Arsenal, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are ready to battle it out for Partizan Belgrade starlet Dusan Vlahovic.The 16-year-old, who has been dubbed ‘the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic’, is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in European football.The striker signed his first professional contract with Partizan Belgrade at the age of 15 and in doing so became the youngster ever player on the club’s books.Arsenal, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, according to France Football, are all huge fans of Vlahovic and are ready to scrap for his signature this summer.The trio have reportedly scouted the Serbian on several occasions this season and have been impressed by what they have seen.However, Partizan are keen to hold onto Vlahovic for another year and are reluctant to sell this summer.Check out footage of Vlahovic in action below… Dusan Vlahovic 1
Job Vacancy: A well-established Donegal-based company is seeking a Lorry Driver to join their hard-working, professional and dynamic team.This role is for Rigid & Artic Deliveries.Candidates should have a Full Licence with current CPC. Tipper Experience would be an advantage. To apply, send your CV by email to email@example.com with LORRY DRIVER 501 in the email subject line.Closing date for applications is 30th April 2018Job Vacancy: Lorry Driver required was last modified: April 20th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:deliveriesEmploymentJob Vacancylorry driverrecruitmentTransport
Let’s take a quick run out to CALIFORNIA and see what @ChristelaMcC found in the Outlets closer to Disneyland. Keep in mind that Christela had a baby THIS VERY MONTH, yet her dedication to you – Dear Reader – had her out at the Outlets. That is the type of dedication and work ethic generally only seen in Florida theme park bloggers, so for this month Christela is an honorary Floridian and gets all the perks and privileges that comes with (premium parking at Publix, the right to keep your turn signal while driving on for two hours, and membership into the Bath Salt of the Month Club).Unfortunately for those at the California outlets, they got a sneak peek of what we are about to be deluged with down here in Florida: 2019 branded items.First up is the lanyard and pin starter set. I like the simplicity of the 2019 pin designs. Originally $29.99, marked down to $8.99. The lanyard pouch. Original price $8.99, marked down to $1.99. With the effective end of most people using actual Disney “tickets” and paper Fast Passes being a thing of of the past, I’m not quite sure what most Disney guests would need a lanyard pouch for. Show me the lie.Okay, with that out of the way let’s hit some merch. First up, a pair of items marking the end of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Have to say that I was never a big fan of IllumiNations, but I also understand we’ll probably never get another show like it. Have to say that watching The Imagineering Story on Disney+ really hits the point home for what EPCOT was supposed to be compared to what it has become. Anyhoo, this glow in the dark shirt was originally $24.99, now $5.99.The “farewell” hat was reduced to $5.99.November at the Outlets means you’ll find plenty of Halloween themed items, including this “candy corn” spirit jersey. Reduced to $24.99.Spirit jersey. (photo by Ben Wszalek)This shirt was sold at this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Originally $34.99, now $9.99.MNSSHP. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Can you imagine paying the original price of $9.99 for a SLAP BRACELET? That is next level bonkers. The top side of the slap bracelet has the Disney characters in Halloween outfits while the bottom side has the phrase “Are you SCARED of the park?” No. I’m scared of the PRICE.Slap bracelets. (Photo by @DreamfinderGuy)Plenty of Halloween themed pins were available. Originally $17.99, now $6.99. I guess these are targeting people who “have” to collect everything because they are pretty awful. You “open” the pin to reveal the picture of the character who’s silhouette is on the front.Halloween pins. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)Such as Jafar…Jafar pin. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)Or Ursula. You know what, if Disney wants to sell really scary pins, how about making one for Flounder in that Little Mermaid live show.I feel like that saying on the left is trolling the people who actually paid full price. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)There were several particularly AWFUL hats this month, including this Maleficent-themed “I’m a monster at heart” one. Originally $27.99, now $7.99.Maleficent. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)Get a load of this. Originally $27.99, now $12.99.It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Dooney and Bourke bag featuring the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. Originally $288, now $133.99. America must be a fascinating country to try and understand for anyone who lives outside of it. We have stories of massive college debt, homeless people, and countless people using places like GoFundMe to pay medical bills… yet we have plenty of bags like this for $300.Hocus Pocus. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Bag themed to the Grape Soda pin from Pixar’s Up. Originally $75, now $34.99.This Haunted Mansion bag had a lenticular photo of the hitchhiking ghosts on it. Originally $19.99, now $9.99.Here’s something I don’t understand and maybe one of our fine women readers can clue me in. We have a pizza-themed bag here. Okay, maybe I could see a young kid walking around with this, but the originally price was $74.99! It’s been reduced to $36.99. There’s also anti-theft tags on it. WHO IS STEALING THIS BAG?!!!Pizza. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Whoever can explain why any adult would buy the bag above, can they also explain how this Mad Tea Party is used? Seems like the most impractical purse/bag ever made. Originally $19.99, now $9.99.More questions. My original guess is that this was a Dole Whip themed bag. But Dole Whips aren’t served with a cherry. Neither is just regular soft serve ice cream. So what is this supposed to be? Originally $19.99, now $9.99.A Mickey Bar bag. Originally $19.99, now $9.99. As you can see, even Disney is billing them just as “Disney Souvenirs,” so maybe even they know they aren’t actually useful for anything in the Real World.Speaking of Mickey Bars, here’s a giant plush of one. Originally $27.99, now $9.99. For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, Mickey Bars are my “trigger” ice cream because I pay more for them that any other place in the world.Plush Mickey pretzel. I bought one of these for a Christmas present for the kiddos. Mickey pretzels are one of our go-to snacks at the parks. Originally $14.99, now $9.99.I was THIS CLOSE to picking up the plush pizza slice. Originally $27.99, now $9.99.Plush Dole Whip swirl. This was a “scented” plush, like how they had Lotso bear plush smell like Strawberries when Toy Story 3 came out. Originally $27.99, now $9.99.Dole Whip dress for kids or adults like @JLap64 of the Disney Moms Panel. Note no cherries on any of these Dole Whips. Originally $78, now $24.99.Dole Whip Mickey ears. Originally $19.99, now $7.99. Imagine walking the parks and seeing someone wear this.Much better looking Rainbow ears. Originally $19.99, now $7.99.Rainbow. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Mardi Gras-themed Mickey headband. Originally $19.99, now $7.99. I appreciate a good pun, and this Dumbo hat delivers.Love Finding Nemo, don’t love this hat. Would make a great luggage tag design though. This hat was reduced all the way down to $4.99.Back up to $7.99 for this Queen of Hearts one targeting the Millennial crowd.Another cute one featuring Flower from Bambi.This Beast hat below may be the worst hat Disney ever made. Almost like something you could win in some cheap carnival game at your state fair.Genie hat. I like the detail of the earring.In a previous edition of the Outlet Report we covered the cool Genie lamp tea set that were originally $60 being brought down to $24.99. They also have a more golden Genie Lamp that is $59.99. Not sure of original price but probably close to $100. Note the typo on Aladin. Ready for an onslaught of Disney hats? All were reduced to $7.99. First up are a couple themed to Mickey Mouse.I liked this Timothy J Mouse one.This Mad Tea Party one is certainly something. Share This!Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch!, the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. We have “Bargain” Ben Wszalek covering Vineland and myself – Discount Derek – at I-Drive (addresses are at the end of every report) and we are here to give you the Outlet Report you really want totally deserve. This month we even have some extra special assistance in Orlando courtesy of Outlet Intern @Dreamfinder_Guy. Of course Christela “Clearance” McC is also here with a look at some Outlet items from out in California.Enough jibber jabber! Ready to see what we we found? Alright, let’s go!First, let’s start off with a recurring theme that we have been seeing over the past few months. People going to the Disney Outlet Stores and thinking, “what happened?!!!” 2019 cinch bag. Original price $19.99, marked down to $7.99. We can definitely appreciate that this is themed to Disneyland and not “Disney Parks” in general. It’s nice seeing thins like Monstro and Grizzly Peak in the designs.Not a snow globe in general, but I like this one. Originally $16.99, down to $3.99 The 2019 photo frame original price category TEAL, marked down to $3.99.The 2019 backpack is certainly too “busy” for my taste, but again I like that it’s branded to Disneyland specifically. Originally $39.99, marked down to $10.99No idea who is buying stuff like the 2019 light up lanyards. Original price category ORANGE, marked down to $7.992019 Disneyland keychain with space mountain, fun wheel, grizzly peak and castle charms. Original price category RED, marked down to $3.99.Nana Limited Edition plush. Original price $27.99, marked down to $8.99.“Limited to the amount we can sell.”That’s it from California. Before we head back to Florida we would like to send a big CONGRATS to Christela and thank her for adding another person into this world who will shortly be standing in front of us in line at the Outlets.Okay, we’re back in Sunny Florida. We’ll start off with our plush, which is a Food & Wine Minnie Mouse.Originally $16.99, now $9.99.Food and wine. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)There’s a cottage industry on Etsy filled with people who took the concept of Disney buttons and made their own version. So then Disney went and made their own version on those people’s buttons. It’s like the movie Inception for bad merchandise. Originally $9.99, now $1.99.More buttons. Same price.Mary Poppins pin set. Originally 14.99, now $6.99.This pin set is based on Disney video games on the old Nintendo Entertainment System. You can see Goof Troop and TaleSpin below done in “8 bit” graphics. Pretty cool. What doesn’t make sense is the controller that “hangs” off. Just odd. Reduced to $6.99.Disney Afternoon! (photo by DreamfinderGuy)Frozen character crayon set. Originally $19.99, now $7.99. Not sure if the Orange Anna crayon is a “spoiler” for Frozen 2.More Disney pillow pets (they are called something like Dream Lites.) Here we have Sven from Frozen and Dumbo. Both were reduced to $14.99. Picked up a Dumbo for one of the kiddos.Plush Marshmallow from Frozen. Originally $24.99, now $16.99.Over five years ago I did my first ever “live tweeting from the Magic Kingdom” under the @TouringPlans Twitter handle. Everything was fine until I got to the Merchant of Venus gift shop in Tomorrowland and referred to the plush below as Pink Stitch. Long story short, that was the last time I live tweeted from the @TouringPlans account. Originally $27.99, now $9.99.Here we go. One of my all time FAVORITE characters in all of Disney lore is the “dog with a key” from Pirates of the Caribbean. If he’s on a piece of merchandise, I’ll buy it, that’s my policy. Here we have the dog Wishable. I think this was originally $9.99, but now only $2.99.This Cinderella Castle water globe was originally $54.99, now $19.99. There wasn’t one out of the box so I don’t know if it works like a “snow globe” or if it’s literally just a castle inside a dome of water that you look into. Who knows. What we do know is that even this castle is bigger than the real one inside the Disneyland park out in California.Here’s another item that I was SO CLOSE on buying. A pirate ship playset featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto in pirate outfits. This was originally $54.99, reduced to $24.99. I think it if was down to $19.99 I wouldn’t have thought twice.Looking closely at the back of the box now I see Pluto is dressed as the “dog with a keys” character so you can probably imagine THE REGRET I FEEL NOW.How ridiculous does this look. Kids watch the movies and cartoons and know what things should look like. In no Star Wars movie is there a tie fighter where the pilot is standing halfway outside the ship. Originally $29.99, now $14.99.Plenty of Star Wars stuff at the Outlets, most of it pretty bad.Let’s start off with Vinylmation featuring The Last Jedi. I didn’t even know they were still making Vinylmation. The “Mickey mold” is just horrendous for stuff like this because they just add on the ears and don’t know what to do with them. Originally $14.99, now $6.99.High end Star Wars action figures from the “black” series. These were REDUCED to $19.99, so who knows what they originally cost.The two figures below were die-cast metal. Originally $29.99, now $12.99. You can make the case that there would be a market for C3-PO figures, but that droid on the right? WHHAAAAAAAAAT?!!!!Star Wars. (photo by Ben Wszalek)Here’s a couple magnet sets. Both were originally $9.99 reduced to $1.99. Set on the left is themed to Minnie Mouse and trying to imagine the potential serial killer perfectly sane person that would want a magnet of Minnie’s skirt. I bought the “Mickey kitchen” set on the right for a stocking stuffer.Several MagicBands arrived, each reduced to $7.99. First up, Fox & the Hound.And we got Emperor’s New Groove. Anger from Inside Out.I’m sure there is a story behind this Disney key set, but I don’t know it. Reduced to $4.99.I was actually pleasantly surprised with the new “live action” Lion King remake. I was watching the movie wondering how they would be able to do the “dress up in drag and do the hulu” moment, and I audibly laughed out loud when that scene came on. Just an insane idea and I loved it. Not sure why ANYONE would want the Funko Pops below based on the movie, but they were originally $14.99, now $6.99.This postcard is GORGEOUS. The print is called “Belle in the library” by artist Hediun June Kim. It was the non-discounted price of $5.99.This postcard was also $5.99 and was also FANTASTIC. The title was “Magic on Main Street” by artist Fenway Fan.The art is so good that the coffee mug with it was only reduced to $9.99 instead of the $5.99 the million other coffee mugs are priced at. Originally $15.99.Mickey Mouse tumbler with built in straw. Originally $17.99, now $4.99.Does the person who would buy the bookends below actually be someone who reads enough books that they need bookends? Let’s be real. Originally $34.99, now $14.99. These bookends should be holding up the notebooks that they find in John Doe’s apartment in Se7en.Themed socks are all the rage this year. Originally $9.99, now $3.99.Who’s ready for some Cruise Line merch from the Disney Wonder sailings to Alaska?! I absolutely adore Mickey in his fisherman (or whatever it is) outfit. This shirt was originally $21.99, now $10.99.More stuff from ALASKA!Alaska sailing coffee mugs. Originally $19.99, now $9.99.If I were on the Alaska sailing, have to say I probably would have bought this E-Ticket magnet that looks like a tree stump. Even though I know that EVERY ITEM FROM THE CRUISE LINE ALWAYS GOES TO THE OUTLETS. Originally $14.99, now $5.99.This is a cute fleece throw I would have grabbed if I didn’t already have way too many Disney fleece throws. Reduced to $9.99.I guess this is the new logo of the Disney Cruise Line? Or maybe an old logo I never noticed? I’ll have to consult with Captain Cruiseline @TheDCLBlog to get an answer on this. Anyway this travel blanket was originally $59.99, now $35.99. If you’re wondering if I bought a “travel blanket” for $35, just know that I think we bought one off Southwest airlines on a previous flight for $5 and I feel I need to keep reusing that to justify the money.I couldn’t even figure out what this was supposed to be. Maybe it’s some sort of medal they give you once you sail with Disney more than 100 times. Reduced to $5.99.Jacket from the “Magic of Europe” sailing. The sleeves can be taken off the jacket. Originally $110, now $32.99. Almost bought it just on principle. Not every day I’d see a windbreaker that costs over $100. It would be like shopping for sneakers at the store in Disney Springs run by Michael Jordan’s son that already went out of business.Did you ever think you’d see a uniform from PALO at the Disney Outlet Store? Originally $64.99, now $31.99. Apparently these are from a “Be Our Chef” gimmick that guests could do on the Disney Fantasy.Would love to see more Roger Rabbit-themed merch, like this Jessica’s Diner shirt. Originally $24.99, now $9.99.What does Jessica Rabbit have to do with a diner though?! (photo by Ben Wszalek)LOVE this graphic of Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. It’s a Disney white shirt though, so you could basically put a magazine underneath it and still be able to read it. Originally $34.99, now $12.99.The rare Toy Story Land shirt. Originally $24.99, now $12.99. Notice they didn’t show Wheezy’s microphone cord that has been fixed with duct tape.Cute Monsters, Inc shirt. Originally $24.99, now $9.99.Fantasyland sequin shirt. Originally $24.99, now $9.99. Might want to buy one of these for every one you know who thinks Rise of the Resistance is going to open up this week and run flawlessly.Some princess-themed shirts. Belle shirt on left was originally $34.99, now $12.99 while Jasmine-themed shirt on right was originally $34.99, now $14.99.Two more shirts for Jasmine and Belle, these were both originally $39.99, now $14.99.Here’s a shirt for the all-time books. It says “In my defense I’m a princess” but the only way to read what it says would mean getting so close to the woman wearing it that you’d be #MeToo’d off the face of the planet. Originally $29.99, now $9.99.Minnie Balloons tank top for kids. Originally $24.99, now $9.99.Haunted Mansion t-shirt. “Cast Member” tag says Ghost Host. Originally $29.99, now $9.99.1971 shirt from the Tom Corless Collection, originally $59.99, now $17.99. The perfect shirt to wear when at Animal Kingdom and requesting a personal ride vehicle at Dinosaur. White polo on the left was originally $44.99, now $12.99.What is going on here?!! Originally $42.99, now $19.99.Park Hop ‘Till You Drop hoodie. Price? Well, you see…For some reason my phone was having a “delay” in taking pictures with my phone. I’d hit the button to take a photo, but it would be a couple seconds before the “snap” sound would be heard. Several times I had already started putting the item on the shelf. So my camera roll was filled with shots like this, and a couple I didn’t notice until too late.These are “4 Piece Layette Set.” Today I found out the word “layette” exists. I don’t know what it means, but at least I know it exists. Both sets were originally $49.99, now $19.99.Layette! (photo by Ben Wszalek)Here’s a look inside the it’s a small world one.it’s a small world LAYETTE. (photo by Ben Wszalek)And the Dumbo one.Let’s end on an item that perfectly showcases my relationship with the Disney Outlet Store Photo Report.In this metaphor, I’m Pinocchio.Hold on, what is this sign on the outside at the Outlets?My thoughts on seeing that sign?SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!There are actually two Disney outlet stores in Orlando. Both are in Orlando Premium Outlet shopping complexes, and