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December 14, 2011 SUBSCRIBE

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Retailers are seeing sales dry up halfway through the holiday sales period, a consumer survey completed Sunday showed.  The trend may force discounts as deep as 70 percent on coats and flat panel TVs as Christmas Eve approaches.   40% of consumers are completely done with their holiday shopping - and only half hit the malls last weekend.  They're waiting for deeper discounts!  (Source

Commerce Department reports retail sales up 0.2% in November "Sales are growing, but they just aren't accelerating," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc.  (Source

Sears staying in Illinois if Governor signs legislation designed to keep them there.  Sears Holdings employs 20,000 people in Illinois alone, and work with 9,100 local vendors, contractors and businesses that provide services and goods to the company and are a significant taxpayer to the state – over $213 million last year and billions over the last 20 years.  This was a long battle with a number of states courting Sears.  From New Jersey to Ohio a number of states were involved but at the end of the day Illinois came thru it looks like. (Source

Restaurant Depot hacked and 100,000 individuals credit card info is out there.  The company sent a notice warning customers about the theft dated November 25 following an investigation by the firm TrustWave revealed the compromise. Restaurant Depot contacted Trustwave in early November after learning of a pattern of fraudulent purchases affecting their customers.  One report shows the data was forwarded to a computer in Russia.  (Source

Web retail outpaces stores  As the 2011 holiday shopping season enters its final weeks, new data indicate that e-commerce sales growth outstrips that of physical stores. Faced with a growing consumer preference to shop online, major retail chains say they will keep their doors open for 24 hours—even as extends its free shipping offers.  Amazon, according to some sources is the new Wal-Mart online.  With that in mind who will they wipe out the fastest?   (Source

Google's Chairman says the new Stop Online Piracy Act is a form of "censorship"  Their goal is reasonable, and the mechanism is terrible" Schmidt said during a question-and-answer session with reporters. "By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet. By doing so it’s a form of censorship."  Requiring Internet-service providers and search engines to remove links to websites accused of trafficking in counterfeit movies and music would amount to "censorship" and set a bad example for other countries."  (Source

Cisco 2011 Annual Security Report shows Tendencies of World Workforce's Next Generation to Ignore Online Threats Poses Challenge to Personal, Corporate Security  Seven out of 10 young employees frequently ignore IT policies, and one in four is a victim of identity theft before the age of 30.  The final set of findings from the three-part Cisco Connected World Technology Report reveals startling attitudes toward IT policies and growing security threats posed by the next generation of employees entering the workforce -- a demographic that grew up with the Internet and has an increasingly on-demand lifestyle that mixes personal and business activity in the workplace.  (Source

Cannon U.S.A. says "many customers still don't look at printers and multi-function devices as part of their security strategy." Canon addressed this issue in large part because a major customer, a large Japanese manufacturing firm, found someone had used one of its Canon MFPs to copy upcoming product plans and simply walk out the door with them, leading to a significant information breach.  (Source

The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to ban individuals from using their mobile devices while they drive. No talking, no texting. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents.  Said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman: "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving. No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."  (Source

Department of Justice charges 6 ex-Siemens executives with bribing Argentina gov't officials to win $1B national identity card contract.  "The allegations in this indictment reflect a stunning level of deception and corruption," said DOJ Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, in a press conference held Tuesday. "This is the first time a former board member of a Global Fortune 50 company has been charged with FCPA violations," Breuer said. And he faces 20 years in prison.  (Source

Shoplifter at Fred Meyer in Longview, Washington, chopped off the ear of a loss prevention associate when they went to apprehend him.  The suspect got away and has been identified by police.  (Source

Costco Q1 reports same store sales up 7% with net sales up 13%
Best Buy Q3 reports same store sales up 0.3% with total revenue up 1.7%





Doug Marker
Vice President
LP, Risk and Audit
Michael Stores, Inc.

Stephen O'Keefe
Loss Prevention and
Risk Management
Wal-Mart Canada

Coming in December

Kelly Gorman
Vice President LP

LP Program Spotlight
eBay's PROACT Team



Richard C. Hollinger, PhD



Know about an event we should feature here?
Let us know.

