General

Cure Lengthy Checkout Lines Using Retail Traffic Counting Devices

Retail Traffic Counting-3                                                                                                    wc blog 844
Door Counting Sensor-4

Cure Lengthy Checkout Lines Using Retail Traffic Counting Devices

     How many times when I am standing in a long line to check out in a retail store do I wish I had a personal retail traffic counting device. I want to know how many people are in front of me and why there are other lines that are just as long with a minimum number of cashiers working. Oh it is really easy to dismiss it as a fluke and I just happened to get in at the wrong time but when it happens over and over again it isn’t a fluke. It is poor staffing and scheduling by some scheduling manager or it may be the result of an automated scheduling system. The worse-case scenario in my mind is someone creating a cashier schedule with no concept of customer traffic patterns. It is those situations when a door counting sensor would be a help.

     Consider the difference it would make if a store was basing scheduling not off of an equal allocation of budget dollars for each day of the week but rather on the flow of customer traffic. Is 4:00pm on a Monday afternoon in the winter the same as 4:00pm on a Monday in the summer? Living in a tourist town I can say for certain it is not. Customer traffic is much different here based on seasonal activity and by the days of the week. Saturday at 1:00pm for a store can look nothing like 1:00pm on a Tuesday. If you don’t believe me try strolling through your local mall on those days and see what I mean. The same holds true for your own store. Your traffic patterns are not going to be the same every day. If you are scheduling your team as though the days are all the same you are probably hurting sales and losing more merchandise to shoplifters. The fix is easy and only requires a retail traffic counting device be attached to your Sensormatic security system.

     A door counting sensor will enable store owners to see how many people are entering the store and at what time of the day/night they are coming in. Schedules can be created around those hours. Now, think about me standing in that long line at the local big box store. There are too few cashiers for the number of patrons because of some scheduling screw-up. Using retail traffic counting managers can begin evaluating the shopping patterns of clientele. Open the doors at 8:00am and you may only need a single cashier until 10:00am. You may have had two cashiers in the past but numbers show that only one is necessary. Perhaps you choose to put that two hours of payroll into your 5:00pm-7:00pm shift. Maybe you add it to your Saturday at 1:00pm when you have more customers. Wait lines go down and shoppers are happier. Happier customers are willing to return and spend money.

     Lest I neglect to mention it the use of a door counting sensor can also help in decreasing theft in a store as well as cut down checkout wait times. If shortage due to theft is believed to be a concern it could be because shoplifters are taking advantage of the busy times of the day. If the store does not have adequate coverage on the salesfloor during peak hours crooks will find it much easier to steal from a business. Using the data from a door counting sensor managers can better spread the salesfloor coverage around to impact those busier days and hours. That translates to improved customer service reducing opportunities to steal while enhancing the opportunities to increase sales through suggestive selling and add-on sales.

     Retail traffic counting can have a tremendous impact on a store. When used properly it can enhance the customer service satisfaction of your patrons by helping to allocate payroll dollars to the times when you have more shoppers in the store. When used with a Sensormatic security system camera it can help in tracking electronic article surveillance alarm activity and employee response to those alarms. It can also assist in improving salesfloor staffing to ensure shoplifters are deterred through better customer service. That will drive up sales and decrease theft and who can argue with that?
Door counting sensors are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

How many times when I am standing in a long line to check out in a retail store do I wish I had a personal retail traffic counting device. I want to know how many people are in front of me and why there are other lines that are just as long with a minimum number of cashiers working. Oh it is really easy to dismiss it as a fluke and I just happened to get in at the wrong time but when it happens over and over again it isn’t a fluke. It is poor staffing and scheduling by some scheduling manager or it may be the result of an automated scheduling system. The worse-case scenario in my mind is someone creating a cashier schedule with no concept of customer traffic patterns. It is those situations when a door counting sensor would be a help.
     

