The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) opened day two of the 2012 Loss Prevention Audit and Safety Conference (LPAS) yesterday with a poignant presentation by The Home Depot (THD), on its response to last May’s EF5 rated tornado that tore through the heart of Joplin, Missouri, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
With wind speeds in excess of 200 MPH the tornado cut a path of destruction a mile wide and six miles long through the heart of Joplin. The Home Depot was among several large stores destroyed in the May 22 natural disaster that took 161 lives and destroyed several thousand homes, businesses and other buildings. Chris Canoles, senior director of loss prevention for The Home Depot, gave an in-depth look at the essential planning and execution that THD undertook to ensure the well-being of store associates, customers, and the community during this disaster.
“Having seen the destruction in-person last July, I can truly appreciate how important the preparation and implementation of an emergency plan is for retailers,” said Lisa LaBruno, vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs. “The Home Depot worked with precision to ensure the safety of its customers and employees and to help the community and the store get back on its feet. It’s certainly no easy feat and Chris’s presentation reflects the hard work and dedication of so many who are now teaching us how we can successfully prepare and react when the unthinkable occurs.”
Later Steve Szilagyi, senior vice president of distribution from Lowe’s, delivered an astute presentation on the cornerstones of a successful safety culture within a company, citing ownership and personal accountability at every level in the organization as crucial to this mission. Szilagyi shared how creating a culture where safety is the highest value; where principles lead behavior and where leaders build safety first into every activity has resulted in a significant reduction in workplace injuries.
Finally, Jason Brewer, vice president of communications and advocacy for RILA, closed out the day with a unique look at the decisions being made on Capitol Hill and how they will impact retailers and their operations. Brewer touched on the key issues affecting retail, such as health care, labor, privacy, ORC, tax reform and more, and what this legislation could mean for the industry.
Other breakout sessions included: The LP Farm System: Building Your Bench; Integrating Organizational Culture into LP Strategy: A lululemon Case Study; Audit & Analytics Open Forum; Mobile POS and Beyond; Assessment-Based Employee Theft Investigations: Current Science and Practice; Sourcing Leaders for Tomorrow: Building Your Organization’s Talent Pool Through College Recruiting; Hitting the Bullseye with Business Intelligence; Workplace Safety Open Forum; Technology & Innovation Roundtable.
“From Joplin to our legislative update, today’s content was relevant and cut to the core of what practitioners need to know to be successful,” said LaBruno. “And tomorrow we kick things off with a dynamo group of seasoned loss prevention executives from Lowes, jcpenney and Walgreens to speak on an executive panel and give a glimpse into the complexities of the loss prevention industry,” LaBruno concluded.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad