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Chris Bitner named Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer for Southeastern Grocers
Before being named Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer for Southeastern Grocers, Chris spent seven years with Bloomin' Brands as Vice President, Global Chief Information Security Officer. Prior to that, he served as Global Chief Information Security Officer for Office Depot for 16 years. Congratulations, Chris!

Chris O'Neil promoted to Field Investigations Manager for TJX Companies
Chris has been with TJX Companies for more than 12 years, starting with the company in 2009 as District Internal Investigator. Before his promotion to Field Investigations Manager, he spent more than 10 years as District LP Manager. Earlier in his career, he spent nine years with Lord & Taylor as a Senior LP Manager and LP Manager. Congratulations, Chris!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   

Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position




Ford and ADT to Form Joint Venture to Fortify Vehicle Security with Breakthrough Technology

Ford and ADT launch Canopy to provide AI-powered connected security cameras and a corresponding mobile app for a variety of vehicle makes and models

DETROIT, LONDON and BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 18, 2022Ford and ADT Inc. will invest in a new joint venture called Canopy that combines ADT’s professional security monitoring and Ford’s AI-driven video camera technology to help customers strengthen security of new and existing vehicles across automotive brands.

“The combination of our technologies and our deep security experience creates a new category of protection for work and personal vehicles,” said Elliot Cohen, ADT chief business development officer. “Vehicles represent the second-most-valuable asset for consumers, and helping to protect them extends ADT’s safe, smart, and sustainable solutions far beyond the home.”

Canopy plans to launch industry-first, multi-sensor security systems with available professional monitoring early next year. The first products to be manufactured and sold will be available in the U.S. and the U.K. for the industry’s highest-volume commercial and retail pickups and vans – including the Ford F-150, F-150 Lightning, Transit vans and E-Transit – and will be easily installable by customers to protect expensive work and recreational equipment.

Read more here

Sensormatic Solutions by Johnson Controls prioritizes responsible retail by continued focus and investment into sustainability practices

Johnson Controls brand Sensormatic Solutions releases new white paper detailing its multi-faceted approach to empower retailers, shoppers, and its own organization to reach sustainability goals

Sensormatic leverages big data and AI to optimize retailers’ sustainability through a range of digitally enabled solutions and services

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland—January 18, 2022Sensormatic Solutions, the leading global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls, today released its 2021 Sustainability Story white paper, detailing its sustainability efforts. Sensormatic Solutions is built on innovation, and is dedicated toward sustainable products, solutions, and services. The company also extends its sustainability focus to include its people and processes.

Read more here

Interface "Ask Our Expert" video series

What Are Video Verified Alarms?

Sean Foley, SVP Enterprise Security, Interface Systems explains the benefits of video verified alarms when compared to traditional alarm monitoring. With video verification of alarm events, enterprises can secure their locations more effectively and avoid paying false alarm fines.

To learn more, read this case study.


NRF Big Show Recap

Recap of NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show
NRF's Big Show Wraps Up in New York City

20,000 attendees & 750 exhibitors expected at NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show in NYC

Check out the video recap, daily summaries and on-demand sessions from NRF 2022 below.

Day 1 - Sunday, January 16

The first day of NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show kicked off at the Javits Center in New York City with Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Qurate Retail Inc., Mike George.  PHOTOS | NRF BLOG | PRESS

Day 2 - Monday, January 17

The second day of NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show included a keynote address from President and CEO of Walmart U.S., John Furner, who became the new NRF Board Chairman. PHOTOS | NRF BLOG | PRESS

Day 3 - Tuesday, January 18

The third and final day of NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show began with a keynote session from the President and Chief Brand Officer of Nordstrom Inc., Pete Nordstrom. PHOTOS | NRF BLOG | PRESS

NRF 2022 On Demand Sessions

Experience insightful conversations from industry leaders by purchasing the NRF 2022 On Demand Package. Gain access to 25 videos, including select sessions from the Keynote Stage, FQ Equality Lounge and DE&I Stage and Showcase. Now available for purchase through January 31. Watch at your convenience through March 31. Learn more.



Click here to see more NRF Big Show photos

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

City by City Gun Violence in 2021 Stats
A National View - 1 Big City Every Day

NYC's 2021 Murder Surge
Grim Apple: NYC murders in 2021 to near 500 for first time in a decade
The Big Apple is on pace to hit nearly 500 murders before the close of 2021 — a bleak milestone not seen in a decade. As of Dec. 26, the NYPD recorded 479 slayings, driven by a startling surge in gun violence across the city, data shows. The Big Apple hasn’t recorded more than 500 murders since 2011 when there were 515 on the books, according to the data.

In 2012, homicides dropped to 419. In the following years, they plummeted into the 300s each year, except for 2017 when the city recorded 292 murders. 2021’s total already topped the tally of 462 in 2020 — a year that saw a spike in fatal incidents in major cities nationwide as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of life. That trend continued into 2021 with New York City seeing a late-year spike in murders.

Over the last month, nearly double the homicides were reported over the same four-week span — 41 between Nov. 28 and Dec. 26 compared to 24 during that same period in 2020, NYPD data shows. The latest homicide statistics don’t include two men who were gunned down in separate incidents earlier this week.

Quelling the mounting number of murders will be just one of the challenges the new Mayor Eric Adams faces as the cop-turned-lawmaker takes the reins as mayor.

Other major cities across the US have also struggled to reverse the troublesome crime trend. In Chicago, murders were approaching 800 with days left in the year, according to the Chicago Tribune. Philadelphia is expected to surpass 550 homicides, the highest total on record dating back to 1960, according to ABC.

