Loss prevention is a lot of things. But, at its core, loss prevention is the people putting in the work and showing up to protect customers, employees, and product, every day.
In this exclusive series, LP Magazine takes a closer look at the people behind loss prevention, and what makes them tick. Where did they get their start? What are they most proud of? What’s their favorite food?
Here, we talk with Joe Coll, vice president of asset protection operations and strategy at Macy’s Inc.
LPM: Tell us about yourself.
Joe Coll: I was born and raised on Long Island; my parents came over to US from Ireland when they were 16. I’m married and a father of 3 kids (2 girls and 1 boy).
LPM: What was your first job?
JC: My first job was working at a pizza place making dinners in the kitchen. I was 15 years old and really had no idea how to cook anything—I feel sorry for the many customers that had me making their dinner.
LPM: In your junior year of high school, what did you see as your career?
JC: I fully expected I’d become a police officer either in NYC or on Long Island.
LPM: What are some of your favorite foods?
JC: I’m a simple eater; my favorite food is always going to be a good steak and some mashed potatoes.
LPM: What is your favorite TV show?
JC: Anything I can binge watch on Netflix. If I had to choose one, it would be Breaking Bad.
LPM: What are the top three items on your bucket list?
JC: Retire and spend my days working on wood projects, provide a path for my three kids to follow their dreams, and travel the world.
LPM: Favorite Sports?
JC: It would have to be football then baseball; I’ve lived a life of rooting for the NY Jets and NY Mets and sadly have passed along that tradition to my kids.
LPM: How did you get into LP?
JC: Like many, I certainly didn’t set out to spend the past 23 years working in retail asset protection. I was extremely curious about retail AP and thought until I landed on my career path, it would be exciting to get into that aspect of retail.
LPM: What keeps you up at night?
JC: The increase in violence related to retail theft—I hate to read the stories of my AP teams in stores getting injured during apprehensions.
LPM: What would you change about your career if you had a magic wand?
JC: Early in my career, I wish I would have taken more risks and been vulnerable.
LPM: What is your general leadership style?
JC: I tend to instill trust in my team, affording them the same opportunities I had to succeed. I foster an environment where you can bring your authentic self to work and strive to create an inclusive and collaborative team with common goals.
LPM: Tell us about a favorite boss.
JC: My favorite leader was exactly that—they allowed me the room to grow, the courage to fail, the trust to innovate, and the overall support for my team and I.
LPM: What do you do to keep up with current events and retail trends?
JC: I’m energized by the bounce back of retail and especially the brick-and-mortar business. The customers have shown they won’t simply shop digitally.
LPM: What do you look for when hiring a candidate?
JC: Passion, curiosity, and being solution-orientated.
LPM: If you didn’t do this, what would you be doing?
JC: For sure I’d have gotten into law enforcement.
LPM: How do you measure your success?
JC: These days I measure my success through the lens of my team, how they are set up for success, and how they show up daily and continue to deliver.
LPM: What are your thoughts on using mentors?
JC: Mentors are evergreen. I find myself often reflecting on advice given to me over the years and equally lean on my mentors even today.
LPM: What are the three most important things when building an LP program?
JC: Innovative thinkers, compassion, and a competitive mindset.
LPM: What’s next for the loss prevention industry?
JC: Over the past 23 years I have seen the industry evolve at an incredible rate and I believe we have just begun in the space of IoT and how LP professionals can unlock an incredible amount of insight into customers’ shopping behavior to be true partners in driving sales in retail.