USING RETAIL ANTI-SHOPLIFTING DEVICES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Do you ever walk around your store and wonder just how much of your product winds up in the hands of a criminal? Maybe you were researching an item for a customer and your computer said you had 5 of this particular item, but you couldn’t find a single one. Or, perhaps you may have walked down a secluded aisle and noticed several empty packages of merchandise tucked away behind a shelf or display. If this sounds like you, then chances are you have a shoplifting problem. Whether it be a loss of $10 or $10,000, every penny you lose to dishonesty is a penny less that’s going towards your bottom line. Thankfully, over the past several years, technology has kept pace with this growing issue and thus given the retail industry several tools that we can use to prevent shoplifting.
There is nothing that is safe in your store, trust me. Unless of course you display your entire stock behind a glass case that is! Over the last decade, I’ve worked as an area LP manager for a large big box retailer. I’ve seen everything there is to see in regards to shoplifters and the lengths they will go through in order to steal. Thankfully, my company invests heavily into retail anti-shoplifting devices. From the large cable wraps on game stations to delicately placed sensor tags on some of the most commonly stolen items, our program ultimately keeps our shrink in line to what’s expected. What’s best is that these simple methods aren’t just for the big box stores; but can be tailored to any size retail establishment and any budget.
The first thing I had to learn coming into this career is that I wasn’t going to prevent shoplifting completely. What I had to do was develop programs that would ultimately limit our store’s exposure to the risk of loss. When I first started, we had a very small LP department and we weren’t utilizing resources to our advantage. One of the very first things that I accomplished was using the store’s negative shrink data to determine what items were most commonly stolen. From there, we ultimately applied retail anti-theft devices that were tailored specifically for that item. Over time, we began to see a shift from what was once the most commonly stolen items (which the thieves could no longer easily target), to other items within the store that were an easier target. See, thieves are like water; they will follow the path of least resistance.
As the months and years pressed on, we continued to rely on shrink data to identify “hot” items, those that continued to post losses week after week. If a new style of shirt would come in and we’d immediately see shrink, we’d flag the item at the DC to be tagged with a retail anti-theft device that made sense for the purpose of shrink mitigation as well as customer service (customers usually don’t want to shop for an item that is locked up with a cable).
Even though I work for a large company with hundreds of stores, this principle can be applied to companies that may only have one store. As store managers, or business owners, you are uniquely positioned to know what is driving your sales, as well as your shrink. By knowing where your losses are coming from, you can react to those losses and use technology to better assist you in your efforts to prevent shoplifting.
For more information about Retail Anti-Theft Devices contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.