LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2014

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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accommodated and encouraged me so that I could get a quality education and still take care of my family. EDITOR: What was your job at that particular point? HAYES: I was consulting and doing small research projects. Being in the reserves, I was also paid by the U.S. Army for my service. Marshall's funded the research for my thesis, which I ended up getting published in peer-reviewed journal articles. King Rogers at Target hired me to do a couple of paid research projects and kept encouraging me, which also helped. EDITOR: After you obtained your doctorate degree, tell us when the light went on leading to the founding of the LPRC [Loss Prevention Research Council]. HAYES: I did a survey with Dick Hollinger for the International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC, with the support of Dr. John Konarski. Once we got the questionnaire together, Dick and I literally built a mailing list from a book that listed all of the shopping centers in America. We had their fax numbers and planned to fax the questionnaire. At the last minute, Dr. Konarski called and said that the ICSC lawyers advised against the survey, believing there was too much risk in putting out benchmarking numbers that they could be sued over. So, Dick and I huddled in Gainesville. He's looking at me, and I'm looking at him, and we just decided to go for it. The research was so valuable, and in our judgment would not harm, but rather help mall operators improve security. Just picture two guys faxing out hundreds of these questionnaires from two different rooms in a race against time before the mall executives realized ICSC was no longer part of the project. In the meantime, ICSC gets the word that these questionnaires are being distributed, and puts the word out not to complete them. We still received two or three hundred completed questionnaires back before they could get the word out. There's a quick glimpse into the "glamorous" side of research. EDITOR: I understand that King Rogers was instrumental in helping form the LPRC. HAYES: I saw King Rogers at a conference, where he told me that he had gotten my book and asked me to come to Minneapolis to meet with him. When I arrived, he hands me the book, and it has scribbling and highlights all over it. Kings says, "One of my colleagues read your book, and has completely shredded it, saying that this isn't a book that he would he ever use." He's staring at me with this stern look on his face, and I'm thinking he's about to squash the whole thing. He tosses the book on his table and says, "I want you to know what I'm going to do about this. I'm going to buy 800 copies for my team. We're having our LP team meeting in Phoenix. I'm flying you in, and I want you to spend time with me and my top eight guys brainstorming. After, I would like you to go in front of the overall group, and put together something interesting. Then I want to have a book signing." He then asked me to come up with the one thing that needed to be done to learn more so he and his team could improve. I suggested we talk to the "target" audience; in other words, the offenders he's trying to convince not to steal from Target stores. King says, "I'm going to hook you up with my guys in the Orlando district," which turned out to be local district LP leader Marvin Ellison. "I want you to plot and scheme. Whatever you come up with, I'm going to order the team to make it happen." All that led to a research findings presentation at the 2000 NRF LP conference in a general session. That's when King challenged the industry. He tells the audience, "We've just been shooting our guns into the dark here. We need an entity to bring it together collectively, with a real scientist, and to start using better analytics." So, the LPRC was really his idea, not mine. EDITOR: That started the LPRC, but I also know that Bill Titus played an important role in building the organization. HAYES: In those first years the LPRC was holding its own, but it was really kick-started when Bill, who was a founding member with OfficeMax, got more deeply involved. In 2007 Bill came to me and said, "Look, you know Kmart's a member, and Sears is now one. You know I want this thing to work. The industry needs a dedicated LP research team. Here's the deal…" Bill was as good as his word. He's creative, he's innovative, he drives the hell out of profits, and he makes things happen. He flew his team to Gainesville three times, and we white-boarded ideas to clarify where we wanted to go, and how to get there. Bill helped provide vision and supervision, and made sure things were driving forward. He told me, "You better get your act together because it's going to happen. It has traction, and it's going to go." The end result is that over the last seven years that growth has been rapid and expansive. King Rogers asked me to come up with the one thing that needed to be done to learn more so he and his team could improve. I suggested we talk to the "target" audience; in other words, the offenders he's trying to convince not to steal from Target stores. King says, "I'm going to hook you up with my guys in the Orlando district," which turned out to be local district LP leader Marvin Ellison. "I want you to plot and scheme. Whatever you come up with, I'm going to order the team to make it happen." 29 LP MAGAZINE | JULY - AUGUST 2014 INTERVIEW

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