How to Stop Shoplifting from Killing your 4th Quarter
Three months. In these next three months, chances are, your business will either make a profit for the year, or stay in the red. These three months are the most crucial months for any business and it revolves mostly on how well you do during the holiday shopping season. That means being front and center with the hottest new items and the best deals. There are people who will camp out all night long (we know the ones), just to be first in line on Black Friday. You owe it to these hardcore fans to have the product in stock and available for them to purchase. Working in retail, theft prevention often comes as an afterthought during this time of the year.
Last year, some of our buyers made a last minute (and I mean, a really last minute) purchase of some GPS units. These units normally retail for around three hundred dollars, but each store received a split on a PDQ that retailed for $49. It was one heck of a deal, but it also attracted nearly every shoplifter in the area. Our stores are set up with a Checkpoint Security System, but the buying team didn’t consider shrink at all when this purchase was made. That’s about normal for this time of the year. All they cared about was getting that hot product to the stores and selling the mess out of them. The problem of course, was if the product isn’t there to sell, you clearly can’t make a profit.
Over the course of a 3 week period of time, I watched as my stores lost thousands of dollars in these GPS units. They were not secured in any way, and there wasn’t much that could be done. Shrink, at this point, was largely ignored. There were a million other things going on in the store that needed to be dealt with. It wasn’t until after the holiday season was over and we took inventory, was the real problem seen. After my group of stores conducted their inventory, there was significant loss in this product category. So much so that it wasn’t profitable. The buyers spent company money to get these items into the store and we didn’t sell enough to recoup that cost.
Fast forward 10 months. My stores are starting to receive holiday shipments as the stores are gearing up for another 4th quarter push. To my surprise and dismay, another dipaly unit of electronics arrives at the store, completely unsecured. I can’t believe that we didn’t learn our lesson from last year. I needed to make a decision and I didn’t have time to wait for approval from the corporate office. I went to the stock room at my office store and quickly found a few bins of Checkpoint Labels. These worked in conjunction with the Checkpoint Security System already installed in the store. I found an easy way to apply the labels and instructed all of my stores to do so. Problem solved, almost.
By the end of the season, I knew we had lost units to shoplifting and I was eager to see the inventory numbers. Surprisingly, there was a much higher reduction in shrink than I anticipated. Those simple Checkpoint Labels had worked wonders. It didn’t stop theft completely, but it slowed it down to a point where the losses were acceptable. This information was eventually shared with our buyers, who quickly learned how effective the labels were. They eventually saw our point of view and now, any electronic device that comes into the store is secured with an anti-shoplifting device. It’s a simple step any retailer can take to minimize losses.
For more information, contact us: anti-shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547