LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/1121134

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 84

LP CHALLENGES IN A "SECURE" ENVIRONMENT P aradies Lagardère is the North American division of Lagardère Travel Retail. We have 10,000 associates in more than 850 retail stores and 170 restaurants and bars in 100 airports across North America. Paradies Lagardère delivers the very best solutions—a favorite local concept or a highly desirable international brand—that exceed expectations for our airport partners and travelers. Paradies Lagardère specializes in three key airport concessions areas: dining, travel essentials, and specialty retail. Within travel essentials and specialty retail, we offer a diverse mix of categories, including fashion, luxury, electronics, convenience, sports, luggage, jewelry, and souvenirs. Paradies Lagardère also delivers high-end restaurants, quick-serve and casual restaurants, and quality bars, including local, national, and international brands that provide travelers delicious dining options. In the Beginning, There Was Retail While attending college, I began working for JCPenney in the credit and catalog department. This was the start of my retail career. While at JCPenney, a store loss prevention officer (LPO) approached the credit and catalog department team about a credit card fraud case that we might come into contact with and asked us to inform them if the person showed up to retrieve a catalog order. I ended up being the person who waited on them. I can still remember the feeling when I heard the name and turned around to find the order and realized who I was assisting. It was at that moment—and the moments after as that situation played out with the arrest of the person by law enforcement as they exited the doors of the store—that I thought of loss prevention as a position I would enjoy. I would have to wait another year before getting the opportunity to transfer schools and begin working at a different JCPenney. At my new store, I discovered they didn't have any loss prevention presence and inquired with the store manager about the possibility of adding the position. We were nearing the holiday season, so he agreed to place me in the role. I stayed in that store for several months, and during that time I realized catching shoplifters was a lot more difficult than I understood. I ended up transferring back to my original store and met with my first loss prevention teacher, Marcia Rexford. She was the LPO who worked on the credit card fraud case and ignited my passion for loss prevention with her guidance. She was instrumental in helping me understand what to look for in a shoplifter, including behavior and actions, but it was just scratching the surface on how loss prevention impacts companies. After four years with JCPenney, I accepted an entry-level LP role with Famous Barr, a division of May Company, and met the manager that had the biggest impact on my development and understanding of loss prevention, Mark Stebbe. He and John Lillard, the vice president of loss prevention, had created a team environment and a culture of learning in which I thrived. I decided during my time at Famous Barr that loss–prevention was going to be the career for me. The Airports Came Calling After spending some time at Famous Barr, I decided to join a loss prevention program in the airport concessions industry. That was nearly twenty years ago, and I have never had any doubt that I made the right choice. I worked for HMSHost as they were restarting their loss prevention department. I was given the opportunity to create a program for a single airport with about thirty different restaurant concepts. Through a promotion to my first regional loss prevention manager role, I was able to expand the program to a group of airports in the company. After a year at HMSHost I was approached by the new director of loss prevention at The Paradies Shops. He was tasked with building a loss prevention program from the ground up and believed I would be a good fit to assist him. It's not often that you are given an opportunity to create a department's mission and purpose through ideas you have crafted in your mind on "how I would do it" from its inception. It was too good an offer to pass up. Fast forward almost nineteen years later, and I am now the senior director of loss prevention/safety and lead a team of thirteen professionals in the areas of loss prevention, safety, general insurance claims management for worker's compensation, general liability, auto, and property, and lead business continuity for the organization. In addition, I oversee facilities management for our three support center offices and supply chain for our retail division. Some Things Never Change There are several similarities between airport concessions and conventional retail and restaurants in the LP world. Airport concessions offerings have evolved over time to stay current with popular street retail and restaurants. Paradies Lagardère's stores sell high-end electronics such as MacBooks and iPads in our iStores, premium apparel in our Brooks Brothers stores, and high-end handbags and jewelry in our Brighton Collectibles and Pandora stores. You can also find must-have travel products in our CNBC, Trip Advisor, and locally themed travel-essential stores. We have losses that include outright theft from registers, failing to record sales, taking merchandise, fraudulent refunds, moving items across multiple checks, bartering in exchange for goods, or giving away items or meals, as well as shoplifting. Customers and airport workers have stolen from us. Granted, it isn't to the degree that you see street side, but it does happen. We experience credit card fraud, primarily in our retail division. We have had organized retail crime groups buy cheap airline tickets with the sole purpose of defrauding us. Some will simply go through security with their boarding passes, make a number of fraudulent purchases, and exit, never Chris Rathgeb 56 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of LP Magazine - MAY-JUN 2019