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.   

Clothing Security Is Affordable And Will Add Profit To Your Bottom Line

Clothing Security-4                                                                                                                                WC Blog 565
Clothing security tags-5


Clothing Security Is Affordable And Will Add Profit To Your Bottom Line

     I want to address the problem of clothing security, how big an issue it is and how stores can prevent shoplifting. This issue is important to me because I have spent almost 28 years in the retail industry and about 19 of those years were in Retail Loss Prevention. I saw the problems shoplifting caused in a big box retail store and know that the issue is amplified for smaller retailers. While a 1% inventory shrinkage is a drain on stores that may do 30 or 40 million in sales a year, that same 1% is shortage for a store that does a million in sales is $10,000. That may not even sound like a lot until you consider that the profit margin of a specialty clothing retailer ranges from 4% to 13% with average net margins at just below 8% according to quora.com in an article titled, “What is the average profit margin earned by apparel retailers (brick and mortar and e-commerce/online retailers) and/or distributors?” As a source of information they referenced an article from Forbes in 2017. That means the average profit margin dollars for a clothing retailer with sales of a million dollars a year would be $80,000. This may not sound too bad to some people. But consider this, according to score.org, citing a Gallup poll it was found that 39% of business owners said they work over 60 hours a week. My admiration for the risk-takers who are investing time, money and sweat in their small businesses is tremendous. I detest those criminals who steal, whether it is a spontaneous decision, a theft for a perceived need or an organized theft ring.  I am not the only one who gets his hackles up over shoplifting. The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar does as well. He has developed his company to assist stores in preventing shortage due to theft and fraud encouraging the use of anti-theft devices such as clothing security tags.

     You may be one of those small business owners who is thinking to yourself that you could use some help in reducing your losses and adding money back to your bottom line. The problem you have is that you have no idea how clothing security tags work or even where to begin to start to address the issues. Not to worry, I am going to give you the information you need to get a better handle on what anti-theft systems and devices are. When I am discussing retail anti-theft systems for clothing security (as well as other merchandise) I am talking about an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system. The system operates using radio frequency (rf) waves transmitted by clothing security tags and received by EAS Pedestals. The tags are pinned to clothing and are built so that they are nearly indestructible and cannot be removed without the use of a special detachment key. If a shoplifter walks into the area of a pedestal (located near the doors of a store) the pedestal picks up the rf signal from the tag and blasts out a loud screeching alarm and flashes built in lights. Store employees approach the customer who activated the alarm and complete receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise from the offender. The wonderful thing about clothing security tags and EAS pedestals is that just the presence of them in a store deters most shoplifters. Criminals do not tend to want to attract attention so they go to places where they are less likely to do something to get noticed like activate alarms.

      At this point I have your interest but I know what you are thinking, “There is NO WAY you could afford a retail anti-theft system even if I knew it would reduce my inventory shrink”. “Remember that $80,000 a year profit margin you mentioned?” That would be a good argument except Bill Bregar took that into consideration knowing the struggles small and medium business owners face. Visit the Loss Prevention Systems Inc. website and checkout the free Loss Prevention ROI Calculator he has available so store owners can see that not only can they afford a Checkpoint Security System the system actually pays for itself over time.  

         I have been in retail a long time and I have first-hand experience watching shoplifters struggle to try to defeat clothing security in stores. I have seen the frustration when a tag could not be forced off of a pair of jeans. I have seen the shock on the face of a woman who stuffed a box full of clothes protected with clothing security tags and the pedestal alarmed when she tried to walk out of the store. 

     Retail anti-theft devices work. There is no getting around it. If you want to run a more profitable store let Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you get started with a clothing security strategy that works.
Clothing Security is importing and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

I want to address the problem of clothing security, how big an issue it is and how stores can prevent shoplifting. This issue is important to me because I have spent almost 28 years in the retail industry and about 19 of those years were in Retail Loss Prevention. I saw the problems shoplifting caused in a big box retail store and know that the issue is amplified for smaller retailers. While a 1% inventory shrinkage is a drain on stores that may do 30 or 40 million in sales a year, that same 1% is shortage for a store that does a million in sales is $10,000. That may not even sound like a lot until you consider that the profit margin of a specialty clothing retailer ranges from 4% to 13% with average net margins at just below 8% according to quora.com in an article titled, “What is the average profit margin earned by apparel retailers (brick and mortar and e-commerce/online retailers) and/or distributors?” As a source of information they referenced an article from Forbes in 2017. That means the average profit margin dollars for a clothing retailer with sales of a million dollars a year would be $80,000. This may not sound too bad to some people. But consider this, according to score.org, citing a Gallup poll it was found that 39% of business owners said they work over 60 hours a week. My admiration for the risk-takers who are investing time, money and sweat in their small businesses is tremendous. I detest those criminals who steal, whether it is a spontaneous decision, a theft for a perceived need or an organized theft ring.  I am not the only one who gets his hackles up over shoplifting. The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar does as well. He has developed his company to assist stores in preventing shortage due to theft and fraud encouraging the use of anti-theft devices such as clothing security tags.
     

You may be one of those small business owners who is thinking to yourself that you could use some help in reducing your losses and adding money back to your bottom line. The problem you have is that you have no idea how clothing security tags work or even where to begin to start to address the issues. Not to worry, I am going to give you the information you need to get a better handle on what anti-theft systems and devices are. When I am discussing retail anti-theft systems for clothing security (as well as other merchandise) I am talking about an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system. The system operates using radio frequency (rf) waves transmitted by clothing security tags and received by EAS Pedestals. The tags are pinned to clothing and are built so that they are nearly indestructible and cannot be removed without the use of a special detachment key. If a shoplifter walks into the area of a pedestal (located near the doors of a store) the pedestal picks up the rf signal from the tag and blasts out a loud screeching alarm and flashes built in lights. Store employees approach the customer who activated the alarm and complete receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise from the offender. The wonderful thing about clothing security tags and EAS pedestals is that just the presence of them in a store deters most shoplifters. Criminals do not tend to want to attract attention so they go to places where they are less likely to do something to get noticed like activate alarms.
     

At this point I have your interest but I know what you are thinking, “There is NO WAY you could afford a retail anti-theft system even if I knew it would reduce my inventory shrink”. “Remember that $80,000 a year profit margin you mentioned?” That would be a good argument except Bill Bregar took that into consideration knowing the struggles small and medium business owners face. Visit the Loss Prevention Systems Inc. website and checkout the free Loss Prevention ROI Calculator he has available so store owners can see that not only can they afford an electronic article surveillance system the system actually pays for itself over time.  
         

I have been in retail a long time and I have first-hand experience watching shoplifters struggle to try to defeat clothing security in stores. I have seen the frustration when a tag could not be forced off of a pair of jeans. I have seen the shock on the face of a woman who stuffed a box full of clothes protected with clothing security tags and the pedestal alarmed when she tried to walk out of the store. 
     

Retail anti-theft devices work. There is no getting around it. If you want to run a more profitable store let Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you get started with a clothing security strategy that works.

 

Clothing Security is importing and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.