Trying To Stop Shoplifting Can Be Crazy – How Do You Do It?


Training to reduce employee theft-3                                                                                      WC Blog 644
stop shoplifting-3

Trying To Stop Shoplifting Can Be Crazy – How Do You Do It?

     Three employees try to stop shoplifting by two or was it three shoplifters at once? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well, that was what happened the other night at the store I work at as a sales associate. It was getting to be a bit after 7:00pm and I was on a cash register, the manager on duty was helping me ring up sales and the third employee was busy assisting another customer. I noticed a customer walk in who seemed very fidgety and I greeted him from my register and asked if he would need help. He asked where printer ink was located and I gave him directions and kept an eye on the cctv monitor for that area. I pointed him out to my manager. We both noticed a second individual walk into another area with electronics merchandise in it. We worked to get our lines down so we could provide customer service to these two “customers”. The manager working with me recognizes my Loss Prevention Management background and respects my suspicions when something or someone does not feel right. I would ask owners of smaller, self-owned stores what do YOU do to prevent theft? Do you know how crooks operate and the methods they use to rip off stores? Do you understand the impact dishonest employees and shoplifters have on a business? Training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting can bring you up to speed and actually help improve the bottom line for your business.

     You read correctly that I was formerly a Loss Prevention Manager and I have over 28 total years of retail experience. I have seen the different ways large stores try to train employees and managers on how to prevent theft but they are not all equal and in many cases it is done only in a poor video training format. The best training I have found incorporates a live training session(s) in addition to follow-up videos and training modules. I have conducted new hire orientations and spent time coaching cashiers on how to prevent fraudulent transactions. I know first-hand the impact it has on people when they can ask questions and interact with an instructor. That is why I strongly recommend the training to reduce employee theft offered from Loss Prevention Systems Inc. They offer several seminars that teach store owners and managers on theft related issues. They also incorporate webinars, blogs and newsletters into a comprehensive package all with informed information from people who have extensive Loss Prevention backgrounds. You may not be able to afford a Loss Prevention team for your business but you can afford to learn the way to combat theft from Loss Prevention Systems Inc.

     To continue with our encounter, I stayed with the customer in the ink department as he pretended to try to contact someone on his phone to get him the information on his printer for the ink he needed. He bided his time to see if I would go away but I’m all about customer service and waited patiently. In the meantime a third suspicious person asked me for directions to the restrooms. The manager had observed this while he was finishing his transactions and said he had watched this guy watch me as I was helping the patron in the ink department (yup, it gets crazy to follow).  The manager finished and went to help the second subject in the electronics area. The manager told me later that the subject began rambling about nonsense when the manager offered to assist him. He also told me he saw something in the suspect’s hands that he tried to hide then put down and it turned out to be a box containing $30 earbuds. The box had been torn open and the customer had already started to remove the contents so the manager did stop shoplifting in this case. My suspect finally left the store and hung around the entrance looking back in so I stayed near the front where he could see me. The second suspect, uh, I mean customer, came to the register and put down three sets of earbuds at a total cost of $60 and then said he forgot his wallet and would be right back. Oddly, he never returned and the third suspect left without us seeing him.

     I am certain we stopped a significant amount of loss but I could not quantify a total amount. Had this been YOUR store would you and your managers have known what to do? Would you have even recognized the suspicious actions or that the people were probably working together? I can’t be at your store but training to reduce employee theft and prevent shoplifting from LPSI can ensure that you will be able to handle bad guys who want to steal from you effectively and safely.
Need information on training to reduce employee theft? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.

Three employees try to stop shoplifting by two or was it three shoplifters at once? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well, that was what happened the other night at the store I work at as a sales associate. It was getting to be a bit after 7:00pm and I was on a cash register, the manager on duty was helping me ring up sales and the third employee was busy assisting another customer. I noticed a customer walk in who seemed very fidgety and I greeted him from my register and asked if he would need help. He asked where printer ink was located and I gave him directions and kept an eye on the cctv monitor for that area. I pointed him out to my manager. We both noticed a second individual walk into another area with electronics merchandise in it. We worked to get our lines down so we could provide customer service to these two “customers”. The manager working with me recognizes my Loss Prevention Management background and respects my suspicions when something or someone does not feel right. I would ask owners of smaller, self-owned stores what do YOU do to prevent theft? Do you know how crooks operate and the methods they use to rip off stores? Do you understand the impact dishonest employees and shoplifters have on a business? Training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting can bring you up to speed and actually help improve the bottom line for your business.
     

