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Mike Limauro, LPC promoted to Vice President, Global Asset Protection for Whole Foods Market
Mike has been with Whole Foods Market for more than three years, starting with the company in 2017. Before his promotion to Vice President, Global AP, he served as Senior Director of AP. Prior to Whole Foods, Mike spent over a year with Alchemy Systems as VP - AP, Risk & Safety Programs. Earlier in his career, he served as VP of AP for Weis Markets and Dir. of LP for SUPERVALU. Congratulations, Mike!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   

Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position




Violence, Crime & Protests

'Growing Drug Epidemic' Fueling Retail Crime in SF
Increase in San Francisco Crime Indicative of Growing Drug Epidemic, Claims Former Security Guard and Addict
The recent announcement of Target store hours being shortened in the Bay Area was met with annoyance by customers, and there are complaints of being inconvenienced by the schedule shifting that now required them to grab groceries and other necessities.

However, what was unknown is the changes are
Target’s way of desperately trying to mitigate the rise in shoplifting incidents that occur in their stores. Other stores in downtown San Francisco have also experienced an uptick in shoplifting, spurring increases in their security measures across the Bay Area.

The reason for this increase in crime?
Former Target security guard, Rafael Gutierrez, attributes it to individuals who are suffering from addiction or homelessness.

current drug epidemic in San Francisco has fueled the spike in shoplifting as an easy way to make money, said Gutierrez, who has overcome addiction himself and feels sorry for those who have resorted to committing theft. He feels that the city made it too easy to steal.

“Changing the times didn’t do anything but affect us and the customers, who are upset about it, and the shoplifters still get what they want every day,” Gutierrez said.
“At 9 o’clock, they’re waiting for us to open.”

While shoplifting is usually a non-violent crime, more and more of these instances have resulted in dangerous situations, he said.
After 52 days of working at Target, Gutierrez resigned from his job, citing unsafe working conditions.

This unfortunate scenario is not the responsibility of District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. Instead, said the former security guard, it is a clear sign that
more resources should be made available for those in the community fighting addiction, some of whom may also be homeless.

Philadelphia's Grim Milestone: 300+ Homicides So Far in 2021
Philadephia shooting: 1-year-old shot in c-store as crime skyrockets

120 children have been shot in Philly since start of the year resulting in 21 deaths

Video footage caught the moment a 1-year-old girl was shot in a Philadelphia convenience store as shootings escalate in the city. T
he shooting unfolded Saturday in a West Philadelphia convenience store, with surveillance footage showing gunfire coming from both inside and outside of the store.

The girl is expected to survive the injury, and
bullet holes are still visible at the store. Choudary said the shooting left her fearful for her safety in the city.

The crime comes as homicides in the City of Brotherly Love soar this year, with
304 murders logged and more than 1,200 people shot. At least three dozen people were shot in Philadelphia over the weekend, including three fatally.

Earlier this month,
Philadelphia broke a decade-long record for passing the grim 300-homicide milestone this early in a year. Additionally, more than 120 children have been shot in the city since the start of the year, 6 ABC’s Action News Data Journalism Team reported, with 21 of them dying.

Shootings and other violent crimes have also escalated in other cities across the nation, including in Chicago, where the
number of shooting victims increased 70% in March alone when compared to March 2020.

'Unprecedented Number of Guns on the Streets'
Alabama's biggest city has a growing gun -- and homicide -- problem
In Birmingham, though, it isn't an unheard of situation. In 2020, Alabama's largest city saw the most homicides in 25 years, with 122 people reported killed, and murders are up 16% so far this year over the same time last year, according to police data.

And Birmingham isn't alone. Major American cities saw a 33% increase in homicides last year in what police chiefs, including Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith, called a "perfect storm" -- the civil unrest that followed George Floyd's death, the economic shutdown and other disruptions -- including to the judicial system -- caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Birmingham police said a gun is almost always involved in homicides, and law enforcement is dealing with an unprecedented number of guns on the streets.

"It's so easy to get a gun," said Birmingham Officer Truman Fitzgerald -- easier than getting a cell phone, he said.

Smith said his officers are dealing not just with an overabundance of guns, but of high-powered assault weapons on the street that are contributing to the rise in homicides in the city.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, Alabama has the third-highest rate of gun homicides and gun violence in the nation, and an analysis of homicides in Birmingham found the city had the second-highest rate of homicides per capita behind St. Louis, Missouri.

Businesses Shut Down Early & Beef Up Security As Violence Spikes
‘We’ve got a scary situation in our city’; Violence causing more Fort Wayne bars to close early
An overnight shooting is prompting another Fort Wayne bar to close earlier. Police say no one was injured at the Latch String Bar and Grill last night after a shooting in the parking lot.

The co-founder of the group Justice, Accountability and Victim's Advocacy (JAVA) Stacey Davis says she’s seen an increase in violence since the bars re-opened after the pandemic. Davis says she lives near the Latch String and heard about eight gunshots Monday night.

Davis says she noticed the bar hired security and there have been officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department monitoring the area after crowds have gotten larger.