Prop 47 Under Fire As California Theft Explodes
Prop 47's reforms back in the spotlight as lawmakers tackle crime & punishment

It’s what voters passed in 2014 to make retail theft a misdemeanor when someone steals anything below $950. Stats from the California DOJ show theft is overall down.

California's legislative session just started back up this month, and Proposition 47 is once again in the spotlight. It’s what voters passed in 2014 to make retail theft a misdemeanor when someone steals anything below $950.

It’s important to note that since voters approved this in 2014, it’ll ultimately still be up to the voters to decide if any changes are made. If the legislature passes any bills, the people will vote on them again.

Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) introduced AB 1599 to overturn much of what’s in Proposition 47.

"I think that the people of California, at least in the area in Central California I represent, are -- they’re just fed up with it," Patterson said. "They know that the crime spikes are real."

No statewide 2021 numbers are in yet, but the Public Policy Institute of California reports that, overall, property theft has steadily declined over the last 20 years. However, the PPIC does link Prop 47 to temporary increases in some crimes after the law was enacted.

Attorney General Rob Bonta declined an interview for this story, but his office sent a statement saying “California law is clear: Organized retail theft is a felony. Prop. 47 doesn't change that.”

Some of the other bills in place are AB1597, which makes the punishment for repeat shoplifters stricter, and another which was introduced by a Democrat would bring the threshold back down to $400 instead of $950.

San Francisco's Retail Exodus Continues Amid Crime Surge
Union Square Feeling the Brunt of ORC

Abercrombie & Fitch to close S.F. store at Westfield mall next week
Abercrombie & Fitch plans to close its San Francisco store at 865 Market St. in the Westfield mall next week, becoming the latest large clothing retailer in downtown or Union Square to shutter during the pandemic.

The store at Westfield San Francisco Centre will close Jan. 26, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. A manager at the store told me the retailer had decided not to renew the lease and is seeking a smaller location nearby for the store. The store opened in 2006.

Retailers including Uniqlo, DSW, Marshalls, Gap and H&M have also closed San Francisco locations since late 2020 as the area has struggled with the absence of international tourists and office workers as well as crime and homelessness.

Abercrombie & Fitch's nearest location is at the Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord. Management at another Abercrombie & Fitch outlet in San Jose's Westfield Valley Fair mall said the team isn't expecting their location to close.

The Ohio-based company, which also owns brands Hollister and Gilly Hicks, has cut locations by 20% since 2019 when its store count was about 854. The company closed 137 stores in 2020 alone as digital sales grew to encompass about half of overall revenue, with an emphasis on larger stores averaging about 8,300 square feet compared with the smaller, omni-channel locations it has opened in recent years at about half of that size.

Other Recent San Francisco Stores Closures

CVS Identifies 6 San Francisco Stores Closing in January

Walgreens to Close 5 San Francisco Stores Due to Increasing Retail Theft

Gap Closing 3 Stores In San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Market Street, Stonestown

Lowe’s To Close 2 Bay Area Stores Deemed Underperforming

Marshalls to close S.F. store, adding to Market Street’s retail woes

H&M Closes Its Massive Union Square Store

DSW in San Francisco's Union Square to permanently close

Uniqlo is Closing Its Flagship Union Square Store

George Floyd Federal Civil Rights Trials
Begin Thursday & Could Last Weeks

FYI Just in Case: Keep an eye on Minneapolis/St. Paul this week!
St. Paul takes security measures.

What you need to know about the federal trial of three ex-Minneapolis police officers in George Floyd's death

The federal civil rights trial is set to begin Thursday in St. Paul.

The federal civil rights trial for three former Minneapolis police officers indicted in connection with George Floyd's killing is set to begin Thursday. The men, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, all face Justice Department charges of abusing their position as police officers to deprive Floyd of his constitutional rights when another officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes and the others did not intervene during an encounter on May 25, 2020. "This offense resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd," the charges state.

They are also awaiting trial on state charges, but the date has not been set. You can read the charging document here.

St. Paul to close streets for federal trial

What security measures are in place at the courthouse?

The federal building has been reinforced with metal perimeter fencing and parking will be limited in the surrounding area. Federal authorities will be responsible for security inside the building and on the property.

St. Paul police are planning to increase the presence of officers downtown during the trial. The department is coordinating with the East Metro Response Group that formed ahead of Chauvin's trial last spring — and consists of municipal and county law enforcement groups in Ramsey, Washington and Dakota counties — to help with extra staffing needs if they arise.

St. Paul Spending Millions on Security
St. Paul prepares for ex-officers' federal trial in George Floyd killing
Although security won't reach the level of the Derek Chauvin trial, business owners and residents say preparations are unlike anything they've seen.

In a presentation to the council, St. Paul Assistant Police Chief Robert Thomasser said the department will increase police staffing downtown — both on the streets and in the skyways — during the trial and when a verdict is announced, mostly to help people navigate road closures and to fulfill the requests of businesses that asked for extra security.

Towering metal fences surrounding the federal courthouse. The cost of adding patrols and overtime shifts to respond to the trial could cost the city "in the neighborhood of a couple million dollars," said Thomasser, who added that Chief Todd Axtell is seeking some reimbursement from federal agencies.

The police department's biggest challenge, he said, will be managing staffing at a time when the already shorthanded force has dozens of officers — 56 as of Tuesday — out sick, many with COVID-19.

Editor's Note: This doesn't mean protesters could show up at the location in Minneapolis where this all took place - now the Floyd memorial spot. Just a thought Gus Downing



COVID Update

529.2M Vaccinations Given

US: 68.7M Cases - 877.2K Dead - 43.5M Recovered
Worldwide: 335.6M Cases - 5.5M Dead - 271.4M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 343  
Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 613

*Red indicates change in total deaths

"United States will crest in late January early February"
U.S. faces wave of omicron deaths in coming weeks, models say
The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on Jan. 17 — still below the peak of 3,300 in January 2021. COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents started rising slightly two weeks ago, although still at a rate 10 times less than last year before most residents were vaccinated.

