Walking a store with a young loss prevention professional is always an interesting exercise for someone like me who spends most of my time observing big-picture-type aspects of the retail industry. Looking at loss prevention at the store-level through the eyes of someone who is focused on making an impact on the front lines of the retail environment is most enlightening.
I recently met Lea Tamarack, CFI, CFE, the southeast regional loss prevention manager for maurices, at one of their Charlotte-area stores. maurices is a best-kept secret in specialty women’s apparel, a billion-dollar brand and subsidiary of the Ascena Retail Group. maurices has locations in over 900 small to mid-size communities across North America.
Having never been in a maurices store before, my first impression of the facility was very positive. The overall environment was open, friendly, inviting, and contemporary both in the merchandising and store design. The same description would be appropriate for area sales leader Kelly Clark and assistant store manager Alexandria Bell, who greeted me.
We spent about 90 minutes reviewing the store’s loss prevention program in detail – everything from shoplifting deterrence to the LP hotline to dressing room audits to employee training. In addition to telling me about the various policies and procedures, Tamarack showed me how she looks for training opportunities by quizzing the two operators using scenario-based questions to ensure that they fully understood the way maurices loss prevention program should be implemented. I also had the opportunity to ask questions about recruiting and on-boarding of new store personnel that gave me some insights into store operations.
It was a delightful experience meeting these three young professionals. If these three are an example, maurices is in good hands on both the operations and loss prevention sides of the business.
The magazine is occasionally criticized for writing articles either aimed at or written by retail industry executives. “We would love to read more about those of us in the field” is a common request I hear when I attend corporate loss prevention meetings like I did in December with Ascena Retail Group, where I first met Tamarack. As I explain, it’s not that we don’t want to write about store, district, and regional LP professionals or accept articles from this group; it’s often impossible due to corporate policies about who can speak to the media. Fortunately I was able to get corporate approval for this short article.
If your company would be open to allowing us to profile young members of your organization or accept company-approved contributions from these smart, young professionals, please contact me at editor (at) LPportal (dot) com. We’re happy to work with individuals and corporate PR to ensure that the articles are professionally edited and allow the company to approve the text before publication.