National Retail Federation
2011 ORC Survey

Executive Summary
Full Report 

National Retail Federation
Effective Crowd Management Guidelines

Education Awareness on Personal Safety
Full Report

Return Fraud Survey
Full Report

Watch for our article the day after each event!

Los Angeles Area
ORC Association

3rd Annual
2012 Conference

February 16, 2012
LA Convention Center

Asset Protection Conference

March 11-14, 2012
Hyatt Regency
New Orleans, LA






eBay Participates in Australia Retail Study

eBay Vice President Deborah Sharkey commenting on report said: "eBay was pleased to provide submissions to the Productivity Commission and participate in the hearings on behalf of the millions of Australians who buy and sell products on eBay, including the thousands of Australians who depend on eBay for their income and livelihood. The Commission reported on: current structure, performance and efficiency of the retail sector; drivers of structural change in the retail industry; broader issues contributing to the increase in online purchasing by Australian consumers; sustainability and appropriateness of current indirect tax arrangements and the extent to which technology could reduce the administrative costs of tax collection; and other regulatory or policy issues which impact on the structural change in the sector. Sharkey added, "The Government has conveyed a clear message for retailers: embrace online and mobile to remain competitive and relevant to the modern consumer”. “eBay will continue to partner with retailers to embrace online as a key part of their multichannel strategies and build for future growth," she said. Click here for full article.

For further information on PROACT email inquiries to;

eBay Direct - Click Here  -  (notify - info - questions)


Organized theft is the nation's fastest-growing crime, according to the FBI.  (Source

With healthy holiday sales comes a companion rise in organized shoplifting, Portland-area retailers say  A clerk at the Victoria's Secret in Washington Square noticed that a group of women returning lingerie matched descriptions of a fraud ring known at other branches of the store and called security.   Tigard police arrested two of the women on outstanding theft warrants, arriving at the scene near closing time.  While the bust surprised customers rushing to finish purchases before the mall shut down for the night, it's actually a relatively common scenario: Organized theft is the nation's fastest-growing crime, according to the FBI.   "It's a business," said Gayla Shillitto, the Tigard police crime analyst investigating the Victoria's Secret case. "It's a way of life. It goes on every day."   And the Northwest is harder hit.  "The bad guys don't have jurisdictional boundaries," said Tacoma Police Officer Scott Stanley, who created the nation's first multi-state alliance against organized retail theft. The alliance has a list of more than 600 retail members -- car shops, mall stores and supermarkets -- in states ranging from Washington and Oregon to California and Alaska.   (Source

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Job Opening




Manager, Business Continuity Winn-Dixie Jacksonville, FL Winn-Dixie

Corp LPM of Analytics & Exception Reporting



Downing & Downing

Director of Loss Prevention



Downing & Downing

National Account Sales Mgr


Chicago, IL

Downing & Downing

Asset Protection Manager

The Home Depot

Phoenix, AZ

The Home Depot

Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Metro Northern NJ The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Sacramento, CA The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Salem, OR The Home Depot
Regional LP Director Confidential Los Angeles, CA Downing & Downing


Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only

Job Opening




Market AP Mgr Walmart Hialeah, FL Walmart
Market AP Mgr Walmart Pico Rivera, CA Walmart
Asset Protection Mgr Sam's G3 Budd Lake, NJ Walmart
Loss Prevention Mgr Kmart Miami, FL Sears Holdings Corp.
Loss Prevention Mgr Kmart Vails Gate, NY Sears Holdings Corp.
Loss Prevention Mgr Kmart Wilmington, DE Sears Holdings Corp.
Area LP Mgr Seattle Goodwill Seattle, WA Seattle Goodwill
Area LP Mgr Ross Stores San Francisco, CA Ross Stores
Area LP Mgr Ross Stores San Jose, CA Ross Stores
LP Project Mgr Ross Stores Pleasanton, CA Ross Stores
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's White Plains, NY Macy's


Thought Challenge Month in Review Today we are posting a Thought Challenge, as it appeared, in a countdown to our Awards Committee's selection of the "Top 3". Read well and make sure you vote on the last day!

Are things really that bad?

Submitted by Pedro Ramos
Vice President Sales, Agilence, Inc.

