Emerging Technologies: Driving Business For
Retailers, While Minimizing Risks From Fraudsters.
As new retail technology is being deployed in stores across the country.
Mobile POS, touchless pay and e-receipts may drive sales, however there are
significant implications on loss prevention policies, returns management,
data security and more. While the ROI and "wow factor" exists, so do
potential concerns for operations, loss prevention and IT executives. As
an example, the fixed camera pointing at a cashwrap does you no good when
your POS goes mobile.During the NRF’s Annual Convention (January 15-18, 2012), industry LP
leaders are being invited to a workshop and educational session on these
emerging technologies. Attendees will discuss past, present and future
deployments of these new tools and their impact on business operations,
shrinkage and company policy. There will also be discussion on how to
translate the vulnerabilities into "tech talk" and the need to have LP at
the table when proposing and implementing the program. To find out
more email Angelica Rodriguez at the NRF
email@example.com or visit
Big Brother Watches as Stores Seek More Data
- High-Tech Cameras - Brick-and-mortar stores
have long wanted to track consumers the way online merchants do and are
starting to figure out how. They’re using security cameras to monitor
shopping behavior and tracking mobile phones to divine which stores people visit. The technologies mean retailers from discount chain Family Dollar
Stores to luxury pen-maker Montblanc can make changes on the fly -- such as
deploying more salespeople in a given department and moving high-margin
merchandise to parts of the store where shoppers are more likely to see it.
"It’s really a game-changing experience, and this is only the beginning,"
said Rodrigo Fajardo, a Montblanc brand manager. (Source
Apple’s Mac App Store Downloads Top 100 Million in less than one
Apple revolutionized the app industry with the App Store, which now
has more than 500,000 apps and where customers have downloaded more
than 18 billion apps and continue to download more than 1 billion
apps per month. (Source
Toys R Us joins the ranks of staying open 24 hours a day for 112
uninterrupted hours starting Dec. 20 nationwide.
"For the second consecutive
year, our stores will remain open continuously during the days
leading up to Christmas, allowing shoppers more time and more ways
to shop with Toys"R"Us than ever before," said Greg Ahearn, chief
marketing officer for Toys"R"Us U.S.
"Let's bring the nerds in and get this right. If you don't know what
DNSSEC is, you don't know what you're doing." Said U.S. Rep. Jason
Chaffetz of the controversial bill Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
Debate is heating up and House lawmakers yesterday battled over a
controversial online piracy bill, with supporters reiterating that the bill
will help stop "rogue" Web sites from selling counterfeit goods and
detractors insisting that more time is needed to consider such far-reaching
legislation. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, suggested that
members of Congress might need a tech 101 course. (Source
Unofficially sales seem to have softened over the last two weeks
with some even talking about needing "Door Buster Sales".
All that European U.S. retail growth may be slowing up with the debt crisis
and the problems with the Euro.
With many U.S. retailers reconsidering their expansion plans everyone was so
excited about earlier this year. (Source topretailing.com)
Sixteen Charged in Massive Online $3M Fraud Scheme
Investigators have charged 16 suspects from Las Vegas for allegedly
defrauding people online during the purchase of high ticket items like cars
and boats.. According to the indictment, suspects living outside the
United States offered items for sale on sites such as Craigslist and Autotrader. The items were offered at a very low price and the seller
explained that they had to sell the item because they became unemployed,
were leaving for a military deployment, or had a family emergency. The
suspects then moved the purchase to eBay or Yahoo Finance, which would hold
the buyers' money until the purchased items were delivered. However, the
suspects would then send fake emails looking like they were from eBay or
Yahoo Finance and the victims would send funds through these false sites.
The defendants allegedly obtained more than $3 million through the
scheme, which they distributed among the conspirators both inside
and outside the United States.