The owner of Pedal City talked with ABC21 and said they are closing at midnight from now on because of this violence. Management with the Latch String told ABC21 off camera they will be closing at midnight now as well.

"Bars are struggling. COVID shut down a lot of them and the ones that are still open, these people are causing them to lose more revenue,” Davis said. "It’s a community problem. It’s going to take the community coming together to solve it.”

Unarmed Crisis Response Teams Instead of Police

Lynn will set up an unarmed crisis-response team, a $500,000 service to respond to mental health calls instead of police
Lynn city officials have approved a budget that will
allocate $500,000 for an unarmed crisis-response team that would support people during mental health emergencies.

The funding comes after more than a year of talks between the mayor’s office and the Lynn Racial Justice Coalition, according to the Boston Globe. A pilot program is set to begin at the start of next year.

“Those who are going through a mental health crisis, that are homeless, they need extra help. But
because of the color of their skin, they’re automatically looked at and addressed differently,” said Adriana Paz, president of Prevent the Cycle, a criminal justice advocacy group that is part of the coalition. “The purpose is to provide a behavioral health response to 911 calls when there’s not a worry of either a medical emergency or . . . of injury to self or others.”

People with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians, according to Brookings, causing the researchers to ask if the police should be involved in these incidents.

In another greater Boston community,
Cambridge City Council approved a plan to create a “holistic‌ ‌emergency alternative response ‌team” for mental health crises, according to the Globe.

Philadelphia Mayor Kenney To Address Surge In Gun Violence Across City

As Baltimore sees surging violence, could we learn from other city's actions

Lakewood, WA: Police increase presence at city events to deter crime, violence

COVID Update

338.4M Vaccinations Given

US: 35M Cases - 625.3K Dead - 29.4M Recovered
Worldwide: 192.3M Cases - 4.1M Dead - 175M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 285  
Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 318

*Red indicates change in total deaths

Time for a COVID Reset?
More than 91 million live in US counties with high Covid infections
With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading, particularly among unvaccinated Americans,
it may be time to hit the "reset button" on pandemic response and for much of the country to put masks back on, an expert said.

Wen, a CNN medical analyst, said
there are two exceptions to the occasions she thinks people should be wearing masks indoors in public: when everyone is vaccinated and has provided proof or if there is a very high level of community vaccination.

mask mandates would be in place while leaders move toward methods of proving vaccination status to boost vaccination rates, said Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

But about 28% of the US population, or
more than 91 million people, lives in a county considered to have "high" Covid-19 transmission, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1st Major Corp. to Delay Return-to-Work Plans Due to Delta Surge
Apple delays its return to office as the Delta variant surges
pushed back its return-to-office plans by at least a month in response to the recent surge in coronavirus cases, which has been fueled by the spread of the Delta variant.

The company told employees on Monday that
they are now expected to return to the office as early as Oct. 1 instead of early September. The company said that the date could shift further depending on the spread of the virus, and that it would give employees at least a month’s notice before they are expected to return, according to an email Apple sent to employees, which was viewed by The New York Times.

“As the situation continues to evolve, we’re committed to the same measured approach that we have taken all along,” the email said.

Some employees, such as those who build hardware, have already returned to Apple’s offices. At the beginning of the pandemic,
Apple closed many of its retail stores, but those have since reopened. Apple’s return-to-work policies apply to all of its offices, including those in California, Texas and New York.

Apple declined to comment further.
The company had 147,000 full-time employees as of September. Bloomberg earlier reported the changed return-to-office date.

Like many companies, Apple has delayed its employees’ return date several times, but it is
one of the first major corporations to respond to the Delta variant spread.

LA Stores Wary of Enforcing Restored Mask Rules
Wary and Weary, Los Angeles Largely Accepts Restored Mask Mandate
It was not what people expected when the previous mandate was lifted a month ago, but
for the most part people in Los Angeles seemed to react with resigned acceptance, sometimes even weary approval, figuring that rising Covid-19 rates made the policy tolerable, if not welcome.

The decision was
greeted cautiously by some store and restaurant employees, wary of going back to having to enforce the policies with mask-resistant customers. Still, some seemed prepared to do it.

Anna Ituh, 50, said that her
bosses at a local retail store had instructed her to ask customers to put on a mask when they entered, but that she wasn’t allowed to insist that they do so. Still, she described one confrontation in which she asked a customer to leave the store.

The indoor
mask mandate for all people regardless of vaccination status took effect at midnight on Saturday, making Los Angeles County the first major county in the United States to reinstate such a requirement. The policy expands beyond the current state standard and the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; both require masks for unvaccinated people but not for those who are fully vaccinated.

Indoor Mask Mandates Make a Comeback in California
Six more Calif. counties ask people to wear masks indoors as variant rages
Six more California counties are urging residents to wear masks in indoor public settings amid concerning upticks in coronavirus cases and continued circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The latest recommendations from
Santa Barbara, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Ventura raise to 17 the number of counties now asking even fully vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings as a precaution while inside places like grocery stores, movie theaters and retail outlets.

