Change is not always easy for example I remember having to make changes in how to stop shoplifting when I went from one company to another. I was promoted from a Loss Prevention Associate in a store where I could chase shoplifters, tackle and hold them until local police arrived to a Loss Prevention Manager of a company that would not permit any pursuit beyond the sidewalk. Later, due to circumstances of management realignment I had to depart my beloved Loss Prevention Manager position and took on a Freight Manager role I was successful in by almost all diagnostic measurements. Unfortunately (or fortunately as I later realized), that position took a toll on me and I resigned after a year and a half. Despite my experience and education new work did not come easily but I did wind up back in Loss Prevention for a retail store that had a total hands-off policy. Even if I saw a shoplifter conceal merchandise and set off the Sensormatic security system I could “talk to them” but I could not physically stop the person. I tried to abide by the policy despite my disagreement. You can’t stop shoplifting if there are no repercussions when a thief walks out and knows you cannot touch them. Oh that company has closed down almost all of their brick and mortar locations. I have my own opinion as to why. I left the company after a few short months for reasons I won’t get into but suffice it to say it was another fortuitous situation as that location was only open a couple of more years. Change happens.
I have also had to handle change in how to stop shoplifting going from one type of electronic article surveillance company to another. The last one I was involved with was Sensormatic security systems and I must say I was impressed with the quality of the equipment and tags. I was already familiar with the brand but had not used it myself. I still have some familiarity with it as the office store where I work uses the system and I know how good our inventory shortage results are for the past 8 years. The results speak volumes of the effectiveness of Sensormatic in helping stores stop shoplifting (even though I still get the itch to do it myself from time to time). Systems have their own features and some may compare them to driving a Ford or a Chevy. I would liken it to driving a mini-van or a Cadillac Escalade. The mini-van gets me where I need to go (that is what I can afford to drive) the Escalade would also get me there but with more bells, whistles and let’s be honest reliability. I think of Sensormatic security systems as the Escalade versus the other electronic article surveillance systems on the market. They just perform better.
Change can come in other forms in our work and careers. Sometimes we think we want to do one thing and events or circumstances force us to go another path. In my life I believe God has directed my career and sometimes it can be downright scary. But in the end I find I have learned new things or I have contributed in some small manner to a new employer. I never would have imagined that my Air Force Law Enforcement experience and Retail Loss Prevention experiences would ever have led to work in a college library! Nor would I have ever imagined myself as a writer of articles for a Loss Prevention consulting business. Sure, like many others I kind of had a secret desire to write but I did not get a degree in English or Journalism. My degree in Sociology was a far cry from writing. But as I look at my experiences as an Air Force Law Enforcement Specialist and a Loss Prevention Officer and Manager, I had to write…A LOT! When I would stop shoplifting and apprehend a culprit I had to write a report that might go to court. It had to be accurate. Maybe I was more prepared than I thought.
My point is change can and will happen. Are you ready to embrace it or fight it? There is nothing wrong with being a little nervous about it. What will I do? How do I react? Questions will arise. But in my case I was given an opportunity by a new boss, Bill Bregar, to try my hand at writing for his company. I had coaching and encouragement along the way by new friends Ashleigh Berry and Cathy Benoist. I was pushed out of comfort zones and tried new things. A new door opened and I was welcomed with open arms I will never forget what these people have done for me. That is how YOU should embrace change. Now a door is closing. I don’t know where it will lead but I am confident God has a new and exciting adventure planned. After 849 articles it is time to see where a new door will open but before I do let me leave you with these words of wisdom from someone with over 17 years in Retail Loss Prevention…If you don’t have a Sensormatic security system, buy one you will improve the financial success of your store, I promise!
For more information on Sensormatic security systems, contact us at 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.
