retail loss prevention


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

Loss Prevention in the Retail World

Loss prevention is a broad topic in the retail environment.  Its expanse can make it difficult for a business owner to identify what aspects may be beneficial to his or her organization.  By learning more about what options are available to combat loss, businesses can choose what is right for them.

Loss prevention is any type of policy or procedures a business chooses to use to reduce loss of inventory and increase profits.  Apprehending shoplifters is one aspect of retail loss prevention, but proactive measures are also important.  For example, teaching your employees to provide excellent customer service can help prevent theft.  Shoplifters do not want employees’ attention – so that is exactly what a business must provide.

Also important is making sure that basic controls are implemented and followed.  If your business has a fitting room, make sure that employees are trained to monitor what enters that room.  If there is merchandise that is locked up in cases, make sure all employees understand the importance of keeping the merchandise secure until it is purchased by the customer.  You’d be surprised how many employees will unlock a case, and then hand the secured merchandise to a customer instead of ensuring that the merchandise immediately goes to the cash register.

Key controls are also important.  Make sure that keys to back doors, secure merchandise cases, fitting rooms, etc, are properly logged and only given to responsible associates.  Employee theft is common enough without lax controls within the business aiding the process.

Anyone can be a potential shoplifter – the rich, the poor, the elderly or the young.  Loss prevention is an important part of any business that has a vested interested in protecting their assets.

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

 

Posted October 7th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Retail Loss Prevention and the use of CCTV (Closed Circuit Camera system)

How can retail loss prevention boost your profits? Use CCTV.

Retailers worldwide benefit daily thru the use of CCTV to protect assets, increase safety and give a piece of mind. In the world of Retail Loss Prevention, CCTV is a staple. From Investigations of dishonest employees to reviews of customer alleged slip, trip and fall instances and other potential risks and liabilities.

A retailer in a metropolitan market found a return on their investment when the use of CCTV equipment helped the local police department recover thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise. An undercover loss prevention agent working the particular store, observed a team of suspects enter the health and beauty aisle. The suspects, working in teams of 4, quickly cleared off several bottles of shampoos, baby formula and men’s razorblades. The people worked so efficiently, they were sometimes in and out of the store before the loss prevention agent could get out to the salesfloor.  After the last 3 times these suspect had “hit” this store in the last week, the loss prevention agent quickly notified the local police department of the suspect’s presence. Working the store’s CCTV system, the agent kept uninterrupted surveillance on the suspects. While on the phone with the local police department, the loss prevention agent was able to position the responding police officers outside of the store. As the suspects exited, the agent maintained surveillance as the local police department apprehended all four of them.

The loss prevention agent was subpoenaed to court and was able to provide the local prosecuting agency with video evidence of the multiple instance of theft this group had conducted. As a result of the proper use of the CCTV equipment, the store was able to recover a large amount of its losses after the local police department recovered thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise from the suspects.

Retail loss prevention  can create, write and execute loss prevention policies for most companies that can dramatically improve their overall profitability.

For more information visit: retail loss prevention or call 1.866.914.2567

 

Posted October 5th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Retail loss prevention initiatives necessary for success & profit

By definition, retail loss prevention  is a type of private investigation into larceny or theft. It is police and detective work for the private business instead of the general public. Businesses that do not take into consideration basic loss prevention and asset protection procedures will not survive.

The focus in retail loss prevention is on shoplifting, fraud and employee theft. According to the 2006 National Retail Security Survey, shrink is divided into five categories:

46.8% Employee theft
31.6% Shoplifting
14.4% Administrative error
3.75% Vendor error
2.86% Unknown error

To understand  retail loss prevention , a business needs to understand shrink. Shrink is merchandise or assets that are unaccounted for – and the loss is usually identified during an inventory. A business’s books will tell how much merchandise the business is supposed to have, based on receivings, shipments, etc. The difference between the books and what merchandise is actually there is called shrink.

A business must analyze its operations in order to identify factors that contribute to loss. Strategies must then be implemented to combat shrink. As illustrated in the statistics above, employee theft creates the most loss for a business and has to be taken into consideration when creating a program to reduce shrink. Many businesses only focus on shoplifting as a contributor, but employees can actually steal much more.

Retail loss prevention is a necessary effort in order for a business to be successful and profitable.

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

 

Posted September 30th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized

Security and Loss Prevention similar but not the same

If you are or work for a small to medium sized retailer with less than ten locations you may be thinking security and loss prevention are one in the same.  Most retailers that size do not have a loss prevention staff or even a program in place.  Many that I run into will respond, “I have a security system” when I ask about their loss prevention situation.  What they mean to say is “I have a burglar alarm.” 

A burglar alarm, known as a security system, is armed when the facility is closed and no one is in the location.  Just stating the obvious, when a protected point such as a door or window is breached it sets of the burglar alarm which triggers a string of events that will result in the police being dispatched to the location. 

Retail loss prevention will include a burglar alarm to protect assests when the facility is closed; however, most retail losses accur when the store is open.  Taking a look at other security and loss prevention solutions are CCTV (surveillance cameras).  CCTV systems are great for recording events where loss occurs so that you can retrieve the evidence for use in court etc…

An active loss prevention security solution is an EAS (Electronic Article Security) system such as Checkpoint Systems.  Checkpoint systems involve installing antennas at doors that detect anti theft devices that are placed on merchandise.  These anti theft devices are either pinned on or are labels that are stuck on.  When a shoplifter approaches an exit with merchandise that has not been paid for the Checkpoint system will alarm alerting staff of the issue.  This catches the shoplifting in the act, thus a Checkpoint system is considered an active  loss prevention security method.

For more information and or to learn about your options for protecting your merchandise visit:  security and loss prevention 

 

Posted September 28th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in Uncategorized