So far, only one — Los Angeles County — has gone a step further and mandated that masks be worn in such settings. The city of Pasadena, which has its own independent health department, said it would do likewise later this week.

The new round of advisories means that roughly
56% of Californians live in a county that either recommends or requires indoor masking for all individuals, including those vaccinated for COVID-19.

And, if infections continue to climb,
that tally seems likely to grow in the days and weeks ahead.

Retail COVID Policy Reversal
Costco makes change to COVID policy as cases rise

Costco plans to keep offering an hour of shopping two days per week for seniors, people with disabilities and the immunocompromised.

Costco is reversing course on a plan to cut hours specifically for seniors and other groups to shop its warehouse stores as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem and multiple states report a rise in cases.

The membership
retail chain was planning to remove the hours aimed at seniors, those with disabilities and the immunocompromised. But an update posted Monday on its website said its warehouses will be open from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday for those members, effective this coming Monday, July 26.

Costco says
it will continue to follow face mask regulations that are set up by state and local jurisdictions. In much of the country, mask mandates have been dropped for fully vaccinated people, although there have been few reports of businesses requiring customers to prove it.

Another Variant Emerging?
The beta Covid variant is causing concerns in Europe. Should we be worried?

There are quiet concerns in parts of Europe about the Covid beta variant, which was discovered in South Africa.

While the world is busy tackling further Covid-19 waves caused by the highly infectious delta variant,
there are growing concerns in parts of Europe about the beta variant discovered in South Africa.

Unlike those other “variants of concern,”
the beta variant emerged around the same time as alpha did but failed to take off in the same way, being largely confined to South Africa and its surrounding countries where it was detected last fall.

Nonetheless, there have been cases detected all around the world. The World Health Organization’s latest weekly report on Tuesday showed that
beta has been detected in 130 countries and seven new countries in the last week.

More infectious Delta variant makes up 83% of new US coronavirus cases

Texas hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID-19 variant

U.S. Life Expectancy Fell By 1.5 Years In 2020 Due to Pandemic

Louis Vuitton Hit with Lawsuit Over 'Wage, Labor Abuses'
Louis Vuitton’s California Distribution Center at the Heart of New Suit Over Alleged Wage, Labor Abuses
The operations of Louis Vuitton’s distribution center in Ontario, California are at the center of a newly-filed lawsuit, one in which
a former employee claims that he – and hundreds of others –engaged in work-related tasks off-the-clock, such as pre-shift temperature checks, and pre- and post-shift security checks, but were not compensated for the time required to do so. As a result, Troy Crossley asserts in the complaint that he filed in a federal court in California last week, staffing agency Manpower U.S. and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel are on the hook for violating the various labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint that he filed on July 16, as first reported by Bloomberg, Crossley claims that he was formerly employed by Manpower U.S. and Kuehne + Nagel at Louis Vuitton’s distribution center in California as
a non-exempt hourly factory worker. After being hired by Manpower U.S., which is contracted by Kuehne + Nagel for staffing purposes, Crossley alleges that he was responsible for “picking and receiving orders … under the supervision of Kuehne + Nagel, Inc.’s employees, who operate the Distribution Center.”

In requiring the center’s employees to engage in these tasks, which are p
erformed in “pre-shift [and] post-shift” capacities, and “outside of scheduled hours,” and failing to compensate them for “all of the time that they spend working for [the defendants’] benefit,” Crossley claims that the defendants engaged in “unlawful patterns and practices of failing to meet the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act [and] the California Labor Code,” among other federal and state laws.

Hiring Prisoners Instead of Raising Wages
Some companies are using prison labor amid claims of a worker shortage

Critics say this exploits prisoners and is a workaround for companies to avoid raising wages.

Some companies have
turned to prison labor to fill perceived worker shortages, The Guardian reported. Examples include candy manufacturer Russell Stover, which operates in Kansas, along with restaurants in Texas, Michigan, Delaware, and Ohio.

Though this may be an economical solution for companies,
critics say prison work release programs are exploitative, as prisoners are typically paid less than non-incarcerated workers and are denied benefits and paid time off.

The Guardian reported that during a waste management industry conference,
company leaders suggested using prisoners to fill positions that companies had struggled to find applicants for.

"The talk about immigrant labor, prison labor, it's all about exploitation, nothing else," Chuck Stiles, director of the Teamsters solid waste and recycling division, told the Guardian. "There is no driver shortage.
There is a huge wage and benefits shortage that these waste companies refuse to give up anything on the bottom line."

Hiring people "who are at their lowest in life and then throwing them crumbs is despicable," Parks told The Guardian.

In the early days of the pandemic,
many states used prison labor to manufacture safety essentials that were in short supply, like sanitizer and face masks, Business Insider reported. At the time, state prison industries paid inmates an average of 33 cents an hour.

Retail Wage War Remains Hot
Low-Wage Workers Now Have Options, Which Could Mean a Raise

The sharp rebound in hiring, especially in service industries, is widening opportunities and prompting employers to compete on pay.