Despite signs omicron causes milder disease on average, the unprecedented level of infection spreading through the country, with cases still soaring in many states, means many vulnerable people will become severely sick. If the higher end of projections comes to pass, that would push total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 over 1 million by early spring.

The wave of deaths heading for the United States will crest in late January or early February, Shea said. In early February, weekly deaths could equal or exceed the delta peak, and possibly even surpass the previous U.S. peak in deaths last year.

COVID's Retail Reset
The year consumers changed for good

Retailers are facing a perfect storm, with supply-chain and labor issues compounding the crisis caused by the pandemic.

We started 2021 in the thick of a global pandemic, leading us into labor shortages, supply-chain issues, and the highest inflation numbers in decades. The year ended with the perfect storm, where consumers fundamentally changed the way they think about shopping, forever.
Consumers have reset expectations for retailers and brands.

The Great Resignation hit retail hard—and it’s far from over

In September 2021, a record 685,000 retailers called it quits. In the same month, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs. In addition to facing the Great Resignation,
the retail industry is having to contend with a shrinking pool of labor with shifting priorities.

Consumers are willing to spend despite inflation—for now

We’re seeing the highest inflation numbers in 39 years. Yet, for the first time in history,
consumers are still willing (and wanting) to spend money despite the increase in the cost of living. We can attribute this not to rising wages but to supply-chain complications that are limiting consumers’ ability to purchase what they want. Consumers have money burning a hole in their pockets and are willing to take what’s available, even at a premium.

From ‘last-mile’ to ‘first-mile’

For years, companies had been hyper-focused on last-mile delivery, with retailers and brands prioritizing the processes to support the shift to online or BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) delivery. What they failed to realize was that
the first mile is where value is established.

A great reset

The pre-pandemic rumblings are now at a crescendo. Their unintended consequences have all but forced a great reset for retailers and brands—not a short-term adjustment to consumer sentiment but
a long-term, fundamental change.

Vaccine Mandate Backlash
Carhartt said vaccination remains mandatory for employees. A conservative backlash followed.
After the Supreme Court’s decision that large companies do not have to force workers to get coronavirus shots or tests, employees nationwide have wondered how the high court’s ruling on the vaccination mandate from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would affect them.

The issue bubbled up so much among employees at Carhartt, the Michigan-based workwear and other clothing company, that CEO Mark Valade emailed workers a day after the Supreme Court ruling to provide some clarity: Vaccination remained mandatory.

Valade, who noted how the private company was not changing the mandatory vaccination policy that would result in termination for employees who don’t comply, added: “An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take.”

While the email has been celebrated by Carhartt fans supportive of its health and safety measures, some conservatives and anti-vaccine pundits have targeted the company on social media in what appears to be the latest attempt to shame and boycott a company over its mandatory coronavirus vaccination policy for employees. The company has also faced protests from employees opposed to the vaccination policy in recent months.

Pharmacies Front & Center in Biden's Mask Push
Free N95 Masks to Be Made Available at Pharmacies, White House Says

Distribution of 400 million masks comes as the Biden administration is also offering free rapid tests to combat the spread of Covid-19

The Biden administration on Wednesday is expected to announce plans to make 400 million N95 masks available free at pharmacies and community health centers across the country, a White House official said.

Returning to Work Plans - A Legal Perspective From SHRM
Return to Workplace Delayed Due to Omicron Surge
Breakthrough cases of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus shouldn't cause companies that are proceeding with onsite work to abandon mandatory vaccination policies, legal experts say.

"Breakthrough cases are to be expected and do not indicate that vaccination is not effective," said LaKeisha Caton, an attorney with Pryor Cashman in New York City. "To the contrary, COVID vaccines have prevented a greater number of serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths despite breakthrough infections."

That said, the high number of breakthrough cases makes it more challenging to convince opponents of mandatory vaccination policies to comply, but "employers should consider staying the course," said Jason Habinsky, an attorney with Haynes Boone in New York City.

Considerations for Return to Work

"Any responsible employer needs to at least consider whether the increased number of breakthrough infections should change back-to-work plans," said Jim Hermon, an attorney with Dykema in Detroit.

He said that whether any employer should change its plans is a function of:

Vaccination rates at that company.
The vulnerability of its worker population.
Whether it can put other effective means for limiting the spread of COVID-19 into place.

The Supreme Court did not prohibit employers from requiring vaccinations against COVID-19, said Carrie Hoffman, an attorney with Foley & Lardner in Dallas. Nonetheless, companies need to provide accommodations to employees for medical conditions and religious beliefs. In addition, some states prohibit employers from requiring vaccinations.

Dallas County Breaks Single-Day COVID Cases Three Times Over Last Two Weeks

Biden administration's free COVID-19 test rollout begins early online

TJ Maxx & Marshalls Parent to Fire Office Workers Who Do Not Get the Booster Shot By Feb 1

Restaurants are starting to require booster shots for employees and guests


How Body-Worn Cameras Could Impact LP Store Detective Behavior?
See how they're impacting police officers

The DOJ's National Institute of Justice - Crime Solutions Publication

Practice Profile: Body-Worn Cameras’ Effects on Police Officer Behavior

This practice involves the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement. The aim of this practice is to record interactions from an officer’s point of view to improve accountability and positively affect police officer behavior. The practice is rated No Effects for its effects on officer use of force, officer injuries, officer-initiated calls for service, traffic stops, field interviews, and arrest incidents.

