As retailers, three things usually matter to you. Your sales, your payroll budget and shrink. Each of those are controllable expenses that can make, or break any store. If you don’t have sales, then you don’t have money coming in, which causes a reduction in your payroll allocation, which can further hinder your sales. On top of all of that, you have to worry about shrink, which can also negatively affect your sales and contribute to lost wage hours. While I am no expert in building sales, I do have a particular set of skills that get me through life. Those skills give me leverage to stop shoplifting, and make life a nightmare for those people who want to steal from my stores. If you steal from my stores, I will track you down. I will find you, and I will throw you in jail.
One of the easiest ways to you can prevent theft is to simply lock everything up, close your doors and don’t let customers in. You would probably have to find another job soon, but hey, at least you don’t have losses from shoplifters. That’s just not a reality though, and in today’s world it’s an ever increasing struggle just to keep merchandise on our shelves for our legitimate customer’s to purchase. When you think of external losses and shoplifters, you probably go straight to dishonest customers. Think about this for a minute… How many outside vendors come into your store on any given week? Contractors to fix broken things, janitorial services, outside vendors to assemble product… the list can go on for hours in some cases. Do you ever think about the losses these groups could be causing? You can have all the latest anti-shoplifting devices on the market, but a person with inside knowledge of your store can still create significant losses.
Very recently I investigated a contract worker at one of my store locations. Our company outsources general floor maintenance to a third party. These guys and girls come in a few hours each morning and evening and clean the stores. They have access to offices, warehouses, stock rooms, etc. I began finding defeated Checkpoint hard tags in supply closets every so often. Since there is really no reason for those tags to be in there, I figured I had an internal theft problem. The mistake I made was assuming it was a store employee, completely overlooking the maintenance crew. I tried for weeks to pin point the employee and I couldn’t. I didn’t know what was being taken, and I could find no evidence of any employees entering the areas where I was finding the tags. Again, I was overlooking the obvious.
As luck would have it, one day I came in early to work on a case and as I was coming in, I noticed that the maintenance team was leaving for the day. As they exited the store, the Checkpoint Security System activated. I watched as the manager waived them through without a second thought. I asked the manager about this and he stated that they “always beeped” when they left and he figured it was something on their floor equipment that was setting off the alarm. Frustrated at the manager, I began reviewing video. It wasn’t long before I was able to make a substantial case on this crew. They were hiding apparel merchandise inside their equipment and simply walking out. We’ve since implemented an exit inspection policy for all vendors/contractors, and I encourage everyone to do the same.
For more information, contact us: Anti-Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547