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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

New York Gov Faces Backlash After Vetoing Retail Crime Task Force
NY governor slammed for rejecting retail crime task force while store owners lose billions to theft
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is
under fire for vetoing a retail crime task force as retailers in the state report a loss of billions of dollars to shoplifting.

bill, which received bipartisan support, would have created a panel of experts to outline ways to respond to retail theft in New York State. Hochul rejected the bill last week, sparking outrage from retailers and lawmakers statewide.

"Retailers throughout the state are
extremely disappointed to learn that Governor Hochul vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have established the New York State Organized Retail Crime Task Force," Melissa O'Connor, the president and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State, wrote in a statement. "I spoke with Governor Hochul at length to discuss the need for immediate action and an effective, collaborative response to this problem. She made it abundantly clear that retail theft prevention will be a priority for her administration, and we look forward to working with her to achieve results."

O'Connor's organization highlighted state retailers' self-reported
loss of $4.4 billion to shoplifting in 2022 as reason to form the task force.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers also condemned Hochul for the move, arguing that passing the bill would have brought "relief" to store owners.

"I am disappointed the governor did not sign this legislation," Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy, said. "It is important to support our hardworking local businesses and
this task force would review solutions to creating a safer environment for business owners as well as customers."

Retailers and law enforcement from the Capital Region have stressed
the need for a statewide response to theft, noting that it is having a "devastating effect" on communities.  wpde.com

   RELATED: NY Legislature sends clear signal to shoplifting thugs: Go for it!

Walmart's Old-School Approach to Theft
Here's how Walmart fights retail theft and shoplifting
Retailers have taken some big steps to cut that down including
Walmart allowing workers to shut off self-checkout lanes so managers can check for theft, closing select locations, and adding a police station to an Atlanta store. But, the core of Walmart's loss-prevention efforts remains fairly old-school.

Walmart Uses Classic Anti-Theft Measures

While it has tried some newer tactics,
Walmart also uses a tried-and-true system to prevent shoplifting, according to Attorney911.com, a Texas law firm that defends people who get arrested on shoplifting charges.

"Walmart has
loss prevention officers at every store that watch for shoplifters. They are on the floor and in the back watching everyone on camera," the company shared.

Loss prevention personnel are also
watching the self-checkout lanes.

If Walmart catches someone stealing,
in most cases, the police are called.

"Although anti-theft practices and policies can vary between stores, Walmart will often call the cops for shoplifting offenses. If you are caught shoplifting from a Walmart,
a loss prevention officer may reasonably detain you at the store until the police arrive," the site noted.

Walmart does not share its specific theft protection programs, according to a statement sent to TheStreet.

We have asset protection policies but don't publicly talk about security measures in our stores. However, we're always looking for ways to protect our associates, customers and merchandise," a spokesperson shared. charlotteobserver.com  thestreet.com

Building Customer Trust - Finding the Balance
Forbes: Locked Cases Aren't The Answer To Retail Theft And Shoplifting
Inevitably, anything that adds friction to the buying process, i.e.,
making the customer experience more difficult or more effortful, will reduce sales. The negative impact may be as high as 15 to 25%, according to Joe Budano, CEO of Indyme, a San Diego-based company that makes retail security devices.

Some sales
may be pushed to other channels, like curbside pickup or home delivery. In the most optimistic case, these online sales still accrue to Target. Undoubtedly a portion of those online sales will go to other sellers, including Amazon.

If a customer always buys the same product, locked cases are merely an inconvenience. If a customer wants to compare brands, read labels, etc.
locked cases are an insurmountable barrier. Customers who want to get the full product experience will gravitate to venues where that's easy to do.

Intellectually, customers may know that locked cases are there to prevent criminals and organized theft rings from stealing merchandise. But, at an emotional level, they also say, "
This store doesn't trust its customers." A low-trust customer experience is never a good thing.

Trust is reciprocal.
When someone trusts you, you are more likely to trust them. If they distrust you, you will distrust them. Retailers show they trust their customers with liberal return policies, instant refunds when a return is shipped, and an absence of security friction. forbes.com

Sen. Taylor "My City is Under Siege & Citizens in Terror"
Gov. Lee sends more THP troopers to Memphis - again
Gov. Bill Lee on Monday, Nov. 20, announced that
more than 50 Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers would contribute to an ongoing "surge" over the next few weeks.

According to a
press release, Lee sent "approximately" 40 troopers to Shelby County on Monday to contribute to the preexisting "Operation Grizzly."

On Nov. 27, another 15-20 troopers will join the effort "for the foreseeable future."

"Tennessee is implementing proven crime prevention methods to keep our communities safe," Lee said in a statement. "I commend our THP troopers for stepping up to enhance the law enforcement presence in Shelby County and help deter criminal activity in the area."

"At the same time, local officials must carry out their responsibility to
uphold the law and hold criminals accountable, without resorting to soft on crime plea deals that have serious consequences and too-often result in more crime and more victims."

Lee's announcement follows a Nov. 15 letter from state Sen. Brent Taylor, R-Eads, who
pleaded for more help fighting crime in Memphis, including more state troopers.

My city is under siege," Taylor wrote in the letter. He wrote that crime has left citizens "in terror."  dailymemphian.com

Memphis Q3 YTD Crime Stats

Memphis Shelby Crime Commission released its third-quarter data last week,
indicating major violent crimes are up 6.4% in the city and 5% in the county through the first three quarters of this year compared to the same period in 2022.

Violent crime increases were largely driven by the
number of murders and robberies. The former was up 45.2% in the city and 42.4% in the county, and the latter was up 19.7% in the city and 18.9% in the county.

Major property crimes were up 27.8% in Memphis and 26% in Shelby County in the first three quarters of the year, largely due to a 78.9% increase in auto thefts in the city and a 77.7% increase in the county.

Department of Justice deploying more resources to Memphis to combat crime announced Tuesday Nov. 28.
United States Attorney Kevin Ritz, who leads the office, made the announcement alongside several others including acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Nicole Argentieri.

