Under the theme “Precision LP,” the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) IMPACT conference concluded Wednesday after three days of presentations ranging from research results to case studies to law enforcement partnerships. Over 350 industry retail, supplier, and manufacturing executives attended the three-day event October 2-4 held on the University of Florida Gainesville campus.
After Monday’s golf outing and evening welcome reception held at the LPRC’s innovation lab, the educational sessions kicked off Tuesday morning with a keynote address by Brian Smith, PhD, from the University of New Haven (CT) on his research into high-theft or “hot” products that found that 80 percent of the average retail store’s external theft was caused by the shoplifting of just 20 percent of products offered for sale.
Following the keynote, Adam Hartay, CEO global retail with Digital Safety, and Karen Sinning, director of asset protection merchandise solutions for Walmart, discussed their collaboration on a benefit-denial project to protect tablet computers by requiring an activation code printed on the customer’s sales receipt to activate the product.
“Information-Based Asset Protection Powered by RFID” was a retail case study presented by Kevin Coleman, vice president of AP, and Joe Coll, vice president of AP operations, both with Macy’s, and Ned McCauley of Tyco Retail Solutions. Macy’s successful use of RFID was centered on five areas—inventory accuracy, merchandise display audits, back-to-front product replenishment, single-unit e-commerce fulfillment, and overall shrink visibility.
Wednesday morning’s keynote was presented by Deputy Chief Joseph Dowling of the New York Police Department, who is commanding officer of the NYPD Grand Larceny Division. Dowling described his division’s partnership with retailers related to four primary theft areas that accounted for 44,279 felony crimes in New York City in 2016, an 11 percent decrease over 2015.
Apart from formal presentations, the attendees participated in learning lab roundtables on a variety of topics, working group planning sessions, offender interview panel, and solution provider showcase. A Tuesday evening networking dinner with entertainment and games was held in the upper-level Champions Club atop the university’s football stadium.
The event marked the transition of the chair of the LPRC’s board of advisors to Brian Bazer, vice president of asset protection for Ascena Retail Group, from John Voytilla, senior vice president of construction, facilities, procurement, and LP for Party City. In addition, six LP executives were recognized as LPRC Fellows for their contributions to the mission of the organization, including (photo from left) Fred Becker, Bloomingdale’s; Kevin Larson, Kroger; Brian Bazer; Rick Peck, TJX; Steve Longo, CAP Index; and John Voytilla (not pictured).