You read correctly that I was formerly a Loss Prevention Manager and I have over 28 total years of retail experience. I have seen the different ways large stores try to train employees and managers on how to prevent theft but they are not all equal and in many cases it is done only in a poor video training format. The best training I have found incorporates a live training session(s) in addition to follow-up videos and training modules. I have conducted new hire orientations and spent time coaching cashiers on how to prevent fraudulent transactions. I know first-hand the impact it has on people when they can ask questions and interact with an instructor. That is why I strongly recommend the training to reduce employee theft offered from Loss Prevention Systems Inc. They offer several seminars that teach store owners and managers on theft related issues. They also incorporate webinars, blogs and newsletters into a comprehensive package all with informed information from people who have extensive Loss Prevention backgrounds. You may not be able to afford a Loss Prevention team for your business but you can afford to learn the way to combat theft from Loss Prevention Systems Inc.
     

To continue with our encounter, I stayed with the customer in the ink department as he pretended to try to contact someone on his phone to get him the information on his printer for the ink he needed. He bided his time to see if I would go away but I’m all about customer service and waited patiently. In the meantime a third suspicious person asked me for directions to the restrooms. The manager had observed this while he was finishing his transactions and said he had watched this guy watch me as I was helping the patron in the ink department (yup, it gets crazy to follow).  The manager finished and went to help the second subject in the electronics area. The manager told me later that the subject began rambling about nonsense when the manager offered to assist him. He also told me he saw something in the suspect’s hands that he tried to hide then put down and it turned out to be a box containing $30 earbuds. The box had been torn open and the customer had already started to remove the contents so the manager did stop shoplifting in this case. My suspect finally left the store and hung around the entrance looking back in so I stayed near the front where he could see me. The second suspect, uh, I mean customer, came to the register and put down three sets of earbuds at a total cost of $60 and then said he forgot his wallet and would be right back. Oddly, he never returned and the third suspect left without us seeing him.
     

I am certain we stopped a significant amount of loss but I could not quantify a total amount. Had this been YOUR store would you and your managers have known what to do? Would you have even recognized the suspicious actions or that the people were probably working together? I can’t be at your store but training to reduce employee theft and prevent shoplifting from LPSI can ensure that you will be able to handle bad guys who want to steal from you effectively and safely.

 

Need information on training to reduce employee theft? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.

 

Don’t Settle For Stagnant Shortage Results – Use Sensormatic Labels

 