they are called Disney’s Character Warehouse, presumably because The Land Of Misfit Toys was already trademarked. There is one Character Warehouse located on International Drive close to Universal Studios (4951 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819), and the other is on Vineland Avenue, right across I-4 near the exits to Disney World (8200 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821). They do not ship. There are items at the Outlets that you can buy both in Disney stores along with the Shop Disney Parks app, but you will be paying full retail for the items. For our CALIFORNIA OUTLET trips, @ChristelaMcC goes to the Las Americas outlet in San Diego. It is located right off the last U.S. exit.I often get asked “which store is better?” That depends. Vineland is close to Walt Disney World, while the I-Drive location is a hop, skip, and jump away from the Universal Orlando Resort. The Vineland Disney Outlet Store is much, MUCH bigger than the I-Drive location. However, the Vineland outlets in general are much, MUCH busier than I-Drive. Each have their pros and cons, and ultimately they carry much of the same items. For a Disney Outlet Store FAQ, check out this SATURDAY SIX Presents: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Disney Outlet Stores (But Were Afraid To Ask)Previous editions of Magic, Memories, and Merch: July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, November 2013, December 2013, January 2014, February 2014, March 2014, April 2014, May 2014, June 2014, July 2014, August 2014, September 2014, October 2014, November 2014, December 2015, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015, April 2015, May 2015. June 2015, July 2015, August 2015, September 2015, October 2015, November 2015. December 2015, January 2016, February 2016, March 2016, April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016, August 2016, September 2016, October 2016, November 2016, December 2016, January 2017, February 2017, March 2017, April 2017, May 2017, June 2017, July 2017: The FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY special, August 2017, September 2017, October 2017 (tribute to the O.O.G.), November 2017, December 2017, January 2018, February 2018, March 2018, April 2018, May 2018, June 2018, July 2018 (FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY special with the introduction of the OUTLET HALL OF FAME), August 2018, September 2018, October 2018, November 2018, and December 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, June 2019, and July 2019 (SIX YEAR ANNIVERSARY), August 2019 (major changes come to Outlets), September 2019 (camera hat) and October 2019.We also did an edition of Magic, Memories, and Junk for a non-Disney owned Outlet Store, and for you merch addicts like myself, you may also enjoy a look at the official Disney merchandise available on the Disney Cruise Line, Castaway Cay, and at the Orlando International Airport. Want to see our favorite WDW resort-specific merchandise? Well, CLICK HERE!If you liked what you read here, you may enjoy THE SATURDAY SIX articles every week on the TouringPlans.com blog and you can follow your humble author on Twitter (@derekbugan).
9 June 2010 With days to go to kickoff, World Cup fever has hit South Africa in earnest. Confidence and excitement levels on the streets have reached a 10-year high as the country counts down to what many South Africans are describing as a “second miracle”, after the country’s transition to democracy in 1994. Travel anywhere around South Africa and the first images you’re likely to see are those of the national flag, hoisted from suburban walls, draped from office block windows and balconies, and attached to every third car on the street. “I think the whole country is now united by one goal, and that is to make this World Cup a massive success,” Johannesburg resident James Straider told Fifa.com. “Every time I look at the countdown clock I feel nervous, and I think it’s the excitement that creates that.” John Smit, the captain who led the South African rugby side, the Springboks, to a 2007 Rugby World Cup final triumph, said: “We have seen some unique scenes in our country before, but we are all eagerly waiting for the kick-off of this tournament. “We will be following closely the progress of Bafana Bafana, and we wish Aaron [Mokoena] and the boys all the best of luck,” Smit said. One of the country’s most famous football supporters, “Machaka”, is hoping that South Africa will do the nation proud. “I will definitely be supporting Bafana, although I have a soft spot for other teams. “But for us, it’s important as South Africans to put aside whatever differences we might have and ensure that this tournament becomes a success,” Machaka said. “A lot has been said about our country and it’s capability to host a tournament of this magnitude, but now we are excited.” Much of the optimism inside the Rainbow Nation, as the post-apartheid South Africa is often referred to, is credited to the recent rich vein of form of the country’s senior national side. The team, under veteran Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, have recovered from a dry spell in time for their opening match against Mexico, taking place at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on Friday. They’ve put in some gutsy performances recently, notching up victories against highly rated sides like Colombia and fellow-finalists Denmark. For a side that has experienced mixed fortunes in their history, this recent success has renewed hopes among the locals as they prepare to navigate group A, which also includes France and Uruguay. A majority of the 32 teams competing at the World Cup have already landed in South Africa and are getting the lay of the land ahead of the event. And, without exception, they have given a thumbs up to South Africa’s preparations, with all signs pointing to pure excitement and riveting entertainment for the month ahead. Source: Fifa.com
