Issues, inspirations and ideas

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On a recent Saturday morning, I was standing in line at the grocery store. After unloading her cart, the woman ahead of me reached into her handbag and took out what I consider the dreaded “coupon wallet” — the one with separate slots for various products. On the bright side, she was adept at using it; she quickly pulled out a fistful of relevant coupons and handed them to the cashier.

It turns out some of those coupons were not so relevant: As the cashier scanned each one, four had expired. She politely told the shopper, noting that the system would not allow her to process them. The shopper’s first response: “Can’t you just override them in the system? We’re only talking about a few dollars.” But when the cashier rebuffed her request, she transformed from a mild-mannered, coupon-toting consumer to an unhinged, screaming shopper, demanding that she receive the discount she was entitled to. In seconds, the situation seemed to explode.

Unfortunately, this type of situation is far too common. Disruptive behaviors, workplace violence and vicious crimes are the situations retail loss prevention and risk management executives face daily. At NRF PROTECT, set to take place June 11-13 in Anaheim, Calif., content is designed to help retail companies develop robust plans for dealing with these issues and others, including crisis management, active shooter and facial recognition.

Main Stage sessions include a panel discussion that will tackle various aspects of workplace violence and another that will explore how to “turn down the volume” when disruptive and aggressive behaviors come into play. Carla Harris, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, will encourage attendees to explore unconscious bias, revealing how it can undermine a business’s recruiting efforts and have a degenerative effect across an organization.

We’re also welcoming back James Mullan, a retail trends consultant from U.K.-based GDR, to share his unique perspective on securing retail — physically and digitally. With the industry changing so rapidly, Mullan will call on LP executives to think bigger and wider, including everything from crooked delivery drivers and sneaky warehouse staff to cybercriminals and porch thieves.

Plans also call for turning the spotlight on cybersecurity. With cyber threats, breaches and malware among the pressures facing retailers, we’ve invited noted ethical hacker and cyber expert Sherri Davidoff to provide attendees with advice from the trenches on how to protect yourself, your organization and your community.

Along with cutting-edge educational content, PROTECT will have a larger-than-ever expo floor, packed with solution providers you’ll recognize — and some who have come up with new ways to secure inventory and information.

Often the greatest value that comes from these events is the chance to network. No amount of emails and texts is as powerful as face-to-face interaction. Join us at breakfast, at lunch and at the numerous networking events we’ve planned, including a one-of-a-kind opening reception. There is a solid chance you’ll take home some good ideas — maybe even some that can be put into effect before the all-important fourth quarter.

Susan Reda is the editor, STORES Media. You may contact her at redas@nrf.com.

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