"Memphis like many places in our country is reeling from violent crime," Ritz said.

The new initiative,
formally called the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) will see the addition of federal prosecutors in Memphis, as well as investigations into organized crime. The initiative will also include a community engagement portion around crime.

Seven prosecutors from the DOJ's Criminal Division will be brought into the city, including senior members of its Violent Crime and Racketeering Section, who specialize in prosecuting organized crime, Argentieri said.

Argentieri said that data-driven investigations into organized crime will drive the enhanced prosecution work "We know that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem," she said.

The following day, MPD chief Cerelyn "C.J." Davis told Memphis City Council members on that the department
will start compiling data on alleged repeat offenders and become more "aggressive" in discussions about who should be kept in pretrial detention.

Memphis is the second city for the VCI to be implemented, Argentieri said Tuesday.

The first city was Houston, Texas in September 2022. In that case, the initiative targeted specific neighborhoods where gang violence was occurring, she said.

Since then, over 50 gang members have been prosecuted. dailymemphian.com

Just a Once in a Generation Interesting Crime Story
Biggest Mafia Trail in Italy in 30 Yrs. Sends Hundreds to Prison

Court Held in a Specifically Built High Security "Aula Bunker"

With over 300 defendants in the dock and lasting almost three years,
the biggest mafia trial in Italy for 30 years has finally drawn to a close with the convictions of a former senator, two police officers and 200 mobsters.

A court in Calabria, in Italy's far south, convicted Giancarlo Pittelli, a former senator with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, and two police officers on accusations of complicity with the local 'Ndrangheta mafia.

The crime bosses Saverio Razionale and Domenico Bonavota were handed 30-year sentences, with 29 others receiving sentences of more than 20 years, part of
a total of 2,200 years of prison time handed down by the court.

The court heard thousands of hours of testimony, including from more than 50 former mafia operatives turned state witnesses.

The trial, which involved a total of
338 defendants, focused on the crime family of Luigi Mancuso, who previously served 19 years in an Italian prison for leading one of the most powerful crime families within the 'Ndrangheta, now the richest and most powerful of Italy's crime organizations that dominate the European cocaine trade. thetimes.co.uk

House ORC Bill Gets More Cosponsors
H.R.895 - Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023
Four new co-sponsors signed onto the legislation (3 Republicans, 1 Democrat), bringing the total to 91 cosponsors (46 Republicans, 45 Democrats). It's picking up activity.

Leaked video from Dick's Sporting Goods shows just how brazen retail theft has become

4 Steps Retailers Can Take to Reduce Organized Retail Crime



Best Retail News in Three Years
NRF: Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Sees Record Number of Shoppers
A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the five-day holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, surpassing last year's record of 196.7 million, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The figures surpassed NRF's initial expectations of 182 million shoppers by more than 18 million.

Consumers utilized both online and in-store channels throughout the weekend, with 121.4 million people visiting physical retail locations to browse items and make in-store purchases. This figure is consistent with 122.7 million in 2022. Online shoppers totaled 134.2 million, up from 130.2 million last year.

Continuing the trend that started in 2019, Black Friday was also the most popular day for online shopping. Roughly 90.6 million consumers shopped online on Black Friday, up from 87.2 million in 2022. By comparison, approximately 73 million consumers shopped online on Cyber Monday, down slightly from 77 million last year. nrf.com

Black Friday is Back & Cyber Monday Biggest Ever - Great News - Let's hope it continues through the Holidays!
Mall of America had more Black Friday Weekend traffic than 2019 - Up 4% - 515,000 people.
Americans spent a record $12.4 million on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Inc., which compiles the data.

On top of a great weekend for retailers, business research firm the Conference Board said consumer confidence ticked up in November after three straight months of decline.

Compared with daily visitor averages during the first three quarters of this year,
top-tier indoor malls across the country saw a traffic jump of almost 300% on Black Friday, according to foot traffic tracking firm Placer.ai. Target stores saw close to 160% more visitors, and Best Buy more than 700%.

"This behavior deepens the thought that Black Friday remains the most significant retail day for most retail categories and retailers, but also that the value orientation of the day was even more of a draw considering the wider economic context that has dominated headlines in recent months."

But the
traffic on Friday left retailers optimistic that people will come out for bargains.

The survey also showed that Americans' expectations of a recession in the next 12 months declined to the lowest level so far this year.

The Cyber Monday spending, according to Adobe, increased 9.6% from a year ago, making it the biggest online shopping day ever.

Buy-now-pay-later usage also hit a record high on Cyber Monday, Adobe said, contributing $940 million in online spending, up 42.5% over the previous year. startribune.com

More Positive Retail Data
U.S. Retail Traffic Remained Strong Throughout Extended Black Friday Weekend, According to Sensormatic Solutions Data

After a positive showing on Black Friday, in-store shopper traffic remained elevated throughout the weekend, up 3.5% year over year

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland--Sensormatic Solutions, the leading global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls, today shared its insights on in-store shopper traffic over the extended Black Friday weekend in the United States. The brand's analytics showed that shopper visits to brick-and-mortar stores and shopping centers from Nov. 24 through 26 increased 3.5% from 2022. Overall, year-over-year (YOY) shopper traffic has been relatively flat in 2023, down an average of just 2.4% throughout the year to date.

In further detail, Sensormatic Solutions traffic data showed:

Traffic on Black Friday (Nov. 24) was up 4.6% from 2022 and seven percentage points compared to 2023's year-to-date average. This is the most significant YOY increase the industry has seen in recent memory (outside of pandemic years).

YOY traffic on Saturday (Nov. 25) and Sunday (Nov. 26) was elevated, which is a departure from last year's trend. In 2022, shopper traffic dipped following Black Friday's modest gains, but foot traffic on Nov. 25 and 26, 2023, increased 2.8% and 1% YOY, respectively.