Restaurant workers — burger flippers and bussers, cooks and waiters — have emerged from the pandemic recession to find themselves in a position they could not have imagined a couple of years ago: They have options. They can afford to wait for a better deal.

That’s not all:
The jobs that waiters and waitresses typically transition to — as bartenders, hosts and hostesses, chefs and food preparation workers — are booming, too.

Something similar is happening all along the least-paid end of the labor market. Many employers have blamed expanded unemployment benefits for their troubles in filling gaping job vacancies. But the sharp rebound in hiring — clustered in urban service industries — is creating bottlenecks in sets of occupations that are
improving prospects across much of the nation’s low-wage labor force.

And some of the changes brought about by the pandemic might create new transition opportunities that are not yet seen in the data.
The accelerated shift to online shopping may be a dire development for retail workers, but it will probably fuel demand for warehouse workers and delivery truck drivers.

Retailers Feeling the Labor Shortage
Labor shortage pressures grocers to take a hard look at worker benefits

Companies are offering hefty signing bonuses, but they also need to examine scheduling flexibility, advancement opportunities and other incentives

The culprit isn't pandemic restrictions, but rather the labor shortage that's frustrating retailers across the U.S.

The current worker shortage,
driven nationwide by a host of factors including childcare concerns and competition from reopening restaurants, continues a staffing challenge that stretches back years for Metcalfe's. Fewer people have been looking for work, and the increased benefits during the pandemic from the federal and local governments have encouraged unemployment, Metcalfe said.

Like Metcalfe's, grocers nationwide have rolled out
sign-on bonuses of as much as $1,500 — a staggeringly high incentive for what in many cases are entry-level positions.

Throwing money at the problem, however, offers limited ability to stand out in a labor market where fast-food restaurants, department stores and other sectors are all offering similar enticements, experts say.

pushing grocers to take a closer look at the unique culture and benefits they offer.

Victoria’s Secret to test ‘store of future,’ updating existing stores
The lingerie brand
plans to test a “store of the future” at three locations later this fall, reported CNBC. One of the stores be in a strip center, a different strategy for the mall-based retailer.

The new stores will be followed by
another 10 test locations in 2022, the majority of which will be off-mall.

Target opening 100 Ulta mini shops this August, with 700 more planned

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FBI Issues Warning
FBI Asks Security Leaders to Prepare for Cyberattacks Ahead of Olympics

Officials warn of the potential for disruptive cyberattacks against organizations and people associated with the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The FBI is keeping an eye on
the potential for cyberattacks that aim to cause problems for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

FBI officials issued a warning this week, in which they note "
cyber actors who wish to disrupt the event could use distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware, social engineering, phishing campaigns, or insider threats to block or disrupt live broadcasts of the event, steal and possibly hack and leak or hold hostage sensitive data, or impact public or private digital infrastructure supporting the Olympics."

Cybercrime targeted at Olympic-related events and people is not new. In 2018, the FBI indicted Russian criminals in connection with an incident that disrupted the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Attackers also targeted South Korean citizens and officials, Olympic athletes, partners, visitors, and International Olympic Committee officials with phishing campaigns and malicious mobile applications during the 2018 event.

The FBI to date says it is not aware of any specific cyber threat against the upcoming Olympics, but it urges awareness and vigilance. It recommends
reviewing or establishing security policies, user agreements, and patching plans to address threats.

'Ransomware Defenses Are Failing'
Despite good defensive measures, ransomware continues to get in
Traditional ransomware defenses are failing, with
54% of all victims having anti-phishing training and 49% having perimeter defenses in place at the time of attack, according to a Claudian survey of 200 IT decision makers whose organizations experienced a ransomware attack between 2019 and 2021.

Citing this and other findings from the survey—including the widespread impact of the attacks and the
average financial costs totaling over $400,000—the report calls for organizations to focus greater attention on putting systems in place that enable quick data recovery in the event of an attack, without paying ransom.

Many organizations
spend large portions of their cybersecurity budget on defensive measures such as anti-malware software and anti-phishing training for employees. Despite these efforts, however, ransomware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, enabling cybercriminals to penetrate the defenses. The survey found that:

Phishing continues to be one of the easiest paths for ransomware, with 24% of ransomware attacks starting this way.

Phishing succeeded despite the fact that 54% of all respondents and 65% of those that reported it as the entry point had conducted anti-phishing training for employees.

49% of respondents had perimeter defenses in place prior to the successful attack.

Public cloud was the most common point of entry for ransomware, with 31% of respondents being attacked this way.

Remote Work Impact: 'Old Rules No Longer Apply'
How long-term hybrid work is changing security strategies

CISOs across industries are revisiting the stopgap security tools and the temporary policies they enacted to quickly enable remote work

Pam Nigro wants to know if workers at her company are working odd hours. She wants to know exactly where they are, too, because
such surveillance is one of the strategies Nigro has to keep her company safe.

Nigro says her security tools
must understand and analyze when and where employees work so they can identify unusual access attempts that could indicate an attack.