Sensormatic labels -4                                                                                                 wc blog 741
Stop Shoplifting – 3
Don’t Settle For Stagnant Shortage Results – Use Sensormatic Labels
     If I were to ask retail owners if they would like to stop shoplifting from taking place in their stores I feel certain I would receive a 100% response in the affirmative. I would also guarantee a 100% affirmative response if I were to ask retailers if they would like to increase profits. Interestingly to me however is the fact that a recent 2018 National Retail Security Survey, found that there was a 22.2% decrease in the use of “Acousto-magnetic, electronic security tags” from 2017-2018 (pg. 10). This category would include Sensormatic labels of all types, including the HBC labels for health and beauty products and the Ultra strip III rolls. Now before I hit the panic button let me be clear, there were increases in other categories of Retail Loss Prevention Systems. For example the report listed budget increases for “Theft deterrent devices” which would include Sensormatic Safers, wraps, etc. So not all areas of retail theft protection have been neglected but the reporting that a 22.2% decrease in acousto-magnetic tag spending is concerning to me. As a former Loss Prevention Manager I believe this is a poor decision on the part of retailers.
     The report indicates that shortage remains about flat to previous years at 1.33% (pg.5). Let me ask you a question, if your store sales remained flat to previous years would you be excited about this? Certainly not! You would take steps to improve profits. Well, shrink reduction is one place to start and it can be done quickly and results will be seen almost immediately. Bringing that 1.33% down by half is not unreasonable. Remember, that percentage is an average percentage for retailers. Your store(s) could very well be experiencing shrink much higher than this. As we break down shortage we find from the report that external theft accounted for 36.5% of store losses in 2017. Internal theft or employee theft resulted in an additional 30% of store losses. Combined, on average this could be 66.5% of your merchandise shortage and does not include an estimated 5.4% attributed to vendor theft or fraud. Bill Bregar, owner of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. knows how theft takes a significant bite out of store profits. Bill has developed and operated Loss Prevention programs at the National Director level for major retailers. He draws on that experience to help business owners improve their profits through improved sales and reduced shortage. Like me, Bill DOES recommend the use of Sensormatic labels and hard tags to prevent shoplifting and internal theft to his clients.
     I mentioned that you could bring shrink down by almost half and it can be done quickly. Bill agrees with me here as well and if you will take a look at the ROI calculator on the Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. website you will see that is the amount his company estimates you would reduce shrink by if you were to install a retail anti-theft system and use Sensormatic labels and tags. Sitting stagnate and accepting 1.33% losses is an unacceptable proposition when that figure can be easily improved upon. 
     One other aspect of the report that concerned me is that approximately 42% of stores in this survey experienced shrinkage of 1.5% and higher (with 9% of stores experiencing over 3% in shortage) (pg. 5). And what are some of the types of anti-theft measures that are increasingly being used in stores? “Simulated, visible CCTV” and “Observation mirrors” are listed as seeing a 27.0% and 9% increase since 2017 respectively (pg. 10). I have nothing against CCTV or the use of mirrors in stores. I used live CCTV and recorded video to catch shoplifters and dishonest employees. Mirrors can help with seeing corners that may be out of the line of sight of employees. Using simulated CCTV may deter a minimal amount of theft but Sensormatic labels are a much more effective method to stop shoplifting. They act as a deterrent AND they set off alarm towers providing trained employees an opportunity to recover merchandise before it gets out the door. Mirrors are only effective if employees are watching them and going to those corners but do your employees have time to be watching mirrors? Unless you have a Loss Prevention Associate working the benefits are negligible at best.
     Investing in a Sensormatic system is the smart choice for store owners. They are proven to stop shoplifting and employee theft. I have first-hand experience recovering merchandise that was going to be stolen had an electronic article surveillance alarm not set off an alarm tower. Don’t waste money on technology that will not provide the same results. Keep merchandise out of the hands of thieves and in the store where it will be bought and see sales soar. Invest in Sensormatic security systems!
Need information on Sensormatic labels? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.

If I were to ask retail owners if they would like to stop shoplifting from taking place in their stores I feel certain I would receive a 100% response in the affirmative. I would also guarantee a 100% affirmative response if I were to ask retailers if they would like to increase profits. Interestingly to me however is the fact that a recent 2018 National Retail Security Survey, found that there was a 22.2% decrease in the use of “Acousto-magnetic, electronic security tags” from 2017-2018 (pg. 10). This category would include Sensormatic labels of all types, including the HBC labels for health and beauty products and the Ultra strip III rolls. Now before I hit the panic button let me be clear, there were increases in other categories of Retail Loss Prevention Systems. For example the report listed budget increases for “Theft deterrent devices” which would include Sensormatic Safers, wraps, etc. So not all areas of retail theft protection have been neglected but the reporting that a 22.2% decrease in acousto-magnetic tag spending is concerning to me. As a former Loss Prevention Manager I believe this is a poor decision on the part of retailers.

The report indicates that shortage remains about flat to previous years at 1.33% (pg.5). Let me ask you a question, if your store sales remained flat to previous years would you be excited about this? Certainly not! You would take steps to improve profits. Well, shrink reduction is one place to start and it can be done quickly and results will be seen almost immediately. Bringing that 1.33% down by half is not unreasonable. Remember, that percentage is an average percentage for retailers. Your store(s) could very well be experiencing shrink much higher than this. As we break down shortage we find from the report that external theft accounted for 36.5% of store losses in 2017. Internal theft or employee theft resulted in an additional 30% of store losses. Combined, on average this could be 66.5% of your merchandise shortage and does not include an estimated 5.4% attributed to vendor theft or fraud. Bill Bregar, owner of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. knows how theft takes a significant bite out of store profits. Bill has developed and operated Loss Prevention programs at the National Director level for major retailers. He draws on that experience to help business owners improve their profits through improved sales and reduced shortage. Like me, Bill DOES recommend the use of Sensormatic labels and hard tags to prevent shoplifting and internal theft to his clients.