Traffic over the extended Black Friday weekend was up 3.5% from 2022. As in years past, the peak shopping time across all three days was 2-3 p.m. businesswire.com

Dollar General Stores Overcharging Customers
157 Dollar General locations in Wisconsin allegedly overcharged customers, documents show

Dollar General has agreed to pay more than $850,000 for alleged violations of overcharging customers. Unfortunately, customers are out of luck. None of that money will go to customers.

We now know the locations of Dollar General stores in our area accused of
overcharging its customers. TMJ4 first told you about these state violations last week, and now we're learning which stores state investigators said customers paid more than they should have.

According to state investigators,
Dollar General overcharged customers a higher price at the register than what was posted on the shelf. Investigators said it happened in early 2023.

Documents obtained by TMJ4 show more than a dozen Dollar General locations in southeast Wisconsin overcharged customers for some items. Statewide,
that number has grown to more than 150 locations.

Unfortunately, customers are out of luck.
Documents show Dollar General didn't admit to any wrongdoing, but paid the state more than $850,000 in fines. However, none of that will go to customers.

A statement released from Dollar General reads in part: "Dollar General is committed to providing customers with accurate prices and we are
disappointed any time we fail to deliver on this commitment."  tmj4.com

Here's who's moving in to empty Bed Bath & Beyond stores

Shoppers looking for experiences to fill empty storefronts left by box stores


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Ex-Uber CISO Breaks Silence After Data Breach Conviction
"I went to my sentencing hearing fully prepared to go to jail"

Former Uber CISO Speaks Out, After 6 Years, on Data Breach, SolarWinds

Joe Sullivan, spared prison time, weighs in on the lessons learned from the 2016 Uber breach and the import of the SolarWinds CISO case.

A federal jury convicted the former Uber CISO months earlier on two charges of fraud for failing to alert regulators of a 2016 cybersecurity breach, but Sullivan was
spared having to serve any prison time.

AdvertisementJudge William Orrick of the US District Court for the Northern District of California sentenced Joe Sullivan to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $50,000 fine. Prosecutors were seeking 15 months of prison time for the charges alleged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Sullivan failed to report the breach that affected more than 50 million records for customers and Uber drivers.

Joe Sullivan, Post-Uber Breach

Now that the matter has been decided,
Sullivan is free to speak out, and he plans to share his story in a keynote address at Black Hat Europe 2023 on Dec. 7. Sullivan says biting his tongue for over six years wasn't easy. "My lawyers wouldn't let me say a word," Sullivan laments.

In getting the minimum sentence, Sullivan says he was vindicated. "
The judge said we did an amazing job on the investigation," he says. "We followed our playbook. What people don't understand is the company had D&O [directors and officers] insurance policies. We had a data-breach response policy that designated a specific lawyer we were supposed to call. The team called in that lawyer and called in PR. I looped in the CEO and kept him up-to-date."

Transparency Is the Most Significant Lesson

Sullivan says the
key mistake he made was not bringing in third-party investigators and counsel to review how his team handled the breach. "The thing we didn't do was insist that we bring in a third party to validate all of the decisions that were made," he says. "I hate to say it, but it's more CYA."

Now, Sullivan advises other CISOs and companies about navigating their responsibilities in disclosing breaches, especially as the new Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) incident reporting requirements are set to take effect.
Sullivan says he welcomes the new regulations. "I think anything that pushes towards more transparency is a good thing," he says.  darkreading.com

Target Cyber Fraud Leader Shares Scam-Busting Tips
8 Scam-busting Holiday Tips from a Top Retail Cybersecurity Expert at Target

Erin B., who leads Target's cyber fraud team, weighed in with her top tips for safe holiday shopping.

1 - Slow down and be on the lookout for red flags in every email and text

Before opening links or providing information, ask yourself: Am I expecting this email or text? Do I recognize the sender's email address and is it spelled correctly? If this email or text references a company I shop with, does it come from the company itself?

2 - Get in the habit of using different, strong usernames or passwords for all accounts

Another piece of advice? Keep track of all the sites that require you to use your email address as the User ID at login. And make sure that email account has very strong security and recovery information that's hard to guess and unique from all your other accounts. Consider using a password manager that will help you create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for all of your accounts.

3 - Or consider switching from passwords to passphrases and Multi-Factor Authentication

Another favorite way to come up with a memorable, ironclad password is to use a passphrase - a series of numbers, letters and symbols that stand for an easy-to-remember line or phrase. We also offer guests the option to opt-in and sign up for an added layer of security called Multi-Factor Authentication/One Time Passwords (MFA/OTP).

4 - If someone calls asking for gift cards as payment

We're seeing fraudsters contact people saying one of their loved ones is in trouble, and they ask you to provide gift card numbers to help them. If this ever happens, hang up and contact your loved one directly.

5 - Don't just click on a hyperlink - test it first

6 - Double-check gift cards before you buy

7 - Treat your own gift cards like cash

8 - If you think you've been scammed, report the incident ASAP corporate.target.com

AI: Dream or Nightmare?
Will the Profit Motive Fail Us on AI Safety?

The speed at which this technology is developing means that it could be a dream or a nightmare.

The mission of a for-profit company is, well, profit, the greatest return for investors.
That's the profound ethical crisis at the heart of artificial general intelligence development ("Capitalism Works, Says ChatGPT" by Holman Jenkins, Jr., Business World, Nov. 22).

