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October 31, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Thought Challenge

Home Depot's Asset Protection Team leading the way during Sandy

With Chris Canoles, Sr. Director of Asset Protection as
Team Lead of Operations Command Center

By Gus Downing
Publisher & Editor

Home Depot's Emergency Response Program & Sandy. Kicking into operation over a week ago, Home Depot activated their response teams to Sandy. With five operations rooms at their corporate office housing 200 corporate executives from various departments, the teams went to work on preparing for the storm. One room, pictured below, houses 75 merchants, one with 30 operations executives, two rooms with 40 each from the supply chain group, and the last room for 12 human resources executives. With key decision makers in each room and executives from Asset Protection, Legal, Safety, Store Operations, Procurement, Risk Management, Human Resources and Government Relations, the teams are structured to make quick decisions and ensure that Home Depot is responding effectively for the communities they serve and for their associates, their customers, and their stores.

As Marvin Ellison, EVP of Home Depot and a former asset protection executive himself, stated at an NRF LP conference a few years ago, asset protection continues to lead the way in Home Depot's response. With 45 asset protection volunteer teams of four executives each located throughout the U.S., Home Depot activated eight volunteer teams of four AP executives each. Traveling into the storm areas, the teams are first housed in pre-determined hotels that provide the maximum protection. Operating within a very structured program, these 32 asset protection managers are focused on helping to close down and re-open the affected stores. With safety as the absolute priority, these APM's have a role in the structural inspection review of their respective store prior to allowing anyone to re-enter the unit after the storm. They were also accompanied by over 100 off-duty police officers, provided by third party guard firms, and coming from locals in Florida to Texas, Arkansas, and even Missouri. These armed off-duty police officers, strictly there for precautionary measures, provide added security and are stationed in a predetermined yet flexible manner. Focused on overnight security and working mostly in pairs, these officers play a vital role in securing the locations and in helping to maintain a safe site throughout the event.

On one week tours, so to speak, this first wave of eight teams of 32 volunteer asset protection managers will most likely be followed by seven teams of four volunteer asset protection managers that will be focused on helping the stores manage the re-opening process and on helping to manage the increased customer needs that comes after such an event.

These 60 asset protection executives, all of whom volunteered for this assignment, are truly unsung heroes who you don't often read about or hear about. It's their dedication and commitment to help that defines them as being true leaders and people who want to make a difference. We salute them and we're honored to be able to share their story.

Upcoming Articles: Sears Holdings Corp, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's Command Centers: Their responses to Hurricane Sandy

Home Depot Command Center, running Security, Operations and Logistic in the height of the storm. Home Depot Hurricane Command Center Emergency Response Captain Doug Spiron on the key products people need to be prepared for a hurricane. Although this video was from before the storm, it does a good job of showing the Command Center in action. (Source


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Sears Holdings Corp, Saks Fifth Avenue,
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Command Centers:
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Chad Lindstrom was named Director of Loss Prevention for C&K Market Inc. Before joining with C&K Market, Chad spent 22 and a half years at Fred Meyer, holding the positions of Regional Loss Prevention Supervisor, Regional Loss Prevention Specialist, and Corporate Loss Prevention Trainer. Congrats Chad!
Anne Sullivan was named Director of Loss Prevention for CKE Restaurants in May of this year. Prior to joining with CKE Restaurants, Anne spent just over three years at Charlotte Russe as the Senior Director of Asset Protection and the Director Supply Chain Security & Compliance. Anne also spent almost six years as a Senior Manager, Loss Prevention for Pacific Sunwear. In the year 2008, Anne was an independent consultant, offering subject matter experience in areas of loss prevention. Congrats Anne!

The biggest problem is not the first few days but the coming months," said Alan Rubin, an expert in natural disaster recovery, with 55 dead in the US, 69 in the Caribbean and parts of NYC and New Jersey underwater. At the height of the disaster, more than 8.2 million lost electricity — some as far away as Michigan. All 10 of the tunnels in NYC that carry commuters under the East River were flooded. About 2.1 million homes and businesses remained without power across New Jersey. (Source

Editorial comment - "The Sandy Grinch who Stole Christmas" - The Weather Channel's $100B price tag for Sandy they posted Tuesday morning - still may hold up - even with most estimates coming out now pointing to $35B to $45B. Looking at all the damage, lost sales, reconstruction, lost holiday sales long term, lost payroll & productivity we think the $100B number may at the end of the day stand up in years to come when historians write about the real long term cost. And you can throw the retail holiday sales numbers projections out the window right now with the focus of 50 million consumers now on recovery- and absolute necessities.

