LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

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 Looking Forward with Open Eyes and Open Minds 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 2018 may take LP, we turned to executive leadership from three leading retail solution providers to help identify some common themes. Was there a key trend or development in 2017 that you think will drive the loss prevention agenda in 2018? Or might something new steal LP's focus in the year ahead? CARTER: With a reduction in overall brick-and-mortar growth and an increasing aim at omni-channel expansion, loss prevention will need to realign their resources more toward product visibility and inventory controls. Individual consumer buying habits continue to evolve, and there is a growing need for more visibility of the available inventory. As consumers, we've already done our research and know what we want. We want to experience the purchase in-store but know it's there before we go. With this increased transparency comes inherent risk. Credit card and cyber-security threats are on the rise and can severely affect profits but more dramatically alter brand loyalty and future purchases. Loss prevention must continue evolving preventative measures for protecting these critical areas of the business. Terrorism, active shooters, and the opioid epidemic are all growing and raising substantial concern for employee and consumer safety. Planning and preventing these types of safety threats is a monumental challenge for loss prevention and if done inaccurately can shake the stability of the brand, personnel, and future offerings. Security measures, training, and working in conjunction with law enforcement can help, but it will be loss prevention's preparedness and responsiveness that will best reflect community responsibility. SANTANA LI: We are once again moving forward in a new age of technology, and this will continue to demand our focus and attention. In 2017 we began scaling operations of autonomous security robots nationwide after numerous successful deployments in California and believe this will be an escalating trend in 2018. We've been able to assist law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator, helped loss prevention apprehend retail thieves, helped stop a vandal at a corporate campus, and put a stop to a fraudulent insurance claim. We're just getting started in providing our nation's more than 2 million law enforcement, loss prevention, and private security professionals new, unprecedented capabilities in situational awareness—new tools to help them to do their difficult jobs much more effectively. TONKON: Inventory accuracy and visibility will continue to drive the loss prevention agenda as retailers address the complexities of omni-channel commerce. This is vital to developing a winning retail strategy today and directly benefits loss prevention efforts by helping organizations understand what items are missing. Inventory accuracy is critical for supporting an omni-channel solution that provides real-time visibility to a single view of products across all channels. It begins with data integrity throughout the merchandise supply chain and the ability to track at the item level what happens from when it arrives at the store. As you look over the risk landscape in 2018 and consider the many challenges currently facing LP, are there any areas where you think LP might need to step up its game? SANTANA LI: Implementation of technology, which is a two-fold problem. First, having the courage to take on new technologies proactively and aggressively—the pace is way too slow, and there needs to be a much greater sense of urgency. The second is much more complicated—the lack of innovative technologies to actually implement. This is an industry starving for real game-changing innovation but also an industry starving for those willing and able to drive that same innovation. This needs to change. It's also infuriating that we live in a society where going to work, going to the mall, going to a movie theatre, or even going 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 Ryan Carter CEO, InstaKey Security Solutions William Santana Li CEO Knightscope Ed Tonkon President, Zebra Retail Solutions 50 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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