Practice Theory

The use of body-worn cameras is rooted in two theories: deterrence theory and perceived social surveillance. Deterrence theory states (in part) that the certainty of getting caught and punished for wrongdoing decreases the likelihood of engaging in wrongdoing. In the case of body-worn cameras, the camera serves as a “credible threat” in the detection of negative behaviors, such as the use of excessive force by police officers, and thus decreases the likelihood of those behaviors (Ariel et al. 2016). Additionally, research proposes that people are more likely to adhere to social norms and change their conduct in a socially desirable direction when they are aware of being observed (Farrar and Ariel 2013). When civilians are aware they are being monitored through a body-worn camera, they are less likely to be aggressive and more inclined to cooperate with law enforcement officers. In turn, police officers would be less likely to react inappropriately by behaving in a rude manner or using excessive force.

Hot Topic: COVID-Era Consumers Have More Than Doubled Returns
Houston, we have a problem

Lenient Return Policies Backfiring With Dire Financial Consequences
Holiday Gift Returns Are Choking Retailers and Landfills

Merchants won customers’ hearts with lenient return policies.
Now the strategy is backfiring, with dire financial and environmental consequences.

One in four Americans expects to return at least one holiday gift by next weekend, according to a report by UPS. That's at least 60 million packages in a single returns season for the world's largest package shipper alone, and a 10% increase over 2020 holiday returns. As the costs of shipping and handling those returns increases, retailers and consumers are facing an expensive and unsustainable shopping future.

They knew perfectly well that
unscrupulous customers could exploit no-questions-asked or receipt-optional refund policies. But the success of retailers like Nordstrom Inc. and Target Corp., both of whom have famously permissive return policies and loyal customers, highlighted the countervailing benefits. In a recent survey of apparel companies, 86% of respondents agreed that returns are a “necessary evil.”

Online retailers recognized the necessity early, adopting lenient return policies and free return shipping to build trust and loyalty with consumers new to e-commerce. Perhaps the most aggressive proponent was Zappos, the online shoe retailer now owned by Inc. Early on, the company encouraged customers to order shoes in multiple sizes and then return the ones that don't fit – and paid for the shipping. As far back as 2010, Zappos was happily telling reporters that
its best customers are the ones who return the most products.

It's an expensive way to gain market share. In
2020, U.S. consumers returned around $428.6 billion in merchandise, or 10.6% of total retail sales. Now online retailers, buffeted by picky Covid-era consumers, face return rates between 15% and 30% Continue Reading

Organized Crime Hits U.S. Pharmacies
Fakes slipping through the supply chain

Suppliers/Distributors Sold Fake Medicines to Pharmacies
Drugmaker Gilead Alleges Counterfeiting Ring Sold Its HIV Drugs

Gilead says HIV drugs were replaced in some cases with an antipsychotic drug or an over-the-counter painkiller

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. said that a network of little-known drug suppliers and distributors sold illicit and
potentially dangerous fake versions of its HIV medicines that ended up in pharmacies and in the hands of patients.

In all, Gilead identified
85,247 counterfeit bottles of its branded medications worth more than $250 million that were sold to pharmacies over the past two years following an intensive investigation and court-approved civil seizures, a company spokesman said.

The Gilead spokesman said that many of the counterfeit drugs were
purchased from homeless or drug-addicted HIV patients and then resold using falsified documentation.

“Gilead has uncovered and stopped a complex and criminal enterprise distributing counterfeit Gilead HIV medication through the legitimate U.S. supply chain,” the spokesman said.

The company uses the word “counterfeit” to include genuine medications that have faked documentation or altered packaging, as well as fake pills.

The U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain is considered among the world’s safest, and counterfeits most commonly make their way to patients via online pharmacies or sometimes after being smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border. But U.S. counterfeiters can sometimes exploit gaps in the supply chain to distribute prescription drugs via secondary wholesale distributors, companies that purchase and resell medicines to pharmacies, often at cheaper prices.

Open Hiring Model: Only 1 Question - Are You Authorized to Work in U.S.?
Help Really Wanted: No Degree, Work Experience or Background Checks

U.S. companies are downsizing the hiring process.

Beauty product retailer The Body Shop is dropping educational requirements and background checks for job applicants. United Parcel Service Inc. is making some job offers in as little as 10 minutes. CVS Health Inc. no longer requires college graduates to submit their grades.

A shrinking American workforce could recast hiring practices. The U.S. labor force has declined by millions since the Covid-19 pandemic, and some economists say workforce participation rates will never return to pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, more employers have reconsidered the value of college-degree requirements, focusing instead on skill-based hiring.

In retail and fast-food industries, keeping employees for even 90 days is difficult, human-resources executives said, one reason some companies offer bonuses to workers who stay on the job that long.

Open call

In 2019, when the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 3.6%, The Body Shop introduced a pilot program at a distribution center in Wake Forest, N.C., to remove nearly every hiring requirement, from drug tests and background checks to education and work experience.

Last year, The Body Shop expanded open hiring to all seasonal entry-level retail jobs. Since its launch, the rate of performance-related terminations of people hired in the pilot program has been about the same as the rate among people hired through the routine screening process, said Nicolas Debray, The Body Shop president for the Americas.

Open hiring became the model for all of the company’s entry-level retail and warehouse hires this year. By mid-September, 733 employees had joined the company this way, and 80 joined the company’s permanent staff. Under the system, recruiters ask candidates only if they are legally authorized to work in the U.S.; whether they can lift 25 pounds (50 pounds for distribution center work) and work an 8-hour shift. For retail jobs, applicants are asked why they want to work with customers.