FEMA and Federal Partners Continue to Mobilize Resources to Help Speed Rescue and Recovery from Hurricane Sandy Currently, more than 1,500 FEMA personnel are positioned along the East Coast working to support disaster preparedness and response operations, including search and rescue, situational awareness, communications and logistical support. In addition, 28 teams comprised of 294 FEMA Corps members are pre-staged to support Sandy. Three federal urban search and rescue task forces are positioned in the Mid-Atlantic and ready to deploy as needed and requested. An additional four federal search-and-rescue task forces in the Midwest have been placed on alert and are ready for deployment, as requested and needed. FEMA distribution centers have an overall inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 900,000 blankets and 100,000 cots. (Source

Sears has more than 100 truckloads filled with generators, chainsaws, wet and dry vacuums, flashlights, batteries and lanterns, along with dehumidifiers, utility and sump pumps headed east from distribution points in six areas, including 42 distribution centers from as far west as Memphis and Chicago, Sears Holding spokesman Tom Aiello said late Tuesday. Sears had 80 stores closed on Tuesday, down from 187 on Monday. The closings spanned from Virginia to New Hampshire. Stay tuned for the Daily's story on "Sears LP Command Centers in Action for Sandy" coming tomorrow. (Source

Macy's closed about 130 of their 850 stores Monday mostly because employees couldn't get to work when mass transit was shut down in many areas, including New York City, spokesman Jim Sluzewski says.

Target still had about 20 stores closed late Tuesday And was trying to reopen and restock as quickly as possible to "ensure the communities impacted have access to essential items," says spokeswoman Jessica Deede.

"By noon ET on Tuesday, the number of Walgreens stores closed dropped to 530 with more re-opening by the hour, from a peak of about 750 stores closed during the height of the storm." Walgreens said it expects closed stores to resume normal hours most quickly in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. More severe infrastructure issues may cause longer delays in West Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York City. (Source

It doesn't appear that many stores had structural damage from the storm, so retail analyst Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics expects they'll "bounce back quickly and recapture a good portion of lost sales." He says it will help that the storm occurred well before the busy Thanksgiving shopping weekend so retailers can adjust promotional plans to make up for lost sales.  (Source

E-retailers roll with Sandy’s punches e-retailers faired much better than their brick and mortar counterparts with only a handful experiencing outages for short periods as their emergency planning and backup systems were used to maintain service levels. Only a slight blip for that retail world. (Source

Apple's retail chief booted yesterday met with relief from many store employees As reported yesterday in the Daily, Apple let their retail chief go, Sr. VP John Browett after six months of turmoil involving management style and direction. Just two weeks ago he canceled their annual employee conference without any notice and for no reason other than saying a new product release. It was met with lots of anger and disappointment. Also employees felt Browett valued revenues and profit instead of Apple’s core value of providing an excellent customer experience. Going against their very core. In an email to employees within an hour of the news, CEO Tim Cook said reiterated the wording of the press release, but added, "This phenomenal team of talented and dedicated people works their hearts out making our customers happy. They have our respect, our admiration and our undying support." Browett had replaced Ron Johnson who is now leading the J.C. Penney rebirth. Talk about culture driving a company. After all it's Apple! (Source

Northern CA grocer Raley's tells its union workers 40 of its stores are losing money, some as much as $2M a year apiece and needs wage concessions to remain viable. Facing a possible strike later this week, Union leaders, who summoned workers to assemble picket signs in Sacramento and elsewhere Monday, said they still aren't convinced of Raley's plight. They said Raley's has refused their demand to see detailed financial records. (Source

