The Loss Prevention Foundation’s (LPF) and LP Magazine (LPM) joint Town Hall Meeting took place May 18 – 19 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The unique setting of the Town Hall Meeting provided an opportunity for loss prevention and asset protection leaders and solution provider partners to discuss the biggest topics in the industry. Here, they reviewed the latest trends and tendencies, and shared thoughts on solutions and best practices for approaching these issues.
The meeting kicked off with a cocktail hour and dinner the night of the 18th, which provided an opportunity to network and reconnect after two years of working remotely. During the dinner, LPF President Terry Sullivan, LPC welcomed attendees and LPM Executive Editor Jim Lee, LPC announced the most recent Magpie Award winners: Kevin O’Brien, vice president of business development at The Integritus Group, and Karen Edwards, interim associate dean at the University of South Carolina.
Current Issues with ORC
The next morning started with CVS Health Director of ORC and Corporate Investigations Ben Dugan, CFI and LPM’s Kevin McMenimen, LPC leading a discussion on the impact of organized retail crime (ORC) and potential mitigation strategies. They talked about how the expansion of online marketplaces combined with COVID-19 bringing the criminal justice system to a halt made the issue of ORC much more severe, and how the mobs of ORC rings robbing stores on Black Friday 2021 brought the issue to the public. They also discussed how the INFORM Act could impact ORC, and how LP leaders can best take advantage of the federal law if and when it does pass.
ORC Survey Results
Read Hayes, PhD, managing director of the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), along with Terry Sullivan discussed the results of a recent joint survey the LPRC, LPF, and LPM conducted entitled “ORC at the State and Local Level: Causes, Consequences, and the Criminal Justice System.” The survey results included comments and insights from LP and AP professionals at all levels of the industry, including store level LP managers, ORC investigators, district and regional LP managers, as well as corporate executives.
Internal vs. External Loss
The second half of the day began with an interactive session on inventory shrink beyond external loss led by an LP executive who is a member of the LPF board of advisors. Here, the LP leaders in attendance discussed the various sources of internal loss, and the evolving factors that are impacting internal theft, external theft, and operational failures.
Impact of Crime on Store Associates
Target’s Oscar Arango then led a conversation about violent crime and other external impacts on retail workers. He talked about how the idea of what matters most in the retail environment has changed now that interactions with customers have become more hostile, putting safety at the forefront of LP concerns.
The day closed with a productive open discussion where attendees were able to freely share the issues they are dealing with, hear possible solutions from their peers. Some of the topics addressed included body-worn cameras for employees’ safety, working together with other retailers to fight ORC, and how to better partner with law enforcement in solving retail crimes. The exclusive group of LP leaders in attendance left satisfied, with new connections and insights to share with their teams.
“This Town Hall Meeting was a terrific event with valuable insights into current LP issues for both retailers and our solution provider partners,” said LPF’s Sullivan. “I want to thank the many LPF and LPM partners who provide year-long support. I especially want to acknowledge and thank the sponsors of this Town Hall Meeting who helped make this event possible.”
The Platinum sponsors were Gatekeeper Systems, Sensormatic, Auror, Intertek Catalyst, and ALTO. Gold sponsors included InstaKey, LiveView, Protos, Controltek, SmartSense, and Hanwha Techwin. Silver sponsors were The Integritus Group, CIS Security Systems, and All-Tag.
The LPF and LPM will be hosting their annual meeting Nov. 2 – 3 at the Marriott Sanibal Harbour Resort and Spa in Fort Myers, Florida. The annual meeting is open to the LPF board of directors and LPF partners, LPM editorial and vendor advisory board members, RILA’s Asset Protection Leaders Council, and invited guests.