And her
security program must become increasingly attuned to each employee’s work habits in the years ahead, as widescale hybrid work arrangements remain the norm.

For Nigro, the experience presented new challenges, including
educating workers how to safeguard home internet connections. It also gave her opportunities to accelerate new security initiatives, such as adding analytics capabilities to understand employee patterns and geofencing-based tools to block access originating outside the United States.

Her experience is typical among CISOs, many of whom were unprepared for widescale remote work.

A survey of 2,600 enterprise leaders for the 2021 Thales Data Threat Report supports that assertion.
Only 20% said their security infrastructure was very prepared to deal with the pandemic-induced disruption, including the shift to remote work. Some 82% said they were somewhat or very concerned about the security risks and threats that the increased remote workforce poses. And 44% said they weren’t confident that their access security systems could effectively secure remote work.

Those figures might have been sufficient at first. But
what was conceived as a temporary situation has now become permanent, as organizations plan for an ongoing mix of in-office time and work-from-anywhere options.

CISO & Cybersecurity Biases
8 biases that will kill your security program

CISOs and their security teams often hold cognitive biases that get in the way of making the right risk management and incident response decisions.

Here according to Yu and other security experts are some common biases that security leaders are prone to and need to avoid.

1. Confirmation bias
CISOs can make the mistake of assuming that the threat narrative they are inclined to believe is always the right one. "Confirmation bias is when you favor information that confirms your previously established views or beliefs," says Rick Holland, CISO at Digital Shadows.

2. Bandwagon bias
In an industry where information sharing and comparison with peers on security practices is encouraged, security leaders can sometimes take the safe route and adopt certain approaches just because everyone else around them has adopted it.

3. Hindsight bias
Hindsight may be 20/20, but using it to make assumptions about future cyber risks is dangerous. Yu describes the bias as the illusion of understanding things when you really don't. There's often not much of a way that people would have discovered the problem until it had manifested itself.

4. “They won't let us do that” bias - 5. Anchoring bias - 6. Business language bias - 7. “Developers don't care about security” bias - 8. Blind spot bias

Law Firm for Ford, Pfizer, Exxon Discloses Ransomware Attack

DDoS attacks increased 33% in H1 2021


Register Now for the 2021 RH-ISAC Summit - September 28-29

Hey LP/AP senior: If your retailer is a member you might want to consider attending yourself or sending one of your team members who works with cybersecurity on investigations or e-commerce fraud.

Especially now with the increased ransomware attacks and data beaches and the corresponding increased attention from law enforcement. Cross pollinating and building those relationships could pay off long term. 
Register here





Canada's Biggest Retail Event of the Year
RCC STORE Conference | Fully Virtual | September 13-16, 2021

RCC STORE brings Canada's most influential retail leaders, world-renowned visionaries, and passionate entrepreneurs together to discuss critical topics affecting retail.

Retail Council of Canada has announced the full agenda for the upcoming RCC STORE Conference! From cutting-edge content to convenient online networking capabilities, RCC STORE has everything you need to feel informed, invigorated, and inspired to take on the future of retail.

Virtual events offer many benefits because, let’s face it: physical trade shows didn’t always work. Not having to worry about shipping booth furnishings and placement in a low traffic area are great pay offs for going virtual, especially considering business leaders will still be travelling less into 2022-23 compared to pre-covid levels.  Learn more & register here

COVID Update

Retail Workers in Canada Face Mental Health Challenges
Pandemic Mental Health Crisis Hits the Canadian Retail Industry
As cities and communities in provinces and territories across the country continue with
gradual progress toward a full reopening, retailers and other businesses are busy fine-tuning their environments as they welcome more eager shoppers back into their physical spaces.

However, as those operating within the industry prepare to ramp up their efforts in order to provide the unique and inspiring experiences that brick-and-mortar retail is known for, it’s being suggested in many circles that special attention ought to be paid to the
frontline retail employees who support the execution of those experiences and the ways in which their mental health may have been negatively impacted by the strains and pressures of the pandemic period.

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has
taken its toll on employees working across a variety of industries, including retail frontline workers,” recognizes Katharine Coons, National Workplace Mental Health Specialist at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). “While many were able to quickly shift to a remote work environment virtually overnight, retail remained open which had a profound impact on employee mental health and wellbeing. We still don’t fully understand all the factors that are at play because the retail industry is still being impacted. We’ll have to wait for research to come out as soon as these unique and challenging times pass. The research we’ve seen at the CMHA so far suggests that fears and risk of contracting the virus, job instability and lack of permanent work, uncertainty and the unknown, isolation and customer demands have all played a role in having a negative impact on the mental health of retail frontline workers.”

This factor, along with many others, says Suzanne Sears, President of Luxury Careers Canada and retail staffing expert, are set to precipitate a massive challenge and
potential conflict that retailers will need to overcome quickly if they are going to succeed through to a post-pandemic world.

Prime Day Canceled in Canada
Report: Amazon cancels Prime Day in Canada due to COVID-19 concerns
Canadian consumers
will reportedly not be celebrating their own version of Amazon’s annual omnichannel sales extravaganza this year.