Consider the difference it would make if a store was basing scheduling not off of an equal allocation of budget dollars for each day of the week but rather on the flow of customer traffic. Is 4:00pm on a Monday afternoon in the winter the same as 4:00pm on a Monday in the summer? Living in a tourist town I can say for certain it is not. Customer traffic is much different here based on seasonal activity and by the days of the week. Saturday at 1:00pm for a store can look nothing like 1:00pm on a Tuesday. If you don’t believe me try strolling through your local mall on those days and see what I mean. The same holds true for your own store. Your traffic patterns are not going to be the same every day. If you are scheduling your team as though the days are all the same you are probably hurting sales and losing more merchandise to shoplifters. The fix is easy and only requires a retail traffic counting device be attached to your Sensormatic security system.
     

A door counting sensor will enable store owners to see how many people are entering the store and at what time of the day/night they are coming in. Schedules can be created around those hours. Now, think about me standing in that long line at the local big box store. There are too few cashiers for the number of patrons because of some scheduling screw-up. Using retail traffic counting managers can begin evaluating the shopping patterns of clientele. Open the doors at 8:00am and you may only need a single cashier until 10:00am. You may have had two cashiers in the past but numbers show that only one is necessary. Perhaps you choose to put that two hours of payroll into your 5:00pm-7:00pm shift. Maybe you add it to your Saturday at 1:00pm when you have more customers. Wait lines go down and shoppers are happier. Happier customers are willing to return and spend money.
     

Lest I neglect to mention it the use of a door counting sensor can also help in decreasing theft in a store as well as cut down checkout wait times. If shortage due to theft is believed to be a concern it could be because shoplifters are taking advantage of the busy times of the day. If the store does not have adequate coverage on the salesfloor during peak hours crooks will find it much easier to steal from a business. Using the data from a door counting sensor managers can better spread the salesfloor coverage around to impact those busier days and hours. That translates to improved customer service reducing opportunities to steal while enhancing the opportunities to increase sales through suggestive selling and add-on sales.
     

Retail traffic counting can have a tremendous impact on a store. When used properly it can enhance the customer service satisfaction of your patrons by helping to allocate payroll dollars to the times when you have more shoppers in the store. When used with a Sensormatic security system camera it can help in tracking electronic article surveillance alarm activity and employee response to those alarms. It can also assist in improving salesfloor staffing to ensure shoplifters are deterred through better customer service. That will drive up sales and decrease theft and who can argue with that?

 

Door counting sensors are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

 

My Favorite Cases When I Would Stop Shoplifting – Part 3


Sensormatic Security System – 4                                                                          WC Blog 827
Stop Shoplifting – 3