Ex-RadioShack call center worker guilty in ID theft
Youlanda Rochelle Wright pleaded guilty Wednesday to identity
theft and to making false claims against the U.S. government and
faces up to 5 yrs in prison for stealing customer data and using it
to seek tax refunds. (Source
Mississippi's intellectual property theft task force is ready to go and nabs
its first counterfeit store owner. "We spent this past year laying the groundwork for our intellectual property
theft task force," said Attorney General Hood. "We have been training our
law enforcement and setting up our new Internet reporting and information
sharing site. Now, counterfeit cons need to be on alert that we won’t
tolerate them doing business in Mississippi." And this week they
arrested the owner of Urban Wear retail store in Okolona, who has been
selling counterfeit goods. "This arrest was the result of a joint
investigation by Okolona Police Department, Chickasaw County Sheriff’s
Office and our office's intellectual property theft task force following
several tips," said Attorney General Hood. (Source nems360.com)
Another store was shut down this week in Manassas, Va., for selling hundreds
of counterfeit goods after a nine month investigation
by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. From
fake Chanel, D&G, Nike, to Louis Vuitton and Disney merchandise the store
owner even said
that the earrings
they had purchased were counterfeit and would have cost more had they been
authentic, the affidavit stated.
Intellectual Property Task force groups are being set up all over the
country and will continue to be a national problem for
quite some time to come. This counterfeit problem is not going away
and its only going to get worse.
'Star Wars' light saber assault at Toys R Us
A 33 yr-old male customer in Portland, Ore., thought he was a Jedi
Knight when he started assaulting people with a blue light saber.
Leaving the store with saber in hand he fended off police tasers
still swinging it as if it were the real thing. One officer was able
to use his taser on the Jedi but he knocked one of the wires away
with the light saber. The officers finally arrested the man after
grabbing him and pinning him to the ground. The suspect, identified
only as a 33-year-old Hillsboro man, was treated by medics at the
scene and taken to an area hospital for a mental evaluation. (Source
LP, Risk and Audit
Michael Stores, Inc.
Loss Prevention and
Coming in December
Vice President LP
LP Program Spotlight
eBay's PROACT Team
Know about an event we should feature here?
Let us know.
Watch for our article the day after each event!
eBay Investigation Leads to Guilty Plea in Stolen Goods Case
eBay Global Asset Protection investigators supported the review and
subsequent Federal law enforcement investigation into the sale of
stolen golf clubs leads to guilty plea. eBay engaged with local
Illinois office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and
provided numerous transaction histories supporting the federal
investigation led to arrest and charges of selling approx. $60K
worth of stolen golf clubs on-line. The FBI and postal inspectors
began investigating after being tipped he was fencing stolen golf
equipment online. The online auctions for the clubs listed them in
new or near mint condition and typically started far below wholesale
cost. Stolen Callaway, Titleist, Ping and Taylor Made clubs were
sold across the country.
Click here for the full article.
For further information on PROACT email inquiries to;
eBay Direct - Click Here
(notify - info - questions)
Holidays 'a field day' for shoplifters
Sticky-fingered thieves are taking
advantage of crowded stores of harried Christmas shoppers to steal
merchandise and personal items, say police and security companies. And at no
time is shoplifting more prevalent than the days leading up to Christmas,
when a lot of seemingly ordinary folk suffer that momentary lapse of reason
and decide to steal, say security experts. The Retail Council of Canada says
businesses lose $3 billion a year — about $8 million a day — due to consumer
and employee theft. That doesn't include debt and credit card fraud,
robberies, break and enters and counterfeit currency.
loosens late-night retail security rules
which labour advocates say could
make workplaces more dangerous.
New "Working Alone" requirements give employers more options to protect
workers without being required to hire more staff or erect protective
barriers. Instead, retailers can now ensure staff members working
alone have an emergency transmitter, that cash is locked up and that there's
video surveillance. They had been experiencing the same late night
deaths of employees as many of their U.S. counterparts in the c-store
industry have experienced. (Source cbc.ca)
Season 'busy, busy' for local retail
The last few years the U.S. Black Friday has actually trickled north and
impacted Canadian sales and with the good weather up north this year they've
seen an increase in traffic and sales. Business is good on their west
coast. (Source timescolonist.com)
spending on the rise
The Retail Council of
Canada is predicting a 3% increase in sales this holiday season. Stats Canada’s recent retail sales report indicated that retails sales had
increased one per cent to 38.2 billion [dollars] — the highest increase
we’ve seen since November 2010. "What that tells us is that retail confidence
is high," said Sally Ritchie, vice president of communications and marketing
at the Retail Council of Canada. The U.S. Black Friday is now starting
to impact their famous "Boxing Day" sales. Many Canadians have
accepted spending as a part a holiday tradition and have no plans to cut
back. "Everybody is aware of a global economic problem but Canadian
consumers are a little more confident than others."
