Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Profiling and Retail Loss Prevention – Atlanta Georgia

One of the most useful and frequently used tools in the world of retail loss prevention is profiling. Yeah, I said it, but before you start writing letters let me explain. These days we tend to associate the word “profiling” with negative discriminatory acts or stereotyping. However, the actual definition of profiling is: “Recording a person’s behavior and analyzing psychological characteristics in order to predict or assess their ability in a certain sphere or to identify a particular group of people”. In retail loss prevention the group of people we are trying to identify are shoplifters.

 If it’s 80 degrees outside yet an individual has just walked into your store wearing a long overcoat aren’t you going to watch him/ her? Guess what, you just profiled them. An individual carrying a large, nearly empty purse or backpack is often worth watching for no other reason. It’s not just physical characteristics either; a person’s attitude or behavior can also be profiled. If someone is nervous or fidgety and avoids contact with associates and other customers they are someone you should pay attention to. After all, it’s a department store. How nerve racking can picking out a pair of socks actually be?

Profiling is a great tool in retail loss prevention . However, you must be mindful that the temptation may exist to take it too far. At no time should it ever be acceptable to profile someone on the basis of their race, sex, age, creed or religion. Not only are these practices morally reprehensible, but they will open up your company to a number of lawsuits and probably lost revenue. When used properly profiling can be a great asset in your retail loss prevention efforts.

For more information about loss prevention security or security and loss prevention contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted November 15th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Loss Prevention Security and Your Business – Atlanta Georgia

Loss prevention security should be a priority to any business owner operating in today’s marketplace. Let’s face it: it ain’t all good. From 1948 until 2010 the United States unemployment rate averaged around 5.7%. That rate was last reported at 9.6% for the month of September. As it has always been, an increase in unemployment leads to an increase in overall crime and sooner or later that crime is going to come knocking at your door. What are you going to do about it?

My suggestion would be to develop a comprehensive loss prevention security plan and stick to it. No matter how big or small your business is you need some sort of a strategy for keeping your merchandise safe and out of the hands of shoplifters and not-so-honest associates. Whether you require a full blown DVR system and a 6-man loss prevention security staff or a simple static camera over the cash register, you need to be accurate in your risk assessment and employ the proper amount of security for your individual business needs.

Confused? Not sure exactly which is the best route for you and your company? The good news is that there is a plethora of information available to you if you’re willing to do the due diligence and research your options. On the other hand, my dad always said “Boy, if you don’t know, just ask somebody!” and there are a number of companies in business that are staffed with Loss Prevention professionals who can outfit your company with the proper equipment and knowledge to fit your needs… just ask. Loss prevention security a vital and necessary part of doing business today. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

For more information about retail loss prevention or security and loss prevention contact us: loss prevention security or call 1.866.914.2567

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

Retail Loss Prevention and EAS

There are many sounds that bring a smile to my face, but in the retail loss prevention world none is quite as sweet as the incessant chirp of an EAS sensor as it passes by a security tower. That high-pitched tone means that money, which would have otherwise been lost, will now remain within the store. What exactly is EAS, you may be asking? The acronym stands for Electronic Article Surveillance, and EAS is an important part of retail loss prevention .

EAS includes hard tags or stickers which are placed on different pieces of merchandise either manually once it gets to your store, or during the packaging stage by the manufacturer. These tags need to be removed or deactivated at the point of sale by your cashiers. If they have not been deactivated they will be picked up by the security tower and an alarm will begin to sound.

This obviously makes them a problem for most shoplifters… exactly what you want. Keep in mind that professional, and more experienced shoplifters, are aware of these devices and will go to great lengths to remove them. Many of them will carry small cutting tools just for this reason. I once watched a shoplifter open and remove the stickers from 40 DVD’s and videogames (a process which took over an hour) before walking out of the door with the unpaid merchandise.