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One of the many conventional wisdoms in HR is that it is important to increase the diversity of the applicant pool by posting positions and recruiting externally. I could not agree more, except when I disagree.Let’s look at the case of the vacant Marketing Director position of Company ABC. Renee is a Vice President of Marketing and wants to promote Alexa into the vacant position.Following the conventional wisdom relative to increasing diversity, HR strongly encourages Renee to post internally and to recruit externally. Renee reluctantly agrees in response to HR’s persistent encouragement.There are three (3) very strong final candidates. Ultimately, Renee goes with her first choice, Alexa, and promotes her.Alexa is a white woman. One of the unsuccessful external candidates, Max, is a man of color.When Max looks at Alexa’s credentials as she has described them on a social media profile, he concludes he is more qualified than she and files a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging race and gender bias and ultimately sues in court.When deposed, Renee admits, as she must, that she really knew whom she wanted to hire before opening up the position to internal posting and external recruiting. As a result, a number of candidates invested time and emotional energy on an opportunity that was an oasis.How do you think a jury will feel about applicants being played this way? In this case, I am with the plaintiff and not the defendant.What would have happened if the position has not been posted internally and externally? Alexa would have gotten the job but there probably would not have been a charge, let alone a lawsuit.When the deal is effectively sealed, the posting has a fraudulent feel to it and does nothing more than create a pool of potential litigants. Legal and fairness considerations argue against posting in these circumstances.Some employers still post or recruit in these circumstances but add something to the effect “strong internal candidate identified.” This is not transparency but a transparent hedge that may invite attack.I don’t foresee it. I have seen it. So let’s go back to the general recommendation of not posting when you know who you are going to hire.Of course, make sure your policy on posting does not lock you into posting all vacant positions. If the policy states or suggests that you will post in all circumstances, then your failure to post may be used as evidence of discrimination.HR policies need to be drafted to allow for exceptions to general rules to reflect the need for agility in the business world. But let’s not stop there.Where an exception is made, document contemporaneously the legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the exception. This will mitigate, not eliminate, the risk of not posting.Yes, in the case of the vacant Marketing Manager position, there are risks no matter what you do. That’s why HR needs to think more about managing as opposed to avoiding risk.It’s a bit uncomfortable. Once we accept this, we can get more comfortable with it.
Multi-Unit Asset Protection Manager, Kmart, (NJ) The Multi-Unit Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for providing disciplined leadership, including clear expectations and holding the team and self-accountable for results. This position is accountable for conducting the training, detection, investigation, and successful resolution of all internal investigations within the assigned stores. This position is responsible for owning the shrink and safety results for the stores, and for supporting the Loss Prevention Five Play Strategy… Learn moreDistrict Loss Prevention Manager, Kohl’s, (CA) The DLPM develops and implements the loss prevention program for 6 -15 selling locations. The DLPM is responsible for driving results through achievement of goals related to inventory shortage, budget lines, cash variance, and operational compliance. In addition, the DLPM is responsible for the selection and career development of all exempt and non-exempt loss prevention personnel within the assigned locations… Learn moreLoss Prevention & Safety Manager, Lowe’s, (NC) This position implements loss prevention and safety programs, overseeing and coordinating processes to minimize loss while maintaining a safe working and shopping environment. In addition, this position will train and provide mentorship around safety and loss prevention for teams of individual contributors in multiple store locations… Learn more- Sponsor – Loss Prevention Supervisor, Elder-Beerman, (KY) Our Loss Prevention Supervisors work with the regional loss prevention team and store management to improve internal shortage controls, reduce the opportunity for store loss and ensure the safety of customers and associates. Our supervisors coordinate internal investigations and direct in-store training for all of our corporate programs… Learn more Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
A male shoplifting suspect has been coming into Store 153 three times a week for as long as anybody can remember. Store management has even attributed this guy as a major cause of the store’s shrink woes that have put them on the corporation’s “target store” list for the last two inventory cycles. As the store’s loss prevention agent, you have tried to stop him in the past, but it seems like you have always been just one step behind him and unable to make the shoplifter apprehension.“Today is going to be different,” you say to yourself.You can feel it. Today he is finally going to get what’s coming to him, and, more importantly, your apprehension dry spell is going to end. No more excuses needed for the boss. Today you are going to be stopping the shoplifter that nobody else has been able to get.- Sponsor – You have spent the last ten minutes following the suspect through the store, tracking him carefully from the moment he entered. You know and understand the steps of the apprehension process. You have observed him approach, select, and conceal multiple computer accessories that you estimate to be worth over $200.“Just maintain constant surveillance.”You never lose sight of him. He definitely still has the merchandise as he passes all of the open and operating registers, failing to declare the merchandise in his coat.“He’s heading for the door…”Decision TimeAt this point, most seasoned loss prevention agents (LPA) begin to experience a rush of adrenaline and a stream of internal dialogue:Am I sure that he is attempting to steal this merchandise? “Yes, I am sure.”Is there any possibility that the merchandise could have been paid for by the suspect or anyone else? “No.”Can I handle this shoplifter apprehension on my own? “He looks pretty manageable. I’ve dealt with bigger and scarier shoplifters, and come out okay.”Could he have a gun on him? “Oh, good question. It is a pretty big coat, but I’ve been doing this a long time and have never seen a gun.”What about a knife? “Nah, I’ve got this.”Needle in his pocket? “Okay, enough with the questions and second-guessing. Today is the day for this guy!”You decide that your pre-stop requirements have been met and cautiously follow the suspect out to the sidewalk in front of the store. You approach him and say: “Good afternoon, sir. I am an LP agent with this store, and I need to speak with you privately back in store, please.”What happens now? How have you presented yourself? Did you run up and grab his shoulder? Did you walk past him to approach him from the front? Were you professional, yet firm? Were you nervous and unsure, or perhaps a bit