ARE RETAIL ANTI THEFT DEVICES THE BEST STRATEGY FOR LOSS PREVENTION?
As an LP Manager for a rather large company, I often find myself in meetings with other retailers and our law enforcement partners. These “networking” meetings bring together a lot of good information, but it also shows the vulnerabilities of smaller stores in our communities and the necessity for even the smallest of retailers to Prevent Shoplifting.
Just last week, I was invited to a merchant/law enforcement meeting that was hosted by a local Sheriff’s Office. There were the big retailers represented, but what surprised me was the shear amount of smaller, “mom and pop” store managers and owners that came out. I had learned that over the last couple of weeks, several detectives had been making contact with these smaller stores and getting them onboard to come to our meeting, as they continued to express great frustration to the police regarding shoplifters in the area. If anyone can give you advice on how to Prevent Shoplifting, it’s a room full of career Loss Prevention guys and girls.
As it normally does, the questions normally drift to people asking what Retail Anti Theft Device is going to stop people from stealing out of their store. For me, that’s always such a hard question to answer; I know, from my years of experience, there is nothing out there, short of locking everything behind glass, that will completely Prevent Shoplifting. So, just like a shoplifter, I approach this question with caution.
First, you have to understand that in order to be effective against criminals; you have to take a multi-pronged approached. Having one singular Retail Anti Theft Device on a hot product probably isn’t going to make much impact. Now, combine that device with a solid EAS tower, good cameras, with public view monitors, a culture of great customer interaction and service and you’ve got the makings of a winning combination.
That’s the biggest challenge I face with smaller business owners. They don’t have the years of LP experience that I do. It’s almost like when I’m explaining a case to my grandmother. I’ll tell her that someone stole from my store, but they got away. She’ll ask if the car was on video and then will be flabbergasted that I can’t zoom in on the license plate from 2 blocks away like she saw on last week’s episode of Law and Order.
So yes, your store absolutely needs to have the latest in EAS technology to help stem those external losses. Just remember that a well-trained and attentive employee who engages every, single customer can be just as, if not more effective to your loss prevention strategy than any one Retail Anti Theft Device.
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