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Adrian Beck, Emeritus Professor, University of Leicester, UK
“Carrying out research on retail loss prevention is not easy,” said Beck. “Information is often hard to come by. Organizations are frequently wary about sharing data, and the topics under consideration are often sensitive. It’s therefore critical to build relationships based upon trust. Retailers must be confident that any information they share will be held securely and, where appropriate, fully anonymized and only presented in aggregate form. Over the past thirty years, I’ve completed countless research projects with retailers and always endeavored to be viewed as someone who can be trusted with potentially sensitive business information, using it in a way that informs the broader retail community while protecting organizational confidences.”
Upon graduation from the University of Leicester in the UK, Beck played a pivotal role in establishing what is now the School of Criminology, where he began researching issues related to retail loss prevention. In 2017, he was awarded the title of emeritus professor. For the last twenty-one years, he has been the academic advisor to the ECR Community Retail Risk Group, a body that’s championed the commissioning of new research ideas in retail loss prevention. He has also completed work for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), including studies establishing the Total Retail Loss framework.
“More than ever, the retail industry is experiencing seismic change,” he said. “The sector has seen profound changes generated by a swathe of new technologies and rapidly changing consumer expectations. Those seeking a successful career in LP need to recognize and embrace these changes, understand the broader business environment, and adopt an approach focused on understanding the overall impact of any given business choice. A large proportion of retail losses are primarily a function of those choices, and future leaders need to focus on being both a critical business consultant and adroit at managing loss.”