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Legislation to Help Retailers Combat Organized Retail Crime

There is potentially good news for retailers across California this week.

An article in The Los Angeles Times reports that retailers and law enforcement support amending , Proposition 47, a voter initiative that reduced drug possession and some theft to misdemeanors. This legislation is lead by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D- Elk Grove), who states that this measure, “…has spurred organized crime rings to target retailers and hurt consumers.”

Assemblyman Copper’s legislation would increase penalties for repeated theft on businesses by making it a felony to steal $950 worth of property in a year. Under Proposition 47, a theft would have to involve $950 worth of property in one single incident to be considered a felony.

This bill is sponsored by the California Grocers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, and Crime Victims United California. “If approved by the Legislature, it would have to head to the ballot for approval by voters as it seeks to amend the state Constitution,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

According to Cooper in a press conference on Tuesday Proposition 47, “has emboldened and encouraged a culture among career criminals to participate in coordinated and deliberate acts of repeated theft.”

This legislation could help combat the epidemic that is Organized Retail Crime. For the first time ever, the National Retail Federation reports that 100 percent of retailers surveyed believe their companies have been victims of organized retail crime, 83 percent said ORC activity had increased in the previous 12 months.

The Zellman Group is the leader in Organized Retail Crime Recovery. Learn more about ORC Recovery here or email us at sales@zellmangroup.com.

Read the full article in The Los Angeles Times here.

The Future is…Cashless?

It has been famously said that cash is king. Entering 2017, that may no longer be the case. In recent years, a variety of different businesses around the world have made the drastic decision to go completely cashless. The most recent business to go entirely cashless is the fast-casual chain, Sweetgreen.

As of January 2017, the salad chain, Sweetgreen, made the decision to ditch cash for solely credit and debit card based system. The number one reason Sweetgreen, with over 60 locations across the nation made this decision: to prevent robberies and protect their employees from violent crimes.

Restaurants and retailers are not the only ones to identify the safety benefits of a cashless society. Countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have made proactive choices to reduce the usage of cash amongst all their citizens. Many businesses in Sweden do not accept cash at all and even many bank branches no longer keep cash on hand or take cash deposits. All three nations stated that one of the main reasons to stop using cash is to prevent robberies and eliminate its use for illegal purposes.

Although the increase of alternative payment methods could potentially decrease violent crimes and illegal activities, there is little research or evidence to prove these claims. A cashless society could have a huge effect on the Loss Prevention world, especially in already prominent field that is online fraud and identify theft.

Zellman’s VP of Operations, Lauren Bridgeo Highlighted in the IAI’s Remarkable Women Issue

The International Association of Interviewer’s (IAI) is an organization for investigators and interviewers. The IAI’s mission is to increase members’ core skill sets using the latest information from practitioners, as well as legal and psychological resources.

WYNTK – What You Need to Know

We live in a world of acronyms.

A world where OMG, LOL, BRB, and TTYL are common vernacular amongst not only teens, but people of all ages. With smartphones and technology making up such a large role in how we communicate, acronyms have become second nature. Acronyms are not just playing a role in our social interactions but also in our day to day work life.

Often, we forget that many of these terms are very industry specific and are not understood by everyone within an organization or across the field. In the Loss Prevention world, there are many different jobs with tasks and responsibilities greatly vary. To help create a sense of mutual awareness and understanding of jargon we wanted to break it down.

There are those that are more universal:

IT – Information Technology

LP – Loss Prevention

RLP – Retail Loss Prevention

QA – Quality Assurance

And those that are more specific:

EMV – Europay, MasterCard and Visa

EBR – Exception Based Reporting

ORC- Organized Retail Crime

LPQ- Loss Prevention Qualified

LPC- Loss Prevention Certified

LPM- Loss Prevention Manager

LPA-Loss Prevention Agent

The most important acronym to remember is TZG – The Zellman Group, that’s what you need to know.

LPC Scholarship Essay Contest

Attention All LP Professionals!

 

This January, The Zellman Group is entering into its twentieth year of business. To celebrate this accomplishment, we wanted to give back to the LP community. Over the last twenty years the Zellman team has realized how important education is to the growth of an LP professional.

If you or someone you know is looking to grow in the LP field, starting January 1st we will be running a LPC Scholarship Essay Contest. We are giving away 20 LPC Scholarships for essays that best answer the question:

How will a LPC change your career path?

 

If you are interested, email a 400-word essay response to marketing@zellmangroup.com by April 1st 2017. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

 

The only requirements to submit an essay are:

  • You must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
  • You must have three years of loss prevention experience.
    • Examples: Corporate Analyst, LPM, LP Operations, LP Associate, etc.
  • Without LP experience you must pass the LPQ exam AND have 1 of the 3 below:
    • 3 years of business experience, Bachelor Degree, or Master’s Degree.
  • You must be free from pending felony charges or convictions (or military equivalent of court martial charges and/or convictions).
  • You must be free from pending misdemeanor charges or convictions involving moral turpitude (“moral turpitude” means an offense that calls into question the integrity or judgment of the offender, such as fraud, bribery, corruption, theft, embezzlement, solicitation, etc.)

The Zellman Group at the 107th Annual NRF Big Show

January 15th through 17th The Zellman Group, LLC will be attending the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

This is the National Retail Federation’s annual flagship Convention and Expo. For the last 107 years, NRF’s Big Show has been the largest convention for everything retail related. This year there are over 3,300 retail companies from 94 countries in attendance.