You also have to consider your more brazen crooks; the ‘grab and run’ criminals who don’t care whether they set the alarms off or not. For this reason EAS is obviously not a cure-all. However, most shoplifters don’t want to be detected. Why? Well, because they want to be able to come back and steal from you again. EAS can be a very valuable tool in protecting your merchandise from these types of criminals and should be seriously considered when developing your retail loss prevention plan.

For more information contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted November 4th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Retail Loss Prevention and Proper Training – Atlanta Georgia

You’ve done the right thing in hiring a retail loss prevention staff and given them the proper tools in which to do their job, and none too soon. There’s a particularly seedy-looking gentleman in your store.

He’s dressed unseasonably warm and eye-balling everyone in his immediate vicinity. He’s carrying close to $300 worth of your merchandise in his arms when he ducks behind a rack of clothing; when he emerges again, he’s empty handed. As he exits the store your retail loss prevention associate stops him and what do you know… he’s got nothing. However, what you now have is a potential lawsuit. How do you prevent this?

There’s a sign hanging in my office that reads: “Check your gut at the door”. It means simply that there is no room for gut feelings or intuition in the world of retail loss prevention . Proper training and adherence to that training is the only sure way to not land yourself in hot water. The following are the rules that I’ve instructed my associates to abide by before apprehending a shoplifter. I’d love to tell you that I made them up, but I didn’t. They’ve been around for years, they are time-tested and they work.

  1. Observe the suspect approach the merchandise. (ensuring they didn’t have it with them when they came in)
  2. Observe the suspect select the merchandise from the display.
  3. Observe the suspect either conceal or walk away with the merchandise. If they concealed it, know where exactly it is at.
  4. Maintain continuous visual surveillance of the suspect the entire time they’re in the store.
  5. Ensure that the suspect does not pay for the merchandise in question.
  6. Allow the suspect to exit. Once they’re outside with the unpaid merchandise they’ve actually committed a crime and then can be detained.

Proper training of your retail loss prevention staff can save you a lot of heartache and countless dollars in your day to day operations.

For more information contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted November 2nd, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

RETAIL LOSS PREVENTION…WHAT MEASURES WILL HELP YOUR STORE?

There are many ways retail loss prevention can be monitored.  Have you ever noticed the back of your debit credit card? (I hope you all have any way!!)  There is a strip on the back for your signature.  This serves a purpose in that the retailer should check for a signature match on a slip when a purchase is made.  If no signature is present, the retailer should ask for identification.

I had an interesting experience not too long ago.  My company requested I purchase an item on a company credit card.  The card was in a male employee’s name with our company name underneath. I’m female by the way! He was unable to go with me to make the purchase.  I marched in Home Depot, bought a $500 dollar item, handed them a credit card, not even remotely resembling a male or the signature and guess what? They said thank you, have a nice day and I left with my purchase!  Obviously, this is certainly not a good policy for retail loss prevention .

Credit card fraud is a huge problem in actual retail stores.  The retailers have become very relaxed on their credit card acceptance policies.  One reason is a retailer is not liable for fraudulent credit card charges.  It gives them no incentive to check identities of the user.

The second reason they are so negligent is they want to shorten customer’s time standing in a checkout line.  I would much rather stand in line for a few minutes longer and ensure that my credit cards are safe than be in a 5 minute time saving hurry!

Would be credit card thieves contribute to inventory shrinkage through many different avenues.  Preventing credit card fraud at your locations is one of the simplest ways to maximize retail loss prevention .

Need help finding other ways to secure your business and increase profit? For more information contact us at retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted October 26th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Saving the Profit – Security and Loss Prevention within your business – Atlanta

Security and loss prevention are important to businesses.  A business owner shouldn’t have to go to extreme measures to protect their own assets, but in today’s world it is a necessary factor in operating a business.  Especially if you hope to make a profit.

Retail loss prevention is very important for a business to be successful and maximize profits.  Shoplifters are extremely bold, and can take more merchandise at one time than a business may profit in one day.  I have apprehended a shoplifter that was in the process of stealing $1100 worth of merchandise at one time.  Imagine what several of those thefts could do to your bottom line.