When it comes to food and inventory shortage there are two factors to take into consideration, how to prevent out of date merchandise and how to stop shoplifting. I have seen merchandise that has had to be marked out of stock because the food has expired. One of the reasons for many of the unnecessary mark-outs is a failure of the store to have a good product rotation program in place. As a freight manager I always stressed to my team the importance of using FIFO (First In First Out) when putting out merchandise. This could be difficult for the team when they were being pushed for time (which was always). I would audit behind them and sometimes find shortcuts had been taken. Occasionally a worker pulled the first item on the shelf and then put out the new merchandise and then put the first item back. This gave the impression that FIFO was followed when it really was not. Those items that were not rotated would go out of date and then we had to process them and mark them out of stock. What a waste! There were also the products we stocked that just did not sell. They may not have been the right item for our store or customers just didn’t like them. Any way you cut it the product sat there until the company issued markdowns and sold it on clearance or they went out of date. The other issue we often found with out of date product was when the merchandise was vendor supplied and stocked and the vendor failed to give timely vendor credits on goods that were not selling.
The other major cause for shortage in grocery stores is due to theft. The first issue involves operational matters and can be resolved by putting good practices in place. Theft on the other hand requires another solution and that should be the use of Sensormatic labels. Labels can be used on almost anything a store carries. From canned foods to steaks, there is a remedy available from Sensormatic security systems for nearly everything a grocer carries. Now you may not need to put a label on a can of corn but you can put a Sensormatic APX Microwavable Roll Label in meat soaker pads or under the meat trays for those expensive cuts of beef and pork. Perhaps your store carries some health and beauty items as well as foods you can protect these with the HBC labels. There are also hard tags available that can protect higher end merchandise such as infant formula. All of the Sensormatic labels and tags carried by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) are proven to stop shoplifting and that is the reason they are recommended by LPSI for their clients.
Why the fuss about grocery store shrink? It is a concern because “Shrinkage as a % of revenue 2017-2018” came in at a whopping 1.90% according to the Sensormatic Global Shrink Index (pg. 43). As I was looking for some specific grocery store theft statistics I found something I wasn’t quite expecting. According to one website I browse, they pulled some statistics from businessinsurance.org listing 9 of the top items stolen from stores. Topping that list was meat and coming in at number three on the list was baby formula! Operations may be causing some of your shortage but you cannot discount the impact theft is having on your store as well. You have to stop shoplifting if you are going to make a difference in your shortage results.
Equipping your store with an electronic article surveillance system from Sensormatic and protecting your merchandise with Sensormatic labels you can be certain you will reduce theft. Purchase that system from LPSI and you not only enjoy the benefits of owning a Sensormatic security system you receive free Loss Prevention training from LPSI. You won’t find an equivalent offer from any other company. If you are concerned about the cost of a system LPSI also has financing available for qualifying businesses. Don’t waste any more time find out more about how LPSI can help you make your business grow as you reduce shortage.
Get more information on Sensormatic labels, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.
How much does it cost? How about free? Can loss prevention be free? Actually it can be. Like everything else you do in a business, loss prevention should make or save you money. Yes, there are expenses. If you are a grocer you purchase shelving and coolers. A clothing retailer purchases racks for clothing to hang on. Every retailer has some form of cash/wrap counters and Point of Sale (POS) to sell the goods the customer has selected. None of these things “make” any money themselves. However, they are necessary to display merchandise, attract and complete the transaction with a customer.
The same goes for loss prevention devices. Can loss prevention be free? Yes, actually it will make you money! This is how. In this example let’s assume your profit margin is 2% after all expenses. So after you pay the bills, utilities, rent, cost of goods and payroll, you are left with 2%. Figuring that 2% into a loss will tell you what it actually costs you.
Take the loss for a shoplifter or any other loss, let’s say $500 and divide it by your 2% margin, $500/.02=$25,000. What this tells you is that to BREAK EVEN, not make money, you will have to sell an additional $25,000 on top of your normal sales to make up for the loss of that $500.
The fact is that you cannot do it, at least for very long. So our goal must be to keep it from happening in the first place, hence, loss PREVENTION.
Now let’s consider the cost of a Sensormatic security system. To cover a standard double doorway we will use the example of $4000. Yours could be more/less.
Now we take for this example annual sales of 1,000,000.00 with a conservative estimated shrink of 1.2% and a conservative shrink reduction rate of 0.65% on the cost of a Sensormatic security system of $4000 and plug it into our Loss Prevention ROI Calculator and find that your investment will break even in 6.15 months. So in a little over six months your Sensormatic security system will be making you money. Can loss prevention be free, YES it can.
The cost of the Sensormatic security system is a heck of a lot cheaper than the cost of that $500 loss.
We have a loss prevention ROI calculator on our web site. Follow the link and put in your own numbers. Play with it by trying different rates and dollar amounts that work for your business. The loss prevention ROI calculator is confidential. And even better it is also a free loss prevention calculator. You can even save and print out your examples.
However, the thought process does not end there. If you are considering a Sensormatic system or another brand you need to ask the Dealer you are talking to several questions that play directly into the cost of the system you are thinking of purchasing:
1- Is installation included?
2- Are the Installers Factory trained?
3- How do you obtain service?
4- What is the turnaround time for a service call?
5- Who will come out to do service on your system?
6- What is the warranty on the equipment?
7- What U.S. retailers use the equipment they sell?
8- Are they just in sales or do they have actual loss prevention experience?
9- Will that Dealer conduct free live training on how to use the system?
10- Will they conduct free live anti-shoplifting training that covers how to understand and attack YOUR individual shoplifting problems?
11- Will they conduct that free live anti-shoplifting training anytime you reasonably need it for new associates?
12- Do they provide you materials to conduct your own anti-shoplifting training if you so desire?
Please be sure to ask us every one of these questions and any others you have. You will like our answers.
Try the free loss prevention calculator and contact us if you have any questions about Sensormatic security systems, anti-shoplifting, loss prevention calculator or any other loss prevention issues.
Can loss prevention be free? YES it can with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Contact us today at 1-770-426-0547.
In Part 1 of this series on Sensormatic security labels I discussed some problems that can be encountered with certain electronic article surveillance systems and labels. From phantom alarms at the doors to having to try to work with large labels there are can be disadvantages associated with some systems. On the other hand there are clear advantages to using Sensormatic security systems. After nearly 17 in Retail Loss Prevention I have had personal experience using different labels, tags and towers. I saw how effective the Sensormatic labels were in protecting merchandise.
This is a short list of what makes the Sensormatic security labels my preferred choice in anti-theft soft tags:
• Right out of the gate is the size of the Sensormatic labels. Whether we are talking about the Sensormatic AP Sheet Labels or the HBC Labels, these tags have a small footprint and take up little space on a piece of merchandise. This means that there are more small items that can be tagged than might have been possible with traditional radio frequency (RF) labels.
• Where RF electronic article surveillance labels are limited in the numbers of products they can be used on, the acoustic magnetic (AM) labels are virtually unlimited. AM labels are not affected by foils or metals so products such as foil gift wraps, foil gift bags, and even bicycles can be protected with a label.
• Because AM labels are not affected by metal, metal shopping carts are not problems for tagged merchandise. Metal shopping carts by their design can interfere with radio waves and disrupt the frequency of RF labels. AM labels are not impacted by this so retailers need not be concerned about what materials their buggies are made out of. Professional shoplifters occasionally use foil lined bags called booster bags to shoplift. These bags are intended to render RF labels useless so they won’t be detected as merchandise in a foil lined bag is carried out of a store. Again, AM labels are not affected by these bags and can still be detected by alarm pedestals.
• AM labels can withstand high humidity levels for certain periods of time without the effectiveness of the tag being impacted. They can also be stored for up to 96 hours in temperatures not exceeding 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not seem like a big deal at first but if labels are transported in delivery trucks temperatures and humidity can get high. Having labels that can stand up to these conditions and not lose their potency is an important feature that should not be underestimated by a retailer.
• Finally, and this is probably one of the most important differences in my opinion, Sensormatic’s labels can be reactivated with the Sensormatic Hand Wand.
Each of these are great reasons for investing in Sensormatic security labels but I really want to focus on the last point about reactivation.
When merchandise with an RF label is detuned at the point of sale that label is neutralized and can’t be used again. That is okay if all of your sales are final but we all know that merchandise returns are going to happen. So what happens when the merchandise is brought back and the packaging has an RF label still attached? Based on my experiences I will tell you that in the majority of cases nothing will happen. A new tag cannot be placed on top of an old tag and to be frank most retailers won’t even think about trying to place a new tag on a returned product. That means if the merchandise is in re-sellable condition it is going back out unprotected. It may look like it is tagged but it won’t work if someone decides to try to steal it. With the ability to reactivate Sensormatic security labels a retailer only needs to the Sensormatic Hand Wand available at the return desk to ensure product is secure and ready to be re-stocked.