Open AI's nonprofit mission has been to guard humanity against the possible (and seemingly ever more probable) danger of unleashing artificial general intelligence on the world. I respect Mr. Jenkins's business and political insights, but it can sound naive to say that AI "won't soon replace the human knack for synthesizing the most valuable insight from a welter of facts." This seems to be exactly the goal of many transhumanists and the global elite.
The speed at which this technology is developing means that it could be a dream or a nightmare in five years. If the controlling factor is mere profit, look for the nightmare. wsj.com

Design flaw leaves Google Workspace vulnerable for takeover
A design flaw in Google Workspace's domain-wide delegation feature, discovered by Hunters' Team Axon, can
allow attackers to misuse existing delegations, enabling privilege escalation and unauthorized access to Workspace APIs without Super Admin privileges. Such exploitation could result in the theft of emails from Gmail, data exfiltration from Google Drive, or other unauthorized actions within Google Workspace APIs on all the identities in the target domain. helpnetsecurity.com

SMBs face surge in "malware free" attacks

Egyptian E-Payment Vendor Recovering From LockBit Ransomware Attack



WEBINAR: How to help prevent store violence and improve operations

One way stores can address rising retail-related violence is by installing security systems. As stores put this guidance into practice, modernizing the approach to security systems by unifying them on a single platform that can easily integrate a range of new and existing technologies enables many processes to fall into place.

Attendees of this webinar will learn how a unified approach to security, empowers retailers to detect and respond to potential threats efficiently and effectively. Also, how a unified platform provides greater visibility that leads to more efficient operations, a reduction in false alarms, and the ability to capture and combine data for better business insights.

View the webinar on demand here


Canadian Businesses Leaving Downtown B.C. Core Amid Crime Surge
Thefts, assaults, intimidation: B.C. business owners detail rise in crime that's terrifying staff, customers

Restaurants and store owners have hired security guards and installed metal blinds to keep criminals out, but want longer-term solutions - or they say they may be forced to close.

why dozens of businesses have created a new coalition, SOS: Save Our Streets, to send an urgent message to governments: get crime under control. They say they're losing millions of dollars due to theft and damage, and must raise prices to cover those losses, which they estimate costs consumers $500 annually.

they want to protect staff from violent assaults, a concern highlighted by the CEO of London Drugs who said some employees at a downtown Vancouver store wear stab-proof vests to work.

All the shop owners who spoke with Postmedia News stress that
they don't want to fan the flames of fear, but rather are joining the chorus of voices demanding solutions to this crisis.

The solutions, experts say, are
complicated by the unmet needs of people struggling with mental health and addictions. But Jane Talbot, president of Downtown Van (formerly the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association), believes positive changes can be made to help local companies.

Businesses called her organization's
16 "safety ambassadors," who patrol busy downtown commercial strips, 813 times in 2022 for help with issues such as potential shoplifting or trespassing. In the first 10 months of 2023, that number had jumped to 1,240.

"We're hearing more concerns around the well-being of staff," Talbot said. "
It's becoming increasingly difficult to operate under the current conditions." Some frustrated businesses are considering leaving the downtown core. vancouversun.com

Canada's Largest Retailer Loblaw CEO Q3 Earnings Call:
"The surge of organized retail crime remains a significant problem in the retail industry."
Loblaw CEO Richard Dufresne noted that "These are sophisticated organizations that are increasingly using violent tactics and complex networks to steal and sell stolen goods for profits."

Dufresne said that the company will continue to invest in its stores and work with police to reduce acts of organized crime that are currently impacting its stores.

His comments come after
a series of measures Loblaw took this past summer to try and combat thefts by implementing receipt checks, security gates at grocery stores, and introducing locked cabinets for the most stolen items in Shoppers Drug Mart stores.

Loblaw Public Relations said in a statement that the "
organized retail crime" it is experiencing includes "large amounts of cosmetics, fragrances, and baby formula, even carts full of thousands of dollars of products being pushed right out the front door." Loblaw added that these products are re-sold via online marketplaces.

Big picture: Canadians are largely in favor of more security cameras, anti-theft alarms, security guards, and locked display cases, but oppose limiting store traffic, stowing bags before shopping, or scanning IDs to make purchases. They are relatively split on receipt checks and eliminating self-checkouts.

The Retail Council of Canada claims some of its members have seen a 300% increase in shoplifting, with costs totalling more than $5 billion annually industry-wide.

CEO of London Drugs, a BC-based pharmacy, is calling on policymakers to act as shoplifting increasingly puts staff in harm's way. Incidents have ranged from threats with needles to stabbings to assaults with hatchets. dailyhive.com blogto.com

Walmart Canada Unveils New AI Tool for Corporate Employees
Walmart deploys generative AI tool for corporate employees in Canada

All Walmart Canada home office associates are getting a generative artificial intelligence (AI)- based personal assistant.

The retailer, which includes a generative AI-based chatbot feature called "MyAssistant" in the Me@Campus "super app" it
provides to tens of thousands of U.S. corporate employees, is now offering MyAssistant for secure internal use for all home office-based associates in Canada.

MyAssistant is
designed to help free up time for corporate employees from daily manual tasks. Walmart Canada says the tool will provide AI-based support such as speeding up the drafting process, summarizing large documents or meeting notes, or serving as a collaborative partner, allowing associates to shift focus to more complex operations.

According to Walmart Canada, its goal for MyAssistant is to
eventually have the solution serve as more of a self-service tool for associates, with full integration with the company's intranet and HR platforms, to serve as a single source for corporate associates to gain access to information on demand.

"We're excited to embrace this new technology," said AnnMarie Mercer, chief people officer, Walmart Canada. "For Walmart Canada, Gen AI is not a replacement for human work or thinking. It's a
tool associates can leverage to complement the way we work and improve our productivity."

Walmart Canada also
utilizes AI and machine learning (ML) across its supply chain and stores to support inventory management, forecasting, storage profiling, and routing optimizations. chainstoreage.com

The Decline Of Downtown Retail
Exploring Edmonton's Struggle And The Impact On Canadian Cities [Podcast]
Craig and Lee delve into the dynamics of downtown retail, honing in on Edmonton in this episode of The Weekly by Retail Insider. Craig, having recently traveled to visit retail landscapes from Vancouver to San Francisco, shares insights on the
stark contrast between the vibrancy of suburban shopping centres and the decline of downtown cores in many North American cities. The conversation unfolds with a critical examination of factors such as the historical shift from downtown to suburbs post-World War II, the impact of major retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and the surprising downturn of once-thriving downtowns like Edmonton.

