Day two of the NRF PROTECT Loss Prevention Conference and Expo began with opening remarks from Dan Faketty, vice president of asset protection for Southeastern Grocers and chairman of the NRF Loss Prevention Council, who offered an overview of the different NRF committees that operate under the council umbrella and examples of the tremendous work done throughout the year. This council, composed of senior loss prevention executives from diverse retail sectors, regularly meets to discuss common problems confronting the retail industry and to share new ideas to help move the loss prevention/asset protection industry forward.
This was followed by the day’s first general session featuring Steven Dennis with SageBerry Consulting, discussing “An Antidote for Complacency” with Shamoun Siddiqui, vice president and chief information security officer at the Neiman Marcus Group and John Thraikill, executive vice president of technology and business development with Container Stores. The conversation focused on the need to balance learning more about your customer and the customer’s demand for privacy. We need to learn who our customer is to discover what they will benefit the most from to best serve them while protecting their privacy and maintaining information security. Additionally, loss prevention will be stepping more and more into digital commerce and using technology to detect patterns of fraud, and our best approach is to work with our technology teams to close technology gaps and dive deeper into the current changes taking place across the retail experience.
The session that followed was a discussion with James Mullan with GDR Creative Intelligence on “Retails Secret Innovation Lab.” Mullan outlined how our millennial customers tend to communicate with their cellphones more so than their significant others, other family members—and even their children, and retail needs to continue to learn the best ways to tap into that communication to remain relevant in the dynamic retail environment. He emphasized that “retail needs a new era and loss prevention can be the heroes,” with the same technology that works for loss prevention, such as EAS and RFID, also having the potential to play a major role in other retail endeavors.
Following another round of Concurrent sessions, lunch was held in the Expo Hall. In addition to having the opportunity to meet with hundreds of solution providers demonstrating the latest loss prevention tools and technology, the Expo Hall also once again featured the NRF Fusion Center. With approximately 20 agencies participating again this year, the NRF Fusion Center provides a unique opportunity for retailers and law enforcement to build and strengthen public and private partnerships, discuss trending loss prevention issues, and explore strategies to counter retail crime. Participants included several key law enforcement partners from across the country, organized retail crime associations (ORCAs), and other agencies, allowing retailers to build new partnerships and strengthen others.
The afternoon round of concurrent sessions was followed by a panel discussion in the primary hall entitled “Ripple effects: Innovate by learning from other sectors.” By seeking out opportunities to borrow lessons and business models conceived and implemented within other industries, we can often discover new ways to jump-start both ideas and innovative tactics that can energize both our teams and our loss prevention programs. The panel of security experts with expertise in other sectors, including events management and airline security, focused on drawing analogies and exchanging methods used to protect people, products and profits.
The final general session featured best-selling author Jay Samit for a presentation titled, “Disrupt you! Strategies for billion-dollar success in this era of endless innovation.” With adaptability and creativity becoming more crucial than ever, Samit discussed how the strategies that help the world’s fastest growing companies flourish can be applied at an individual level. Samit feels that it’s no longer possible to focus on business as usual if you want to growth and thrive in today’s retail environment. Rather, today’s business leaders must anticipate change to create opportunities for professional success and personal satisfaction.
Wednesday’s events wrapped up another successful and productive day before attendees left the conference, energized and ready to share what they’ve learned with their companies and loss prevention departments. Thanks again to all attendees, our vendor partners, and especially the team at the National Retail Federation for once again making this event a huge success and a tremendous learning experience!