Everyone wants to stop shoplifting in their store. It’s really a no-brainer. If you got rid of the theft problem, your sales would increase, your profitability would rise and your business would be in better financial health. It only makes sense. You’ve probably scratched your head some nights after finding out about a loss and thought about all the ways you could have prevented that loss and saved your store money. You’re not alone. Small to medium sized retails stores across the country are in the same predicament. You want to minimize theft, but you don’t want to impact your sales, nor do you want to alienate your legitimate shopper. So where do you find the balance.
I had a store last week email me a photo of a section of their fishing line. It was completely empty. The store manager told me that over the past two weeks, a group of people were stealing his shelves bare. I offered to send him some Checkpoint Labels, however he stated that it would take too much time for him to apply the tags on his product at the store. This manager made the first mistake of combatting shoplifting. He’s thinking too much like a manager, and not enough like a loss prevention professional. You have to find a balance. A few weeks had gone by and it was time for an LP store visit in that store. From my monthly notes, I remembered the fishing line problem, so that was the first place I walked to when I entered the store. What I found drove me insane…
The store manager, who refused my advice on the Checkpoint Labels as a tool to combat loss had installed a locked glass case for the fishing line. I called the store manager over to discuss, since this was against company policy. Now, the store manager was thinking too much like LP. (Hey, if I could run a successful store with everything locked up, I would). He stated that he was sick of the theft and that he needed to do something. I asked him to run the sales report on this category. He very abrasively asked why I was worried about his sales! It’s quite a common misconception that people have about the loss prevention industry. I’m not here just catch shoplifters, or bust employees. I’m here because I care about the financial well-being of the company. I will do whatever is necessary to eliminate losses as well as enhancing sales to improve overall profitability. That was too much for this manager to understand… Nothing like have a difficult personality to work with.
In short order, his sales had plummeted nearly 500% since he installed the glass doors. He was losing more money from missed sales than what he was losing from shrink. It was a wakeup call and it was finally time for the store to start using the Checkpoint Labels. Not long after my visit, I sent the store a good amount of labels for them to start using as soon as they removed the glass case. Amazingly enough, it only took about one hour for a store employee to properly tag all the fishing line with those Checkpoint Labels. Four payroll hours less than the glass install. Moreover, just as I knew it would, his sales bounced back and theft decreased dramatically. Shoplifters really don’t want to get caught, so if they encounter any type of EAS device, they will most likely move on.
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