I mentioned that you could bring shrink down by almost half and it can be done quickly. Bill agrees with me here as well and if you will take a look at the ROI calculator on the Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. website you will see that is the amount his company estimates you would reduce shrink by if you were to install a retail anti-theft system and use Sensormatic labels and tags. Sitting stagnate and accepting 1.33% losses is an unacceptable proposition when that figure can be easily improved upon. 

One other aspect of the report that concerned me is that approximately 42% of stores in this survey experienced shrinkage of 1.5% and higher (with 9% of stores experiencing over 3% in shortage) (pg. 5). And what are some of the types of anti-theft measures that are increasingly being used in stores? “Simulated, visible CCTV” and “Observation mirrors” are listed as seeing a 27.0% and 9% increase since 2017 respectively (pg. 10). I have nothing against CCTV or the use of mirrors in stores. I used live CCTV and recorded video to catch shoplifters and dishonest employees. Mirrors can help with seeing corners that may be out of the line of sight of employees. Using simulated CCTV may deter a minimal amount of theft but Sensormatic labels are a much more effective method to stop shoplifting. They act as a deterrent AND they set off alarm towers providing trained employees an opportunity to recover merchandise before it gets out the door. Mirrors are only effective if employees are watching them and going to those corners but do your employees have time to be watching mirrors? Unless you have a Loss Prevention Associate working the benefits are negligible at best.

Investing in a Sensormatic system is the smart choice for store owners. They are proven to stop shoplifting and employee theft. I have first-hand experience recovering merchandise that was going to be stolen had an electronic article surveillance alarm not set off an alarm tower. Don’t waste money on technology that will not provide the same results. Keep merchandise out of the hands of thieves and in the store where it will be bought and see sales soar. Invest in Sensormatic security systems!

 

Need information on Sensormatic labels? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.

 

 

Retail Theft Prevention – Lessons For Those Considering A Career In Loss Prevention Part 3


Sensormatic  security Systems -3                                                                                                      WC Blog 712
Retail Theft Prevention -4

Retail Theft Prevention – Lessons For Those Considering A Career In Loss Prevention Part 3

     How to detect shoplifters, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, closed circuit television and VCR’s (yeah, we didn’t have DVR’s then) and Sensormatic security systems were all the tools I learned to use as a Loss Prevention Associate. After four and a half years I moved into a position as a Loss Prevention Manager for a new store and found out how much I DIDN’T know about retail theft prevention. I also found I had to change my mindset about what Loss Prevention is really all about. Now, 28 years later I have my own advice to give that could make a leap into retail theft prevention a successful jump.

     Security Officer, Police Officer or Something Else?
Let’s set the record straight right from the start. Do not go into Loss Prevention thinking you are a police officer. You may stop shoplifters and you might even put them in jail via a warrant or a police officer issued citation. You are not the police officer. You will have to learn to be diplomatic and you will have to sensitive. You may have to keep children from crying while doing paperwork on the apprehension of their mother. You have to be fair in how you handle every incident. You will have to keep calm while someone curses you out. Mess up and your actions can cost your store a lot of money. You should know that you are working to make the store and company more profitable. Go in with the mindset that you are there to reduce risk and optimize sales and profit. It changes how you will view your work.

     Human Resources
Go into a Loss Prevention Manager position and be prepared to interview and hire people. As I mentioned in Part 2 surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t. If you don’t know how Sensormatic security systems work, hire someone who has experience with one. If you aren’t good at report writing find someone who has a background in clerical work or a degree in communications. This is not an easy step since it means you have to be honest with yourself about your own short comings. You may be called upon to help in new hire orientations. Be ready to brush up on public speaking skills. You will want to be the person that knows company policies and procedures because you may be investing dishonest employee activity. You may also have to assist the store in investigating worker’s comp. claims, and accident investigations. Knowledge of company policies can help your store minimize the risk of costly lawsuits.

     Operations Expert
As a Loss Prevention professional, you need to know what affects the profitability of the store. It may be retail theft prevention, vendor shortages, operational errors on the front lanes or how empty shelves are influencing sales. YOU must know what stock shortage is and how it happens. Empty shelves mean lost money for the store. You should be the first person to notice and identify problems. Is there theft? Is there a breakdown in the stocking process? Are vendors causing issues? Learn about how a Sensormatic security systems can include a door counting sensor. Customer traffic counting data can be used to determine the time of day customers are shopping. Payroll can be more effectively managed to optimize customer service and sales (you could be a hero to a store manager).  Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can provide more details on how a door counting sensor can help a store if your manager is curious. You won’t know everything about shortage immediately but knowing that it involves more than just shoplifters and dishonest employees will prepare you in advance so you can start to learn it.

