RILA: Asset Protection Conference focuses on organized retail crime

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is getting ready to fight crime, cyber- and organized retail crime, as the industry gathers for RILA's Retail Asset Protection Conference in Indianapolis.

The event will take a deep dive into hot button topics including cyber security, shrink and injury prevention with a big focus on organized retail crime.

"The organized retail crime push is very exciting for us," said Garth Gasse, RILA director, asset protection. There will be sessions specific to surveillance and counter intelligence efforts.

According to Gasse, in order to fight organized retail crime, the industry has to work backward, to get wholesalers to stop participating and small-store owners to stop selling stolen merchandise. "It's a battle we fight every day," he said. "RILA sees an opportunity to get involved to really help fight through collaboration."

While there are regional groups devoted to battling this type of retail crime, regional groups have boundaries. "The bad guys don't adhere to those boundaries, we are trying to facilitate and get the groups together to work collaboratively," Gasse said.  

RILA prides itself on providing a forum for retailers that normally compete for shoppers to come together and explore some of the larger, more pressing issues within the industry. Said Garth, "this is a topic that brings competitors together."

The remaining five education tracks at this year's event include: audit and analytics, investigations, leadership and development, operational shrink, technology and innovation, and workplace safety.  

Each track features an all-star lineup of retailers including a keynote session from Rick Damon, COO, Lowe's. Damon will speak to the critical role of asset protection in retail operations and at Lowe's. The expected 1,000 attendees will also be treated to a sure-to-be sobering session on workplace safety when Jeremiah Hart, of the Force Training Institute, talks about mitigating the impact of an active shooter, using video analysis of previous real-life incidents.

RILA's Asset Protection Conference takes place April 6-9 at the JW Marriott, Indianapolis.

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