My Favorite Cases When I Would Stop Shoplifting – Part 3

     This is part three and the final segment on my favorite cases from when I would stop shoplifting. As a Retail Loss Prevention Officer or Manager we encounter many scary, funny and odd cases. In this installment I want to share my scariest shoplifting moments and remind readers why care must be taken when you stop shoplifters.
7. The department store where I started out my career did not use a Sensormatic security system but we did use a similar anti-theft system. Some but not all of our clothing products were tagged to prevent theft. In this particular incident a female shoplifter stuffed a purse full of clothing and started to exit the building and the alarm sounded. I stopped her and she ran back in the store threw the merchandise all over the place then ran back out. I chased her but she was very overweight and ran out of energy so she stopped, put her hand in her purse and told me I had better leave her alone. The implication was clear she was suggesting she had a gun or weapon in her purse. The police arrived a minute or two later. She was arrested and charged with shoplifting. I was a bit shocked when I learned that she had a lengthy arrest record that included an “Involuntary Manslaughter” charge. Yes, I did stop shoplifting and probably helped put a dangerous person in jail but it did give me pause to think the next time I watched a suspect.
8. I remember my first shoplifting case with my second company. I was in training at another store in a metro market. The Loss Prevention Officers followed a pair of suspects out of the store who had loaded an outdoor trash canister with multipliers and knives. The Sensormatic security system alarmed as the suspects walked through the towers. I happened to be outside when the alarm activated. Though I had a number of years of experience I stayed back a bit in a support role and monitored the team as they made the stop. One of the suspects quickly put his hand in his jacket pocket and pepper sprayed but not the Loss Prevention Officers who stopped him, he got ME! I had experienced CS gas in the military so this was not unbearable and I chased him but he sprayed me two more times and I could not see any more. I had to hide between several parked cars to ensure I did not get run over. Someone got the suspect’s license plate number and a year later I was subpoenaed to his hearing. It turned out he had a laundry list of prior convictions for all sorts of crimes.
9. This is not the most memorable case but it is near the top of my dangerous shoplifting cases and certainly in my personal top 9 or 10 list. In this case a thief had been in the store early in the day and I suspected stole a purse and activated the Sensormatic security system towers but I could not make a stop. I had not seen the selection. Later that night the suspect returned and did the same thing but this time I was ready. I stopped him and he returned to the store but after a brief struggle with me pulled out of his coat. I grabbed our purse and one he carried into the store. I lost him in a foot chase but when I returned to the store I had a surprise. I had tossed the purses to a manager and when I looked in his I found his prison release identification card but more concerning was a butcher knife he had hidden in it! The suspect was later picked up on another charge and the outstanding shoplifting warrant.
10. This is short but it tops the most dangerous shoplifter cases I encountered. I had a guy I observed stealing from our store. I followed all of the steps required to apprehend a shoplifter and as he approached the exit doors I identified myself and told him he needed to come back in and talk to me about the item he had taken. The suspect lifted the front of his t-shirt and exposed the handle of a handgun. I backed away to disengage and went back in the store to call the police. No apprehension and no recovery but I walked away intact. 
Not every shoplifter is dangerous and with common sense, a Sensormatic security system and training on how to stop shoplifting offered by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. you will reduce your exposure to theft and fraud. That means you increase profits while keeping you and your employees safe.
Get more information on how to stop shoplifting, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today. 
      

This is part three and the final segment on my favorite cases from when I would stop shoplifting. As a Retail Loss Prevention Officer or Manager we encounter many scary, funny and odd cases. In this installment I want to share my scariest shoplifting moments and remind readers why care must be taken when you stop shoplifters.

 

7. The department store where I started out my career did not use a Sensormatic security system but we did use a similar anti-theft system. Some but not all of our clothing products were tagged to prevent theft. In this particular incident a female shoplifter stuffed a purse full of clothing and started to exit the building and the alarm sounded. I stopped her and she ran back in the store threw the merchandise all over the place then ran back out. I chased her but she was very overweight and ran out of energy so she stopped, put her hand in her purse and told me I had better leave her alone. The implication was clear she was suggesting she had a gun or weapon in her purse. The police arrived a minute or two later. She was arrested and charged with shoplifting. I was a bit shocked when I learned that she had a lengthy arrest record that included an “Involuntary Manslaughter” charge. Yes, I did stop shoplifting and probably helped put a dangerous person in jail but it did give me pause to think the next time I watched a suspect.

 

8. I remember my first shoplifting case with my second company. I was in training at another store in a metro market. The Loss Prevention Officers followed a pair of suspects out of the store who had loaded an outdoor trash canister with multipliers and knives. The Sensormatic security system alarmed as the suspects walked through the towers. I happened to be outside when the alarm activated. Though I had a number of years of experience I stayed back a bit in a support role and monitored the team as they made the stop. One of the suspects quickly put his hand in his jacket pocket and pepper sprayed but not the Loss Prevention Officers who stopped him, he got ME! I had experienced CS gas in the military so this was not unbearable and I chased him but he sprayed me two more times and I could not see any more. I had to hide between several parked cars to ensure I did not get run over. Someone got the suspect’s license plate number and a year later I was subpoenaed to his hearing. It turned out he had a laundry list of prior convictions for all sorts of crimes.