They discuss Edmonton's downtown, noting
the challenges of parking, increasing vacancies, and a lack of vibrancy. Craig's firsthand experience paints a vivid picture of the transformation from a bustling retail hub in the '80s and '90s to a quieter, less inviting space today. The podcast explores the broader trend in Canadian cities, drawing parallels between Edmonton and other urban centres like Winnipeg, Ottawa, and even smaller cities like Regina and Saskatoon, the latter two which have managed to maintain downtown retail vibrancy. The episode concludes with a reflection on potential solutions, from urban planning initiatives to the role of pedestrians in downtown spaces, leaving listeners pondering the future of retail landscapes in Canadian cities.

The Weekly podcast part of the The Retail Insider Podcast Network by Retail Insider Canada and is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. retail-insider.com

Porch Pirates Hitting Canadians
Buyer beware: porch piracy set to ramp up with holiday season fast approaching
TORONTO - A recent FedEx survey shows porch thefts have risen over the last two years, with 28 per cent of respondents reporting they've had packages stolen by so-called porch pirates in the past. That compares to 24 per cent of respondents in 2022 and 20 per cent in 2021.

Seventy per cent of surveyed respondents expressed worries about their unattended packages being stolen after delivery. "It's a natural concern," said James Anderson, a spokesperson with FedEx Express Canada.

Despite the increase in thefts, the survey found
only seven per cent of respondents reported it to police. "Look - you're a victim of a crime. Contact the police," he said.

Anderson also noted
porch piracy increases during the holiday season in particular when more shoppers are ordering items online and getting them delivered.  kitchener.citynews.ca

Pro-Palestine Rally At University Leaves Book Store Vandalized
York University sees walkout after putting faculty, staff members on leave in wake of charges in Indigo vandalism

Organizers of walkout and rally say faculty members, staff placed on administrative leave after charges laid in vandalism at Indigo store

Controversy at York University, which has been
a flashpoint for local tensions over what's unfolding in the Middle East, has ignited yet again.

The school confirmed this week that it has placed several faculty members and staff, including an associate professor, on leave after they were
charged with mischief for allegedly vandalizing a downtown Toronto bookstore.

On Tuesday, roughly
200 pro-Palestinian students and faculty members staged a walkout to protest York's actions, and called for the reinstatement of those put on what protest organizers described as a paid leave. thestar.com

Ikea Canada leaning on automation as it overhauls fulfilment network

Indigo launches transformation plan in hopes of returning retailer to profitability

Statistics Canada says annual inflation rate slowed to 3.1% in October


Man, boy killed in shooting outside southeast Edmonton gas station
A 41-year-old man and his 11-year-old son were killed at an Edmonton shopping complex on Thursday in an apparent shooting that
police are calling a "targeted incident." Around noon, police swarmed a Petro-Canada gas station in the area of 50 Street and Ellerslie Road after reports of gunshots. Officers found the victims in medical distress and both died at the scene, Edmonton Police Service confirmed around 6 p.m. "We are sad to report that a child lost their life today as a result of this violent event," said Staff Sgt. Rob Bilawey. "The loss or injury of children as a result of gunfire is unfathomable, and we urge anyone with information that may assist this investigation to come forward as soon as possible." For hours before police confirmed the deaths, two bodies covered by blankets could be seen on the ground. edmonton.ctvnews.ca

Shopping Center Hit by Gunfire & Armed Robbery
Shots fired at Surrey business hours after armed robbery in same area
Mounties in Surrey said shots were fired at a Newton business overnight Thursday, but that the incident isn't connected to the
armed robbery that took place in the same shopping complex less than 24 hours earlier. Surrey RCMP said it received the report that a business in the 8100 block of 128 Street had been shot at just after 2 a.m. Thursday. Police said they found evidence "consistent with a shooting" at the scene, adding the business was closed at the time and no one was injured.

"Initial information indicates that
this was a targeted incident," reads the news release from Surrey RCMP issued Thursday. "At this point in the investigation there is no evidence to linking it to the robbery that occurred in the same area on Wednesday morning."

That incident happened around 11 a.m., and while police described the robbery as armed, they did not specify the type of weapon used when asked. Police said
one person was hurt during the robbery and sent to hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. bc.ctvnews.ca

Video shows masked suspects making off with $15K in merchandise from Mississauga store
Dramatic video, shared with Global News, of a brazen daylight robbery at Universal store in Mississauga, Ont.'s Westwood Square shows
three masked suspects rushing in, with one allegedly showing a gun to an employee behind the counter.

"The one jump over on the counter, broke the windows, took the jewelry.... One guy showed the gun to my employee. She was very terrified. She was very scared and she was shouting," store owner Kaleem Muhammad said.

He said it happened Monday around 1 p.m. just moments after he left the store to go to the bank, leaving the employee on her own inside. "
They took the money, they took the jewelry and they broke the glass and damaged some stuff. And then they left and they ran away," he said. The employee managed to run out of the shop and was unharmed. globalnews.ca

Hamilton, ON, Canada: Over $6,000 in stolen perfume and liquor found in Halton retail theft blitz leads to charges
More than $6,000 worth stolen alcohol and perfume has been recovered leading to charges for four people, including two who have been the "the subject of recent deportation hearings," following a crackdown on retail thefts in Oakville, police say. The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) say investigators wrapped up an operation earlier this month that saw members of the retail theft unit working "strategic enforcement" at LCBO locations across Oakville.  insauga.com

Oakville, ON, Canada: Home Depot employee punched during theft

Kitchener, ON: Police release images of Fairview Park Mall jewelry store robbery involving axes, gun

Windsor police say small axe used in robbery of store

Police say Elliot Lake suspect robbed gas station, retail store within hours of each other

Toronto police searching for 4 suspects wanted in attempted ATM cash robbery

Nanaimo gas station robbed by repeat offender with dollar-store toy gun

View Canadian Connections Archives






Cyber Monday Spending Surged Above Expectations
Consumers spent $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday, beating out estimates

Cyber Monday online sales totaled $12.4 billion, surpassing Adobe Analytics' estimate and growing 9.6% over 2022.