According to Daily Hive, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that Prime Day will not take place in Canada in 2021.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have decided to not move forward with Prime Day in Canada this year while we focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers and selling partners,” the spokesperson told the Daily Hive. Amazon partially closed three Canadian distribution centers in Ontario in May 2021, following positive COVID-19 tests among employees.

The official Amazon Prime Day page on Amazon’s Canadian site displays an animated image with the words “
Prime Day will return” in large, boldface letters.

During 2020, Amazon postponed Prime Day in Canada from July to October due to concerns over COVID-19, as it did in the U.S. The e-tail giant held the 2021 version of Prime Day in the U.S. June 21-22.

The U.S.-Canada Border is Finally Opening
Canada will reopen its border with the U.S. and hopes to allow others in by early September
Canada is poised to
welcome back fully vaccinated travelers, including Americans, after over a year of strict controls at the border.

Beginning on Aug. 9,
citizens and permanent residents of the United States will be allowed to enter Canada as long as they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before travel, federal government officials said on Monday.

Canada then hopes to
allow visitors from other countries beginning on Sept. 7, a date that could change depending on conditions.

Pressure has been building on both sides of the border to reopen, to bolster tourism and allow separated families to reunite (though Canada has already made some exceptions for relatives). The two countries have renewed the closure every month since the border closed to nonessential travel on March 21, 2020. Commercial traffic was never halted.

4th COVID Wave in Canada Will Impact the Unvaccinated
Canada’s 4th COVID wave will be among unvaccinated, with fewer restrictions
A fourth wave of COVID-19 within Canada could be among the unvaccinated, but
it likely won’t be enough to bring back sweeping restrictions previously seen, according to experts.

The next wave … is going to be primarily experienced by unvaccinated people,” University of Toronto epidemiologist Dr. Colin Furness said.

He explained that the
vaccines will work as a “firebreak” to prevent mass spread of the virus and hospitalizations as seen in previous waves, and the severe restrictions placed in response.

spread will likely occur in a more localized manner among the unvaccinated.

Canada surpasses US vaccination rate as country prepares to reopen its borders

Canada set to receive 7.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week

Canadian Companies Impacted by Cyberattacks
Cybersecurity insurance rates likely to rise amid escalating ransomware attacks
Companies looking to purchase insurance against cyberattacks in which their data is held for ransom will soon find it
more expensive and difficult to obtain, a cybersecurity expert says.

Brent Arnold, a partner at law firm Gowlings WLG in Toronto, says the U.S. insurance industry has already tightened its requirements for providing coverage for criminal ransomware attacks.

The cyber insurance industry has become a prime target for criminals seeking its customers’ identities and scope of coverage. Knowing what victims can afford to pay can give them an edge in ransom negotiations.

Arnold says he hasn’t seen any examples of
Canadian insurance companies that have been hit by cyber attacks, but he expects higher rates and stricter conditions for clients who want cyber insurance, following a trend that’s already emerged in the United States.

An index from the Marsh McLennan insurance group registered
a 35 per cent year-over-year increase in U.S. rates in the first quarter of this year, following a 17 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Digital Fraud Rising in Canada
Digital fraud on the rise as online shopping & banking increases
According to credit reporting agency TransUnion,
as more consumers do their banking and financial transactions online, fraudsters are also ramping up their efforts.

Comparing the last four months of 2020 to the first four months of 2021, the company said it found the percentage of suspected digital fraud attempts in financial services
coming from Canada increased 218%. Globally, the rate of financial services fraud attempts increased 149%.

Across industries, the rate of suspected digital
fraud attempts globally rose 24% when comparing the first four months of 2021 with the last four months of 2020. The percentage of suspected digital fraud attempts coming from Canada increased 23% during the same time period.

Hudson’s Bay Turns Canada Store Into COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Winnipeg Retail Vacancies Drop to Lowest in Decade

Ren’s Pets Expanding in Canada with Multiple Store Openings

Mall Parking Lot Shooting
Montreal police investigate overnight shooting in West Island
Montreal police are investigating an
overnight shooting in a Pointe-Claire shopping mall parking lot. At around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, a 911 call alerted police to a shooting in the Fairview Pointe-Claire parking lot.

According to witnesses,
the suspect’s vehicle approached another car and opened fire. Both vehicles then fled the scene. A parked car near the attack sustained damages after being hit by the car being shot at, said SPVM spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils.

Police found one bullet casing on the ground and are continuing to interview witnesses.
There were no reported injuries and no suspects have been identified.

$27,000 Grocery Store Burglary
Marystown grocery store break-in was an inside job, judge says as he sentences woman for her role
A Marystown-area woman has been sentenced to house arrest for her role in a break-in at the grocery store where she worked.

Police arrived at the store when the security alarm sounded just after 5 a.m. last Oct. 24, finding the door had been kicked in and a safe, which had held
about $27,500 in cash, was open and empty. Surveillance footage revealed the theft was an inside job, since the thief had been captured using the safe’s six-digit code to open it.