     Counselor
     I know this may sound odd to you but trust me you will have many co-workers and managers coming to you with gripes, complaints, concerns and gossip. These people trust you because they believe you will maintain confidentiality. You must be able to listen and give advice. You may get tips that will be useful in retail theft prevention but through casual conversation. You have to listen closely. Know when to stop a conversation and how to tell someone you have no choice but to refer something to another department (such as a report of assault or sexual misconduct).

     I hope all of these tips will help you understand that the role of a Loss Prevention professional is more than just stopping shoplifters. You will be a jack-of- all- trades and if you do the job properly, you will learn more than you ever dreamed you would about running a retail store. Now go forth and make a store profitable!

Need information on Sensormatic Systems? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 today

How to detect shoplifters, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, closed circuit television and VCR’s (yeah, we didn’t have DVR’s then) and Sensormatic security systems were all the tools I learned to use as a Loss Prevention Associate. After four and a half years I moved into a position as a Loss Prevention Manager for a new store and found out how much I DIDN’T know about retail theft prevention. I also found I had to change my mindset about what Loss Prevention is really all about. Now, 28 years later I have my own advice to give that could make a leap into retail theft prevention a successful jump.
     

Security Officer, Police Officer or Something Else?

Let’s set the record straight right from the start. Do not go into Loss Prevention thinking you are a police officer. You may stop shoplifters and you might even put them in jail via a warrant or a police officer issued citation. You are not the police officer. You will have to learn to be diplomatic and you will have to sensitive. You may have to keep children from crying while doing paperwork on the apprehension of their mother. You have to be fair in how you handle every incident. You will have to keep calm while someone curses you out. Mess up and your actions can cost your store a lot of money. You should know that you are working to make the store and company more profitable. Go in with the mindset that you are there to reduce risk and optimize sales and profit. It changes how you will view your work.
     

Human Resources

Go into a Loss Prevention Manager position and be prepared to interview and hire people. As I mentioned in Part 2 surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t. If you don’t know how Sensormatic security systems work, hire someone who has experience with one. If you aren’t good at report writing find someone who has a background in clerical work or a degree in communications. This is not an easy step since it means you have to be honest with yourself about your own short comings. You may be called upon to help in new hire orientations. Be ready to brush up on public speaking skills. You will want to be the person that knows company policies and procedures because you may be investigating dishonest employee activity. You may also have to assist the store in investigating worker’s comp. claims, and accident investigations. Knowledge of company policies can help your store minimize the risk of costly lawsuits.
     

Operations Expert

As a Loss Prevention professional, you need to know what affects the profitability of the store. It may be retail theft prevention, vendor shortages, operational errors on the front lanes or how empty shelves are influencing sales. YOU must know what stock shortage is and how it happens. Empty shelves mean lost money for the store. You should be the first person to notice and identify problems. Is there theft? Is there a breakdown in the stocking process? Are vendors causing issues? Learn about how a Sensormatic security systems can include a door counting sensor. Customer traffic counting data can be used to determine the time of day customers are shopping. Payroll can be more effectively managed to optimize customer service and sales (you could be a hero to a store manager).  Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can provide more details on how a door counting sensor can help a store if your manager is curious. You won’t know everything about shortage immediately but knowing that it involves more than just shoplifters and dishonest employees will prepare you in advance so you can start to learn it.
     

Counselor     

I know this may sound odd to you but trust me you will have many co-workers and managers coming to you with gripes, complaints, concerns and gossip. These people trust you because they believe you will maintain confidentiality. You must be able to listen and give advice. You may get tips that will be useful in retail theft prevention but through casual conversation. You have to listen closely. Know when to stop a conversation and how to tell someone you have no choice but to refer something to another department (such as a report of assault or sexual misconduct).
     

I hope all of these tips will help you understand that the role of a Loss Prevention professional is more than just stopping shoplifters. You will be a jack-of- all- trades and if you do the job properly, you will learn more than you ever dreamed you would about running a retail store. Now go forth and make a store profitable!

 

Need information on Sensormatic Systems? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 today