Mobile Security Remains Question for Retailers "The risk of breaches only increases as more personal digital devices are introduced into the workplace." Security is a chief concern of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), Dallas, a group of retailers developing a mobile platform for consumers that will incorporate payment and targeted offers. MCX has not yet elaborated on the nature of the technology it will employ, but merchants in the group believe the shift from mag-stripe readers used to process credit cards to a mobile platform will result in better security, said Jeremy Mullman, a spokesman for MCX. "The cost associated with fraud is not acceptable to MCX merchants, and they see this as a chance to improve on security." In addition to MCX, several other entities are vying to come out with a mobile payment platform that will appeal to consumers, including Google and Isis. So far, they have yet to address how to handle the 1% of transactions that result in chargebacks or disputes. (Source

The FBI changes cybersecurity strategy places emphasis on identifying the criminals behind attacks In a recent blog post, the bureau said it would dedicate more resources to "who is conducting the attack or the exploitation and what is their motive. The changes come as the threat from organized criminals and state-sponsored hackers in foreign countries rises. Targets include corporate networks, government agencies and critical infrastructure. (Source

"Nerd Camps" - geek squads - attention deficit disorder and autism, or obsessive-compulsive personalities - kindergarten - And the U.S. government wants you to as part of their cyber security team. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), struggling to find enough cybersecurity talent to meet its needs, says it is going to groom the next generation of cybersecurity pros starting in kindergarten. "Government hiring is broken," according to one expert and they're now having nerd camps at the Department of State and looking for the geeks. They've even stated that "[Human resources departments] frown on conditions such as attention deficit disorder and autism, or obsessive-compulsive personalities, which are typical of computer geeks willing to focus on an issue through the night." (Source

The Register editorial: For shoplifting, courts, not retailers, should punish - an eye on civil recovery The process, known as "civil recovery," is allowed in all 50 states. In Iowa, retailers can collect up to $200 to recover costs that include expenses "incurred by the owner in recovering the merchandise." If the suspect is a juvenile, parents are liable for payment. Iowans should know that most such collectors rarely go on to take legal action. The law limits what they can collect and requires that any money paid in court-ordered restitution be subtracted from the amount the collection agencies try to collect. Looks like civil recovery in Iowa may be coming under the spotlight. (Source

British journalist takes a trip to Almhult, Sweden to visit the World HQ of IKEA. The town of Almhult has only 8,000 people and over half work for IKEA. Harry Wallop of The Telegraph stayed in the IKEA Hotel in town where his room came equipped with a Bible and the most recent edition of the IKEA Catalog. (Source

Denver based Acting Company promotes 'Active Shooter Crisis Actors' for mall shooting full scale exercises. Producers Jennifer McCray-Rincon and John Simmons formed the group to demonstrate emerging security technologies, help first responders visualize life-saving procedures, and assist trainers in delivering superior hands-on crisis response training. (Source

Feds: Weapons charge for shoplifter who shot McAllen, TX Wal-Mart Asset Protection officer with sawed-off shotgun last March Aaron Solorzano, 25, was charged by a federal grand jury on Tuesday with one count of being a convicted felon with a firearm and ammunition and a count of illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun, a news release said. Authorities said he shot a loss-prevention officer who tried to stop him at the Wal-Mart at 1200 Jackson Ave. on March 31. He is also accused of stabbing the officer’s boyfriend in the parking lot before driving away in a Nissan Altima. Mexican authorities apprehended Solorzano in Nuevo Progreso and turned him over to Homeland Security agents and McAllen police officers. Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos ordered Solorzano to remain in federal custody with no bond pending trial. (Source

East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s employee charged with stealing CVS night deposit that hadn't dropped completely into the deposit box. The suspect working off-duty security and making a deposit drop for a client saw the CVS deposit and took it. Oops - better be checking those drops to make sure they go all the way down. What a basic step missed. And it's it always the basics that offer the biggest exposures for all of us. (Source

Man with Russian accent wanted for stealing $300,000 worth of California Walnuts. Two different shippers feel victim to the same scam pulled off by a Russian man with a white semi-truck. The man with the Russian accent was able to con the shipping companies that he was the intended driver for two shipments of Walnuts valued at over $300,000, neither shipment arrived at its intended destination. Police say the driver had the proper paperwork and purchase order numbers. (Source