Sobeys to Purchase 250 Shell Gas Stations in
Atlantic Canada and Québec
Around 200 of the locations are in Québec, with the remainder in the
Atlantic provinces, according to the announcement. Sobeys currently owns
or franchises more than 1,300 locations in Canada under banners that
include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods and Lawton's Drug
Stores. The locations to be acquired are expected to include corporate
owned and dealer operated locations with annual fuel volumes in excess
of 1 billion liters (approximately 264 million gallons).
Top talent getting harder to find: Survey
Almost three-quarters (74%) of small business owners believe it is
getting harder to find good employees and 64% believe the demands of
today's job applicants exceed their qualifications according to a
new American Express survey of 520 Canadian businesses. With much of
the baby boomer generation set to retire, 46% of small business
owners anticipate a shortage of qualified job applicants in the
coming years. And this is without the Canadian Push of over 1,000
stores coming soon to Canada. The labor shortage will end up being
the #1 obstacle for all the retailers.
Want to make an impact and help your fellow LP
colleagues with their Canadian Push?
Send your thoughts to
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Md. man- Ring Leader- convicted in identity theft,
credit card skimming case that victimized 780 people
Authorities said Komolafe
recruited, trained and paid restaurant servers to slide cards through a
skimmer that recorded credit card numbers later purchase gift card and
designer goods, as well as to use gift cards to buy merchandise and then
return it for cash. Prosecutors said the group was responsible for thousands
of transactions throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania from at
least January 2010 to June 2011. Four other men have pleaded guilty as well.
The ring leader faces 9 1/2 yrs in prison and will be sentenced on March
Ticket switching team arrested in Boise with $18,000 worth of merchandise in
Boise police say the found about
$18,000 worth of merchandise inside, including a metal detector, GPS
devices, clothes, a fish finder, a vacuum cleaner, portable generators, and
other high-end electronic devices, according to reports. Boise police
officials did not provide an exact accounting of what the men spent on the
items but estimated that the prices they switched on were about "10 cents on
the dollar" — like taking an item worth thousands and putting a $200 price
tag on it. The 32-year-old Sentiveanu and 45-year-old Dean are from
the Seattle area, according to jail reports. (Source
Do you have an ORC case to share? Publishing it educates the LP &
retail community which might fuel even more jobs and funding.
Share your ORC news and help the industry grow
Today's Daily Job
Postings from the Net -
Appearing Today Only
Thought Challenge Month in
Today we are posting two Thought
Challenges, as they 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!
Do Annual Surveys Tell the
Submitted by Mark McClain Director
Investigations Asset Protection - Wal-Mart
September 30, 2011
Every year, industry solutions are often driven by survey results from corporate
submissions. They continue to illustrate a division of roughly three different
categories of shrink; internal, external, and paper/vendor/other. In a simple
categorization, we may all agree that these three do somewhat represent a way to
break them up, broadly speaking that is. However, allow me to share a different
perspective. I will concede that the "paper/vendor/other" category does have an
impact on shrink. To what extent is always the million dollar question. Let's
focus only on internal vs. external for the sake of time.
From my experience, most companies classify employee theft in the "internal"
category. For example, an accounting office employee steals money out of the
safe, a worker in a certain department of the store steals merchandise, or a
cashier is bagging up merchandise for a friend that was not paid for. Depending
on the way you may classify the event in your case management system could
determine how the next survey is filled out. Let's break up these events a bit
Cash from the safe – Does this cause "shrink" or is it a loss of profit and do
you measure them the same? If we are going to consider this, then isn't it only
fair to measure other profit loss drivers like credit card and check fraud by
our external contributors?
