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!
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