."

He says the potential penalty for employee theft depends on the charge and the amount that was stolen.

If the theft is under $5,000, the maximum penalty is two years in jail if the Crown proceeds by way of summary conviction," he says. "But for frauds over $5,000, the maximum penalty is 14 years in prison if you are charged with an indictable offence."

Organized retail theft is also on the rise in Alberta, with a news article noting that "organized retail crime has become a multi-million dollar industry in Calgary with a huge impact on consumers and local business owners."

"Organized retail crime is when two or more people conspire to commit a retail crime where they are stealing large volumes of product with the intent to resell it illegally," says Semenuk. "
That is done by putting the items for sale online or directly selling them to consumers through flea markets or from the back of cars." legalmatterscanada.ca

Canada's Saturated Cannabis Industry Maybe Shrinking Store Count
Canada's Cannabis Stores Reach 4,000 After Only Five Years of Legalizing
"Canada is quickly becoming a saturated cannabis retail market," High Tide CEO Raj Grover said, but some markets "still remain underserved." High Tide, Canada's biggest non-franchised cannabis retail chain with 156 stores in five provinces.

Krista Raymer, founder of Toronto-based cannabis retail consultancy Vetrina Group, stated that most stores earn about
60% of their revenue on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and operating six or seven days per week might not be viable for some. Raymer doesn't believe Canada can support as many cannabis stores as it has at the national level.

"Depending on the geography, we're probably looking at retail environments that are generating between 28% and maybe 38% gross margins; it doesn't leave a lot of margin there for you to run your operations within," she said.

"The majority of the locations across Canada are not exceeding CA$2 million in sales (annually), and so it does make running these environments very difficult to do. "And, because of that, I think that the reality is setting in for a lot of retailers around what it looks like to run a tight-margin business with, also, low top-line revenue."

Total retail sales of legal cannabis remain on the rise, federal statistics show, with national sales hitting CA$426M - U.S. $317M in June, up 12.8% from June 2022. mjbizdaily.com

Canada's New Gun Control Legislation
Proposed gun legislation could have 'severe impacts on people's livelihoods,' Manitoba business owner says

Some hunters, sport shooters oppose Bill C-21, but gun control advocates say it doesn't go far enough

Gun advocates in southwestern Manitoba aren't pleased with federal gun control legislation passed in the House of Commons last May, saying it could affect their livelihoods. Bill C-21, which still needs Senate approval,
strengthens a freeze on handgun sales and aims to crack down on assault-style firearms not currently on the market.

The legislation could also
make it harder for some people to get a gun and stiffens penalties for gun crimes. It is unpopular among many hunters and sport shooters, but gun control advocates say it doesn't go far enough. cbc.ca

Positive News for Canada's Retail Industry
Canadian Retail Sales: A Slight Recovery Amidst Economic Challenges
retail sales grew marginally in July 2023 with All Stores up 0.5% YOY and All stores Less Automotive, Food, Pharmacies down -0.6% YOY. Considering June suffered a decrease in sales, and factors such as the port workers strike causing around $10 billion in lost trade, this is a welcome change.

Ecommerce sales were up significantly YOY, experiencing a growth of 10.8%, and YTD up 5.9%. With 2023 seeing increased traffic at brick-and-mortar retail locations, this performance is even more impressive. A large piece of this increased revenue is likely thanks to Amazon's summer prime day which took place July 11-12, 2023. retail-insider.com

Canada's Underground Contraband Tobacco Market
Illegal tobacco growth costing three provinces $2.47 billion in taxes: retail report
The governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador
lost up to $2.47 billion in tax revenues over four years due to the growth in illegal tobacco sales, says a convenience industry report.

The Convenience Industry Council of Canada report released Wednesday examined the
downward trend in legal tobacco sales in the three provinces since 2019, compared with the rising growth in the underground contraband tobacco market. energeticcity.ca

Safeway workers in British Columbia vote to strike
Over 3,000 Safeway union members in British Columbia voted in favor of a strike, following eight months of contract negotiations, reports local Canadian news outlet CBC.