Merchandise theft – Clearly, I would think we all agree this is inventory
shrink defined at its best. Question then becomes how much is a result of
professional groups in comparison to shoplifters stealing for personal use.
Sweethearting/Under-ringing – This, too, is a good example of inventory shrink,
but I believe it begs to argue the following questions: Is it an internal or external case? Who actually stole the merchandise? How
are you reporting this when you answer the survey?
Shoplifting is likely the best example that most would say make up the external
bucket. This would include incidents of organized retail crime (ORC) as well.
More on ORC down the road. We would likely put the juvenile stealing a candy bar
into the same bucket as the professional group of boosters (professional
shoplifters). Again, depending on the way you classify the two in your case
management system may make a difference in reporting.
Consider the following:
If this is all that happened the entire year, how would you
answer the survey? Which one represents the greater piece of the pie? Did I
forget that most interviewing techniques train our investigators to try and gain
an admission and develop it? With that said, let me add a few more facts.
Does this change the way you answer the question? Key to the
answer is did you ask the same question of the shoplifter? If not, then we are
not comparing apples to apples and it will certainly skew the results that can
affect us all. Even if, should we be reporting a five year admission on an
I believe it is imperative to all of us
in asset protection/loss prevention to ensure that we demonstrate due diligence
in how we complete these annual surveys. They are looked at by senior leadership
and create great support for those tough conversations in trying to obtain
resources or drive industry change. They can also have the reverse affect if the
data does not support your argument.
So when your time comes up again to support the industry by sharing, please
think about the following to help ensure that we are all better served with the
Is it truly internal or external?
Do you share internal admission amounts or only known or
actual documented amounts?
If you capture admission amounts, then are you also doing so
Does your case management system really allow you to break
up the data in a way to provide better intelligence so you can report more
I hope this helps create some thinking. Have a great holiday
season and good luck in making it a successful one.
Do you have a seat at the table?
submitted by Sharon Dindal, Meijer
November 9, 2011
you have a seat at the decision-making table? How many times have
you heard someone say "do they ever consult LP when these decisions
are made?" Or maybe as a loss prevention leader you've thought to
yourself "they never include me when they make decisions affecting
the company." If you are consistently asking yourself and others
those questions, then ask yourself why? Loss prevention leaders
possess experience, passion, drive, intuition, inspiration, and
competitive spirit, amongst other strong attributes. Aren't these
the qualities that are looked for in other leaders in the company
that make decisions?
The real question is how are you influencing the
leaders around you to see the value you add to the company? All of
the characteristics found in a seasoned leader are a great
foundation to build on, but your focus should be on how you move
from being a "necessary evil" to an essential piece of the profit
puzzle. A true decision making partner that has a seat and a voice
at the table. Some of you have already perfected the skill of making
yourself important to an organization; you know the secret. But are
you sharing that knowledge with others? Read the headlines.
Companies are downsizing in this weak economy and many LP jobs have
and will be eliminated. The greatest threat to loss prevention is
often the lack of strategic planning and inability to make the
department relevant to the business. It's not easy; it takes hard
work, commitment, a good mentor and a lot of politics.
Cultivate great relationships, even with people
you don't like. The relationships you foster will mold long-term
opinions of who we are and what we do. Lead like a business owner,
because you own your business, your reputation and your worth. Don't
find yourself operating in a silo. Explore other areas and learn
something outside of your expertise. Remember, you share the same
business goals as your partners, and your knowledge and influence in
areas outside of LP can pay huge rewards down the road. Challenge
yourself to be a holistic leader that can affect teams at all levels
in the organization. Don't get so lost in just describing what is
wrong, but instead concentrate on how you solve problems and
recommend solutions. Teach, coach, train, mentor, and be something
to others as you will develop yourself in the process and add value
to the business.