Companies often worry that loosening job requirements will create a perception among customers or employees that businesses are lowering standards, said Alicia Sasser Modestino, a labor economist at Northeastern University.

“The biggest challenge is that people second-guess a person’s ability to do the job, and maybe they have some doubt or suspicion and biases also because we don’t do the background check,” The Body Shop’s Mr. Debray said. Though some managers worried that instances of employee stealing or fighting would increase, he said, “We have not seen any pickup of incidents at all.

Grocery Industry Faces Shortage of 120,000 Workers
Supermarkets face empty shelves from labor shortages, shipping costs
A combination of
labor shortages, shipping costs and cold weather has left grocery store shelves across the country empty, according to reports. Produce growers on the West Coast are paying nearly triple trucking rates, according to Reuters.

On the East Coast,
snow and ice storms have created massive food delivery delays. Grocery stores and other retailers face a 12 percent out-of-stock level on many household staples, compared to 7-10 percent in regular times.

Compounding the problem is inflation. The rate jumped 7 percent since December 2020, according to CBS News.

Katie Denis, vice president of communications and research at the Consumer Brands Association, blames the shortages on lack of labor and expects the situation to continue for at least a few more weeks.

She said
the industry is missing around 120,000 workers, while the National Grocers Association said many grocery stores were operating at less than 50 percent workforce capacity.

Burger King Security Lawsuit
Mom of slain NYC Burger King cashier may sue restaurant over lax security
The mother of an East Harlem Burger King cashier killed during an armed robbery is
calling for more security at all fast food restaurants in the city — and said she’s considering suing the outlet for failing to protect her young daughter.

“I’m working in fast food too. I don’t want to go back. I’m very scared,” said Kristie Nieves, whose 19-year-old daughter, Kristal Bayron-Nieves, was fatally shot Jan. 9 while working an overnight shift at the eatery on E. 116th St. and Lexington Ave.

“With regard to civil liability, we are looking at the issue of
Burger King, the owner of the property, and any security company that was involved with supposedly doing security for Burger King,” Rubenstein said. Winston Glynn, 30, a former employee of the same Burger King, was charged with Bayron-Nieves’ slaying.

Samantha Martinez, 20, who worked alongside the teen and quit after her death, said the store’s management
ignored pleas for more security and didn’t even fix the lock on a door that lets people get behind the counter.

In Case You Missed It
Holiday hiring in retail dropped 7%

The drop was the largest since 2016, when hiring fell nearly 9.6%.

Transportation and warehousing jobs also fell — but very slightly (less than 1%) — after last year's 67.4% growth, according to Challenger.

"The onslaught of COVID cases, the difficulty parents are having securing child care, the sheer availability of jobs kept many from taking retail roles," Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.

This year retailers hired 684,000 and last year hired 736,300.

Cracker Barrel ordered to pay $4.3 million after serving Tennessee man sanitizer

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Innovation in EAS Tags?

Hear what Kroger is doing.

Think EAS tags can't be innovative? Think again. TalkLP host Amber Bradley welcomes Carlton Hemphill, Senior Retail Operations Manager, at Kroger to talk about how he's working to beat organized retail crime (ORC) and opportunistic shoplifters with this simple, yet effective, innovation.

Need proof? Carlton's got it. Hear him explain his product test, how he did it and what the results yielded. Hear Carlton's six considerations for moving forward with a technology spend to ensure it's beneficial for the organization.

Carlton also talks about how his varied experience in grocery operations, asset protection, and merchandising has helped his career growth.

This episode is sponsored by ALL-TAG. Find more information about the solution Carlton's discusses and more by clicking here.






The Cost of Compliance Regulation - In Top 5 of CFO Concerns

Does U.S. Follow the EU in General Data Protection Regulation?
If so the budgets hopefully will reflect the potential for fines.

EU Privacy Fines: GDPR Sanctions in 2021 Exceeded $1 Billion - Up 552% from 2020

But Sanctions Approach Varies Widely Across 31 Countries Complying With Privacy Law

Privacy regulators in Europe last year imposed known fines totaling more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, bolstered in part by two record-breaking sanctions, according to the law firm DLA Piper.
The amount of fines levied in the 12 months since Jan. 28, 2021, marked a sharp increase (552%) from the 159 million euros ($181 million) in fines seen for the preceding 12 months, according to DLA Piper's latest GDPR and data breach report. Not all of those GDPR violations involved data breaches.

Another increase from 2020 to 2021 was seen in the quantity of breach notifications. Those grew by 8%, with regulators last year receiving notifications for more than 130,000 data breaches, it says.

Top Notifications and Fines

In a repeat from 2020, in 2021, Germany and the Netherlands logged the most breach notifications, according to the report. Last year, they were followed by Poland, the U.K and Denmark.

The countries with the highest individual fines levied since Jan. 28. 2021, were Luxembourg and Ireland.

Luxembourg imposed a fine of 746 million euros ($850 million) against a U.S. online retailer and e-commerce platform, according to the report.

Ireland imposed a fine of 225 million euros ($256 million) on WhatsApp in September 2021 over its alleged failure to disclose to users how their data was being shared with parent company Facebook, which is now known as Meta.

Those two fines currently stand as the largest ever imposed under GDPR.

Editor's Note: Your CFO probably should see this list of fines - as an example of benchmarking and the developing precedent. Rest assured U.S. government regulators will be using this information from a legal perspective. Just a thought. - Gus Downing

FBI Supported Global Take Down of Cybercrime as a Service Operators
Europol: Unhappy New Year for cybercriminals as goes offline

Joint action by 10 countries & Europol sees 15 servers taken down

This week, law enforcement authorities took action against the criminal misuse of VPN services as they targeted the users and infrastructure of The VPN provider’s service, which aimed to offer shielded communications and internet access, were being used in support of serious criminal acts such as ransomware deployment and other cybercrime activities.