 

9. This is not the most memorable case but it is near the top of my dangerous shoplifting cases and certainly in my personal top 9 or 10 list. In this case a thief had been in the store early in the day and I suspected stole a purse and activated the Sensormatic security system towers but I could not make a stop. I had not seen the selection. Later that night the suspect returned and did the same thing but this time I was ready. I stopped him and he returned to the store but after a brief struggle with me pulled out of his coat. I grabbed our purse and one he carried into the store. I lost him in a foot chase but when I returned to the store I had a surprise. I had tossed the purses to a manager and when I looked in his I found his prison release identification card but more concerning was a butcher knife he had hidden in it! The suspect was later picked up on another charge and the outstanding shoplifting warrant.

 

10. This is short but it tops the most dangerous shoplifter cases I encountered. I had a guy I observed stealing from our store. I followed all of the steps required to apprehend a shoplifter and as he approached the exit doors I identified myself and told him he needed to come back in and talk to me about the item he had taken. The suspect lifted the front of his t-shirt and exposed the handle of a handgun. I backed away to disengage and went back in the store to call the police. No apprehension and no recovery but I walked away intact. 

 

Not every shoplifter is dangerous and with common sense, a Sensormatic security system and training on how to stop shoplifting offered by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. you will reduce your exposure to theft and fraud. That means you increase profits while keeping you and your employees safe.

 

Get more information on how to stop shoplifting, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.       

 

Train Managers On How To Stop Shoplifting And Distinguish Fraud From A Legitimate Complaint



Stop Shoplifting – 4                                                                                                       WC Blog 837
Training to reduce employee theft-3

Train Managers On How To Stop Shoplifting And Distinguish Fraud From A Legitimate Complaint

    Retail managers at all levels should attend training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting. After a recent experience I had at a store they should also have to attend training to recognize when they or the store has made a mistake. I was birthday shopping for my wife and went to a well-known business to purchase a computer tablet. I was not getting anything expensive but the one I found was on a shelf with a shelf label that matched the description and a listed price of $79. There were two of the items on the shelf. I carefully noted what all of the shelf labels said so I was sure I was getting the correct item and took it to the front registers. I was at a self-checkout stand and asked the cashier if she could remove the security device on it that was meant to stop shoplifting. She struggled and I offered to assist (this has been a part of my career for over twenty years) and we removed the device. The item scanned at $99. I called her back over and told her the price was wrong and that the shelf label said it was $79. She called a supervisor over who must not have believed the register and scanned it and got the same price. She then told me that it scanned correctly. I asked her to come with me to electronics and I showed her the shelf labels. She then tried to point to another label and I showed her that the label she pointed to was for another brand and then showed her ALL of the labels. She then called the electronics person over who scanned the merchandise and told me the label was the wrong one. Now I was a bit irritated. The electronics associate tried to tell me why the merchandise did not match and I explained it was the only shelf label that DID match. The front end supervisor said she could give me 10 percent off. I told her that was not acceptable the price difference was $20 and I would just contact the corporate office. I started to walk away, still polite and maintaining my composure. Now I don’t know if these two thought they were able to stop fraud or stop shoplifting but I was perturbed. Then I had the notion I would speak to a manager because these two were no help. 

     The manager on duty came over and I explained for the third or fourth time what had happened and the 10 percent reduction offered to me. I went through the shelf labels again and explained what I had already explained. For the fourth time the product was scanned. For the fourth time $99 popped up. The manager agreed that the box seemed to match the shelf label then noted that there was another box on the shelf that looked nearly identical. It was the same except it was thinner and was missing a keyboard. When he scanned it the box was the $79 item I wanted. The manager admitted their planogram was missing a shelf label and he would have it corrected then apologized. I was happy to get the item I wanted. This was a situation where employees should have had some training on customer service. 

