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LPF and LPM Host 2023 Town Hall Meeting in Charlotte

The Loss Prevention Foundation and Loss Prevention Magazine hosted its 2023 Annual Town Hall Meeting at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina March 29-30. This annual gathering invites loss prevention leaders and solution providers to connect and discuss the most critical issues impacting the industry today.

The event started with cocktails and dinner on Wednesday night, where attendees were able to network and relax before the busy day ahead. This was also an opportunity for everyone to connect new LPF President Caroline Kochman.


Thursday began with a collaboration breakfast, and opening remarks from LPF Board President Mark Stinde, LPC. He thanked the event’s sponsors, recognized Former LPF President Terry Sullivan, LPC for his service to the organization, and welcomed Caroline Kochman in her new role as president.

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“We had lots of good candidates [for the position of LPF president] but we kept coming back to Caroline for her background in the non-profit space and her connection to the community,” Stinde said.

“It’s really great to be here,” Kochman replied. “It’s been a whirlwind, but I really appreciate it and look forward to working with you all.”

Terry Sullivan and the Retail Industry Leader Association’s Lisa LaBruno hosted the first session of the day: The Impact of ORC and Mitigation Strategies. They touched on the impact of the INFORM Act on asset protection investigations, aggregating cases and subjects across retailers, key partnerships, violence, and quantifying ORC-related losses.

“I think you’ve all probably seen the shift in momentum in regards to ORC,” LaBruno said. “It’s getting a lot more attention than it was three years ago. I think the reason for that is we’ve changed the narrative from the dollar loss to the violence, and that’s when the media started responding.”

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She and Sullivan urged LP leaders to continue discussing the impact ORC is having on both employees and customers so the media, legislators, and retail CEOs are aware of the threat.

Next, Scott Draher, LPC and Luke Moeller, LPC presented on responding to disruptive behavior in stores. They showed a compilation of compelling footage featuring a variety of disruptive in-store incidents.

Draher and Moeller stressed how important it is for retail employees to know they should never engage with a disruptive customer. You have to make it clear that you don’t want them to take action, they said, and that you will handle the crime after the fact.

In addition to incidents of violence or theft, they also discussed the new pressing issue of pranksters attempting to go viral off of videos filmed in stores.

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“There’s a lot of things you can do to prevent people from targeting your organization,” Draher said.

Mike Lamb, LPC and Ned McCauley then took the stage to discuss how disruptive technology is changing everything. They explained the equation of “deterrence = capability x will”, and how to use the equation for your organization’s benefit.

“When I speak with a lot of folks in the room, deterrence is the best outcome,” McCauley said. “That’s the ultimate goal, the safest goal, but it’s more difficult today than it has been in the past.”

Lamb detailed some of the technology solutions his organization has deployed, and how a complete asset protection ecosystem helps them deter theft.

After lunch, Leo Anguiano, LPC and Mark Stinde, LPC led a session on inventory shrink beyond external loss which explored all of the causes of shrink—though everyone agreed it’s difficult to identify the exact causes of an organization’s shrink.

One idea that was discussed at length was internal theft, and how concern around it has changed since ORC and external loss started making headlines. While some in the room said internal loss is no longer their number one concern, many said it is still a huge contributor to shrink.

For the final session of the day, Wayne Hoover, CFI, spoke about trending topics in interviewing. He explained how the interview process has changed, and how LP teams must change too.

“COVID-19 enabled us to dig into what we were doing and whether it was working,” Hoover said. “Everything we’re teaching now deals with scientific backing, everything is evidence-based. So there have been some changes since some of you have taken our class.”

He then detailed some of the ways in which the WZ method has changed, and opened the discussion to ask what those in the room have done internally to stay up-to-date on the latest interviewing tactics, and more.

To close out the day, LPM’s Stefanie Hoover and Jac Brittain announced the magazine’s Spring 2023 Magpie Award Winners: Appriss Retail Vice President of Loss Prevention Portfolio Cheryl Blake and Target Corporation Vice President of Assets Protection Oscar Arango, LPC.

Hoover then opened the discussion for other topics that hadn’t been covered yet, including personal devices for workplace application, e-commerce fraud, and LPM’s recently released Violence in the Workplace Survey.

LPM is hosting its first Regional Town Hall in Irving, Texas on Tuesday, April 11 from 12-5 p.m. The event is free for all retail loss prevention professionals. Find more information here.

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