Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) opened its Retail Asset Protection Conference 2015 with keynote speaker Charles Baldwin, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Cabela's Inc. speaking to a record-breaking crowd of top-level asset protection (AP) executives from the nation's leading retail companies.
Recognized in the industry as a best-in-class educational program, the Retail Asset Protection Conference addresses top challenges and emerging trends facing AP executives. Through presentations by seasoned experts, open forum discussions, an exhibit hall showcasing the latest technology, and meaningful networking events, retail asset protection executives are able to advance their companies' asset protection programs and enhance their own organizational effectiveness.
Charles Baldwin opened the program by sharing Cabela's story of growth from simple beginnings to becoming the world's largest retail outdoor brand, and highlighting the role asset protection has played in the company's success. Baldwin also addressed the emerging challenges of an evolving retail marketplace and pointed to AP as an integral aspect in tackling those challenges.
"We feel privileged to have Charles Baldwin as our keynote speaker this year. Attendees appreciated his candid perspective on emerging challenges facing the retail industry and the transformative role asset protection will play in a company's future success," said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations for RILA.
A centerpiece of RILA's program is its deep-dive breakout sessions that reflect the key priorities and challenges experienced by today's retail asset protection executives. Interactive roundtables offer senior executive sharing unprecedented at other events; case studies delve into industry success stories; and skills-focused presentations help attendees develop the expertise needed to succeed in AP careers at major retail corporations.
Other general session speakers included Jamie Clarke, author, adventurer, and retailer himself, as the owner of an outdoor outfitter that operates both a storefront and an online business. Jamie inspired the audience with his high energy story of perseverance – his own quest to summit Mt. Everest (failing in his first two attempts) and the lessons learned that have applications for everyone, no matter what their "Everest" may be.
Closing out the day, retail futurist Doug Stephens, gave attendees insight into the key shifts in economics, demographics, technology, and media that are driving the changes in consumer behavior that will, in turn, transform the way retailers do business. He also predicted how these changes, particularly with regard to technology, apply to the AP community, saying, "Technology, while potentially opening us up to some new threats, can also be our salvation in eliminating many of the threats we already live with."
"It was an outstanding day filled with education, engagement and energy. The collective thought leadership of the executives who attend our event, their spirit of collaboration and their commitment to advancing their organizations has never been stronger, ," said LaBruno.
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.