Cyber Monday beat expectations this year, finishing the day with $12.4 billion in online sales, according Adobe Analytics. That's
an increase of 9.6% year over year, making Cyber Monday in 2023 the biggest online shopping day to date. Sales also exceeded Adobe Analytics' initial projections of $12 billion.

Despite reports of muted consumer discretionary spending, demand was high on the shopping holiday. Spending was largely driven by new demand, not higher prices from inflation, per Adobe.
Online prices have actually fallen year over year, and were down about 6% in October 2023 over 2022.

"The 2023 holiday shopping season began with a lot of uncertainty, as consumers shifted their spending to services, while dealing with rising costs across different facets of their lives," Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. "
The record online spending across Cyber Week however, shows the impact that discounts can have on consumer demand, especially with quality products that drove a lot of impulse shopping."  digitalcommerce360.com

Amazon Overtakes UPS & FedEx as Top Delivery Business
The Biggest Delivery Business in the U.S. Is No Longer UPS or FedEx

Amazon is eclipsing both carriers, and the gap is growing

Amazon.com has grabbed the crown of
biggest delivery business in the U.S., surpassing both UPS and FedEx in parcel volumes.

The Seattle e-commerce giant
delivered more packages to U.S. homes in 2022 than UPS, after eclipsing FedEx in 2020, and it is on track to widen the gap this year, according to internal Amazon data and people familiar with the matter. The U.S. Postal Service is still the biggest parcel service by volume; it handles hundreds of millions of packages for all three companies.

A decade ago Amazon was a major customer for UPS and FedEx, and some executives from the incumbents and analysts mocked the notion that it could someday supplant them. Amazon's outsize growth combined with strategy shifts at FedEx and UPS have changed the balance.

Before Thanksgiving this year,
Amazon had already delivered more than 4.8 billion packages in the U.S., and its internal projections predict that it will deliver around 5.9 billion by the end of the year, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Last year Amazon shipped 5.2 billion packages.

Amazon's figures include
only packages that Amazon shipped from beginning to end. UPS and FedEx include packages they hand off to the postal service for final delivery in their tallies. wsj.com

Kohl's Shifts Away from E-Commerce
Kohl's CEO shifts focus back to stores: 'Digital business is ... bringing us down'
In a call with analysts Tuesday, Kingsbury, who replaced Michelle Gass as CEO just under a year ago, said the retailer's efforts online have been undermining its performance. While overall comps were down more than 5% in Q3, store comps in the period fell just 1% and were up slightly year to date.
Sales weakness in e-commerce in part reflects online promotions that weren't available in stores, and the retailer will now offer more consistent pricing across channels, executives said.

The digital business is really what's bringing us down," Kingsbury said, adding, "I'm confident about the fact that we are doing well in stores." retaildive.com

Holiday scams aren't easy to spot anymore. How online shoppers can avoid swindlers.

FBI El Paso warns of holiday online shopping scams








Los Angeles County, CA: $15,000 worth of merchandise stolen from TJ Maxx in Canyon Country
Approximately $15,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from TJ Maxx in Canyon Country on Sunday and no arrests have been made, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials. "Deputies responded to a call on the 19000 block of Golden Valley Road at the TJ Maxx where a male adult wearing a red puffer jacket walked out of the store with a cart full of items and left in a black BMW last seen headed towards the 14 freeway," said Deputy Robert Jensen, a spokesperson for the SCV Sheriff's Station. Deputies responded to the incident at 1:16 p.m. Investigation is still ongoing," said Jensen. "The business is desirous of pressing charges."  signalscv.com

Port Charlotte, FL: Trio arrested after stealing more than $6K in electronics from Best Buy
On Sunday, 35-year-old Robert Terrell had an opportunity for quite the bargain on some electronics while browsing in a Best Buy store. The only problem, he had no intention of buying anything. Shortly after 4 p.m., Terrell bolted out of the Port Charlotte store with items he had not paid for. He was seen leaving the parking lot in a blue vehicle with two other women who were also caught on surveillance video removing security tags from items in the store, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. Just about an hour later, deputies responded to the Wings and Rings restaurant after reports of several people checking for unlocked car doors in the parking lot. When deputies arrived, a blue vehicle matching the Best Buy suspect's vehicle description was seen leaving the area. Deputies pulled over the vehicle in a nearby parking lot, CCSO said. The driver, Terrell, and two others, 19-year-old Siearra Davis and 29-year-old Tiara Davis, were all recognized from the Best Buy surveillance footage. 

Overland Park, KS: Police chasing theft suspects leaves 5 injured in crash
Five people were injured Monday afternoon after a police chase led to a crash in Overland Park. The crash happened near 119th Street and Blue Valley Parkway. Overland Park police spokesperson John Lacy said the incident started with three people suspected of stealing from a T.J. Maxx near 159th and U.S. 69 Highway. Loss prevention workers were able to provide a description of the three suspects and their vehicle. An officer arrived on the scene and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Lacy said, but they allegedly hit the officer's car. That's when police started a pursuit, headed north on 69 Highway. Lacy said during the chase, the vehicle ran through a red light at 119th and Blue Valley Parkway, hitting another vehicle. "It was a situation that did not have to happen," Lacy said. First responders took two of the suspects to the hospital in serious condition. The third suspect refused treatment and is in custody. 

