The panel session this morning at NRF Protect covered Managing Store Operations in the Face of Crisis and Critical Incidents included several loss prevention professionals discussing their organization's response to COVID-19, to social unrest, and to potential election impact on their operations.
Chris Nelson, VP Global Loss Prevention at Gap Inc. discussed his departments role in being creative with COVID-19 response and also using the lessons they have learned thus far into 2020 to get them through the fall. Nelson said that the loss prevention department at Gap is already doing tabletop exercises to continue to deal with future critical incidents. He anticipates impact from more social unrest and from the presidential election in November and they are poised to act, he says.
"Don't wait to get ready. It could happen now," Nelson says in response to a nugget of advice he has for other professionals. At one point during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Nelson talked about how his organization had difficulty sourcing some supplies such as face shields. His response? Over a long weekend, the loss prevention team went out individually and sourced 8,000 face shields for employees themselves. Being creative during these times and adapting to new challenges, according to Nelson, is something that loss prevention professionals have been known for and must continue during these times.
In addition, David Johnston, Sr. Director, Loss Prevention & Corporate Security/Dunkin' Brands Inc., said that his advice to loss prevention teams is to make sure their value is known across the entire organization. He says, that during this time in particular, it's an opportunity for loss prevention professionals and departments to demonstrate their value to the organization and particularly to the C-suite, to garner that seat at the table, ultimately allowing security professionals to build those necessary initiatives to keep employees and the organization safe and secure.