     Managers who attend training to reduce employee theft learn signs to look for that may indicate someone is likely to steal and the proper way to intervene to stop it. Training to stop shoplifting helps managers learn customer service skills that quietly disrupt criminals intending to steal. Unfortunately training that would teach managers customer service etiquette seems to be wanting. Rather than assuming a customer who is challenging a price is trying to commit fraud why not properly investigate the claim?  How much easier might it have been in my attempt to purchase a tablet to have that first manager see that there was an issue with shelf labels and resolve the problem? Rather than admit a mistake of some type additional people were called in and a customer was getting quite ticked off. With the right approach it could have been a non-issue. As it was they nearly lost a sale and risked a call to their headquarters.

    While training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting are available to store owners the responsibility to instruct managers at all levels on customer service etiquette is yours. Are you willing to lose a customer because a manager was unable or unwilling to recognize the difference between an attempt at fraud and a store error? Teach your managers to think for themselves and empower them to make the right choices it will pay off in customer loyalty.
Need information on how to stop shoplifting? Contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

Retail managers at all levels should attend training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting. After a recent experience I had at a store they should also have to attend training to recognize when they or the store has made a mistake. I was birthday shopping for my wife and went to a well-known business to purchase a computer tablet. I was not getting anything expensive but the one I found was on a shelf with a shelf label that matched the description and a listed price of $79. There were two of the items on the shelf. I carefully noted what all of the shelf labels said so I was sure I was getting the correct item and took it to the front registers. I was at a self-checkout stand and asked the cashier if she could remove the security device on it that was meant to stop shoplifting. She struggled and I offered to assist (this has been a part of my career for over twenty years) and we removed the device. The item scanned at $99. I called her back over and told her the price was wrong and that the shelf label said it was $79. She called a supervisor over who must not have believed the register and scanned it and got the same price. She then told me that it scanned correctly. I asked her to come with me to electronics and I showed her the shelf labels. She then tried to point to another label and I showed her that the label she pointed to was for another brand and then showed her ALL of the labels. She then called the electronics person over who scanned the merchandise and told me the label was the wrong one. Now I was a bit irritated. The electronics associate tried to tell me why the merchandise did not match and I explained it was the only shelf label that DID match. The front end supervisor said she could give me 10 percent off. I told her that was not acceptable the price difference was $20 and I would just contact the corporate office. I started to walk away, still polite and maintaining my composure. Now I don’t know if these two thought they were able to stop fraud or stop shoplifting but I was perturbed. Then I had the notion I would speak to a manager because these two were no help. 
     

The manager on duty came over and I explained for the third or fourth time what had happened and the 10 percent reduction offered to me. I went through the shelf labels again and explained what I had already explained. For the fourth time the product was scanned. For the fourth time $99 popped up. The manager agreed that the box seemed to match the shelf label then noted that there was another box on the shelf that looked nearly identical. It was the same except it was thinner and was missing a keyboard. When he scanned it the box was the $79 item I wanted. The manager admitted their planogram was missing a shelf label and he would have it corrected then apologized. I was happy to get the item I wanted. This was a situation where employees should have had some training on customer service. 
     

Managers who attend training to reduce employee theft learn signs to look for that may indicate someone is likely to steal and the proper way to intervene to stop it. Training to stop shoplifting helps managers learn customer service skills that quietly disrupt criminals intending to steal. Unfortunately training that would teach managers customer service etiquette seems to be wanting. Rather than assuming a customer who is challenging a price is trying to commit fraud why not properly investigate the claim?  How much easier might it have been in my attempt to purchase a tablet to have that first manager see that there was an issue with shelf labels and resolve the problem? Rather than admit a mistake of some type additional people were called in and a customer was getting quite ticked off. With the right approach it could have been a non-issue. As it was they nearly lost a sale and risked a call to their headquarters.
   

While training to reduce employee theft and stop shoplifting are available to store owners the responsibility to instruct managers at all levels on customer service etiquette is yours. Are you willing to lose a customer because a manager was unable or unwilling to recognize the difference between an attempt at fraud and a store error? Teach your managers to think for themselves and empower them to make the right choices it will pay off in customer loyalty.

 

Need information on how to stop shoplifting? Contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.