aggressive and confrontational? Does the shoplifter run? Does he swing at you? Does the shoplifter return to the LP office willingly? Does he produce unpaid merchandise when asked?The safety of the LP agent, customers, and the shoplifter, as well as thousands or even millions of dollars in potential litigation, are all at risk and dependent upon the answers to these questions during an apprehension scenario. If any portion of this scenario is handled incorrectly, even just slightly, the results could be inconvenient, expensive, or even tragic. Even if everything was handled correctly, was it worth the risks?Is Stopping the Shoplifter Worth the Risk?Anyone who has worked in the LP industry for more than ten years has probably seen some significant changes in loss prevention processes and technology. We have seen evolutions from analog “still” CCTV cameras to digital PTZs to facial recognition security cameras, from dusty VCRs to DVRs with remote access, and from padlocks to RFID to sensor fusion. In addition, exception-based reporting programs and advanced prescriptive analytics have evolved into enterprise-wide data-mining systems that are helping to diagnose shrink issues throughout the store.But one aspect of the industry has not evolved over the years. One process that remains essentially unchanged over the years is the shoplifter apprehension. Regardless of the new technology or technique used to get to the point of detention, once LP agents get outside the store and are face to face with the suspect, the process is about the same as it has always been. They are unarmed, unequipped, and often alone. Their job then requires them to confront an unknown suspect about a crime that has just been committed. These facts have remained the same since the first shoplifter was detained many decades ago.For years, we have hired entry-level LP professionals and, in most cases, provided them with rigorous training dedicated to the apprehension of external theft candidates. We have embedded in their heads the necessity to ensure that they observe some form of the following steps prior to making an apprehension:ApproachSelectionConcealmentConstant surveillancePassing all points of saleExiting (in most companies)We have gone to great lengths to warn the trainee about the danger of the non-productive detainment (bad stop) and the potential for dangers that can occur when engaging physically with a shoplifter. But there is a push for results. A constant pressure upon LP agents every time they speak with their supervisor, send in weekly productivity reports, talk with their competitive peers, or even when talking with the associates that work in the store—”Say, when are you going to catch that shoplifter who keeps stealing all of our Beats headphones?”So emphasized is the need for productivity that some companies still base loss prevention associate reviews and performance metrics, if not entirely, at least in part, on apprehension statistics. Raises, promotions, and even continued employment are often contingent upon agents’ ability to produce stops and apprehend shoplifters.The typical metric of performance assessment involves “quota” demands, though that term is often avoided strongly. Instead, a more politically correct description is used—hours per apprehension (HPA), that is, hours worked divided by number of apprehensions made during the week, month, or year. Some companies go so far as to mention specific “goal” numbers, which are usually around 17 or 18, meaning one apprehension for every 17 or 18 hours worked.So, rather than using the actual LP program report card—the shrink number—some store-level LP teams, as well as many LP field managers, are still judged by their “body count.” Could this constant feeling of pressure lead to mistakes or poor decision making? Could this pressure also lead to the associate displaying increased anxiety, excitement, or adrenaline-fueled behavior during the apprehension process? “Yes,” said Jason Scheel, LPQ, former director at Compass Loss Prevention. “I have seen the unfortunate side effects of some LP agents feeling too much pressure to make shoplifter apprehensions, resulting in non-apprehension approaches [bad stops] or fights. I still see too many of them, or at least more than I’d like to see.”Shoplifter Apprehensions Turning ViolentAside from mistakes by the LPA that lead to a conflict with a shoplifting suspect, there may also be unknown variables in play pertaining to the suspect. Even if the approach and confrontation by the LPA is “textbook” and professional, any of these variables could result in a “simple” shoplifter apprehension escalating to something much more serious. For example, the subject could have an active arrest warrant, could be in possession or under the influence of a foreign substance, or could be experiencing a feeling of desperation with nothing to lose.A significant number of the LP professionals interviewed for this article believe that violence in shoplifter apprehensions for whatever reason is increasing, leading to more injuries and even deaths of, not only, LP personnel, but customers and shoplifters as well.In 2012, the National Retail Federation released results of a survey of their members that found shoplifting incidents turn violent 13 percent of the time. You can still find examples of apprehension-related violence in our Breaking News posts on a regular basis.Changing TimesSenior loss prevention professionals have lived through changing times. “If you stay in this career long enough, you are going to have a violent encounter,” said Brian Harless, an LP supervisor with a major discount retailer, “but the difference between when I first started and now? Take the weapons, for example. When I first worked in LP in the 1990s, there were maybe a handful of knives that we would take off shoplifters. Now, however, I have a small shoebox full.”Many LP departments were forced to drastically cut payroll with the economic downturn. This may have been a contributing factor to apprehension-related violence. In many retailers, departmental cuts led to only one LP agent working at a time. It has reduced options for the LPA in acquiring help from the store teams.One former LP manager for a big-box retailer explained it this way: “When I first started in LP, I had about 448 hours of coverage per week for each of our superstores. The team was making shoplifter apprehensions with three people outside and one in the camera room. It was rare that someone would run, and even rarer for them to fight. Now it’s a different story. The teams are running at 80 to 100 hours per week, and people are making shoplifter stops on their own. We started the whole ‘no-contact’ thing a few years back, and it seems to be helping a bit. But it’s still a scary thing