Retail Executive

JAN-FEB 2018

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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to provide guidance from a central location? Where do your team and staff go if the building shuts down? Where should your C-suite go if they cannot operate out of their offices? How do you still conduct business? Do you have the ability to shut down the corporate office should there be a threat in the air outside?" Remember, threats may not always require you to run out of the building — you have to know when to stay put and when to leave. "Do you have food reserves for people in your building should you need to keep people overnight? Have you reminded your population to keep a couple days' worth of medication with them in the event they are unable to leave the building or can't get home? Does your staff have plans for their children, family, and pets if they are unable to get home?" Sostilio advises retail executives to craft a plan for each of these scenarios. And while it's impossible to fully prepare for every single one, a clear understand- ing of the plans and protocols will enable the people in the organization to be flexible and agile if a situation occurs. "As a situation unfolds is not the time to come up with a plan," she advises. "Discussions with your as- sociates about plans for active threats are uncomfort- able, but presenting the information in an educational, nonalarmist manner is beneficial for all involved. And, it's important to practice and walk through the action plans, step by step. People are in your buildings — how will you protect them; what will you do? Situations usu- ally resolve themselves quickly, and unfortunately, you don't have a lot of time to act." Building The Right Team Given that loss prevention has changed so much over the years and that risk and threats are very real, the LP team needs to have a seemingly endless skillset. Sostilio explains that when building her teams she doesn't look for a specific background or education per se. "I look for a spark; I look for someone who is curious," she says. "I look for a diversity of thoughts. I don't want people who are like me. I want people who will challenge me, because I think differences keep the team healthy. For example, I have had CPAs and attorneys on my team. It's about finding the right fit; they don't necessarily have to have a great deal of LP experience. I want someone with fire in their belly, and I know it when I see it." There is so much risk involved with modern retailing it's daunting. Gone are the days of reaction. Sostilio ad- vises retail executives to integrate LP into the company, ensuring that LP has a seat at the table. Integrating the LP team into the fabric of the entire organization helps proactively protect people and profits. R constantly challenge their systems. They cannot be afraid to bring in people to test the systems. There is not a single strategy that is guaranteed to boost cybersecu- rity end to end. Sometimes, the simplest actions are actually the best: Change passwords, be careful about opening email attachments, stay away from suspicious websites, don't click on suspicious or unverified links, and install and maintain updated and quality antivirus programs. Trust me, staying ahead of cybercriminals is not convenient." Assuming cybercrime is a top concern for your orga- nization, she and other LP industry leaders recommend building a governance committee that reviews cyber- security on an ongoing basis. "Building a governance committee that meets on a regular basis to conduct tests and practice breaches can help retail executives learn more and develop awareness of cybercrime," she says. "Have your statements ready before you need them. This group should discuss various company pol- icies as well as global current events to evaluate how to keep the company in the best possible position. It should include someone in loss prevention, the CIO, the CISO, the CEO, the CFO, a chief marketing executive, an HR executive, and someone from public relations." Retail S ecurity 's Single Biggest Threat When asked to detail the must-haves for protecting people and profits, Sostilio responds unequivocally, "Every retailer needs proper and prudent emergency planning," she insists. Sostilio advocates proper and prudent emergency planning because retail's single biggest security threat isn't shrink or cybercrime — it's domestic terrorism. "The world is a scary place, and we have seen attacks on large venues and malls, and retailers are very sus- ceptible to attacks as well. Without overemphasizing it, retail executives must develop plans and practice those plans. Further, the time for retail executives to estab- lish relationships with law enforcement is now — not during an attack. When I began my career, the biggest thing we worried about was fire drills," she says. "Our threats changed dramatically after 9/11. The world has changed, and we have to change with the world. It is important for all retailers to know how to shelter in place; your people need to understand what a lockdown would look like and feel like; you need to have all the right phone numbers of your associates. And these are just the basics." She provides examples of how retail executives should prepare a solid plan now by asking these questions of your teams: "Can your corporate offices use technolo- gy to see directly into the stores? Can executives dial-in RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 17

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