IKEA Unveils State-of-the-Art 1 Million Square-Foot Distribution Centre in Quebec

Dollarama sales surge as bargain hunters accept higher $5 price point: CEO

Canada Plans To Amend Competition Laws To Control Rising Food Prices

'Armed & dangerous' man wanted in robbery with gunfire at Markham mall
Police have released images of
an "armed and dangerous" man wanted after a daytime robbery with gunfire at a mall in Markham earlier this year. York Regional Police said officers received multiple calls at 3:10 p.m. on May 18 about a robbery at a jewelry store at a mall in the area of Kennedy Road and Steeles Avenue. Police said a male suspect wearing a suit rang the store's doorbell and waited for an employee to unlock the door. The employee was then assaulted and the suspect entered with three other suspects, police said. They reportedly smashed a display case and took high-end watches. A gun was fired during the robbery but no one was injured, police said. The suspects then left and reportedly fled in a vehicle. globalnews.ca

$10,000 Electronics Store Burglary
Suspects use hammer to smash through door of Guelph store, steal $10,000 in electronics
A Guelph electronics store is picking up the pieces after thieves smashed through their door and
took off with at least $10,000 in product.

Police say four men arrived at Neutron Electronics Ltd. on Woodlawn Road West and Imperial Road North around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. One of them used a hammer to smash the glass door.
Three men entered the business while the fourth acted as a lookout.

Surveillance video shows the
men grabbing armfuls of electronics inside the store. It happened just before the business was set to open for the day. "I was five minutes out from being there," said Todd Shaver, the company's president and owner. "I kind of wished I was here, but now I'm probably happier that I was not here."  kitchener.ctvnews.ca

Suspect allegedly robs store, ties up employees in south London
London police are asking for the public's help to identify a robbery suspect who allegedly tied up store employees and demanded cash and cellphones.

Whitehorse store robbed at knifepoint, thieves escape with snacks

Three Suspects Arrested Following Early Morning Armed Robbery in Quesnel

Two men arrested after robbery at Robson Street's Swarovski Store

Cranbrook RCMP searching for suspect involved in robbery

View Canadian Connections Archives






It's Official: FTC & States File 'Landmark' Lawsuit Against Amazon
Amazon 'illegally illegally wields monopoly power, harming customers and hurting rivals.'

FTC and 17 states file sweeping antitrust suit against Amazon
The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general on Tuesday filed a much-anticipated antitrust case against Amazon, alleging the retailing giant illegally wields monopoly power to maintain higher prices, harming customers and hurting rivals.

"Our complaint lays out how Amazon has used a set of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies," FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. "The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them."

She added, "Today's lawsuit seeks to hold Amazon to account for these monopolistic practices and restore the lost promise of free and fair competition."

The legal showdown comes after Amazon attorneys gave no ground in discussions last month with the FTC, both Politico and the Wall Street Journal reported. The complaint focuses on Amazon's business practices that the FTC contends block lower prices on rival sites and compel merchants to use the e-commerce company's logistics and advertising services.

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon is operating uncompetitively in two markets - the online superstore that most consumers are familiar with, as well as the market for online marketplace services bought by sellers.

Amazon allegedly uses anti-discounting techniques to deter online retailers from offering prices below Amazon's. The retailer will "bury discounting sellers so far down in Amazon's search results that they become effectively invisible," the FTC claims.

The lawsuit also alleges that Amazon pushes sellers to use its expensive fulfillment service in exchange for obtaining "Prime" eligibility for their products, which the FTC noted is a "virtual necessity for doing business on Amazon." cbsnews.com  forbes.com  nytimes.com

   Read the FTC press release here

Amazon Responds to Lawsuit
The FTC's lawsuit against Amazon would lead to higher prices and slower deliveries for consumers-and hurt businesses
Over the last several years, we've engaged cooperatively with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during a broad-ranging investigation of our business. It was our hope the agency would recognize that Amazon's innovations and customer-centric focus have benefited American consumers through low prices and increased competition in the already competitive retail industry.

We respect the role the FTC has historically played in protecting consumers and promoting competition. Unfortunately, it appears the current FTC is radically departing from that approach, filing a misguided lawsuit against Amazon that would, if successful, force Amazon to engage in practices that actually harm consumers and the many businesses that sell in our store-such as having to feature higher prices, offer slower or less reliable Prime shipping, and make Prime more expensive and less convenient.

