LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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The Year Ahead in LP Supporting the Evolution of Retailing T his is truly a transformative time in retail. With mounting expectations on product availability and escalating demands on service and convenience, the way people shop is changing—and with it the strategies necessary to attract and retain customers. Innovation has become a requisite to retail survival, with new technology offering both our greatest opportunities and our greatest challenges. But the changes that we face are more than just a few new and different widgets that will push the envelope. This is all part of an evolving retail culture that is changing the way that we do business. What does this mean for loss prevention? What are the primary challenges the industry may face this coming year, and how might we rise to meet them? For perspective and input into where 2019 may take loss prevention, we turned to executive leadership from three leading retail solution providers to help identify some common themes. What key trend or development that took place over the past year do you think will drive the loss prevention agenda in 2019? What do you think will have the greatest influence on the way LP will evolve in the year ahead? BARTOL: Perhaps the most prominent trend was the permeation of IoT into the LP space and the realization that integrated systems and solutions may allow the LP professional to finally start achieving the directive to "do more with less." As e-commerce continues to affect brick-and-mortar, retailers will be looking for ways to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape. By leveraging IoT and integrated systems, the LP visionary that has always been as concerned about sales as they have been about shrink will be able to leverage solutions to drive sales, operations, and the customer experience. After all, who owns more devices in a store than LP? BATTERBURY: The growth in technology solutions that retailers have seen this past year will continue to drive the 2019 LP agenda. New enhancements in video analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, biometrics, RFID, and the growth of IoT-connected devices are leading us to a truly connected store. Retailers will have more smart-connected devices in their stores, and these devices will be learning more about our customers while providing new data points unlike anything seen before in the brick-and-mortar environment. The key for LP professionals in 2019 will be learning how to harness this data in a way that it will generate actionable intelligence to initiate new theft identification and resolution. The next steps beyond 2019 will be how retailers are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze all of this data, so retailers can start to get predictive in terms of addressing shortage. REYNOLDS: One way to understand these trends is to look at the buzzwords we're hearing—and one that heard constantly is "omni-channel." I think omni-channel is affecting LP in two ways. First, the delivery method of retail continues to evolve. While the "death" of brick-and-mortar stores is likely an exaggeration, it's certain that online sales are growing; and for traditional stores to survive, they need to adapt to consumer trends. That means that LP professionals must adjust their solutions as well. In addition to protecting stores against shoplifting, burglary, and robbery, LP now faces the additional challenge of protecting the supply chain at multiple stages. Whether inventory is shipping to a warehouse where items will be sent directly to customers or organized and sent to physical stores, there are many vulnerabilities along that path that criminals seek to exploit. To combat losses, it's incumbent on protecting inventory at each and every stage. Further, like retail sales, retail LP should take a multilevel approach. There's no one-size-fits-all security solution. The solution that protects against robbery in the store probably won't work to protect inventory being shipped cross-country or stop the growing menace of porch pirates stealing packages. Becoming familiar with as many security solutions as possible is the best way to protect the most inventory. As you look over the risk landscape in 2019 and consider the many challenges currently facing LP, Brittain is editorial director for LP Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation's LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com. By Jacque Brittain, LPC PERSPECTIVES Hedgie Bartol, LPQ Retail Business Development Manager North America, Axis Communications Tom Batterbury Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Auror Dan Reynolds Vice President of Retail Sales, 3SI Security Systems 60 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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