Terri Mayo was soon suspected, as
she had been overhead complaining about being short of cash and had also been captured by surveillance cameras in the days leading up to the break-in, taking pictures of the safe.

London, ON: Trio charged in alleged armed robbery at downtown c-store
Three London men are facing multiple charges after police allege
a convenience store on Richmond Street in the downtown core was robbed Monday morning by three men wearing face masks. It happened around 6:24 a.m. at a store in the 300-block of Richmond Street, police said. The three demanded cash and merchandise, and one of the suspect allegedly threatened an employee with a hammer, police said.

Two men wanted in a robbery and kidnapping in Scarborough

London, Ont., man charged after c-store robbery, weapon waved at police

Peterborough police seek 2 suspects following armed robbery at c-store

P.E.I. man convicted after recanting armed robbery confession

View Canadian Connections Archives









Amazon Winding Down COVID Safety Measures
Amazon to stop testing warehouse workers for COVID amid rising case rates
Amazon told employees it plans to
stop offering onsite COVID-19 tests for its warehouse workers on July 30, The Information reported Monday.

In a note sent to employees via an internal app, Amazon said
past safety measures had put the company on a "path to normal" and that "free COVID-19 testing is now widely available and our employees have many options available to them, including through health providers and public testing sites," according to The Information.

Amazon first rolled out a pilot of its testing program around May 2020, eventually expanding it to
around 650 locations in November as case counts rose.

Amazon told Insider it's
starting to scale back testing because of the progress it had observed among its workforce and the general public, that it's continuing to evaluate temporary safety measures rolled out during the pandemic to ensure they're aligned with guidance from public health officials, and that it's prepared to resume testing as needed.

But Amazon's decision to wind down testing now comes despite COVID-19 case counts rising again in the US, the Delta variant continuing to spread, and less than 50% of the public being fully vaccinated in more than half of US states — all of which Amazon has operations in.

An Amazon worker in Minnesota told The Information
the company has already started rolling back other safety measures as well, including routine temperature checks, though it's still requiring unvaccinated workers to wear masks.

Amazon has required warehouse, delivery, and other logistics workers, deemed "essential," to
continue working in person throughout the pandemic to help the company keep up with surging demand, while many corporate employees have been able to work from home.

One Downside of Using Robots Over Humans
3 robots collided at a UK grocery giant's warehouse, starting a fire that delayed thousands of orders
UK grocery giant Ocado was
forced to delay or cancel thousands of orders this weekend after a fire broke at one of its London warehouses, the BBC first reported. The company said in a statement Monday that three of its robots collided.

Thousands of robots zoom along a grid at its
automated warehouses, collecting groceries and taking them to picking stations where employees pack orders. According to the BBC, this warehouse handles up to 150,000 orders a week.

As Insider's Charlie Floyd previously reported, the grid uses an air traffic control system intended to prevent any crashes. Ocado said the damage from the fire was limited to 1% of the grid, and that
no employees were injured, but that 800 staff were evacuated.

Albertsons adds Uber to growing roster of delivery partners







Mansfield, NJ: Off-Duty Morris County Cop Chases Down Routine Shoplifter Found With Nearly $8K In Stolen Items
An off-duty Morris County police officer chased down an alleged routine shoplifter who ran into the woods after he was found with nearly $8,000 in stolen merchandise. Police in Mansfield received a call from an off-duty officer from Roxbury who recognized a 34-year-old Middletown, NY man wanted out of several jurisdictions for high dollar thefts on July 16, the department said. The Roxbury officer saw the man loading merchandise from Home Depot into a garbage can that was inside his shopping cart before leaving without paying, police said. The alleged shoplifter then ran into the woods behind the store after being confronted by the officer, who chased him down and took him into custody, police said. Further investigation showed that the man, whose name was not released, had stolen $3,762.89 worth of merchandise from Home Depot in Mansfield and $4,107.14 worth of merchandise from the Riverdale location, police said. The man was charged with third-degree shoplifting, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property before being taken to the Warren County Jail pending a court appearance. The man was also wanted out of Newton and Honesdale, PA on NCIC warrants, police said. “Great job by the off duty Roxbury officer!” Mansfield Township police said.

Pasadena, CA: Burglars Flee With $40,000 Worth of Alcohol, Cigarettes, Cash Following Liquor Store Break-In
A trio of burglars stole alcohol, cigarettes and cash valued at $40,000 during an early-morning break-in at a Pasadena liquor store on Monday, officials said. A burglary alarm went off about 4:40 a.m., drawing police to A-1 Liquor at Los Robles Avenue and Woodbury Road, Pasadena police Lt. Sean Dawkins said. The officers discovered the thieves had managed to open the business’ roll-up security door and smash through the glass front door, he said. An estimated $40,000 worth of merchandise and cash was taken, primarily in the form of alcohol and cigarettes, Dawkins said.