to be out there by yourself.”Being alone, the scary feelings, the rush of adrenaline–all of those factors contribute to poor decision making and potentially disregard of no-contact or non-apprehension policies.Consider the scenario presented at the beginning of this post. The LP agent actually watches a crime unfold, and then approaches the shoplifter alone immediately after the fact, when the suspect’s emotions and adrenaline are probably running at their highest. Anyone with any foresight would probably agree that this is creating a situation fraught with potential disaster.Even police officers rarely have the opportunity to see a crime through from occurrence to detainment, at least not with the same frequency that LP agents do. Police officers typically arrive after the crime has taken place and are well equipped with batons, handcuffs, pepper spray, actual arrest powers, side arms, and plenty of backup. The LPA intervenes during the crime and often has nothing more than a walkie-talkie or cell phone for backup.Value of Shoplifter ApprehensionsTraditionally, loss prevention programs were built on the foundation of shoplifter apprehension. This function was leveraged as one of shrink reduction, not one of crime prevention or punishment. It is the very job function that led to our industry’s creation. In an earlier time, when we didn’t have strong operational knowledge, data analysis, or predictive modeling capabilities, spending our time and resources on this function may have made sense. But does it make sense now? Does stopping shoplifters have the kind of impact on shrink that we once thought? Again, the answer is no.The impact of shoplifting and the apprehension of offenders on shrink is still an open question and often a topic of heated discussion. Ask twenty different members of the LP industry what percentage of their shrink issues can be attributed to shoplifters, and you will likely get twenty different answers.In a 2012 poll, more than 70 percent of participants placed shoplifting at less than a quarter of their yearly shrink. Most of these professionals agree that shoplifter concerns vary with different retail models, but that regardless, the actual impact is a small fraction of yearly shrink when compared to other causes. Add to this that we are probably only actually apprehending a small fraction of that small fraction, and questions can be raised about the necessity to focus on shoplifting at all.According to recent retail theft statistics, retailers show a figure of approximately $48.9 billion in shrink for 2016, with an external theft apprehension recovery figure of just over $120 million. This comes out to less than 1 percent of total shrink. One percent! If this is accurate, this is a staggering statistic. Even when a substantial margin of error is factored in, this data does not support the philosophy of any loss prevention program that spends the bulk of their time and capital investing in the apprehension of shoplifters. And when the high control risks for injury, death, and litigation are thrown into the equation, it makes even less sense.In analyzing a 2012 report developed by Merchant Analytic Solutions, if we credit shoplifting (external) as roughly 24 percent of yearly shrink, consider all of the control risk that is associated. Now look at the 76 percent of other losses. These represent the bulk of our concerns and have the lowest risks associated with mitigation. As an industry, we allocate 70 to 80 percent of our budgetary distribution toward the high control risk, low-impact factor of external theft. How does this make sense?Why This Approach?“Shoplifting is an easy scapegoat for the shrink woes of some stores, districts, or retailers as a whole,” says one former vice president of LP at a major specialty retailer. “Shoplifting is that one consistent, universal, uncontrollable evil that exists in all of retail, and is often used as an accessible and believable excuse.”There is some truth in that quote. Shoplifting is an easy-to-identify, easy-to-blame occurrence that happens in every retailer. The gut feeling for many in retail, especially operators, is that shoplifters are the primary cause of shrink. Even though we have multiple data with colorful pie charts that say otherwise, shoplifters still somehow get top billing. Perhaps then, just showing the pie chart isn’t enough.Think about your last visit with the store manager in one of your high-shrink locations. Assuming that you discussed shrink strategy, what was the first thing the manager blamed? Typically, it’s shoplifters. How often have you heard something to the effect of, “There’s one guy that comes in every other day and wipes out my batteries and deodorant. When are you guys going to catch him?”More often than not, something along this line is the default answer, and often through no fault of the store manager. They may know that internal theft (“My employees won’t steal from me.”), administrative errors, and vendor issues contribute to shrink, but not to what extent. Perhaps they also have not been trained on how to actually diagnose and fix the other 76 percent of their losses. So what they are left with is what is happening right in front of them—shoplifting.How Do We Evolve?Wouldn’t it be nice if the next time you ask that store manager about shrink, they answered in the following way? “We had to rush through our seasonal change over after Christmas, and, as a result, our price-change processes and overall pricing integrity has gone by the wayside a bit. This has led to a tremendous influx of SRAs at the front registers, manifesting themselves as line voids, price modifications, and generic SKU entries. This could have led to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in deteriorated margin and shrink across multiple SKUs in a number of categories and departments. But my LP associate caught it, and now we are working together to ensure that the issue is corrected.” This would be a welcome change, no?A companywide shift in LP culture and focus can help get you to that point. Moving the focus away from external theft and more onto the controllable elements of shrink can help:Reduce shrinkImprove gross marginIncrease net profitIncrease stock valueDecrease the pressures associated with the “need” to apprehend shopliftersThese decreased pressures result in a decreased risk of injury, death, and/or litigation in shoplifter apprehensions.Some retailers are at the forefront of this evolution in LP culture. Consider the results of a Fortune 25 specialty retail chain that began undergoing a shift in culture in 2002 with excellent results. The company focus–not just LP–was shifted from an apprehension-driven external-theft mindset to one of operational knowledge and holistic vision. The program was