This show consists of three days of fascinating educational speakers, unique and innovating technologies, and the opportunity to connect and mingle with over 30,000 guests from the biggest retail companies across the globe. Keynote speakers this include but are not limited to Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc., and Carrie Ask, Executive Vice President and President of Global Retail for Levi Strauss & Co.

The Zellman Group will be at booth 3621 with our sister company KWI. The Zellman Group is the leader in Recovery Services. Learn more about The Zellman Group at www.zellmangroup.com.

TZG’s Holiday Tip Guide

If you work in retail you know that the holidays are a time for high sales and high shrinkage. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2015 the retail industry lost about $32  billion due to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft, and organized retail crime. Between the months of November and January, the amount of shoplifting arrests increases by about 10%. Retailers must be vigilant in order to combat shoplifting during this already hectic time. We have created a list of tips for things to look out for during the holiday rush:

  • Customer Service. Treating all shoppers with respect and attention will not only increase sales but will also deflect shoplifting. Shoplifters are less likely to steal from stores in which they receive a high level of customer service.

  • Temporary or Part Time Employees. During the holiday rush, it is customary to hire temporary employees for the holiday season. But, due to the lack of incentive of full time work or company loyalty, many employees see this as an opportunity to steal. Train your regular full time employees to be aware of this potential risk.

  • Quick Change Artists. Train your associates on Quick Change Artists and how to detect counterfeit bills. Learn more at  US Currency Resource Center.

  • Gift Card Fraud. Remember to follow your company guidelines on the amount of gift cards that can be purchased at one time. Gift cards are often purchased on stolen credit cards causing eventual charge backs. It is often suspicious if a shopper is spending more than $500 on gift cards at one time.

  • Fraudulent Credit Cards. Be aware of fraudulent credit cards. If a credit card does not have a chip or is having difficulties swiping, do not key in the card numbers. This could mean that the card is fraudulent. Follow the Visa and MasterCard merchant rules and guidelines.

  • Physical Security. Physical security is the easiest way to take preventative measures against shoplifting. This includes keeping register and refund areas clear, keeping shopping bags away from customer reach, using technology such as CCTV and EAS, and instating a mandatory bag check policy.

Learn more about The Zellman Group by emailing us at sales@zellmangroup.com.

 

‘Tis the Season – for Customer Service

As the temperature goes down and Christmas lights come up, it’s official – the holiday season is upon us.

For most this means office gift exchanges, holiday parties, and long lines in department stores. If you work in the retail industry you know this means something quite different. The one month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the “busy season,” the time that can make or break a retailer’s entire year.

During this month, there is high pressure on retailers to maximize sales while maintaining the best customer service. This already exhausting balancing act becomes much worse with the addition of crowds with high expectations. Retailers must maintain timely and accurate inventory availability while handling and assisting all customer concerns and needs. This pressure has become increasingly worse in recent years due to the changes in consumer expectations. We live in a world of immediate response and same day delivery. There is no room for excuses and this is only heightened during the holiday rush.

As a service provider, we feel this residual pressure from our clients, the same way they work to please shoppers we work to please them. Although these are very stressful times we must remember that for our clients the stakes are much higher. It is our obligation to our clients to be prepared to assist and accommodate all of their needs because in the long run their success is our success.

During the holiday season, we must remember to always keep a level head and positive attitude when working through client questions and concerns. This is the time to really exemplify what it means to “treat each of our clients as our only client,” putting our best foot forward. As a service provider reputation is everything and this is the time to make it count.

Learn more about our customer service based services by emailing us directly at sales@zellmangroup.com.

 

The Threat of ORC and How Building Police Relationships Can Help

This October, The Zellman Group sponsored and attended the Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Exposition and Major Cities Chiefs Police Association in San Diego, California.

The IACP Annual Conference and Exposition is the largest gathering of police officers in the United States. Currently the IACP has over 20,000 members, made up exclusively of police officers who have held executive roles in police agencies. Major Cities Police Chiefs Association is a professional organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the United States and Canada.

The Zellman Group has a long history of working closely with police, especially since the launch of their Organized Retail Crime Recovery program this past April. A large component of this ORC program is connecting the most pertinent Law Enforcement agencies with retail executives. This is done in order to ensure maximum results in prosecuting the correct criminals and recovering losses.

At these conferences, CEO Stuart Levine, and Director of ORC Recovery Bill Ramos, worked to further build these contacts and relationships with members of Law Enforcement. Through these relationships TZG wants build awareness to ORC and share resources to attack it at its source. “The relationship with Federal and local Law Enforcement leadership is instrumental in bringing ORC/ORT cases forward for prosecution and eventual recovery. Our sponsorship with the International Association of Chiefs of Police ensures this continued networking to support the retail industry,” Levine states. “Awareness is the most important thing. Police departments are increasingly becoming more aware the severity that is Organized Retail Crime. Retailers do not realize that many police departments do not have the staff or expertise to reach the correct victims, that’s where we come in. We want to help bridge the gap between Law Enforcement and retail.”

The National Federation annual report states that Organized Retail Crime is on the rise. One-hundred percent of the 59-senior retail loss prevention executives surveyed stated that their organizations had experienced organized retail crime in the last year. This is up from 97% in 2015 and is the first time in history that all responding companies had reported being a victim.

With backgrounds and experience in both law enforcement and retail, The Zellman Group is the leader in ORC Recovery. Learn more about The Zellman Group at www.zellmangroup.com or email us directly at orc@zellmangroup.com.