The FTC's complaint alleges that our pricing practices, our Fulfillment by Amazon offering, and Amazon Prime are anticompetitive. In so doing, the lawsuit reveals the Commission's fundamental misunderstanding of retail. aboutamazon.com

New Legislation to Fight Online Counterfeits
Senators Coons, Tillis introduce SHOP SAFE Act to crack down on harmful counterfeit e-commerce goods
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-Commerce (SHOP SAFE) Act today to protect consumers from harmful counterfeit products that are sold online.

Last year, Americans spent more than $1 trillion on e-commerce for the first time ever. As more American consumers opt to shop online, they are
increasingly vulnerable to the rising number of harmful counterfeit goods sold on e-commerce platforms - toys, car seats, electronics, bicycle helmets, apparel and footwear, car parts, and more. The SHOP SAFE Act would reduce the availability of harmful counterfeit products online by incentivizing platforms to engage in best practices for vetting sellers and goods and stopping repeat counterfeiter sellers.

"As Americans have increasingly turned to e-commerce for convenience, selection, and safety, some third-party sellers have begun to exploit consumers' trust in established online marketplaces to trick them into purchasing dangerous counterfeit goods," said Senator Coons. "
These counterfeit goods pose health and safety risks, damage the reputations of legitimate brands, and line the pockets of organized crime. The bipartisan SHOP SAFE Act is an important step that will protect consumers and encourage greater transparency and accountability."

The SHOP SAFE Act will:

Establish trademark infringement liability for e-commerce platforms when a third party sells a counterfeit product that poses a risk to consumer health or safety and that platform has not implemented certain best practices;

Require brand owners to provide platforms with advanced notice of their mark(s) and a point of contact so that the platforms can implement proactive measures to prevent sales of counterfeit goods; and

Provide a safe harbor from liability for platforms that vet sellers to ensure their legitimacy, remove counterfeit listings, and remove sellers who repeatedly sell counterfeits. coons.senate.gov

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Stores Hit By Looters Across Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA: At least 20 arrested in night of looting throughout Philly, police say
Large crowds -- mostly consisting of juveniles -- looted multiple stores and damaged property across Philadelphia Tuesday night, police said. It was around 8 p.m. when, officials said, police started receiving calls that large crowds were making their way into Center City. Among the stores looted were the Footlocker and the Apple store near 15th and Chestnut streets and a Lululemon store in the area. Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford said Tuesday night's looting had nothing to do with the peaceful protest that took place earlier after charges were dismissed against the officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry. Instead, he argued that those involved in looting used the protest as an excuse to engage in criminal behavior. "This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists," Stanford said. Stanford also said police have made at least 20 arrests so far and two firearms have been recovered, but officials aren't sure if they are connected to the looting. 

Hot Springs, AR: Final suspect in $3K plus perfume heist is arrested
The last of three suspects who allegedly stole over $3,000 worth of perfumes and cologne from a local cosmetics store in December and were tracked by GPS was arrested on a felony theft warrant Monday morning. Dametria Lashay Johnson, 33, of Little Rock, was taken into custody around 11:15 a.m. on one count of theft of property over $5,000, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She was later released on a $3,500 bond and is set to appear Dec. 5 in Garland County District Court. According to court records, she has a felony theft charge pending in Pulaski County and was previously convicted in 2014 in Faulkner County of fraudulent use of a credit card, financial identity fraud and three counts of theft by receiving of a credit card and sentenced to six years in prison, but was later paroled. 

Chicago, IL: Victims tied up during armed robbery at Chicago cell phone store



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Shootings & Deaths

Louisville, KY: Suspect in custody after woman shot and killed outside liquor store
Homicide detectives have made an arrest after a woman was gunned down outside a liquor store in the Shelby Park neighborhood Monday evening. Fifty-nine-year-old Cannise Phoenix was arrested around 4 a.m. Sept. 26, about nine hours after the fatal shooting in the parking lot of J.R. Liquors in the 900 block of East Oak Street near Logan Street. That's where officers responded to reports of a shooting around 7:15 p.m., according to an LMPD spokesperson. Once on scene, officers found the victim with a gunshot wound to her side in the parking lot of J.R. Liquors. Responding officers rendered first aid until EMS arrived on scene and pronounced the woman dead.  wdrb.com

St Louis, MO: Family Dollar employee shot by co-worker after getting into argument at store
Police say a woman was shot by a co-worker inside a St. Louis-area Family Dollar store Tuesday afternoon. The St. Louis Police Department reports that two employees got into an argument inside the store around 5 p.m. with one of the workers ended up being shot in the face. The employee who fired the gun took off from the scene, according to police. The injured female worker was transported to the hospital in critical condition. Police did not immediately release the names of the employees involved but said they do know the shooter's identity while they continue their search for her. Authorities said the shooting remains under investigation.  kbtx.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Armed robber in Seattle arrested after allegedly trying to take officer's gun during scuffle
A 19-year-old armed robber fought officers in a Seattle convenience store and allegedly tried to grab one officer's gun during the scuffle, according to police bodycam footage released Monday. Two officers responded to a gas station in the 600 block of Elliot Avenue West after identifying a car linked to an earlier armed robbery in the parking lot, Seattle Police said in a news release. Police bodycam video shows the officers confronting the armed suspect inside the store. "Lay on the ground now! Don't grab the gun!" one officer yells as he enters the gas station store. As the officers approach the suspect, the video shows that he jumps up from the ground and tries to flee the store. Security cameras at the store captured the scuffle spilling outside into the parking lot.  foxnews.com

Rio Hondo, TX: Man charged with stealing more than 600 iPads from Non-profit
A man accused of stealing more than 600 iPads from a Rio Hondo non-profit is now officially charged. Deputies with the Cameron County Sheriff's Office say 37-year-old Maximo Franco stole the iPads back in July. Authorities finally arrested him on September 20. Franco allegedly stole the iPads from a non-profit called Neighbors In Need of Services. The group is a head-start program for young children, and it's also where Franco used to work. Investigators say Franco wound up selling the iPads. He is now charged with felony theft.  krgv.com

Kinston, NC: Former Burger King employee wanted for Armed Robbery of the restaurant
Kinston Police Department is looking for a suspect involved in an armed robbery that took place on Sept. 16 at the Burger King located at 2402 North Heritage Street in Kinston. Police state that the suspect pointed a gun at employees and demanded money. Authorities obtained warrants on Monday, Sept. 25 for Iking Rafael Jones, 37, who is a Burger King employee in relation to the robbery.  wcti12.com

Woodbury man sentenced to 120 days for using rifle to rob Mall of America stores
A Woodbury man who admitted to robbing two Mall of America stores with a rifle last year has been sentenced to 120 days in the workhouse and three years of probation. Cartier Troy Alexander II, 29, had entered a straight guilty plea in July to two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. In exchange for the plea, Hennepin County prosecutors agreed to dismiss a third aggravated robbery count. Alexander's attorney was also allowed to argue for a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines. Judge John Lucas granted the departure at Monday's sentencing, staying a four-year prison term. In doing so, according to court records, he considered several mitigating factors, including that Alexander was found to be particularly amenable to probation and mental health treatment. The judge also noted that Alexander "lacked substantial capacity for judgment" and that the crime was "less onerous than usual." The prosecution objected to the departure, according to court records. Bloomington police on Aug. 26, 2022, were called to the mall on a report that security officers detained Alexander as he left the Lids store on the southeast side of the mall's third level. He was carrying a loaded rifle. Two Lids employees told officers that Alexander had walked into their store while carrying the rifle and told them to put several sports jerseys into a bag. He then left, telling the employees "not to worry about payment" while he had the rifle at his side, the criminal complaint states.  twincities.com

Mentor, OH: Smash and grab suspects arrested by Willoughby Hills police after chase leads to 3-vehicle crash

Glendale, CA: 4 suspects arrested in connection with Glendale retail burglaries

Memphis, TN: Burglar charged with assaulting MPD officers after being caught inside Family Dollar at 3 a.m.


Murrieta, CA: Shoplifting suspect returns, asks for phone dropped during theft



Apple - Philadelphia, PA - Robbery
C-Store - Millersburg, MD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Hampton, VA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Seattle, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Pitt County, NC - Armed Robbery
Cellphone - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
Clothing - Philadelphia, PA - Robbery
Collectable - New York, NY - Burglary
Dollar - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Dollar - Stillwater, OK - Armed Robbery
Electronics - Cape Coral, FL - Burglary
Gas Station - Jonesboro, AR - Robbery
Hardware - Fort Myers, FL - Burglary
Jewelry - Naperville, IL - Burglary
Jewelry - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Medical - Macon, GA - Burglary
Restaurant - Oklahoma City, OK - Burglary
Restaurant - Albuquerque, NM - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Kinston, NC - Robbery
Restaurant - Cape Coral, FL - Burglary
Restaurant - Glendale, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - Glendale, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - Bryan, TX - Burglary
Restaurant - St Paul, MN - Robbery
Shoe - Philadelphia, PA - Robbery                    


Daily Totals:
• 13 robberies
• 12 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Asset Protection Specialist
Newburgh, NY - posted September 25
The Asset Protection Specialist role at Ocean State Job Lot is responsible for protecting company assets and monitoring store activities to reduce property or financial losses. This role partners closely with store leadership and the Human Resources team, when applicable, to investigate known or suspected internal theft, external theft, and vendor fraud...

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Reporting to the VP of Corporate Security, the Director of Corporate Security is a professional security practitioner that acts as an advisor/consultant to the assigned Property Management Group. Responsibilities include monitoring security vendors' performance, evaluating for contract compliance, and serving as a program quality control manager...

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Washington, DC - posted August 31
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Regional Manager, Asset Protection - Southeast
Georgia or Louisiana - posted August 7
In this role, you will embody Do The Right Thing by protecting People, Assets, and Brands. You will work in an energized, fast paced environment focused on creating a safe environment for our employees, teams, and customers; this is critical to driving our Brand Power, Enduring Customer Relationships, and exuding our commitment to Team and Values...

Corporate & Supply Chain Asset Protection Leader
Quincy, MA - posted August 3
The primary purpose of this position is to manage the Corporate Asset Protection function for all US Support Offices and Supply Chain. Direct team in the design, implementation and management of physical security processes and equipment to ensure facilities are considered a safe and secure environment for all associates and external parties...

Occupational Health & Safety Manager
Mount Horeb, WI - posted July 27
This role is responsible for examining the workplace for environmental or physical factors that could affect employee or guest health, safety, comfort, and performance. This role is also responsible for reducing the frequency and severity of accidents. To be successful in the role, you will need to work closely with management, employees, and relevant regulatory bodies...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Boston, MA - posted July 7
As a LP 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. You will also train store managers on Key-Holder responsibilities, Inventory Control standards, Cash Office procedures, Protection Standards, Safety and Fraud trends...

Manager, Physical Security
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Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's physical security strategy for retail stores, warehouses, and store support center and field offices. This includes responsibility for the capital expense and repair budgets, developing written specifications, layout and design for all systems and to ensure all installations and repairs are made to SEG standards...

Regional AP Mgr - South FL Market - Bilingual required
Miami, FL - posted August 8
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...


Regional Director, LP & Safety (Midwest)
MN, MO, IL, KS, WI, MI, IN, or WA - posted June 27
We are looking for a Regional Director of Loss Prevention to join us in MN, MO, IL, KS, WI, MI, IN, or WA. You will develop, execute, and maintain shrink and shrink compliance initiatives. You will also conduct internal and external field investigations, loss control auditing, store safety programs, and compliance programs and audits...

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Interacting in large networking groups can be very challenging even for the most seasoned of executives. The speed, the number of people, and the amount of information shared can be overwhelming. However, the one basic principal you can rely on is keep it simple, one person at a time and focus on that person both mentally and visually. Slow it down in your head and make sure you communicate clearly and sincerely regardless of the background you have with anyone or any group. Because at the end of the day you're all part of the same industry, the same community, and everyone has the same objective; to help develop and represent the industry as professionals.

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