In the loss prevention world, we look at things a bit different than our business colleagues. Executives and company managers look at how well a product will sell and we look at how easy that same item is to steal. We always seem to play the devil’s advocate on merchandise in the stores. Sometimes, that’s not an easy role to play since it’s very common to be labeled “sales prevention”. We’re all on the same team, and we all have the same goals. Just as company leadership wants to increase sales and reduce expenses, I also want to increase sales. They have their way, and I have mine… simply stop shoplifting by making small changes throughout the stores.
Understandably so, not every item in a store can be protected by additional security measures. I can’t spend the money and payroll expense to stick a Checkpoint Label on each of the 100,000 items in my store. You just can‘t do that. What you need to do is identify what product has the most risk for loss, or look at the products that your shrink is the highest on, then make decisions on how to best keep that product in the store in order to generate sales.
No bigger challenge have I ever faced with company management was the tagging of denim jeans. The company I worked for had a large selection of jeans and our sales in that category were very strong. So was shrink. For every 5 pairs we sold, we lost one. For you math whizzes, that’s a 20% loss. Our margins were only 25%, so we were not making that profit. But we were making a profit, and that’s all the executive levels managers cared about. Week after week, I would bring up shrink in this category. I would showcase my team’s apprehension statistics on denim. Heck, I even showed video in one meeting where an organized group of Cuban Nationals hit 15 stores and stole more than 500 pairs of denim in ONE DAY! It still wasn’t enough to convince the guys in the ivory tower to let me deploy something as simple as Checkpoint Tags to reduce the losses. After at least 2 years of push back, I was finally able to test a tagging initiative in ONE store.
I purchased a small quantity of Checkpoint Ink Tags and tagged every single pair of jeans in the store. Two months went by and not a single pair of jeans were stolen. Not one. The Checkpoint Tag was enough of a deterrent for our thieves not to tamper with. After showing these results to company management, we then deployed the tags company wide. It took years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss to get to this point.
Chances are, if you are reading this, you don’t have to deal with the headache I do. Small business owners and stores are targeted by the same shoplifters as large chains. The difference is that large companies can absorb hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss, whereas that same number to a single family owned store would be devastating. I encourage every business owner to stand up to shoplifting and protect your biggest financial investment, your inventory.
For more information, contact us: Anti-Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547