Retail Council of Canada shares industry insights at Loss Prevention Forum

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) hosted its annual Loss Prevention Forum on Tuesday, April 12, through a virtual format. The Forum explored the latest retail strategies and tactics to better protect people, property and assets.

“Our loss prevention community here at RCC is a tightly knit group, so it’s especially important to see you all together today, especially so we can share best practices, learn from each other and improve our practices in the retail industry as a whole,” said RCC President and CEO Diane Brisebois in her opening remarks.

Although the Forum was virtual, attendees could video chat privately with others through the conference site, and there were dedicated breaks throughout the day for networking.

The Forum’s first session, “This is where Loss Prevention Evolves,” featured RCC Executive Advisor for Loss Prevention and Risk Management, Rui Rodrigues, and Vice President of Loss Prevention claims from Aritzia, Chris Strongman. They discussed the shift from loss prevention to an enterprise risk management model, and how the evolution of retail has created new pressure points and risks that retail executives must mitigate, including the growing priority of cybersecurity.

“Even with the incredible growth of our e-commerce, two-thirds of our revenue is still made in our brick-and-mortar operations, so we still need a very strong LP team,” Strongman said while explaining the transition from Aritzia to a company. risk management model. “We had to look for talent with a much more diverse skill set than the existing team we had, but our existing team was also very excited about the new scope we’re taking, and they continued their own training.”

Next, the Director of Canada Post’s Security Fusion Center, Rita Estwick, and the Acting Officer in Charge of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Guy-Paul Larocque, discussed “Mitigate the Creative Deception of Professional Trade Fraudsters Retail “.

Estwick and Larocque discussed what you need to watch out for with looming return fraud, cryptocurrency red flags, how retailers can mitigate gift card fraud, and what retailers can do collectively to address these challenges and provide resources and practical tips to mitigate gift card fraud.

“We often forget that while we may have a loss from some type of fraud, two reports can be linked to five or eight others and it gets much broader, and you highlight the critical role we play in as a loss prevention team,” Estwick mentioned.

Calandra Guiry, Director of Loss Prevention for Sephora Canada, Paul Trickett, National Director of Asset Protection and Health & Safety for Staples, and Michael LeBlanc, Senior Retail Advisor at RCC, then took the virtual stage to explore “The Impact of Changing In-Store Experiences”.

This session looked at how retailers are responding to in-store innovations such as mobile and self-service checkouts, and changing health and safety measures.

“We always do a pre-screening before people enter the building. . . we make sure that if a customer is more comfortable with staff wearing a mask during their service, that happens,” Guiry explained. “We are making sure everyone feels safe entering our stores during this time.”

“It’s been a journey,” Trickett said. “We were traveling with our teams and our customers from the start, and we had to pivot quite quickly. We had stores that remained open pretty much throughout the pandemic with reduced hours, but eventually we were mandated to close stores We learned early on that customers, because of what we were selling and many companies that were moving to remote working, were looking to us to set up their in-house office, so we had to pivot pretty quickly to serve our customers across Canada.”

Other Forum highlights included an update from the RCC Loss Prevention Working Group; a session on working smarter with LP tech; and advancing collaboration against organized retail crime in Canada.

Melvin B. Baillie