Federal Way leaders set Retail Safety Summit for Jan. 20

Meeting to develop strategies to reduce shoplifting, organized retail crime.

Federal Way leaders are hosting a retail safety summit in January to address retail crime.

The meeting is from 9:30-11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in the Federal Way City Hall Council Chambers (33325 8th Ave. South).

Objectives of the meeting include building partnerships with Federal Way retailers and developing strategies to reduce shoplifting and organized retail crime.

Attendees will also participate in discussions with Mayor Jim Ferrell, Police Chief Andy Hwang and others.

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce is also partnering with the city on this project. Federal Way’s business community has shared that the issue of trespassing at storefronts is a top concern and enforcing laws that keep employers, their employees, and their customers safe is just good business, said CEO Rebecca Martin.

“In addition to the standard concerns of business on retail theft which typically spike during economic downturns and holidays, consumer protection also is a focused concern of the business community,” Martin said. “Letting the consumer know that it is safe to shop in the store is critically important to the bottom line of our businesses.”

Commerce is in a time of evolving and Martin said she believes we are in the process of rethinking this industry. This raises questions, such as: What is the impact of online shopping on commercial real estate? How do we create an environment where national chains and small businesses coexist? How will transportation and housing mandates impact our business base? What tools do we need to stabilize and grow our existing businesses?

Martin said the chamber appreciates the collaborative efforts of elected officials to keep Federal Way and its surrounding communities safe.

Both small business and large retail business owners or managers are encouraged to attend. Corporate retail partners and loss prevention personnel should also attend the Jan. 20 meeting.

In 2020, the economic impact of retail and hospitality in Federal Way is more than $290 million dollars in industry wages, with an average salary of $44,715, according to the chamber’s data.

“Our businesses spend a lot of time and effort to make it as safe as possible for customers, especially during this holiday shopping season,” Martin said. “On behalf of the business leaders at the Chamber, we welcome you to our community and know you will enjoy the hospitality of our stores and restaurants.”

For more information about the meeting or any questions, contact Michelle Roy, Federal Way crime analyst and crime prevention coordinator, at michelle.roy@cityoffederalway.com or 253-835-6706.