Don’t confuse security and loss prevention

Many smaller to midsized retailers often confuse their definition of security and loss prevention.  Just ask them what they are doing for loss prevention and they will tell you they have a security system.  (Bear with me this is not a bashing article.)

Let’s define a couple things.  First what most call their “security” system is technically a “burglar” system because it is only turned on after hours and will alarm if a burglar breaks in.  It does nothing during business hours which is when losses occur.  So with that being stated, the words security and loss prevention are in two different ball fields.

In fact, burglary doesn’t even hit the radar when measuring inventory shrinkage in the US.  What does hit the radar according to the holy grail of studies in the industry, the National Retail Security Survey by The University of Florida: #1 employee theft, #2 shoplifting #3 Administrative errors, #4 Unknown, and #5 Vendor fraud.

So what is true loss prevention? Let’s look at what Wikipedia says:

Retail loss prevention (in some retailers known as asset protection) is a form of private investigation into larceny or theft. The focus of such investigations generally includes shoplifting, package pilferage, embezzlement, credit fraud and check fraud.  Loss prevention” or “LP” is used to describe a number of methods used to reduce the amount of all losses and shrinkage often related to retail trade.

In other words loss prevention involves specific people using specific methods to discover sources of loss and solutions to reduce those losses.  Only larger retailers employ these individuals as staff and many that have done so in the past have cut them from the payroll to cut overhead in these rough economic times.

What makes sense is to consult a  loss prevention professional to review your specific issues, your current security and loss prevention methods.  The next step will be to develop a custom program that will improve your operational effectiveness and reduces your losses whether shoplifting, employee theft or other.

For more info go to: security and loss prevention 



Posted August 19th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Loss Prevention Security Efforts



Who’s minding the store when the owner/manager isn’t?  A growing number of concerned management leaders depend on mystery shoppers as part of a comprehensive  loss prevention security program.


What information will be gained from a mystery shopper’s report?  Most users of a shopping service look first at the customer service category to learn the perception of their clientele has of their business.  Does the customer feel they have received enough attention and are more than their minimum needs being fulfilled by the staff?


But shopping reports can go beyond that and be important to the  loss prevention security  area as well.


A customer who is promptly greeted is not as likely to shoplift if eye contact has been made by an associate, making them feel that they have been noticed.  Frequent attention to each customer also lessens the likelihood of theft.  Attention not only deters theft, it also makes the legitimate customer feel more appreciated.


A trained shopper will also notice transactions occurring at the register and note any irregularities.  Shops may be general in nature or target specific employees, and controlled purchases, or correct change transactions may be conducted ensure the transaction was recorded properly.


Many business owners have a false sense of security in believing that all employees behave as if the owner or manager were looking over their shoulders while they work, and this is hardly ever the case.  A well planned mystery shopping program can improve the   loss prevention security  program of almost any retail business.


For information go to:   loss prevention security 

Posted August 11th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Electronic Article Surveillance

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) equipment is used to provide security and loss prevention to merchandise. However EAS is not a total solution to the shoplifting problem and will not stop shoplifting on its own. Points to consider when using EAS as a loss prevention tool include:

Certain tags can be identified by shoplifters and removed. Concealment is critical. Labels can be disguised and tags can be made extra secure depending on how and where they are attached.

Tagging merchandise costs in both tags and labor can be cost prohibitive if you attempt to tag and label all merchandise. Consider establishing a price point and up that are to be tagged. Of course you also want to tag or label any merchandise that is high theft.

Properly maintained systems and tags can be a major support to employee customer service when the ratio of customers to employees is high.

In the security and loss prevention field we know that the presence of tagging systems themselves can be a deterrent to many types of shoplifters.

Dye tags can be used on soft goods for product denial.

Want more information: security and loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted August 9th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Physical Security

Retail Loss Prevention Physical Security

  • A well-lighted area deters shoplifting, stores must maintain adequate lighting. Shoplifters tend to gravitate towards darker, less traveled more concealed areas such as corners to conceal the merchandise they are going to steal.
  • Limit customer exits. Loss prevention security starts at the door. It takes to many employees to keep an eye on multiple exits. Most large retailers know this and do have only one entrance and exit. Close off or make any unused door an emergency exit.
  • Keep displays and shelving low enough to be seen over by employees. A key in retail loss prevention is training and empowering your employees to be your eyes and ears in loss prevention. Make sure they can see every where possible in the course of their normal duties. Teach them how to approach any suspicious customers.

Special loss prevention security measures should be followed if there is an emergency and the power goes off:

  • Station an employee at the front door.
  • Make sure you have flashlights ready for this purpose. Test them monthly.
  • Have a procedure for ringing up sales without the POS. The power is out. Do your cashiers know how to use a calculator? Do you have a battery operated calculator available at each POS? Do cashiers know how to calculate tax? Do they know what the tax rate is?

Retail loss prevention security keeps your profits up and losses down.

Need more information?  retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Loss Prevention Systems,Inc

Posted August 9th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

What Is The Effect Of Inventory Shrinkage?

Most companies do not truly understand the impact of inventory shrinkage or loss on their profits. For example: If your company’s inventory shrinkage this year is $50,000, that’s $147 in shrinkage every day.

Is that the total impact on the bottom line?

Keep this in mind: For your organization with a 2% profit margin to simply recover or break even on a $50,000 inventory shrinkage, theft or loss, you would have to sell an additional $7,350 every day! ($147 divided by .02% profit margin) This is on top of your normal sales.

Think about it…how much more merchandise will you have to order, receive, count, mark, prepare paperwork for, stock, and finally sell just to produce these extra sales to just break even?
The fact is that inventory shrinkage really cannot be recovered. This is a major factor in why one third of US business failures are blamed on corporate theft.
The obvious solution is to prevent the causes of inventory shrinkage and loss in the first place.

For more information contact LPSI or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted August 5th, 2010 by Loss Prevention Investigator and filed in Internal Theft, Inventory Shrinkage