On 17 January, disruptive actions took place in a coordinated manner in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, the United States and the United Kingdom. Law enforcement authorities have now seized or disrupted the 15 servers that hosted’s service, rendering it no longer available. Led by the Central Criminal Office of the Hannover Police Department in Germany, the action took place under the EMPACT security framework objective Cybercrime - Attacks Against Information Systems.

A provider of choice for cybercriminals was established in 2008, offering services based on OpenVPN technology and 2048-bit encryption to provide online anonymity for as little as USD 60 per year. The service also provided double VPN, with servers located in many different countries. This made a popular choice for cybercriminals, who could use its services to carry on committing their crimes without fear of detection by authorities.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) provided support for the action day through its Analysis Project ‘CYBORG’, which organised more than 60 coordination meetings and 3 in-person workshops, as well as providing analytical and forensic support.

FBI Public Service Announcement
Cybercriminals Tampering with QR Codes to Steal Victim Funds
The FBI is issuing this announcement to raise awareness of malicious Quick Response (QR) codes. Cybercriminals are tampering with QR codes to redirect victims to malicious sites that steal login and financial information.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this technology by directing QR code scans to malicious sites to steal victim data, embedding malware to gain access to the victim's device, and redirecting payment for cybercriminal use









Scam Emails from Amazon
Amazon scams are up 500% — how to spot the red flags
Amazon scam emails that could cost you thousands have skyrocketed by 500 percent since last year — so how can you look out for them? The online retailing giant’s popularity has made it a prime target for fraudsters and internet cons trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

As Amazon’s security improves, so does the sophistication of the scammers — but there are some red flags that can help you spot them. The latest scheme involves an official-looking email from “Amazon” being sent out to customers of fake receipts or shipping confirmations for an order that you never placed.

Users may then click on the link to find out more about their supposed order — making you believe you have to update your account details. A similar trick notifies users there is a “problem” with your Amazon account or payment method — again tricking victims into resubmitting their personal information to try to fix the issue.

But innocently calling the “helpline” or clicking on the link is actually part of the plan to fool you into handing over your personal details.

So, if you’re doubting the suspicious-looking email you just received, these three simple checks can help you determine its authenticity. Looking out for suspicious language or grammatical and spelling errors is an easy way to see if the message is legit, as a genuine Amazon inquiry would not have any.

If the email asks you to “click here” to verify your details or payment method, don’t. Amazon will never ask users to take these actions via email and this will likely be a scam.

COVID-Infected Amazon Workers
Amazon worker says he received daily texts about losing paid time off while he was sick with COVID-19

The texts told him the shifts he was missing were being deducted from his allotted paid time off.

Amazon's automated HR systems led to at least one worker being pestered with messages while he was off sick with COVID-19, NBC reports.

Illinois Amazon warehouse worker Drew Duzinskas told NBC he tested positive for COVID-19 over the holidays. He said he notified Amazon, but that for days afterwards he received automated texts from the company telling him his balance of paid time off was going down because he was missing shifts.

Amazon cut the amount of paid time off workers get when off sick with COVID-19 from ten to seven days last week, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Amazon workers also told NBC they have struggled to obtain COVID-19 tests since the company stopped onsite testing in July, combined with the onset of the omicron variant.

Other workers told NBC they had difficulty getting through to HR, and a contract worker who works on Amazon's COVID-19 employee hotline said the number of calls have become overwhelming. "At one point, we had 1,700 calls holding," the contractor told NBC.

Walmart adds IoT delivery box, dietary needs app to e-commerce toolkit









Global Organized Retail Crime
Europol: 24 arrested for smuggling migrants, drugs and stolen goods across the Mediterranean

The suspects smuggled goods and people in and out of Europe and exploited every opportunity to maximise profits

Officers from the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), supported by Europol, dismantled an organised crime group involved in property crime, facilitation of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Results from the action day on 14 December 2021:

9 house searches,
24 arrests in Spain,
Seizures include: 4 vehicles, 3.5 kg of ecstasy pills (around 6 500 pills) valued at about €152 600, 56 grams of phencyclidine, 710 boxes of smuggled tobacco, stolen goods (61 mobile devices, competition bikes, electric scooters), electronic equipment, documents and about €40 000 in cash.

Smuggling and trafficking goods and people to both Europe and the Middle East

The network was involved in other criminal activities including trafficking of synthetic drugs, property crime, tobacco smuggling and trafficking of documents. On the first action day, investigators found a warehouse that was being used by the suspects. Inside the warehouse, they discovered a large number of stolen items that were being prepared to be smuggled to Algeria. The warehouse was sealed off as a result of the action.

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organised crime forms. Europol also works with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

St Louis, MO: Secret Service: St. Louis gang tied to $1 million in motorcycle thefts around U.S.
Six men arrested by Evansville, Indiana Police last May for breaking into a Harley-Davidson shop there were linked Tuesday to what the United States Secret Service says was a St. Louis-based ‘biker gang’ that has been responsible for more than $1 million in stolen motorcycles and other property dating back to 2019.

FOX2’s sister station WEHT in Evansville reports that the men were seen running from Bud’s Harley-Davidson not long after the store’s security system confirmed that glass had been broken there on May 31. That came just three days after WKRN in Nashville, also a FOX2 sister station reported that three bikes were stolen from a Harley-Davidson store in Clarksville, TN, with thieves ramming one of the bikes through the front door to break it down. While it is unclear if the same suspects are responsible for all of the cases, authorities do tell WEHT that they are related, along with cases in Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.

