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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continued from page 30 progress, overall, not so much. That's why the LPRC and the UF team were started by retailers. We can go in and start to narrow down the issues by listening to retail experts and other employees, going into their stores and DCs, innovating with them, and moving things around to determine how we can make improvements. We then do experiments to validate the assumptions so we can tell retailers, "Here's what we found, here's what the ROI seems to be, and here's what the shoppers say." Then if somebody else starts breaking down your case, like a buyer, your operators, or whomever, you're covered because you have all that independent information, which is based on rigorous evidence. EDITOR: Can anyone go online to read these reports? Where would they have access to do that? HAYES: We have eight or ten white papers that are currently available to the public at LPresearch.org. There are many more reports and papers available to our member companies, who have access first. But eventually we want everything out there in the public domain. EDITOR: How many company members do you have today? HAYES: I think right now the number is thirty-eight retailers and about fifty members who are either solution providers or product manufacturers. EDITOR: Is there an operating board or an advisory board that helps decide the direction of the LPRC? HAYES: Yes, we have a very active board of advisors (BOA) with sixteen slots right now. The BOA just voted to implement a more formal structure. The new chair is John Voytilla, the VP of global loss prevention and safety at Office Depot/OfficeMax. There are also four vice-chairs, who serve as an executive committee. The executive committee includes Brian Bazer, VP at Dress Barn, who focuses on administration and operations—making sure that we're a viable, efficient entity. Dennis Wamsley from Publix is the vice-chair for finance, providing guidance and financial advice so we can execute needed research. We have Chris Gillen, VP at Toys and Babies'R'Us, who looks at SmartGrowth, which is the recruiting and retention of members, as well as our annual Impact conference—making sure that the content and process remains highly interactive and impactful. Then there's Mike Lamb, senior director at Walmart, who oversees the working groups and action teams—making sure that they're productive and meet our members' needs. EDITOR: You mentioned your annual conference. Who can attend that and what type of agendas do you typically have? HAYES: Any member of the LPRC gets two free slots to the conference as part of their membership. They can also earn further free spots if a member serves on the board of advisors or leads a working group. Non-members may participate as well. There's a fee for non-members to cover materials, food, and things like that. The conference typically looks strategically at where retail is going, emerging technologies, and current events like cyber-attacks and what that means for retailers. We'll often have a speaker on overall crime in the U.S. or another topic of interest to the industry. We generally have multiple breakout sessions, where we try to make those sessions as interactive as possible. The breakouts involve the working groups and action teams. They'll go through what they've learned through the past year's research, and then brainstorm and plan the next year's research objectives. We'll come together again for presentations or video tours of some of the innovations going on in our StoreLabs. Tyco has pledged $50,000 a year for the next three years to help fund a state-of-the-art Innovation Lab located in the University of Florida's new and growing Innovation Square, adjacent to the sprawling 2,000-acre campus. We may brainstorm in that facility and then go around to multiple local stores of all types used for innovation efforts. EDITOR: Tell us more about what you refer to as StoreLabs. HAYES: We have about twenty-four retailers, some that have more than one store, who allow us to come into their stores to conduct research with different technologies or multiple continued on page 34 In many ways our projects and research should help us build an evidence-based diagnostic process. We conduct randomized trials, study trends and the available research literature, issue white papers, and take other steps. We've talked to customers to determine how LP actions or inactions affect the shopper and his or her perspective of the shopping experience. We pull all of the information together and say, "Here's what we know, and here are some best practices based on studies." 32 JULY - AUGUST 2014 | LPPORTAL.COM INTERVIEW

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