A final thought, when you walk into a store or
office and the look on faces is one of fear, anger or frustration,
you still have relationships to develop. Gauge success on people not
fleeing when you enter a room and instead telling you how invaluable
you are because you are a true partner and a problem solver.
Director of Resource Protection for West 49 Inc.
continued from yesterday --
Something you know TODAY that is important in your job, but
may not have appreciated or recognized when you first
started in LP?
Drake: It wasn’t until I joined West49 that I understood how
important a role company culture plays in how LP operates
within the organization. First and foremost, LP must be
ingrained at the highest levels within the organization. I
was lucky to have a CEO & Founder who totally got it and
supported me. The core employee base here is between 18 and
25 years old — skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers — and
it seemed like every store had a bunch of dudes who were
working in the store by day and rocking it out in a band by
night. Our employees are truly authentic. Tailoring an LP
program that gets results, and is accepted by this motley
crew was a tall order. Initially they were a bit skeptical
and defensive of LP. We were considered "Big Brother" and it
was definitely not cool to rat out your friends.
In the early years, I had to adopt a communication style
that connected with the company culture. I have to say, it
has been a very fun and creative time for me here at West
49. For example, we branded the LP department and created a
mascot "Shrinkzilla" who we used in our communication
campaigns. We incorporated training videos into our online,
new-hire induction program. On a routine basis, we share
video of shoplifting attempts with our employees through our
company intranet and we blog about how stores picked up on
sketchy behavior and prevented theft. Our company culture
has even influenced how I rationalize with dishonest
employees during security interviews. We’ve come a long way
over the 5+ years that I’ve been here, and it’s absolutely
clear to me that my success at West 49 has come from
creating LP programs that jive with our company culture.
What "modern day skills" do you utilize that help you in
your job today?
Drake: The one skill that people should never downplay is
the ability to share. "Sharing" in LP used to be a bad word
and folks I talked to ten years ago about strategy and
approaches in shrinkage reduction tended to keep their ideas
really close to the chest. I’m just not that type of LP
person. I’m very open with my colleagues; I have no problem
sharing the approach I took with a certain project and what
the results were. I’m also extremely dedicated to sharing
with my team. If they understand the what, how and why of my
strategic plan, and the part they play in it, they’ll be far
more invested in achieving the goal. Every 3 months, I have
a 1-on-1 with everyone on my team to give feedback, coaching
and recognition. I believe this is the reason why the people
working with me are so passionate, committed and a pleasure
to work with!
Another example of sharing; I invest my time and I send my
entire team to the Loss Prevention Conference because it’s a
great opportunity to expand their knowledge on areas that
they don’t necessarily get exposure to every day but also to
enhance what they already know and bring their training to
another level. I know so many LP leaders who go to these
conferences alone. Why not bring your team and make that
investment in your people? If budget is an issue, at least
rotate who accompanies you, give people on your LP team
exposure to workshops and high-level speakers. It might not
seem like much to you, but trust me, it makes a big
difference to them, and when you take the time to feed their
brain, you may be surprised what they bring back to the
Thoughts about the future of the LP industry which you
believe will have an impact in the future?
Drake: As our industry evolves and retailers continue to
grow their business, there is always opportunity to
re-evaluate strategies and implement new ideas. With that in
mind, loss prevention teams need to go beyond LP and look
for ways to work with all divisions within the organization
to combat new and existing threats to the business.
LP Professionals are wearing many different hats today,
which increases their value proposition within the business.
For example, I’m responsible for the loss prevention team as
well as the inventory control group, which means that in
addition to being responsible for shrink, I’m also
responsible for the accuracy of our perpetual on-hand
inventory by location. I’m the company’s privacy officer and
am also responsible for environmental stewardship &
compliance. I am the project leader for a national supply
chain project, a key initiative for our company this year.
Speaking with my colleagues, it’s a very similar situation
in their retail environments; with many responsible for
Health & Safety, Inventory Control, Insurance, Claims & Risk
Management and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity, etc.
