RILA Helping Retailers Strengthen Community Safety, Combat Organized Retail Crime

National Store Walk Month encourages collaboration between retailers, district attorneys
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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District attorneys and grocery leaders will walk store aisles this September in an effort to gain mutual understanding of retail crime risks.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) are joining forces to address retail crime and violence through their recently announced National Store Walk Month. The initiative will be held this September, and invites district attorneys nationwide to walk through retail stores with management teams in an effort to exchange insights, foster understanding and work synergistically to reduce retail crime and other unlawful activity.

The partnership aims to provide both parties with a comprehensive understanding of their challenges to help enable effective responses from the retail community.

[Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: 5 Tips for Solving the Safety Crisis in Grocery"]

"National Store Walk Month represents our next leap forward in establishing comprehensive retail crime mitigation strategies and fostering community well-being," said Lisa LaBruno, RILA's senior EVP. "This initiative will bridge the gap between retailers and prosecutors, helping us collectively address the complex challenges our communities face."

According to RILA, large-scale retail theft has societal implications beyond economic harm to retailers, including a safety risk to front-line retail workers, threatening jobs and diminishing the vibrancy of local communities. NDAA Executive Director Nelson Bunn shared that "Our goal extends beyond reducing crime; we're working to foster safer, healthier, and more vibrant communities. National Store Walk Month is a crucial element of that mission."

Further, RILA and the NDAA are looking to drill down on the root drivers of habitual theft, violence and other unlawful activity in and around retail establishments with its Vibrant Communities Initiative. Under the initiative, retailers will collaborate with district attorneys, police departments, social service organizations, local policymakers, civic and business groups, and others, with the aim of enhancing information sharing, prosecuting habitual and violent offenders, proposing second-chance opportunities, and also exploring technology solutions that prevent retail crime and deter violence against employees.

The Vibrant Communities Initiative was announced at RILA’s annual Asset Protection Conference, held April 30-May 3 in Denver.

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