Worse yet, it has been proven that employee theft can cost a business more than an external, or customer theft.  This is why a good retail loss prevention program must also include procedures that prevent and deter employee theft.  I personally investigated a case that involved eight employees, and a roughly $8000 loss of merchandise.  While it was good to shut down the employee theft operation, it is frightening to consider the extent of the loss.

Security and loss prevention can be as simple as having good controls in place to protect your merchandise.  Proper training of your employees is also part of a good program. Security and loss prevention have to be a part of your business plan if a business wants to succeed in today’s market.

For more information on security and loss prevention contact us at: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta

Posted October 21st, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Retail Loss Prevention and the benefits to your business

Retail loss prevention should be dedicated to providing a safe environment for customers to shop and employees to work.

Many companies forget about how customer and employee accidents and injuries can negatively impact their profits. Several times have I visited stores where the owners or management aren’t really concerned with safety issues or don’t truly understand the impact of a customer accident or an employee injury.

Retail loss prevention has a big responsibility when it comes to safety. These professionals have the task of ensuring potential safety issues are identified and corrected as soon as possible. Issues such as merchandise in the stockroom and some areas of the salesfloor stacked closer than 18 inches to the fire sprinkler systems. In some locations, there are electrical paneling, and electrical related equipment stationed or stored in the backrooms. Merchandise should never be stored or placed any closer than 36 inches to these areas. Loss prevention should be concerned with correcting these potential safety risks.

I experienced an instance at a company I worked for where a number of violations lead to the injury of one employee and ended up costing the business hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and fines. The store refused to make simple changes to policies pertaining to the use of trash compactors.

In this instance, an employee was sent into the compactor to dislodge an item. In a rush, the operator and employee did not enact the safety feature, and failed to notify others of what had happened. As a result, the employee in the compactor suffered a serious leg injury when the compactor was accidently restarted. Loss prevention responded to the incident and conducted an accident investigation.

Indeed, the employees were negligent and admitted that they were never properly trained on the use of this equipment, nor were they encouraged by members of management to be safe.

Retail loss prevention provides a great service to any retailer or business, whether it’s conducting investigations involving theft, or conducting accident investigations, retail loss prevention must always be focused on the goal of profitability.

For more information on loss prevention visit us at retail loss prevention  or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted October 20th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

The Difference Between Security and Loss Prevention – Atlanta Georgia

The key difference between security and loss prevention is in the roles each one plays within any given organization. For instance, a security guard is someone, normally in uniform, who guards a post and/ or patrols an area. His/ her charge is to provide for the general safety and security of the establishment, its workers and patrons; and to establish physical deterrence to any would-be criminals. A loss prevention detective (or agent, as they are often referred to) is charged with the task of identifying and investigating shrinkage, whether it is from shoplifters, internal theft or paperwork errors. They normally operate covertly, and their goal is to maximize the profits of the company.

Security and loss prevention are similar in some areas as well. Both may be called upon to detain suspects, coordinate and interact with police and other law enforcement entities, taking witness statements, observing the questioning of a suspect and testifying in a court of law. However, in addition to these things, loss prevention also investigates numerous kinds of check and credit card fraud, identity theft, corporate fraud and white collar crimes. They investigate internal theft, interview or interrogate employees as necessary, training and make recommendations on improving the physical security of an establishment.

 There is a time, a place and a use for both security and loss prevention . However, if you want my opinion (and who doesn’t?), hiring a security guard to watch your business is like buying a German shepherd to guard your home. Sure, he’ll be loyal as long as you keep him fed, but you won’t know anything is wrong until it’s too late. Loss prevention is a proactive approach to shrink reduction. In the end the difference between security and loss prevention is scope; so ask yourself, do you want to save a little bit of your profit or all of it?