The LP Professionals of the future will become far more
multi-dimensional business leaders than they were in the
In your opinion, how will the movements of USA-based
retailers to Canada impact loss prevention? Do you expect
criminal acts relating to shrinkage and ORC – ORT to change?
Drake: Issues facing Canadian retailers from a shoplifting,
employee theft, organized crime, vendor/ carrier theft
standpoint are very similar to those in the USA. The LP
approaches and programs that US-based retailers deploy in
the States are similar to those deployed in Canada. Get to
know your employees and the culture up here; it’s your key
to being successful. You may find certain modifications to
your approaches needed. There are differences in
communicating and executing an awareness program in Quebec
than in British Columbia, for example. That’s not just
because of the French and English language; it’s because of
the amazing and unique cultures that Canada has from
Province to Province.
Loss prevention will need to be aware of our Criminal Code,
the rules around apprehension, detainment and use of force.
LP will need to get to know their enforcement resources;
City and Provincial police services as well as the RCMP. The
devil is in the details, though! Our security licensing
requirements, Privacy (PIPEDA) legislation and even our
Health & Safety regulations are a bit of a beast.
The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is an organization that I
highly recommend to any retailer expanding into Canada.
Every functional group within my company benefits from
membership and active involvement with the RCC.
www.retailcouncil.org I’m an active member of the LP
Committee, and there are many other subcommittees and groups
that you can connect with and learn from.
Will the growth of the retail industry in Canada likely fuel
additional personal and career development for people like
Drake: Of course there will be new opportunities for people
in LP and shifts across organizations until things settle
again. For example, with Target getting a solid foothold in
Canada this year, there has already been plenty of
speculation on how recruitment will go in the coming months.
I think the majority of movement will be within the Field LP
and the District & Regional LP groups. Many field LP will be
looking to advance to District & Regional LP positions. The
DLP and RLPs will be eager for opportunities to join the
Senior LP executive ranks. In Canada, the current Senior LP
Executive group is very established across the retail
industry and retirement is a long way off for the majority
of them. I think it’s the low- to mid-ranking LP group that
will find the greatest opportunity for career change and
advancement. Some may even find growth within their own
organizations as their companies backfill the experienced
roles that have moved on to greener pastures.
What specifically made LP attractive to you in the first
Drake: Initially, dealing with LP issues was my least
favorite thing in the retail environment. Training and
employee development has been my passion. Then I came to
realize that Loss Prevention is truly about education,
awareness and coaching. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely
spend a good chunk of time conducting investigations,
performing security interviews and getting to the root cause
of an issue, but ultimately everything boils down to
coaching, educating and building relationships so that
people at all levels of the organization come to rely on LP
as decisive leaders and trusted advisors.
Every day in LP, the challenges come out swinging and we
battle on. The more challenging the conditions we face, the
more awesome the opportunities we have to make a difference.
I’ve found working in LP to be the most frustrating and the
most stimulating of my entire retail career. Staying closely
connected with our company culture, making a difference,
being creative, doing more with less, doing the right thing,
always being myself ~ these are the core values that drive
me in my work, which I live by every day.
Share Your Thoughts
was promoted to District Investigator for
District Loss Prevention
Manager of National Stores, Inc.
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Management Practices That Spell Doom
misguided managers are sinking their employers because they
don't understand the science of human behavior. Many
time-honored management practices actually reward employees'
bad habits and punish good behavior, often with devastating
better check the slideshow)
How to Build a Winning Team
A group's success
ultimately depends on its balance. There are four different
types of employee, and by knowing how they each work, you
can better understand what it takes to make them work
together to the best of their abilities. (Are
you a magician or a warrior?)
Share Your Thoughts
Sponsor this Section of the Daily
Sometimes you've just got to
draw the line on what advice to follow and who you ask.
Certainly getting advice is important on any issue or
decision. But at the end of the day you've got to own your
own decision and listen to the bird on your shoulder. We all
have one and oftentimes it's muted by our friends and family
members. At 5 am staring into that mirror is usually when
the bird whispers the clearest. The only problem then is if
you don't hear it because you're not listening.
Just a thought,
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