By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI

Executives collaborating illustration

In 2024, the threat environment facing businesses, including food retailers, has evolved into a complex tapestry of domestic and transnational challenges. The need for a comprehensive understanding of these threats, coupled with proactive measures to mitigate risks, has never been more crucial. There is a growing presence of Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs), as witnessed in recent grocery incidents. In addition, this year, in what is anticipated to be a contentious election cycle, will add even more complexity and likely lead to increased tension and disruptions that U.S. businesses must navigate.

Heightened Vigilance is Essential

Today's threat environment is shifting and is characterized by a confluence of factors that demand heightened vigilance from businesses. Domestic issues, such as social unrest and economic uncertainties, intermingle with transnational threats like cyberattacks and supply chain disruptions. Food retailers, being integral components of the consumer ecosystem, find themselves at the intersection of potential risks on so many fronts. It's critical for retailers to understand each of these threats as they develop emergency response plans, such as:

  • What if you end up falling victim to the latest organized retail theft campaign?
  • What are your business protocols if a protest in your neighborhood turns violent?
  • What if a disgruntled employee, desperate shopper, or domestic extremist opens fire during the weekend shopping rush?

Managing these challenges individually, and taking them on in total, requires a comprehensive understanding of today's threats and vigilance that includes robust, up-to-date preparedness planning. The FMI Violence Preparedness Committee continues to review the landscape and resources to help the industry prepare for these complexities and risks and offer collaboration opportunities for food retailing industry professionals around loss prevention to predict, confront and resolve common issues or concerns using an all hazards, all threats, all crime, all the time approach.

Mastering Today's Challenges

The 2024 Asset Protection & Grocery Resilience Conference has key topics such as Civil Unrest, Theft, De-escalation and Resilience. This month, on February 15, The Power of Preparedness (TPOP) Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer William Flynn will discuss the threat environment and how to prepare for them in a digital seminar co-hosted by TPOP and FMI. According to Flynn, “We are all in the business of managing risk, and an important element of that is understanding the threats that pose the greatest probability and consequences.” The free session, What Today's Complex Threat Environment Means to US Businesses, including Food Retailers will highlight big picture strategic threats, those with the greatest likelihood of impacting the food retail industry, as well as preparedness recommendations and best practices.

To learn more about The Power of Preparedness online training and access the FMI member discount, visit:

To register for the February 15 presentation: What Today's Complex Threat Environment Means to US Businesses, including Food Retailers, visit:

FMI-TPOP Presentation