Its been fifteen years since LP Magazine was first introduced to the loss prevention industry. From that inaugural edition through today, there have been many great stories and great people that have filled the pages of the magazine. Many things have changed with both the people and the initiatives across the retail industry over that time. The clothes and the hairstyles that we wear have changedat least for most of us. Fifty shades of grey was something that happened to the color of our hair rather than providing the theme for a movie. But as weve grown older, hopefully weve also grown a little wiser over that period of time. Hopefully, weve learned from the good and bad decisions that weve made in order to become more well-rounded leaders, better business partners, and better people.
Things That Have Changed
Loss prevention and the retail industry in general have also gone through some tremendous changes. Weve chronicled the explosion of loss prevention technology, the changes to the world in general, and how those changes have impacted the way that retailers do business. Weve seen the rise of new products and new businesses. Weve experienced the challenges and resilience of the business through difficult economic times. Were witnessing how e-commerce and the world of omni-channel retailing are revolutionizing the business of retail.
New growth, new faces, and new ideas continue to influence the way that we do business and our approach to loss prevention as a profession. And with this has come new challenges. Data security threats have increased. Budgets have tightened. Organized retail crime has taken on new meaning. Theres an expectation to do more with less, yet still do it better. But weve also seen the rise of an industry certification. We have new and better tools that are available to help us, new solution providers to guide us through the process, new responsibilities, and new positions.
Things That Remain the Same
Still, theres much that hasnt changed, and Im talking about much more than the fact that the Indians and Cubs still havent won the World Series (sorry Cleveland and Chicago). While many of the faces and some of the names may have transformed over the past fifteen years, we still see a willingness to adapt and grow with the business. We see a commitment to professional development, the need to learn as much as we can, and the need to share our knowledge and experience with others. We still have strong leadership as an industry, strong mentors, and promising up-and-comers to take us forward as a profession.
Retail shrinkage and shrink management remain a concern, along with the need to always find new approaches and better solutions to the many different factors that influence retail losses. A criminal element that we must confront and overcome continues to evolve with the advancements in technology. Internal losses, external losses, paperwork issues, safety concerns, and other business insults continue to be an element that we have to address and control. But the primary role of loss prevention is still to enhance the profitability of our companiesjust like every other role in retail.
This is also why a lot must continue to change. As an industry and a professional community, we must continue to take the steps to move forward. The evolution of the loss prevention industry is a living process that requires all of us to adapt and grow. We must also continue to evolve as individuals. We have to approach what we do with flexibility and an open mind. We have to keep that spark alive in ourselves and help bring it out in others.
As a publication serving the retail community, we must continue to evolve as well. We are committed to bringing you the best and most productive information to help you continue to grow and develop as a professional. Thats why weve taken the steps to move forward.