The retail industry received a Rocky Mountain welcome from beautiful Denver, CO, this week as the Retail Industry Leaders Association kicked off the 2019 Asset Protection Conference.
Following Sunday’s Asset Protection Leader’s Council Meeting and an evening welcome reception, this year’s conference once again commenced Monday morning with introductory statements from Lisa LaBruno, executive vice president of retail operations for RILA.
The conference began with a keynote presentation with Lars Petersson, senior advisor and former president of IKEA US, on “Creating a Better Everyday Life: What’s Retail’s Role in Society?” Once again this year, the opening presentation featured a leader from within the retail hierarchy that offered a perspective from industry leadership on issues critical to the business. Petersson focused on the expectations of retail in an evolving society and the ongoing responsibility to adjust and adapt to the changing needs of the community, the customer, and the business.
This was followed by a motivating conversation with Manley Feinberg, founder and CEO of Vertical Lessons, on “Reaching Your Next Summit.” Feinberg brought together lessons from both his business and rock climbing backgrounds to remind us of ways we can deliver more value under rising expectations and growing complications of everyday life. “Sometimes you have to ignore a few to win the hearts of many,” he said, reminding us that “courage is contagious”; that we need to occasionally challenge our own beliefs, and that we should “celebrate the summits” as we climb life’s mountains.
Breakout sessions were next on the day’s agenda, featuring open forums that allowed the audience to actively participate in the conversations, leading to active and productive discussions that were informative and engaging. The day’s speakers were knowledgeable and well-prepared; they made the most out of the information and the audiences while sharing their presentation messages.
Following lunch and networking in the exposition hall, the afternoon began with a presentation by Keith White and Zak Kaiser of Gap, Inc. on “A Case Study in Resiliency” and the response to the devastating fire that took place at their 1.3 million sq ft distribution center in Fishkill, NY, in 2018—the most expensive in retail history. Despite the devastation caused by the fire, White and Kaiser shared how preparedness spared what could have been much more tragic, how planning got the business back up and running, and how the company disaster actually inspired innovation.
LP Magazine‘s EyeOnLP team was hard at work throughout the day, capturing interviews and insights from attendees. [Editor’s Note: Check out the exclusive EyeOnLP Day 1 video recap.]
Following an exceptional round of afternoon breakout sessions, attendees once again gathered in the general session hall for this year’s edition of “Game Changers: Innovative Technology to Revolutionize Retail AP.”
This session featured the Retailer’s Choice Award finalists, each of whom offered insights showcasing their cutting-edge technology prior to the announcement of the award ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday. As the presentations clearly highlighted, the true winners will be all those that are part of the retail asset protection community, as there will be many valuable and exciting innovations available to the industry in 2019.
This year’s finalists include:
ApparelGuard – Alert Systems
Attensi – Gamified training solutions
Defendry – AI video monitoring systems
Detective Analytics – AI crime linking software
Ocucon – Video analytics based on AI
Rapitag – Anti-theft mobile checkout devices
Signatrix – Computer vision AI using CCTV footage
Solink – Smart video surveillance solutions
The day’s events concluded with a networking session in the exposition hall. The traffic was steady on the first day of the show, and conversations appeared productive. Many seemed intent on speaking with specific solution providers and will likely use Tuesday’s opportunities to investigate new products and solutions.