Organized retail crime prevention took on an international flavor this week when Tyco Retail Solutions hosted the International Organized Retail Crime Summit 2015 in Boca Raton, Florida. LP Magazine was there to bring you this event, which offered a unique opportunity for retail loss prevention, law enforcement, academia, and technology solution providers from the U.S. and Japan to meet and collaborate face-to-face on the growing concern of organized retail crime. Attended by some of the industrys top subject matter experts, from both the U.S. and Japan, the 2-day summit featured an open, interactive format where attendees had the opportunity to learn about and share information regarding the latest approaches being employed to combat organized retail crime.
Market Updates on Organized Retail Crime
Mondays events began with a U.S. Market Update on organized retail crime hosted by Paul Jones, LPC, senior director, global asset protection with eBay. The best response to organized retail crime is to implement best-in-class solutions. At the store level, this would include CCTV cameras, analytics, EAS tagging standards, and other tools matched with customer traffic and sales information. These efforts complemented with good customer service offer our best chance at deterring ORC, Jones emphasized. As it relates to online solutions, its critical to know and understand the habits of your customers that shop online as well as you know the customers in your stores; and synchronize and analyze that data. Every solution requires teamwork, collaboration and cooperation.
This was followed by a Japan Market Update presented by Yoshinori Inamoto with the National Shoplifting Prevention Organization (NSPO), a non-profit organization comprised of major Japanese retail businesses dedicated to combating organized retail crime and other retail theft issues in Japan. Many of the ORC issues occurring in Japan that were discussed by Mr. Inamoto were very similar to ORC incidents occurring here in the United States. Gang activity, booster operations, illicit websites and online auctions involving stolen goods are just some of the ORC operations currently active and causing significant retail losses in Japan. As these concerns continue to grow, property crimes involving retail theft have climbed steadily across the country with reported shoplifting cases now eclipsing 10 percent of all reported penal code offenses.
Another morning session featured a presentation by Dave DiSilva with eBay on the Role of Online Retailing in Combating ORC. Mr. DiSilva discussed research and detection methodology, the eBay PROACT team, as well as several examples of the cooperative relationships that eBay has developed with retail organizations and law enforcement agencies to successfully support efforts to mitigate organized retail crime.
Monday afternoon began with a Behind the Scenes site tour of the Tyco Retail Experience Center. The tour included a closer look at some of the latest in technologies and product enhancements to address organized retail crime issues. A highlight from the afternoon sessions also included an informative presentation on Developing an ORC Information Network offered by Vance Gilbert with Gap, Inc. during which Gilbert enlightened the group on the need and nuances involved with establishing organized retail crime associations (ORCAs).
The days events were followed by dinner and an evening of networking and information sharing enjoyed by all of the ORC Summits attendees.
The Power of Collaboration
Perhaps the most powerful session of the event took place Tuesday morning with a Retailer Collaboration presentation by Brendan Dugan with Walgreens and Terrence Mullen with CVS. Featuring a discussion on the importance of cooperative efforts in the battle against organized retail crime, Dugan and Mullen elaborated on joint efforts involving multiple ORC investigations between the retailers that have successfully resolved several multi-million dollar cases. The presentation clearly demonstrated the power of collaboration and the results we can achieve by working together.
The afternoon featured a discussion on Active Involvement of Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement with Scott Campbell with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rich Rossman of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. This presentation offered highlights on the importance of developing strong partnerships with our law enforcement partners and the results that we can reach and build upon when we work together
The final session of the event was a presentation by Dr. Read Hayes with the Loss Prevention Research Council on Evaluating the Impact of ORC Solutions. This discussion once again underscored the importance of applying research and analytics in our efforts to find effective solutions.
The importance of working together to reach productive and successful results in the battle against organized retail crime whether those partnerships are between retail organizations, law enforcement, solution providers, academia, or between nations was an overriding theme for the entire event. Organized retail crime may be an international concern, but some of our best solutions may be found when we forge international cooperation.