Northborough, MA: Police Say Theft Ring Behind $14,000 Dick’s Sporting Goods Robbery
Two men from out-of-state have been arrested on felony larceny charges by Northborough Police after they were caught sneaking unpaid clothes out of a Dick's Sporting Goods store and into a car parked outside. Police say the two men, a 33-year-old man from New York, and a 37-year-old man from New Jersey came up from New Jersey Thursday and stole from numerous Dick's across New England. In a Facebook post, Northborough Police say the two men are part of an organized retail crime theft ring, targeting numerous Dick Sporting Goods locations.

On Friday, an employee from a Northborough Dick's Sporting Goods says they saw the New Jersey man walk into the store, place unpaid clothes into a bag and walk out without paying. The store employee was able to track the man down and catch the license plate of the car he got into, which prompted Northborough Police to pull the car over on Route 9. Acting Lt. Brian Griffin said the bag used to take the clothing was a "booster bag," that a lot of theft rings use to prevent security devices from going off, according to an article from the MetroWest Daily News. When police searched the car, they found $1,500 worth of clothes from the Northborough Dick's alone.

Rochester Hills, MI: Repeat Offender apprehended at Meijer on charges of Retail Fraud / Theft







Shootings & Deaths

Update: Alpine, AL: 17-year-old arrested in murder of Talladega grocery store owner
The Talladega County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest in the death of a grocery store owner back in June. According to TCSO, arrested a 17-year-old Tuesday and charged him with capital murder. Lakenderick Jamal Jones is being held at the Talladega County Jail without bond. Jones is accused of killing 73-year-old William Gerry Taylor on June 29. Taylor was found shot to death behind the counter of Four-Way Grocery.
More arrests are expected to be made in this case, according to TCSO.

Update: Zebulon, NC: 17-year-old dies after being shot outside vape store; man charged
A teenager has died from his injuries after being shot outside a Zebulon vape store on Tuesday night. Officers were called to the 400 block of West Gannon Avenue for a report of a shooting, just after 6 p.m. When they arrived, they found Carlton Lamont Damon Jr., who had been shot in the upper body, inside a vape store. Police said Damon, 17, ran into the shop after being shot. He died at WakeMed. Javion Whitfield of Wendell was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting. Whitfield, 19, has three previous charges of larceny and one previous charge of assault on a female.

Springfield, OH: Man accused in deadly Gas Station shooting indicted on 11 charges


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Pine Bluff, AR: $15,000 bond set for man involved in robbery at Walmart
A $15,000 bond was set Monday for a Pine Bluff man currently on parole who was accused of aggravated robbery at Walmart on Friday. Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set the bond for Herbert Pam, 43, who was identified as the driver of a vehicle that a second man got into carrying a stolen television.

Gulfport, MS: Woman attacked in restroom stall at outlet mall
Shoppers at a south Mississippi outlet mall helped detain a man accused of attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in a restroom stall, police said. The assault and robbery happened early Monday evening at the Gulfport Premium Outlets outdoor mall, Gulfport police said. Andrew Malik Jones, 28, was charged with sexual battery and robbery, The Sun Herald reported. He’s jailed on a $1 million bond.

Redwood City, CA: Suspect arrested in Jewelry store robbery; Two firearms were recovered
Police on Tuesday arrested a 27-year-old man on suspicion of robbing a Redwood City jewelry store at gunpoint. The incident was reported July 13 at Adriana’s Joyeria the Redwood City Police Department said in a statement. Police said a man entered the store, threatened a person with a black semiautomatic handgun, and demanded the safe and items from the display case. He then racked the firearm and tried to pull the trigger, but it appeared to malfunction and ejected two live rounds. After smashing a glass countertop with his right hand, the suspect ran out the door, got into a waiting vehicle at Hancock Avenue and left the area, police said.




Auto – Cleveland, OH – Burglary
Bikes – Santa Monica, CA – Burglary
C-Store – Neosho, MO - Robbery
C-Store – Idaho Falls, ID - Burglary
Gas Station – Bossier City, LA – Burglary
Jewelry – Cerritos, CA – Robbery
Jewelry – Arlington, VA – Burglary
Jewelry – West Jordan, UT – Robbery
Jewelry – Pittsburgh, PA – Robbery
Jewelry – National City, CA – Robbery
Jewelry – Redwood City, CA – Armed Robbery
Liquor – Pasadena, CA – Burglary
Marijuana – Seattle, WA – Armed Robbery
Pharmacy – Vernon, FL – Burglary
Restaurant – Keen, NH – Burglary
Tattoo – Keene, NH - Burglary
Tobacco – Prescott Valley, AZ – Robbery
7-Eleven – Hampton, VA – Robbery
7-Eleven – Queens, NY – Robbery                           

Daily Totals:
• 10 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



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Networking has always been a key to career development and finding that next job. However, if you're not careful it can also limit you, eliminate you and even work against you. If your network is comprised of executives doing exactly what you do, then you may have competition and may even find some working against you. You've got to broaden and expand your network outside your immediate group and establish relationships outside your company and your professional circle. Remembering that quantity is no substitute for quality and, as in any mutually beneficial relationship, what you bring to the table for them is as important as what they bring to the table for you.

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