Storm damaged Long Island store targeted for burglary by four men. Police on Long Island say four men were arrested for attempting to rob a store that had been damaged by the recent storm. The four men entered the Hempstead store, Expression, early Tuesday morning. The store's door had been damaged, but them men left empty handed after an alarm went off. Police say the men were stopped a short time later during a routine traffic stop after they discovered marijuana, screw drivers, a flashlight and a hammer. The men were arrested on assorted charges, including burglary, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit a crime. (Source

Dartmouth CVS Pharmacy robbed at the height of the storm. Brett Cambra, 19, arrived at the CVS store in a taxi, went into the store demanding the cashier to hand over the cash from the register. The cashier complied, no one was injured and Cambra made his escape in the same taxi. The alert cashier wrote down the taxi number and gave the information to police, Cambra was arrested shortly later by the Massachusetts State Police. (Source

Party City Associate stabbed during a robbery in Tallahassee. The employee who struggled with the robber armed with a knife is recovering from non-life threatening injuries. Police believe the robber was trying to take advantage of this being Party City’s busiest time of the year. The suspect knocked on the backdoor of the store, an associate on break opened the door and the suspect demanded money. The associate and the robber struggled, the associate was stabbed. It is not known at this time if any merchandise or cash was taken as the robber fled. (Source

Police draw connections to Multiple T-Mobile Burglaries in the Twin Cities. Police had charged Anthony Jerome Thompson with the burglary of one T-mobile store in Minnesota, now his shoes are giving up evidence that police needed to tie him to several other T-Mobile store break-ins. Thompson is now facing three counts of felony third degree burglary; each count is a possible five years in prison. (Source

St. Louis area Gun Shop burglarized, Police offering reward. Ron and Jo’s Fire Arms in O’Fallon, Illinois was the most recent target of two burglars caught on tape. The owner says this is the first break-in at this store location in fourteen years. The young suspects failed to hide or disguise themselves so police are hoping for a speedy conclusion to this case, almost all the merchandise in the gun store was secured in the safe. (Source

Chicago area man arrested for stealing 1,800 cases of beer. DuPage County police were searching for a missing Miller Brewing Company semi truck with 1,800 cases/ 22 pallets of beer. Using the GPS tracking device, the Greater Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force was able to locate the beer in an industrial complex in Bensenville. Police have arrested Thomas Gibbons, who had served time in prison before for assault, stolen vehicles and burglary. (Source

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LAAORCA Leaders - Part Three
Filmed in Los Angeles the week of LAAORCA's 3rd annual conference the LAAORCA leaders were gracious enough to take the time to sit down and talk with LPNN and share how they developed their association, how it works, and what's involved. In this four part series they talk about exactly how their model operates and give some great advice on how a city or group of retail LP executives can come together and form their own association.

With Captain Bill Williams, Commanding Officer, Commercial Crimes Division, LAPD & LAAORCA Law Enforcement Co-Chair; Kent Oda, LAPD Detective; George Torres, CVS & LAAORCA Retail Co-chair; and Joe LaRocca, Senior retail partner and Senior AP Advisor to the NRF - the group's highly energized discussion serves as a great example of how retail and public law enforcement partnerships can successfully work. A must watch for any retail LP executive who is interested in the national ORC efforts. Stayed tuned tomorrow for part four.

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'Smash and grab' burglars target more than a dozen Burbank business Police are searching for the suspects in a rash of 'smash and grab' burglaries in the Burbank area over the weekend in Burbank CA. (Source

Smash and grab video released from Florida Pawn Shop. An armed robbery taking just seconds at Value Pawn in Winter Garden focused on hitting two jewelry cases. The suspects led police on a wild high speed chase, crashing the second of two get-a-way cars and fleeing on foot. The two suspects remain at large. (Source


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Thought Challenge


by Matt McGarrigle
Loss Prevention Lead
Sears Ontario, Canada

Leader, mentor and coach are all great terms and there are all kinds of articles to read about these roles in loss prevention. What about teacher or trainer? You can be all three of the above mentioned through your status in the company but does that mean you're a good teacher or trainer? Retail organizations all expect the loss prevention department to show value, what are we doing to address that? Operations are now a strong focus of the loss prevention department in today's age. Why wasn't it before? How many times do you remember being asked? How many apps you have? Or catch anyone today? Is that LP operations?