Waco, TX: Couple accused of stealing thousands in cosmetics from H-E-B stores while leaving children (4, 3, and 1 yr old) behind in car
Rebeca Nae, 22, and Cristi Iordache, 30, were arrested on Nov. 17 after they left their children in a car while they stole thousands of dollars worth in cosmetics from an H-E-B store in the Waco area, arrest affidavits state. Nae and Iordache, who are reportedly from Romania, are being held on an immigration detainer, meaning Immigration and Customs Enforcement would take them into custody if they are released from jail. During the investigation, the affidavits state, investigators learned Nae and Iordache were suspects in two previous thefts at two H-E-B locations on Nov. 14: one at the store located on S. Valley Mills Drive and the other at the store located at N. Interstate in Bellmead. A loss prevention officer with H-E-B provided investigators with surveillance footage allegedly showing Nae and Iordache working together during the thefts at the Waco location on Nov. 14. Investigators wrote in the affidavits that the footage shows Nae taking merchandise from the cosmetics isle and concealing the merchandise in her dress while Iordache used a shopping cart with a child to stand in between Nae and a surveillance camera. The man was allegedly acting as a lookout for any H-E-B employees or customers, the documents state. According to the court documents, the couple stole more than $3,000 in merchandise from the cosmetics aisles on Nov. 17 from the H-E-B on South Valley Mills in Waco, and more than $1,200 in merchandise from the cosmetics aisles on Nov. 14 from the H-E-B in Bellmead. 

Fontana, CA: Several suspects commit 'smash and grab' theft Rite Aid, but one suspect is hit by vehicle while fleeing
Several suspects committed a "smash and grab" theft from a store in Fontana, but one of the suspects was struck by a vehicle while trying to flee the scene, according to the Fontana Police. On Nov. 26 at about 8:53 p.m., officers responded to an emergency call from Rite Aid staff at Baseline and Beech avenues, said Public Information Officer Daniel Romero. The call reported a "smash and grab" theft involving multiple male and female suspects. Simultaneously, reports of a vehicle-pedestrian accident at the same location were received. The investigation revealed that a young female suspect involved in the theft was hit by a white SUV while fleeing the Rite Aid on foot. The SUV left the location without stopping. The injured juvenile was taken to a hospital, and her condition was unknown. Further investigation linked these suspects to an earlier theft at the Rite Aid in the Southridge area of Fontana. The investigation is currently active, Romero said.

Fresno, CA: Merchandise stolen from DripOnDrip shoe store in River Park
A small business at Fresno's River Park Shopping Center is in need of major repair after a break-in. Security footage shows a group of suspects smash the windows at the DripOnDrip shoe store off of Nees and Blackstone. This happened within minutes just after 4 am Monday. Video shows the suspects pulling merchandise from clothing racks, before taking off in two cars. Roman Gonzales is the store owner and is still working to figure out how much was taken. He says this was a major loss during the holidays. 

Damascus, MD: Police search for whoever keeps burglarizing a Montgomery Co. store
Police are investigating after a Damascus
store has been burglarized nearly five times in four months. According to the Montgomery County Department of Police, the series of burglaries happened at the Stay Lit Smoke Shop on Ridge Road. As of Nov. 27, there have been four reported burglaries at the store and one attempted burglary. Investigators say in each of the burglaries, between two and five people entered the business by smashing either the front door or front window with various objects. Once the suspects get inside, they took "assorted merchandise."  wusa9.com

Luverne, MN: South Dakota man charged after alleged $1,497 theft
South Dakota man is charged with one count of felony theft following a Nov. 18 incident in Luverne. David Brandon Pauly, 35, faces charges for reportedly stealing merchandise valued at $1,497.37 from a Luverne business. 

Ocala, FL: Man steals over $600 in electronics from Walmart in 2 days

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Shootings & Deaths

Bronx, NY: Man, 49, shot to death in front of wife waiting for cab outside popular Bronx shopping center
A 49-year-old man was shot to death in front of his wife as they waited to park in the lot of a popular Bronx shopping center, police said Monday. Raymond Resto had just parked his white Honda Accord in
the lot for the Target at the Throggs Neck Shopping Center when two to four men pulled up in a blue BMW X-5 and jumped out about 11:50 p.m. Sunday, cops said. They pushed his wife aside and one or two of them shot Resto in the head and chest before speeding off without saying a word, officials said. Like the victim's Honda, the BMW had temporary plates. Investigators suspect drugs as a motive, a police sources. Medics rushed Resto to Jacobi Medical Center but he could not be saved.  nydailynews.com

Fresno, CA: Arrest made in stabbing death at Fresno shopping center
Suspect turned himself in. Fresno police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for killing Mohamed Abdillahi outside a T-Mobile store earlier this month. The man, identified Monday as 30-year-old Scott Lawson, turned himself Friday and was booked into Fresno County Jail on charges of murder, according to a statement from the Fresno Police Department. Lawson is alleged to have stabbed the 23-year-old Adbillahi twice in the midsection in a parking lot near Blackstone and Herndon avenues before riding away on a bicycle. Adbillah was taken to an area hospital, where he died, police said.  yahoo.com

Raeford, NC: Man arrested after shooting victim found at Walmart on Thanksgiving in Hoke County
A man is facing multiple charges in connection to a shooting in Hoke County last week. According to the Hoke County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded at around 1:56 a.m. Thursday to the Walmart located on the 4500 block of Fayetteville Road after a man suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.  cbs17.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Murfreesboro, TN: Man in critical but stable condition after stabbing outside retail store
A man is in critical but stable condition after
he was stabbed Friday outside the Kelton True Value Hardware & Pet store in Murfreesboro, police said. Investigators were continuing their search Monday for an adult and two juvenile suspects in connection with the case, spokesman Larry Flowers said, noting that police intend to charge the three with attempted first degree murder. The victim in the case has not been named. Police said the incident happened at about 5:12 p.m. Friday in the store's parking lot on Old Fort Parkway, west of Interstate 24. "The male victim was beaten and then stabbed multiple times by three individuals," Flowers said in a press release. "He was able to crawl to the door of the business, and employees called 911."  dnj.com

