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Building a Safe, Healthy Retail Environment: Insights from Loss Prevention, Asset Protection, and Learning & Development Experts

The news reports have shocked us all. A gunman walks into a store and opens fire on customers and associates. “Flash-mob robbers” target stores and ransack malls. Organized Retail Crime (ORC) rings post videos brazenly documenting their criminal activity as they steal thousands of dollars of merchandise, damage property, and shatter a sense of safety and security in local communities.

I’m someone who literally grew up in retail — I went to work with my dad at his paint and hardware store as a child and later spent more than 25 years in the field and senior store operations for major retailers before joining MOHR Retail to serve the industry with talent development, coaching, and training solutions.

So many of the events that have transpired across the country in recent months have stuck with me. They underscore the real risks and challenges today’s retailers and their associates are facing amid a rise in gun violence, Organized Retail Crime (ORC), and theft, as well as the workplace stress and mental health issues that accompany these incidents. With staffing shortages, burnout, and turnover increasing, these issues are making it even harder to recruit, hire, and retain associates and leaders — and that only makes things more difficult for your staff and for your customers.


These are big challenges, and retailers can’t solve all of them on their own, but there are some action steps and best practices that will help keep team members and customers safe while also helping to reduce losses due to theft.

We recently gathered a panel of industry experts to discuss the issue, its prevalence, and impact, and to share strategies that will support a safer, healthier, and more productive retail environment. You can read some highlights of the key takeaways from that discussion, and I encourage you to download the full paper here for actionable ideas you can apply immediately.


A special thank you to all of our panelists for their insightful commentary and valuable advice:


  • Leorn Chatman, Senior Manager, Loss Prevention, Westlake Ace Hardware
  • JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect, Axonify, a technology provider that offers training and communication tools for frontline retail associates
  • Paul Jones, Director, Executive Board Member, Loss Prevention Foundation
  • Mike Limauro, Vice President, Global Asset Protection, Whole Foods Market

Mary Beth Garcia, CEO

P.S. As our panelists emphasized, retail leaders must set the tone and create a welcoming environment for concerns. Effective listening is a skill to be learned and developed, just like any other. Done well, it builds trust and encourages more feedback and conversations. Get in touch to learn how to leverage our Retail Store Leadership program to equip your leaders with the skills, strategies, and confidence they need.

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2024 Public Workshops: Enrolling Now!

Retail Multiunit Leadership (RML)

5 virtual sessions held weekly

1:00-4:30 PM ET

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  • March 12 – April 9, 2024
  • Sept.10 – Oct. 8, 2024

Retail Store Leadership (RSL)

8 virtual sessions held weekly

12:00-2:00 PM ET

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  • May 14 – July 2, 2024

Store Support Leadership (SSL)

8 virtual sessions held weekly

2:00-4:00 PM ET

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  • Oct. 1 – Nov. 19, 2024

Refreshed and Relaunched Leadership Training to Upskill District and District LP Leaders Drives High Engagement and Results

For several years now, we’ve worked with this large off-price retailer, delivering leadership training with the senior and multiunit leaders, as well as all store leadership levels. Most recently, we led leadership development for all new district managers and district loss prevention managers.

Among other results, the organization has reported the training is helping them:

  • Build consistency in leadership and talent development strategies
  • Develop bench strength to grow more leaders internally
  • Create a common communication language through our DiSC personal style indicator

➡️ Read the success story!

Fresh Ideas in Retail

The MOHR Retail team learned, shared insights, and got a taste of Music City at AxoniCOM 2023 in Nashville last month. Mary Beth Garcia also served as a panelist on a session entitled “Make Sure Your Frontline is Prepared for Anything!”

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay current on the latest retail trends, learning events, and other retail news. You’ll also find valuable tips, best practices, and strategies you and your team can apply to strengthen the culture, improve productivity and engagement, and increase your impact on the business.

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