As I have explained there are sound reasons for choosing to use Sensormatic security labels over other brands. They are proven to stop shoplifting and can be used in situations that would negate the effectiveness of other tags. Don’t take chances on electronic article surveillance labels that may deteriorate due to climate conditions or may not be active any longer. You can count on Sensormatic labels to help in keeping shortage low.
Need information on Sensormatic security labels? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547 now.
How do we balance clothing security and keeping our associates and ourselves safe from harm. We know that if we do nothing to combat shoplifting that we will soon be out of business. Shoplifters are like anyone else, they talk. And talk they do, to other shoplifters. They compare stories, techniques and where the best places to steal are. We have to combat shoplifters or your store will end up on the shoplifters’ short list. Clothing security and the security of any other type of merchandise is really quite simple. That is the easy part! If you want help with that reach out to us. We can fix it.
But when is enough, enough? There are shoplifters out there that are ready to take it to the next level and hurt someone in order to get away. The reasons are many, i.e. drugs, desperation, greed, debt or just that they “want it”. When I conduct my live Stop Shoplifting seminars either in person or via webinar I always tell a story. Many years ago a shoplifter stole an item from a store in a mall. That was not in dispute. The item was not just petty it was around $500+, a felony. He was seen by store management and ran. This was a store in a mall on the second level. As he was running to escape, he collided with a woman holding an infant. The infant flew out of her arms and went over the railing and was killed on impact on the planter below.
The shoplifter was caught and prosecuted for not only felony theft but for the infant’s death. That was on the criminal court side. He stole the merchandise, ran, and caused the death of the infant. We do not even need to go into the civil suits that were filed. You can imagine who was sued, everyone including the retailer and employees.
But now put yourself into the place of the manager who chased him. How would you feel? You might say to yourself that you were simply pursuing a thief that caused the death. It’s not my fault. Or, is it? If you did not chase the shoplifter to begin with, it would have never happened. These are the things that you will have to wrestle with, for the rest of your life. I have been a Law Enforcement Officer in both the civilian and military worlds. I have faced more life and death situations, both my life and others, than I care to remember. There have been many thousands of times that I have asked myself if I could have done something different.
So, all of this happened due of $500. It was simply NOT WORTH IT! In fact I want you to look at your shoplifting problem from a completely different angle. If you have an incident where you have to chase a shoplifter occurs and your training to stop shoplifting and procedures broke down or failed. In that case you need to go back and refine your program to stop shoplifting, not be chasing shoplifters through the parking lot. When reading this in the comfortable environment you are in right now it may sound like good justice that the shoplifter himself runs out into traffic and gets hit by a car. But the potential for innocent casualties from that could be too horrible to consider.
When a loss occurs reverse engineer it. Where were the break downs? Was your staff paying attention? Were they even trained in what to look for? Do you have adequate Sensormatic Security Systems in place? Are those Sensormatic Security Systems working correctly? Do you have the correct Sensormatic clothing security tags? Are those clothing security tags placed correctly? Are the clothing security tags using the correct pin? Does your staff (and you) know how to PROPERLY react to a Sensormatic Security System alarm? Is your store’s merchandise arranged and displayed correctly or is it customer AND shoplifter friendly? Are small, high dollar, popular items on an end cap in the back of the store? Are you relying on a CCTV system to discourage shoplifters? Shoplifters do not care if you have cameras or not.
Look at it this way. After thirty-five years in Loss Prevention I have found that there are only two ways to prevent shoplifting and they both must be done together. Staff training to PREVENT or stop shoplifting and a Sensormatic Security System. Other brands are fine also but retail theft prevention with Sensormatic systems tend to protect the widest range of products. Retail theft prevention needs to be a constant, consistent effort on your part. And retail theft prevention must involve your trained staff. Without them you can have the best Sensormatic systems installed and you will still have shoplifting problems. Loss Prevention Systems will train you and your staff on how to avoid confrontations and discourage shoplifters while delighting your good customers.
So if you are ready to stop shoplifting once and for all, contact us or call us toll free at 1-770-426-0547 and let us attack your shoplifting problems together.