September 1, 2011

If we look around us, listen to or read news on the internet (notice that I've excluded newspapers?) or simply talk to family and friends, we are left with a certain sense of impending doom.  Although I don't want to minimize the pain of those living in areas of our country with double digit unemployment, I must ask:  Are things really that bad?  Let's step back from the immediate and constant barrage of information that fills our lives and look back at history to try to gain some sense of perspective. 

History shows that there are many "bumps" in the road; World war, recessions, depressions, geopolitical wrangling for oil, etc.  What history also tells us is that over the long term, things do get better.  Just compare the lifestyle of a middle-class family 50 years ago to that of a similar family today and you'll see that overall we are living better.  We may not think so because we are a "right now" generation, addicted to live stock tickers and scrolling news feeds.  We live in the moment and don't take the time to stop and evaluate our position.  Today's generation does not look to the past for wisdom, but rather looks only at themselves and only at "right now."  Just look at medicine as an example:  Not too long ago, coronary disease would have meant a death sentence.  Today, it's a treatable condition.  What history demonstrates the best is this:  Those who are driving change and those who are open and prepared for change are the most successful. 

Education and adaptability continues to be a common thread throughout history.  Those who are educated and adaptable do well.  And, more than at any time in our history, change is constant and quick.  New technologies continue to appear on a daily basis and are changing our world at an increasingly rapid rate.  The companies behind these technologies are the new winners and they are driving a new breed of employees, be it professional managers or cutting-edge developers. In fact, it's these companies that are creating jobs and the competition to attract the best and the brightest that have driven up the salaries to unprecedented levels. This changing, evolving technology landscape will be a source of high-paying, stable employment for generations to come, one only need to prepare.

As far as the retail world is concerned, one basic statistic will drive that growth:  The world population is estimated to grow from today's near 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2050.  That means more shirts, more shoes, more food, more cars, more housing and more technology customers.  This basic figure indicates one thing:  The retail economy will grow by sheer demand.   The question is how do we prepare for this future?  The answer is education and training for this fast moving world. 

The one overwhelming reality is that our newer technologies are disrupting our economy at a faster rate than any other prior technologies did.  Additionally, the demand for food and energy will continue to be a concern, but also a source of new innovation and new employment opportunities.  Finally, as the world becomes more affluent, the service industries will continue to grow as will the demands for premium products.

As LP professionals, we must ask ourselves a few questions:

  1. Do I have an understanding of how technology will drive change in my business/occupation?

  2. Do I have the education to understand and take advantage of the opportunities these changes will create?

  3. Do I have training that prepares me for managing in a diverse and technical environment?

  4. Do I want to remain in the current field or educate myself and be ready to take advantage of new emerging opportunities regardless of the field?

One thing is for certain; with a little perspective things are not that bad.   Remember that life is not a sprint, but a marathon.  Be prepared, continue to educate yourself, focus on your goals, and ignore the daily barrage of distractions.



Great looks, superior performance and softened but effective visual deterrence can be merged into ONE great EAS platform.

By Kip Stewart, Manager of Business Development, Vector Security, Inc.

When a 15th century collection of homilies written by John Mirk included the familiar "Children should be seen and not heard" adage, perhaps the Augustinian clergyman had a vision regarding today’s state of the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) industry? Could he ever have imagined the connection?

Today’s EAS systems are indeed experiencing an "identity crisis" that may be easily solved by applying Mirk’s simple advice. In the past, visual deterrence (being seen) was the key to informing likely shoplifters that the king’s guard was watching over the entrances of EAS-protected retail stores. Those foreboding pedestals were there for a strict reason, but that was then and this is now. Today, U.S retailers are becoming equally concerned about making their environments friendly and inviting places to shop. So minimizing the visual impact of EAS pedestals and increasing display space may be overshadowing the need to deter shoplifters.

For the most part, however, that’s NOT the view expressed by European retailers, who still believe visual deterrence is the key to averting shoplifters. In Europe, visual deterrence still is king, and for some very good reasons. Their "perfect answer" comes in the form of utilizing pedestals that offer softer but recognizable visual deterrence, combined with the ability to advertise their brand and preserve high rates of detection within the entrance/exit area of store locations.