centered on the mitigation of SRA (sales reducing activities) and their operational causes.This retailer did not forbid external apprehensions completely, giving the option to the store management team, but only if they felt they had no alternative. The company adopted and enforced a no-touch, no-contact policy, as well as a stringent product-protection, theft-prevention program. They reviewed their LP team based on a combination of overall shrink numbers, SRA mitigation, and company performance.As a result of these changes, over the next five years, this retailer saw a 94 percent improvement in shrink (over $800 million), 11 percent improvement in gross margin, and an impressive 85 percent bump in net profit. The shift in LP focus had a tremendous effect.Similar culture changes are being tested in other forward-thinking retailers worldwide. Access to data across the entire business enterprise, as well as our ever-improving abilities to analyze and interpret it is giving us a much more holistic view of loss prevention’s ability to control shrink. Maybe this is leading us toward having more influence on the 76 percent of shrink that is controllable, rather than having to place quite as much risk, emphasis, effort, and expense in trying to manage the uncontrollable 24 percent.To Stop or Not to StopYour department and company need to consider how much impact shoplifting is actually having on profits–and then react accordingly. There are other aspects of shrink occurring in your buildings that contribute to the bulk of your shrink woes. These aspects are more controllable and much safer to address.However, if your company has decided that shoplifting apprehensions are a necessary part of your shrink strategy, consider implementing or revisiting the following measures:Us shoplifter apprehension as a last resort.Institute and enforce a zero-tolerance no-chase, no-touch policy for all employees.Anytime labor reductions necessitate a cut in LP payroll, revisit and revise safety practices with the remaining team members.Encourage a “buddy system”—could be manager, floor associate, uniformed security—to avoid LP agents making shoplifter apprehensions alone.Hire LPAs with good business acumen and the ability to learn company operations as well as theft mitigation.Ensure that new hires are aware of the differences between working in law enforcement and working in loss prevention.Ensure that they are capable of always making decisions that are in the best interest of safety, shrink mitigation, and the overall company brand.Expose LPAs to category, department, and/or SKU-related shrink results, and ensure that their focus is prioritized appropriately.Encourage the practice and recognize the success of prevention technique recoveries as a part of the LPA job description.Train and require continued training on all facets of the business operation, including perpetual inventory process, price changes, markdowns, seasonal changeovers, DSD and receiving processes, POS system operation, SRA analysis and mitigation, and others.Use shrink results as the LP report card. Review and promote LPAs on their ability to impact shrink through productivity and a combination of these measures. Their success and the shrink success of their stores or spans of control should go hand in hand.On this subject, the bottom line does not refer to company profits. Be safe. And remember that nothing in your store is worth your life or anyone else’s.This article was originally published in 2012 and was updated July 18, 2018. You’ve just read one of LPM’s most popular articles. Discover more high-quality industry content from LP Magazine with a digital or print subscription. [Start my FREE subscription today.] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Excellence in PartnershipsWayne Hoover, CFI, Owner / Vice President of CFI Programming, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates “Believe it or not, I started with WZ straight out of college,” said Hoover. “I had no experience, but Dave Zulawski and Doug Wicklander were willing to take a chance on me as an undercover coordinator and investigator. By 1994, I had become a trainer for WZ while also serving as police commissioner for North Aurora Police. In 1997, I became a partner at WZ, and in 2002, I began managing the CFI designation program. From there, Shane Sturman and I bought WZ from Doug Wicklander in 2009 and from Dave Zulawski in 2015.”When building business partnerships, Hoover feels that sincerity is the most important quality you can have in a relationship. “Being sincere in what you can and cannot accomplish helps build trust,” he said. “But you must also be a connector. If you don’t have the answer or the service that helps your partners, go find it for them and share it, so they know you’re there to help them be successful.”Hoover also has some advice for young leaders working their way up the career ladder. “When I look at the things that are most important to me—my family both at home and at WZ, and all of my partners in the field that help me work at being the best person I can be—there are many things that come to mind: faith, love, commitment, integrity, finances, and relationships, just to name a few. But there are three words that I truly believe encompasses all of these areas and can help everyone become successful in whatever it is they are doing: work at it! Work at your job. Work at your relationships, both at home and at work. Work at your finances. Work at whatever it is you find to be important in your life. If you’re willing and able to do that, everything else usually falls into place.”- Sponsor – Nominations Are EncouragedThe LPM team is privileged to have a front-row seat to the very best in the loss prevention industry, providing a unique opportunity to present positive, productive ways to promote loss prevention, build successful and constructive partnerships, educate and inform the LP community, and support the thought leadership that drives us forward.The LP Magazine “Magpie” Awards are a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. Wayne Hoover is among our November–December 2018 recipients.We want this to be your program. Those of you working as LP practitioners witness these exceptional performances on a regular and ongoing basis, and we strongly encourage you to provide us with nominees for each of the award categories. We encourage creative nominations and want the program to cast a positive light on the many tremendous contributions of the loss prevention community. Nominations can be submitted via email to excellence [at] LPportal.com.Find out who else has been recognized in the November–December 2018 issue – check out “LPM “Magpie” Awards: Applauding Excellence.” Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now