For more information about loss prevention or retail loss prevention contact us: security and loss prevention or call: 1.866.914.2567

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

What Is This??? Retail Loss Prevention – Atlanta

I’ve been in the retail loss prevention field for over a decade. The other day my daughter, who’s now 12, asked me, “Dad, what’s loss prevention ?” I was almost offended. “I leave home everyday” I thought, “and bring home the proverbial bacon so that you can have those ungodly-priced tennis shoes, and you don’t even know what I do?” However, her question caused me to do an impromptu poll of my friends and family and I found that my daughter wasn’t alone. A great deal of people have no idea just what loss prevention is, so I decided to take a moment to explain.

Retail loss prevention is a sort of private investigation into various kinds of theft or larceny. The focus of these investigations usually center on shoplifting or organized retail theft, internal theft, embezzlement and credit and check fraud. The purpose of these investigations is to maximize profits by reducing the overall shrink within a company. We use many different tools to complete these investigations including: Exception-based reporting, CCTV surveillance, EAS (or Electronic Article Surveillance), audits, reports, integrity shops and many others.

Why all of the hullabaloo? Inventory shrinkage costs American retailers over $31 billion a year. That’s a lot of cash, clams, bread or ducketts, no matter how you look at it. Why should the average person care about retail loss prevention ? At some level or another we are all consumers. When a company loses sizable profit due to inventory shrinkage they are left with little choice but to raise prices on merchandise in order to offset that loss. That means higher prices on everything from t-shirts to toilet paper. So, in the end retail loss prevention helps keep life affordable for everybody.

For more information about loss prevention contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

Posted October 15th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Armed Robbery Survival, Loss Prevention Security – Atlanta

Why would an armed robber choose your retail location? Because money is available.

Loss prevention security in a robbery situation must be treated very serious. Your security and loss prevention program should always include preparation for a robbery.

Most robberies only take one to two minutes to complete.

IF A ROBBERY OCCURS IN YOUR STORE OR AT THE NIGHT DEPOSIT, REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:
                                            
* The safety of associates, customers and you is always top priority.                      
                                            
* Be completely cooperative.                
                                           
* Be observant.                                 
                                           
DO’S AND DON’TS DURING A ROBBERY             
                                            
* Do not resist–heroics are uncalled for.  
                                            
* Keep it short–the sooner it’s over, the better.                               
                                            
* Do give up the money when demanded.       
                                            
* Do not argue.                             
                                            
* Do not over-react, do not attempt to grab the weapon or call out for help.              
                                            
* Make every effort to remain calm. Set the example for your fellow associates.   
                                            
* Be attentive.  Listen to the robber and do exactly what you are asked.            
 
* Do not make any sudden movements.  Warn the robber of any surprises or unexpected noises.                                   
                                            
* Expect strong/foul language.  Expect to be told to lay on the floor or ground.              
                                            
* Be alert.  Try to remember details of the robber’s appearance, clothing and/or speech.         
                                                                  
* Keep any holdup note, but do not allow people to handle it.                      
                                            
* If possible, watch the robber’s method and direction of escape.  Do not go with the robber! 
                                           
AFTER A ROBBERY, TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
                                            
* Lock the front door or gate. Robbers have been known to return to the store.            

* Call the police immediately.

* Close off the area in which the robbery took place.        
                                             
* Write down everything you can recall about the robbery. Provide this information to the police upon their arrival.  

* Do not give the police an exact count of the money stolen. Tell them you will make an exact count and get back to them. You do not want this amount to show up in a police report, then the newspaper.
                                 
* Give the police any holdup note.          
                                            
* Notify your supervisor immediately.                   
                                            
* Fill out a company security and loss prevention report. Forward a copy to your supervisor.                                          

* Refer any media questions to your corporate office or loss prevention security department.

For more information about robbery or loss prevention security contact us at security and loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta

The Fine Print – DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

The information provided is for informational purposes only. It is important that you follow your company’s policies and procedures. The techniques presented although conservative should still be compared with individual state and local laws before proceeding. You should consult your own legal counsel before adopting or using any of the recommendations made. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever, which may arise as a result of adhering to or failing to implement procedures discussed in this material.

 

Posted October 13th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized