A Retail Theft Prevention System Must Be Reliable To Be Effective

 

Retail Theft Prevention-4                                                                                                WC Blog 646
anti-shoplifting -4
A Retail Theft Prevention System Must Be Reliable To Be Effective
     When it comes to retail theft prevention I have found that reliability is important to keep shoplifters and employees from stealing a store blind. I have been involved in investigations where I depended on a system to work only to find out that one critical component stopped working when it was needed most. I have had a camera had go kaput, a manager make a schedule change I depended on as part of an investigation and I have had an anti-shoplifting system malfunction when I needed it. While an untimely glitch from time to time can be expected in any process, if it happens too frequently it can be embarrassing and costly.
     I recall a time when my local police department detectives came to my store investigating a rash of robberies and asked if I happened to have video of an incident just outside of our store. I was certain I did and pulled up the date and time frame and what did I find? Nothing. The camera I was sure would have the video had gone on the fritz and I had no idea. Needless to say I was embarrassed both at the state of the equipment and at myself for not having identified the issue when it happened. Broken equipment can also be a source of embarrassment for customers. I have had to apologize to customers when an electronic article surveillance (EAS) alarm activated due to a malfunction of equipment. I have dealt with what we called phantom alarms when EAS towers have started an annoying beeping for no apparent reason. It is uncomfortable for patrons both entering and exiting a store to have alarms sounding and the feeling that everyone is looking at them. Unreliable retail theft prevention equipment can reflect poorly on customer service and it can harm efforts to stop theft.
     In order to establish a credible anti-shoplifting culture equipment must work and it must be consistently reliable. I have worked with Sensormatic equipment and I know how dependable it is. I have seen shoplifters drop merchandise they were attempting to steal when the tower alarms detected tags on concealed merchandise. I have also witnessed front end supervisors respond to alarms and conduct receipt checks and in the process identify products a thief was trying to steal. I have been in retail stores where retail theft prevention equipment was in obvious dis-repair and it just seemed like the shoplifters were crawling out from under the fixtures. These stores had panels on the EAS towers partially hanging open and the towers swayed when bumped. There is a clear cultural difference in stores that use Sensormatic equipment and those that use inferior anti-shoplifting equipment or none at all. This difference is noticeable in stock shortage results and who is shopping in those stores.
     The impact an EAS system can have on customer service must be considered if a store owner is thinking about reducing theft related shortage. It isn’t simply a matter of bothersome or annoying alarms. It becomes a problem of reduced customer foot traffic if patrons believe they are going to be stopped every time they exit a store due to faulty alarms. No one wants to have the feeling people think they are trying to steal. If they are stopped or see other people stopped without cause those people are going to shop elsewhere. If shoppers stop visiting sales will decline while theft increases. The trick is to put a retail theft prevention in place that will curb crime and NOT distract the clients you have who spend their money in your building.
      Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) specializes in helping store owners save money through retail theft prevention. One of the most effective methods of reducing theft is the installation of a dependable anti-shoplifting system that won’t leave you guessing whether or not it will be working. Sensormatic is the system that will add profit to the bottom line and you can DEPEND on that!
Retail theft prevention is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.


When it comes to retail theft prevention I have found that reliability is important to keep shoplifters and employees from stealing a store blind. I have been involved in investigations where I depended on a system to work only to find out that one critical component stopped working when it was needed most. I have had a camera had go kaput, a manager make a schedule change I depended on as part of an investigation and I have had an anti-shoplifting system malfunction when I needed it. While an untimely glitch from time to time can be expected in any process, if it happens too frequently it can be embarrassing and costly.

I recall a time when my local police department detectives came to my store investigating a rash of robberies and asked if I happened to have video of an incident just outside of our store. I was certain I did and pulled up the date and time frame and what did I find? Nothing. The camera I was sure would have the video had gone on the fritz and I had no idea. Needless to say I was embarrassed both at the state of the equipment and at myself for not having identified the issue when it happened. Broken equipment can also be a source of embarrassment for customers. I have had to apologize to customers when an electronic article surveillance (EAS) alarm activated due to a malfunction of equipment. I have dealt with what we called phantom alarms when EAS towers have started an annoying beeping for no apparent reason. It is uncomfortable for patrons both entering and exiting a store to have alarms sounding and the feeling that everyone is looking at them. Unreliable retail theft prevention equipment can reflect poorly on customer service and it can harm efforts to stop theft.

In order to establish a credible anti-shoplifting culture equipment must work and it must be consistently reliable. I have worked with Sensormatic equipment and I know how dependable it is. I have seen shoplifters drop merchandise they were attempting to steal when the tower alarms detected tags on concealed merchandise. I have also witnessed front end supervisors respond to alarms and conduct receipt checks and in the process identify products a thief was trying to steal. I have been in retail stores where retail theft prevention equipment was in obvious dis-repair and it just seemed like the shoplifters were crawling out from under the fixtures. These stores had panels on the EAS towers partially hanging open and the towers swayed when bumped. There is a clear cultural difference in stores that use Sensormatic equipment and those that use inferior anti-shoplifting equipment or none at all. This difference is noticeable in stock shortage results and who is shopping in those stores.

The impact an EAS system can have on customer service must be considered if a store owner is thinking about reducing theft related shortage. It isn’t simply a matter of bothersome or annoying alarms. It becomes a problem of reduced customer foot traffic if patrons believe they are going to be stopped every time they exit a store due to faulty alarms. No one wants to have the feeling people think they are trying to steal. If they are stopped or see other people stopped without cause those people are going to shop elsewhere. If shoppers stop visiting sales will decline while theft increases. The trick is to put a retail theft prevention in place that will curb crime and NOT distract the clients you have who spend their money in your building.

Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) specializes in helping store owners save money through retail theft prevention. One of the most effective methods of reducing theft is the installation of a dependable anti-shoplifting system that won’t leave you guessing whether or not it will be working. Sensormatic is the system that will add profit to the bottom line and you can DEPEND on that!

 

Retail theft prevention is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

 

 

Improving Employee Awareness To Stop Shoplifting

Stop shoplifting-3                                                                                                                          WC Blog 631
Employee Theft Reduction Training-3


Improving Employee Awareness To Stop Shoplifting

     How do I stop shoplifting? I stop it by using the skills I learned in my 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention. I prevent shoplifting in the store I work for as a salesfloor associate. I also work in a college library where I respond to RFID alarms when books and materials that have not been checked out are being carried out of the building by patrons. I use my L.P. experience to train my library co-workers on how to politely respond to alarms and effectively determine if any items have not been checked out. In short, I am conducting employee theft reduction training as I teach library co-workers and store co-workers and managers what to look for to help prevent theft.

     I used those Loss Prevention skills last night to prevent a young lady from getting away with about $100 worth of merchandise theft in my retail job (and it might have been more but I can only speculate on that). I noticed the customer enter the store with a guy and I immediately greeted them and offered to help them find whatever they came in to purchase. They quickly declined my offer and picked out a shopping cart and continued into the store. They looked around for a few minutes and then the male left the store. I notified the Manager-On-Duty of my suspicious person and he helped me keep track of her as much as possible since he also had other responsibilities. Over the next 2 ½ hours I checked on her and watched what she would have in her shopping cart. She had no purse or bag so any theft would have to be a buggy roll-out or a financial transaction fraud. I am very limited in any surveillance I do on a customer and when I did sneak peaks at the patron I caught her looking around and several times looking at me. As she became more nervous seeing me so often and offering her assistance she started approaching me and asking for prices on items. She rambled on about buying things for her mom and dad but not wanting to spend too much on her credit cards. Eventually I was able to watch her hide something in a filing box then stash that box behind other similar boxes. I met her at the cash register where she pretended to ask about other items she had. The manager came over to assist me and I made a pretense of walking away to check on something. The woman told the manager she would be back but had to check on the balance on her credit card before buying the items she brought up. He put the items on hold for her until she could return. I went to the back and recovered the box with the stashed items to stop shoplifting when someone came for it.

     I explained to the manager that while watching the young woman on the floor she was constantly making calls on her phone and then told him I suspected she had initially intended to roll the cart with everything in it out the door since she made several passes in that direction but either the manager or I were at the doors when she did so. When she was afraid to do the roll out with everything she finally hid the other items in the tote intending to come back for it later or she would send her male friend in for it. My manager was surprised and said he hadn’t thought about that. This was one of the moments when I was able to utilize employee theft reduction training, telling the manager about the things that might have transpired. I also shared the details with another co-worker who was surprised someone would do this.

     There are subtleties I am able to pick up on that I learned over the years in L.P. that I use to help the store stop shoplifting. A lot of those skills involve knowing when to give customer service and aggressive customer service. As I do so I also take the opportunities to provide tips to other store workers, providing a mini employee theft reduction training that can help them understand how to reduce theft too. Since I can’t be at YOUR stores to help out I do suggest you seek out the services of a company that CAN provide training and support. I know of one company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc., that can provide that training in my absence and they can even do employee background checks for you, something I cannot do. Make training a priority and see the impact it can have on reducing shortage in your stores!
Get more information on employee theft reduction training, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

How do I stop shoplifting? I stop it by using the skills I learned in my 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention. I prevent shoplifting in the store I work for as a salesfloor associate. I also work in a college library where I respond to RFID alarms when books and materials that have not been checked out are being carried out of the building by patrons. I use my L.P. experience to train my library co-workers on how to politely respond to alarms and effectively determine if any items have not been checked out. In short, I am conducting employee theft reduction training as I teach library co-workers and store co-workers and managers what to look for to help prevent theft.
     

I used those Loss Prevention skills last night to prevent a young lady from getting away with about $100 worth of merchandise theft in my retail job (and it might have been more but I can only speculate on that). I noticed the customer enter the store with a guy and I immediately greeted them and offered to help them find whatever they came in to purchase. They quickly declined my offer and picked out a shopping cart and continued into the store. They looked around for a few minutes and then the male left the store. I notified the Manager-On-Duty of my suspicious person and he helped me keep track of her as much as possible since he also had other responsibilities. Over the next 2 ½ hours I checked on her and watched what she would have in her shopping cart. She had no purse or bag so any theft would have to be a buggy roll-out or a financial transaction fraud. I am very limited in any surveillance I do on a customer and when I did sneak peaks at the patron I caught her looking around and several times looking at me. As she became more nervous seeing me so often and offering her assistance she started approaching me and asking for prices on items. She rambled on about buying things for her mom and dad but not wanting to spend too much on her credit cards. Eventually I was able to watch her hide something in a filing box then stash that box behind other similar boxes. I met her at the cash register where she pretended to ask about other items she had. The manager came over to assist me and I made a pretense of walking away to check on something. The woman told the manager she would be back but had to check on the balance on her credit card before buying the items she brought up. He put the items on hold for her until she could return. I went to the back and recovered the box with the stashed items to stop shoplifting when someone came for it.
     

I explained to the manager that while watching the young woman on the floor she was constantly making calls on her phone and then told him I suspected she had initially intended to roll the cart with everything in it out the door since she made several passes in that direction but either the manager or I were at the doors when she did so. When she was afraid to do the roll out with everything she finally hid the other items in the tote intending to come back for it later or she would send her male friend in for it. My manager was surprised and said he hadn’t thought about that. This was one of the moments when I was able to utilize employee theft reduction training, telling the manager about the things that might have transpired. I also shared the details with another co-worker who was surprised someone would do this.
     

There are subtleties I am able to pick up on that I learned over the years in L.P. that I use to help the store stop shoplifting. A lot of those skills involve knowing when to give customer service and aggressive customer service. As I do so I also take the opportunities to provide tips to other store workers, providing a mini employee theft reduction training that can help them understand how to reduce theft too. Since I can’t be at YOUR stores to help out I do suggest you seek out the services of a company that CAN provide training and support. I know one company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc., that can provide that training in my absence and they can even do employee background checks for you, something I cannot do. Make training a priority and see the impact it can have on reducing shortage in your stores!

 

Get more information on employee theft reduction training, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

 

Count On People Counting Systems To Help Improve Sales

People Counting Systems-5                                                                                                      WC Blog 532
Retail Traffic Counting System-3


Count On People Counting Systems To Help Improve Sales

     It came to me recently that social media uses people counting systems of a sort as a measurement tool. Consider that there are thumbs up, thumbs down, emoji symbols, hearts and other things to show how many people like or don’t like a post or tweet or whatever else it may be called. I know there are analytics involved in determining website hits and page visits and in a way this is similar to what a retail traffic counting system does for stores. Let me explain myself. If I post a thought on my social media page I may get reactions from friends, family and even people I don’t know if a friend of a friend sees a reposting of my comment. I can see the names of the people who have reacted but I don’t know all of the people who may have seen my post and chosen not to comment. Retail can be somewhat the same. You may have analytical measures that indicate how much you sold in a day but you may have absolutely no idea how many people came into your store that never made a purchase. Is there an invisible clientele you are not reaching because you don’t even know they were there? People counting systems can aid you in finding out if you are missing customers who have walked in and out of your store without buying anything.

     A retail traffic counting system is a measurement tool that tracks the number of people who walk in and out of a store. A counter is mounted near a door and possibly on a Checkpoint electronic article surveillance tower. The device records the number of patrons entering a store and keeps record of the day of the week and the time of day they are coming in to visit. For those stores that do utilize electronic article surveillance to prevent shoplifting, people counting systems also track alarm activations. The information is used to review situations where alarms sounded and look at possible patterns such as times of day. It can also be used in conjunction with closed circuit television recording to look for repeat offenders and alarm responses.

     The total sales dollars and number of transactions your store has in a day is akin to the reactions on a social media post. This data is the measurable numbers you can refer to in order to decide if the store had a successful day in sales dollars. The retail counting system is more like the data analytics of social media that can measure the views a site or post received. The number of sales may not be reflective of the number of visitors received in your building today. By having this comparison number you can begin to rethink your sales strategies to improve sales. What sales strategies might you change? Staffing may be one area you will review. Are you putting your staffing dollars to their best use? If people counting systems show that there are periods of low patronage then a manager may use that information to reallocate staff to busier times of the day. If a manager uses the same staffing models daily it is quite possible there are times shoppers are in the store and not being assisted. That assistance may have made a difference in persuading the shopper to make a purchase rather than walk out empty handed. 

     Another sales strategy that may be influenced by knowing the numbers provided by a retail counting system is merchandise placement. If patron counts are remaining relatively the same and sales are stagnant a new merchandise display may be in order or a planogram change to spice things up. People counting systems will indicate whether foot traffic is inching upward and along with sales data information managers can determine if merchandise strategies are having the desired effect. Bill Bregar and his staff at Loss Prevention Systems Inc. know the importance of preventing theft to drive profits but they also know how important customer flow is to a store. This is why they are keen on supplying retailers with a system that can impact both.

     Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you truly want to improve your sales you must have the right information in order to make smart decisions. A retail traffic counting system can be the tool to provide that information. Install one and see your statistics in a new light.
Get more information on a retail traffic counting system, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 now.   

It came to me recently that social media uses people counting systems of a sort as a measurement tool. Consider that there are thumbs up, thumbs down, emoji symbols, hearts and other things to show how many people like or don’t like a post or tweet or whatever else it may be called. I know there are analytics involved in determining website hits and page visits and in a way this is similar to what a retail traffic counting system does for stores. Let me explain myself. If I post a thought on my social media page I may get reactions from friends, family and even people I don’t know if a friend of a friend sees a reposting of my comment. I can see the names of the people who have reacted but I don’t know all of the people who may have seen my post and chosen not to comment. Retail can be somewhat the same. You may have analytical measures that indicate how much you sold in a day but you may have absolutely no idea how many people came into your store that never made a purchase. Is there an invisible clientele you are not reaching because you don’t even know they were there? People counting systems can aid you in finding out if you are missing customers who have walked in and out of your store without buying anything.
     

A retail traffic counting system is a measurement tool that tracks the number of people who walk in and out of a store. A counter is mounted near a door and possibly on a electronic article surveillance tower. The device records the number of patrons entering a store and keeps record of the day of the week and the time of day they are coming in to visit. For those stores that do utilize electronic article surveillance to prevent shoplifting, people counting systems also track alarm activations. The information is used to review situations where alarms sounded and look at possible patterns such as times of day. It can also be used in conjunction with closed circuit television recording to look for repeat offenders and alarm responses.
     

The total sales dollars and number of transactions your store has in a day is akin to the reactions on a social media post. This data is the measurable numbers you can refer to in order to decide if the store had a successful day in sales dollars. The retail counting system is more like the data analytics of social media that can measure the views a site or post received. The number of sales may not be reflective of the number of visitors received in your building today. By having this comparison number you can begin to rethink your sales strategies to improve sales. What sales strategies might you change? Staffing may be one area you will review. Are you putting your staffing dollars to their best use? If people counting systems show that there are periods of low patronage then a manager may use that information to reallocate staff to busier times of the day. If a manager uses the same staffing models daily it is quite possible there are times shoppers are in the store and not being assisted. That assistance may have made a difference in persuading the shopper to make a purchase rather than walk out empty handed. 
     

Another sales strategy that may be influenced by knowing the numbers provided by a retail counting system is merchandise placement. If patron counts are remaining relatively the same and sales are stagnant a new merchandise display may be in order or a planogram change to spice things up. People counting systems will indicate whether foot traffic is inching upward and along with sales data information managers can determine if merchandise strategies are having the desired effect. Bill Bregar and his staff at Loss Prevention Systems Inc. know the importance of preventing theft to drive profits but they also know how important customer flow is to a store. This is why they are keen on supplying retailers with a system that can impact both.
     

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you truly want to improve your sales you must have the right information in order to make smart decisions. A retail traffic counting system can be the tool to provide that information. Install one and see your statistics in a new light.

 

Get more information on a retail traffic counting system, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 now.