San Francisco, CA: Man arraigned for 2 group burglaries totaling $200K at Bay Area high-end sneaker store
A man who prosecutors say was part of a group burglary at a high-end sneaker store, not once, but twice last year was arraigned in Santa Clara on Tuesday. The Santa Clara District Attorney says 19-year-old Gregory Jefferson was one of the dozens of people who broke into the Fix Kicks store in the Santa Clara Town Center twice last November. Police arrested Jefferson at his home in Pittsburg and found 30 boxes of sneakers, hangers with the store's name on them, and a ghost gun. Investigators say nearly $200,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from "Fix Kicks," which was forced to close its brick and mortar location and move all sales to online.

Studio City, CA: $ 70,000 Smash-and-Grab Burglary at Lululemon Store
A smash-and-grab burglary at a Lululemon store in Studio City led the California Highway Patrol into a pursuit out of Southern California on the 5 Freeway. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, two men and two women took approximately $70,000 worth of merchandise from the store in the 12100 block of Ventura Boulevard. They took off from the store around 11:20 a.m., observed by undercover units, according to the CHP. The LAPD tracked the vehicle, and the CHP picked up the pursuit on the northbound 5 Freeway, near Six Flags Magic Mountain. The chase continued north toward Bakersfield, and the last known location of the car was on the 5 Freeway near Smokey Bear Road.

Utica, NY: Habitual Walmart shoplifter arrested for Grand Larceny
The Utica Police Department is reporting that man from Utica has been arrested for allegedly attempting to leave Walmart with over $1,000 worth of stolen merchandise. On Friday, January 14th, a member of Walmart’s Loss Prevention Associates informed a UPD Patrol Division unit who was already on the site investigating a separate larceny complaint, of a suspicious man who was allegedly concealing “high-value” items in their cart and “covering them with other items.” The man, who would later be identified as 47-year-old James Jackson of Utica, was then allegedly meeting up with another person, retrieving their cart as well, and then exiting the building without paying for any items. As Jackson was leaving the store, the UPD officer was waiting outside and took him into custody without incident. The value of the stolen merchandise was totaled at $1,100. It was also learned that Jackson had already been arrested multiple times in the past for shoplifting from Walmart.

Allen Park, MI: Shoplifters work together to steal more than $1,000 of clothes

Brooklyn, OH: Stealing more than $959 in fixtures, light thief hits Lowe's







Shootings & Deaths

Philadelphia, PA: Man gunned down while inside store; at least 14 shots fired
Philadelphia police are searching for the suspect who killed a man inside of a business on Tuesday night. It happened just before 7 p.m. on the 2100 block of 72nd Avenue in West Oak Lane. According to investigators, a 30-year-old man was violently gunned down by a suspect who entered the convenience store. "Clearly this 30-year-old victim was the intended target," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. Authorities said security cameras inside and outside of the business provided investigators with a good look at the gunman. Police said he appeared to be wearing a Nike hooded sweatshirt, track pants and Nike sneakers. At least 14 shots were fired inside the store.

Detroit, MI: Detroit Police seek tips on man who fatally shot man during store robbery
Police are asking the public for help to identify the man who shot and killed another man Monday during a robbery at a store on the city's west side. The shooting happened at about 9:15 p.m. at a store in the 20400 block of James Couzens Freeway near Greenfield and Eight Mile, according to authorities. Investigators said the man entered the store and tried to buy some alcohol. As another man, 64, opened a door to exit the area behind the cash register, the customer produced a gun and fired it at the victim, fatally wounding him, officials said. The shooter then pointed the gun at another man who was still near the registers and demanded he open the cash drawers. The victim complied, police said.

Warner Robbin, GA: Dollar store Clerk shot and killed during armed robbery
A 43-year-old woman was shot and killed Jan. 18 at the J&J Dollar Store, also known as Knodishall Gift Shop, on Knodishall Drive in Warner Robins. According to the Houston County Sheriff's Office, three men with guns entered the store and began robbing the clerks and a patron shortly after midnight. Several people were in the store at the time. During the robbery, one of the men hit Sabrina Renee Dollar on the top of her head and shot her in the chest. All of the men were wearing dark clothing and full masks during the robbery. They ran away from the store with an undisclosed amount of cash. Dollar was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced deceased.

Wilmington, DE: Shopping center businesses react to triple homicide
In the moments following Saturday's fatal shooting, Christine Brigham, manager at Lovey’s Organic Market & Cafe, said shoppers and employees in the Landfall Shopping Center in Wilmington stood in the parking lot, watching as law enforcement arrived on scene. Through the store's glass door, Brigham said, she could see shattered windows of the car where the shooting took place. Before law enforcement arrived, Brigham said she walked close enough to the car to see two women dead in the front seat. While many bystanders were "disappointed and curious," Brigham said she was "surprised." “You know, like, ‘Really? Something like this is happening here?’” Brigham said. “You just wonder what in the world would drive somebody to do that.” Hampstead resident Wilbert Robinson, 40, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle after he allegedly shot and killed three of his family members in the parking lot of the shopping center, located off Military Cutoff Road, on Saturday afternoon.

Butler County, PA: Three Injured, One Airlifted From Scene Of Mall Shooting In PA
Three people were injured in a shooting at a mall in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, according to a release by Pennsylvania State Police. Crews were called to a report of multiple shots fired during an altercation in the parking lot of the Rural King store at Clearview Mall in Center Township, Butler County, around 6 p.m., according to the release by state police. One person was flown by medical helicopter, according to emergency dispatchers. All three victims sustained minor injuries, according to the release. The victims were identified as Damian Bluestone, 19,; Ryan Erhman, 21, and a juvenile male, police stated in the release. Carlos Gonzalez Carril, 24, of Butler County is sought by police as the prime suspect in this incident, according to the release. The shooting is being investigated as "criminal attempt homicide," as stated in the release.