New Premium Pedestals are available from Vector Security in both AM and RF technologies; offering maximum system performance, a smaller footprint and aesthetically pleasing looks. The new AM Premium pedestals are transceiver based, meaning they can stand guard alone at a store entrance, or together with additional AM Premium Pedestals, depending upon the width of the entranceway. One unit can cover an area of six feet (a three-foot field on each side of the pedestal). The RF Premium pedestals utilize swept radio frequency technology, which is designed to work with two pedestals covering a 6 foot field.

The underlying concern about completely hidden EAS units is that they offer virtually NO visual deterrence. That’s important to consider because what may be perceived by store marketing as a distinct shopper advantage, may turn into a shoplifting nightmare. When shoplifters don’t see EAS pedestals at store entrances, they may be more likely to prey on those stores, simply because there’s NO active visual deterrence.

According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), studies indicate that 72% of all shoplifting incidents occur impulsively and are not premeditated. Since the shoplifter is not walking directly through the pedestals on the way out, there is less direct recognition that his or her specific actions have alerted security. While the pros may recognize hidden systems, an estimated 97% of today’s shoplifters are still considered to be amateurs, according to the NASP. Some are more seasoned than others, since 55% of those indicate they began shoplifting in their teens.

Also, when it comes to EAS, while visibility may be king, detection range is the king’s guard. Detection ranges and system performance in concealed systems can be limited, and detection field sizes may vary versus traditional pedestal systems, which generally are more stable.

Make the transition from "plug and stay" to "manage each day"!

Walk into most any retail store and one of the first things you may see is an EAS exceptions monitor with a number of unresolved incidents. Until now, EAS systems were largely "plug and stay." The important but elusive EAS performance data available from these systems literally "stayed" in one place; at the store level. This deprived loss prevention professionals from reviewing critical management information which, if properly reviewed and acted upon, could substantially increase effectiveness and ROI.

The analysis of EAS-related data is the KEY to the continuing level of empowerment EAS services can provide. Vector Security is helping lead the migration from "plug and stay" to "manage each day" by creating an extensive amount of valuable data concerning what’s occurring at the core of each EAS system.

Retailers can be informed about virtually every event detected by the EAS system, even to the point of how store associates responded. These activities can be tracked, trended and used to continually improve the effectiveness of your Vector Security EAS system in an innovative way.

Managed EAS Services can create insightful chain-wide management data. Actions that should be taken to improve the performance of your EAS system can be pinpointed and made almost immediately. Our complete suite of Managed EAS products and software is designed to manage ancillary, but equally important, information such as customer traffic counting, as well as interfacing with other loss prevention technologies like video surveillance systems.

The application can also alert store management personnel and automatically send real-time alerts to laptops, cell phones and PDAs following a predetermined set of parameters that are most important to you. At last -- Freedom of information!

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Five New Management Metrics You Need to Know "If you can measure it, you can manage it" is a business saying that goes way back. Most companies only measure traffic, revenue or earnings, without considering how to improve the company at an atomic level, such as how to make a meeting better.   (You don't need a ruler to measure these)

4 Ways to Stay Productive When You Answer to Yourself
Ironically, most of us are pretty terrible at managing ourselves. Our to-do lists are long, time is short, and the pressure for results is high. Everything seems important and it's hard to prioritize so we often don't even know where to begin.   (Who needs a time management guru?)

Leadership Character: The Role of Collaboration Most leaders are competitive people driven by challenges. However, many leaders overshadow their peers instead of helping everyone around them become successful as well.   (It all comes down to working together)

Why I Hire People Who Fail
Success by failure is not an oxymoron. When you make a mistake, you're forced to look back and find out exactly where you went wrong, and formulate a new plan for your next attempt. By contrast, when you succeed, you don't always know exactly what you did right.   (Success isn't always luck)


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Regardless of one's individual performance, we're all relegated to the tide of public opinion and while a portion of it's driven by our own actions, the majority of it is driven by perceptions and agendas and therein lies the wild cards. Perceptions, which oftentimes becomes hard cold reality, is molded by the interpretations of our actions and by the interpretations of others. While agendas are almost always driven by money, revenge, or just plain wanting to beat the other guy, changing an agenda is impossible and changing a perception, if one needs to be changed, especially if it's incorrect, is a long process that's driven by focusing on doing what's right everyday even with those who may have agendas.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

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