By Allison Febrey, Manager, Research & Insights, FMI
A can of soup, a stapler, a trophy—what do these items all have in common? Their ability to protect you in the case of an active assailant threat. Recently, we received active assailant training at FMI. As part of this training, we were asked to look around our desks and identify objects that could be used to defend against an active assailant. By having a plan in place, we are better prepared should an act of violence occur.
This exercise reminded me of all the work food retailers do to keep their associates, customers and assets safe. With input from key stakeholders, FMI recently published a state-of-the-industry Asset Protection in Food Retail 2023 report. This second-annual report spotlights how asset protection professionals have been adapting their strategies to address a wide range of traditional and emerging threats—from natural disasters to active shooters.
While our training brought safety and preparedness top of mind for me, violence prevention is a focus for food retailers too. In fact, the most significant asset protection concerns are violence prevention (96%), active assailants (94%), in-store associate safety (91%) and emergency preparedness (90%).
Asset protection now touches almost all parts of the food retail business. Professionals have a plethora of responsibilities. Top areas of direct responsibilities include security (97%), people safety (95%), shrink (89%) and distribution (80%). Asset protection professionals have truly embraced the role of partner within their retail organizations.
As asset protection continues to evolve, the food retail industry is looking ahead to continue keeping people and assets safe. Key areas of focus include de-escalating violent situations, determining realistic approaches to addressing active assailants, validating new technologies, and more.
FMI has developed guides and training programs covering a breadth of asset protection issues, available here.
For more insights about asset protection, download the Asset Protection in Food Retail 2023 report, available only for FMI members.