Senior Retail Execs Discuss Shrink, ORC

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Senior Retail Execs Discuss Shrink, ORC


The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is hosting a select group of senior-level asset protection executives, product manufacturers and academic researchers at the 2011 Asset Protection Leaders Council (APLC) meeting in Minneapolis, for the purpose of rolling out the APLC’s process-driven shrink initiative.

To get things started, the Best Buy asset protection team yesterday led a walk-through at a local store, highlighting Best Buy’s 360-degree approach to loss prevention. The agenda also included presentations by Target’s asset protection team that discussed the role of upstream partnerships and operational excellence in reducing shrink, and Dr. Mark Barratt of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, who challenged the current views on shrinkage and the approach adopted by most companies in an effort to control inventory record inaccuracy.

“Shrinkage continues to plague the retail industry, and the impact is significant, particularly when you include the cost of responding to the problem, out-of-stocks and associated lost sales,” explained Lisa LaBruno, VP of loss prevention and legal affairs sat Arlington, Va.-based RILA. “Traditionally, shrinkage has been perceived as primarily the result of external theft. Through the APLC, retailers are joining forces to address the importance of understanding the critical role operational breakdowns play in explaining the root causes of shrink and identifying sustainable solutions that will benefit the entire industry.”

Today, members of the trade association will visit Target’s Investigations Center for RILA’s Crimes Against Business Committee meeting. Among the retailers scheduled to give presentations on a wide range of issues are CVS, Lowes, Publix, Target, The Home Depot and Walmart. Attendees will additionally hear from a Florida statewide prosecutor who has successfully prosecuted organized retail crime (ORC) cases using the RICO statute.

“This meeting is a great opportunity for in-house retail investigators to discuss emerging criminal trends, share prevention and response strategies, and develop leading practices to mitigate risk,” noted LaBruno.

Consisting of senior level asset protection executives, the APLC serves as a forum to discuss key topics and challenges of concern to retailers, share ideas and leading practices, and effect positive change within their operations and the overall industry. Mike Lamb, VP of asset protection for The Home Depot in Atlanta, is chair and Monica Mullins, VP of asset protection and safety at Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, is vice-chair.

The Crimes Against Business Committee provides a venue for addressing criminal risks affecting the retail industry. Nate Hartle, senior group manager of investigations for Minneapolis-based Target Corp., is the committee’s chair, and Deborah Maples, VP loss prevention at Gap in San Francisco, is vice chair.