Oak Brook police step up patrols around Oakbrook Center after shooting, retail thefts
Oak Brook police are stepping up security in light of several recent crimes at Oakbrook Center Mall. A shooting near Nordstrom injured innocent shoppers around Christmas. And thieves have made their way into two high end stores and have gotten away with expensive merchandise. Oak Brook Police Sergeant Reid Foltyniewicz joined ABC7 Tuesday morning to talk about the crime concerns. Sergeant Foltyniewicz talked about if they will continue to keep extra officers at the mall and if any of the stores go through safety training with the department.

Dallas, TX: Police Searching For Gas Station Robbery Suspect Who Shot Clerk In Stomach


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Jose, CA: Criminals smash 6 SJ storefronts in 90-minute spree targeting ATMs
The search is on for a group of criminals who caused tens-of-thousands of dollars' worth of damage to six small businesses across San Jose. The San Jose Police Department (SJPD) believe the suspects were trying to steal ATMs. Surveillance footage from early Tuesday morning shows one man, seemingly casing the outside of Branham Wine and Liquor in south San Jose. Seconds later, the video shows a sedan ramming through the storefront. "They hit with the car and break the two windows," owner Jimmy Singh told ABC7 News. "They took the ATM machine." Singh is just one of several small business owners across the city whose storefronts were smashed in the early morning, 90-minute crime spree on Tuesday.

Tragic life of one of UK's most prolific shoplifters laid bare in prison documentary
The tragic life of one of the UK's most prolific shoplifters has been revealed in a TV documentary. Liverpool-born Janine Clough's criminal record for someone her age has been described as staggering. She has clocked up 71 convictions for 239 offences by her current age of 43. Most recently she was arrested after stealing a trolley full of meat and slashing the manager of a Lidl supermarket with a broken coffee jar in the Kensington area of Liverpool, reports The Liverpool Echo. This week Clough described as a violent drug addict, was jailed for two years and 11 months at Liverpool Crown Court - over the shocking attack at the store.

The court heard how she had been breaking the law since she was just 11-years-old in the late 1980s. Clough was even banned from Liverpool city centre, for threatening a security guard with a used syringe and spitting in the face of staff at Boots. However, a very different side to the career criminal was shown on Channel Four documentary Prison.

The series featured women, including Clough, serving time at HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire - giving a stark insight into their tough background. First airing in January 2020, the second episode focused on the fact that half of the 300 women in the jail were dealing with the long term effects of past emotional, physical or sexual abuse, and how a new inmate-led therapy group was seeking to help them. The focus of the episode was Clough's tragic story - who in between playing the class clown and joking about there not being enough drugs in prison - ended up confronting her brutal history as a sex worker and drug addict. In a therapy course called Healing Trauma, Clough described her horrific childhood trauma and life as a prostitute.

Los Angeles County, CA: Suspected Armed Robbery Gang Terrorizes Southeast L.A.

Vermont: Todd Bussino Imprisoned Following Guilty Plea To Convenience Store Robbery
Southington, CT: Teens fleeing shoplifting crashed into Southington home




C-Store – Detroit, MI – Armed Robbery / employee killed
C-Store – San Jose, CA – Burglary
C-Store – Evesham, NJ - Burglary
C-Store – Long Beach CA – Armed Robbery
C-Store Long Beach, CA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Pittsburgh, PA – Robbery
C-Store – Colchester, VT – Robbery
C-Store – Wentworth, ME – Robbery
Dollar – Warner Robbins, GA – Armed Robbery / employee killed
Family Dollar – Huntington, WV – Armed Robbery
Gas Station – Dallas, TX – Armed Robbery / Shooting
Guns – Middletown, OH – Burglary
Jewelry – Stamford, CT – Robbery
Jewelry – Sunrise, FL – Robbery
Jewelry – Palm Coast, Fl – Robbery
Jewelry – Myrtle Beach, SC – Robbery
Liquor – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Liquor – Bend, OR – Robbery
Liquor – Brookfield, IL – Armed Robbery
Liquor – San Jose, CA – Burglary
Lululemon - Studio City, CA – Robbery
Marijuana – Seattle, WA – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Baltimore, MD – Burglary
Restaurant – Baltimore, MD – Burglary
Restaurant – Baltimore, MD – Burglary
Vape – Rock Island, IL – Armed Robbery
7-Eleven – Rowan County, NC – Armed Robbery
7-Eleven – Suffolk County, NY – Armed Robbery                                                                                                

Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 3 shootings
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map






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Loyalty is one of the most precious values there is and a loyal team that's unified in its goals and objectives, even in defeat, is strong and supportive. Loyal teams can make the largest tasks seem effortless and they create a sense of ownership of family that inspires individual performance and comforts individual failure. Earned slowly and grown daily, loyalty is a commodity no leader can be without because it fuels success, unifies purpose, and gives birth to exceptional performance. Without loyalty, teams splinter and lose focus on the true objectives. It's rare to build a truly loyal team and it's incredibly difficult to keep them together long term with private agendas always pressuring the balance. And yes, even loyal teams require balancing because at the end of the day it's always about personal agendas. Professional sports teams are constantly looking for that balance and the right players to fit as a team and the same holds true in business. With the right team, anything is possible and conversely one team member can destroy the entire balance. So being a team player is important even when you decide not to be.

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