Training and development within the loss prevention department needs to expand with the right leaders, mentors and coaches who are able to train and teach their teams. Do we have set programs to develop our teams to be operationally strong? In your LP division do you have set champions that can assist you in the training? On monthly conference calls do you have a guest speaker from store operational departments to talk about specific areas of the business that affect shrink? UPC, Invoicing, front end, receiving, claims and inventory departments all are great opportunities for reducing shrink that have nothing to do with apprehensions. Using your people within your district and recognizing them as champions gives them a great opportunity to take pride and help teach your teams expanding their knowledge on business operations. Some say it's up to the LP associate to learn, do we not have an equal responsibility to teach someone trying to learn?

Organizations are now turning to store managers to become loss prevention managers, is it simply because the loss prevention departments haven't changed? If your LP teams were educated in depth about operations through training and development would this be the case? Wouldn't your LP team be better qualified to easily make the transition into an LP manager role? LP managers with no LP experience is this the quick fix?

We've all done the exercise of one story being told to a person outside the room, that person tells the next person and so on. If you're the LP speaker telling all your regional or district LP managers the new programs or direction at the company conference, what parts of the direction didn't reach the stores? And what changed? Maybe we need to look at a complete training tool that reaches all. Train 100% of the entire LP team instead of 20% of your team receiving 80% of the training. Simply put. We in Loss Prevention can't change who we are, but we can certainly change who we can become!!!

Just a Thought

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Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Ulster, NY Lowe's
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Asset Protection Mgr Sam's G1 Traverse City, MI Walmart
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Security Mgr Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited Burnaby, BC, Canada Workopolis
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Loss Prevention Mgr Eddie Bauer Bellevue, WA Eddie Bauer
Area LP Mgr Gap, Inc. New Orleans, LA Gap, Inc.
Loss Prevention Mgr Kmart Pineville, NC Sears Holdings Corp.
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Chad Lindstrom was named Director of Loss Prevention for C&K Market Inc.
Anne Sullivan was named Director of Loss Prevention for CKE Restaurants.
Bill Lanza was promoted to Regional Asset Protection Director for Target.
Robert Castle was promoted to District Loss Prevention Manager for Office Depot.
Gerard Fredo was named Regional Asset Protection Manager for Microsoft.

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Why Use Video Interviews? Video interviews are a fairly new development in the world of recruiting, but one that is receiving a lot of attention. Should you dive into using video interviews to screen and assess candidates? Why might you use video interviewing instead of more traditional interview methods? This infographic discusses video interviews for both recruiters and jobseekers. (Five reasons)

Video: The Missing Piece of Hiring Technology is changing the way we live our lives. It's changed the way we network with co-workers, chat with friends, collaborate on projects, and even the way we document our most precious moments. So why not let technology change the way we think about resumes? The infographic included looks at video as the missing piece in the corporate hiring puzzle. (Find the best employee)
Visual Recruiting? The Importance of Image We all know the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." This is true in the realm of recruitment as well. Just like in most facets of life, image makes a difference when finding and hiring the best talent. We all know the tried and true statistic that nearly 55 percent of all communication is nonverbal. No matter how well written the resume, if the candidate is a mess, their chances of success just took a nosedive. (Seeing is believing)

The Future of Video Interviewing Recruiting, for all the new tools hasn't changed that much in the last decade or so. The goal is still the same, to match the right talent with the right role. When video interviewing leaped onto the scene, no one really thought it would impact the screening and recruiting processes the way it does today. (More than save $$)

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The most prevailing comment made by corporate America when they come to market looking for a new senior Loss Prevention executive is bring me someone who has a total business acumen and understands the entire business. Take note to this common theme as it sends a very clear message that you've got to be a retail executive first that happens to be a subject matter expert in Loss Prevention. And as we continue to evolve technologically the demands are greater that you understand the financial, merchandising, supply chain, and operations side of the business and know how to integrate the various shrinkage reduction components within all of them. Being able to communicate all of that is a series of meetings is truly the key and then being able to do it day in and day out is the objective.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

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