City of Industry, CA: Woman recovering after being dragged by thieves at a Costco parking lot
A woman is recovering at a hospital after being robbed of her purse and dragged by a car outside of a Costco in the City of Industry. The 37-year-old was unloading her shopping cart when two men approached her around 6:45 p.m. on Sunday night. After a quick scuffle, the woman sustained a head injury trying to hang on to her purse as the driver pulled off, dragging her approximately 40 to 50 feet according to LA County Sheriff's Deputy, Miguel Meza. The Sheriff's Department says the theft took place in an area of the parking lot that was not well-lit, making it difficult to identify the two men and their vehicle from surveillance footage. The woman is expected to survive.  nbclosangeles.com

Florida City, FL: Man pulls gun on Home Depot employee who caught him stealing $99 tool
A Homestead man added three felony charges to a count of petit theft after pulling out a gun and threatening the life of a Home Depot employee who stopped him from stealing a $99 power tool, leading to his arrest Monday, according to police. Police said the crime happened just before 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the Home Depot in Florida City. According to a Florida City police arrest report, loss prevention workers intercepted Angel Manuel Roldan as he walked out the door with a DeWalt grinder and took the tool from him. Police said after one of them asked the 20-year-old to come back in the store to sign paperwork in the asset protection office, Roldan pulled out a handgun from his jacket and pointed it at one of the workers' heads, telling him he would shoot him. Authorities said Roldan then fled in a Toyota Camry. Officers located him Monday at a Texas Roadhouse near the hardware store and arrested him.  local10.com

Los Angeles, CA: Plainclothes shoplifting stings result in 11 arrests during Black Friday weekend
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Organized Retail Crime Task Force conducted a sting operation against flash mob robberies and shoplifters that led to 11 suspects being arrested. According to the LAPD, plainclothes officers worked with three Los Angeles-area retailers in "identifying, arresting and disrupting retail theft" between Nov. 22 and Nov. 25 - which included this year's Black Friday shopping holiday. "All suspects who were arrested for shoplifting were observed by the retail stores' Loss Prevention officers who notified the plainclothes police officers in the operation," LAPD officials said in a release. "The plainclothes officers then notified uniformed officers to come in and effect the arrest of the suspects." The first sting operation was conducted by the LAPD's Hollywood Division at a store near the 5500 block of Sunset Boulevard on Nov. 22.  ktla.com

SIM Swapper Used Social Engineering - Talked Phone Carrier into Swapping Phones
Los Angeles SIM Swapper Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
Between April 2019 and February 2023, Golshan caused roughly $740,000 in losses to hundreds of victims, as a result of various online scams and unauthorized access to digital accounts.

According to court documents, Golshan took over victims' social media accounts, impersonated Apple support, and engaged in Zelle payment fraud schemes.

To take control of victims' social media accounts, he used a technique called SIM swapping, in which he convinced mobile phone carriers to transfer the victims' numbers to SIM cards in his possession.

This allowed Golshan to obtain two-factor authentication codes sent via text messages and access the victims' accounts.

In addition to taking over the owners' accounts, Golshan targeted their friends, tricking them into sending him money.

He also defrauded individuals by advertising fake and non-existent Instagram services, demanding fees of several hundred dollars. Using the SIM swapping and Zelle schemes, he received approximately $82,000 in payments from roughly 500 victims. securityweek.com

Fort Myers, FL: Man stabs barbershop worker in Fort Myers robbery

Newport News, VA: Suspect arrested in connection to Walmart bomb threat on Saturday

Miami, FL: Woman attempted to pass, eat counterfeit currency at North Miami Beach Walmart

Mountlake Terrace, WA: Thief breaks into North Sound butcher shop, steals safe and gumball machine



Auto - Calabasas, CA - Burglary
Best Buy - Port Charlotte, FL - Robbery
C-Store - Lancaster County, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Easton, MD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Columbus, OH - Armed Robbery
Cellphone - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Clothing - Los Angeles County, CA - Robbery
Dollar - Dudley, MA - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Racine, MO - Robbery
Dollar - Joplin, MO - Robbery
Dollar - Newton County, MO - Robbery
Gas Station - Easton, MD - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Mountlake Terrace, WA - Burglary
Grocery - Manchester, NH - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Manchester, NH - Armed Robbery
Hardware - Middletown Township, PA - Burglary
Jewelry - Tempe, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Huntington Park, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Colonie, NY - Robbery
Marijuana - Seattle, WA - Burglary
Restaurant - Fort Madison, WI - Burglary
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Columbus, OH - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Columbus, OH - Armed Robbery / Subway
Shoes - Fresno, CA - Burglary
Tobacco - Damascus, MD - Burglary
Tobacco - Sanford, NC - Armed Robbery
Walgreens - Lake City, FL - Armed Robbery
Walmart - South Bend, IN - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Killeen, TX - Robbery     


Daily Totals:
• 24 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Loss Prevention Manager (House of Sport)
Boston, MA - posted October 10
As a Loss Prevention Manager, you will support the Store Leadership team in achieving company objectives by managing all Loss Prevention programs and policies within the store. This key role will have the tremendous responsibility of keeping our associates, customers and our store safe...

District Asset Protection Partner
Tucson and Chandler/Phoenix, AZ Area - posted September 27
The Asset Protection (AP) Partner is a strong communicator, advisor, investigator, and compliance partner. This role is responsible for asset protection program execution at all levels and implementing methods to prevent, and control losses, in support of protecting company assets. This role collaborates with store teams, Human Resources, Supply Chain, and District Management...

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...

Security Director
Chicago, IL - posted September 7
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...

District Asset Protection Manager
Washington, DC - posted August 31
The MidAtlantic Division has an opening for a District Asset Protection Manager in Northern Virginia. This person will support Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties. This is a salary role with up to 70% travel within the assigned district. District Asset Protection Manager will provide positive/proactive leadership, and instruction in the area of Security/Asset Protection...

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...

Region Asset Protection Manager
Jacksonville, FL - posted October 24
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 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...

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