Last week we hired a new LP agent for one of my markets. This particular market hasn’t always had a shoplifting problem; however, over the past year we’ve seen a dramatic increase in shoplifting and organized retail crime in this area. After seeing some pretty significant losses in the store, I had to put my foot down. We needed to find the budget for some additional LP resources and ultimately we needed to stop shoplifting in this store. We got to the point where the thieves were having a direct impact on the bottom line.
After months of begging and pleading I got my wish. I recruited a pretty strong candidate for the position and within a few weeks, we were ready to start training. As with all of my new hires, I personally conduct the first week of training. This way, I can set the standard for what I expect from my team. So I traded in my business attire for some cargo shirts and a t-shirt and we hit the floor. I made one thing clear to my new hire. I was putting him in place for one reason and one reason only; to stop shoplifting.
Within hours of our first shift working together, two females had entered the store to make a refund. The front end supervisor called to us as he felt it was a bit suspicious in nature. Return fraud is very prevalent in this market, so anytime something doesn’t seem right, the managers are all over it. Turns out, the two females were able to return about $350 worth of assorted fishing line. Most of the line retailed for $69.99 each! This was for your serious fisherman, so I was convinced it had been stolen. Sure enough, we check store’s inventory and they were missing the same amount of line that had been returned. It was time to let the checkpoint labels do their jobs.
Since they weren’t already tagged in any way, we decided to use some checkpoint labels to secure the store’s inventory on these high priced spools of fishing line. If there was a way to stop shoplifting on these items, this had to be it. Once the product was secured, I went ahead and did some additional research on other returns in the past two weeks of this same product. My research showed that these same women had returned the exact same items on 4 other occasions. Each time, they received a store credit and the credit was immediately spent by a 3rd female to purchase large quantities of denim jeans. We couldn’t quite find the theft of the merchandise, but I was confident that the checkpoint labels would help us out there.
Thieves are natural creatures of habit. By mid-week, training was going great. We had made several shoplifting stops and recovered quite a bit of product. It’s always great to see your budget dollars at work. It was getting close to quitting time when the door greeter called us, almost in a panic. We responded to front of the store where we learned that 2 women had just exited the store, with nothing but a purse. Upon their exit, they set off the EAS system. Without seeing any criminal activity at that point, we returned to the LP office and reviewed the camera system.
It was our same females that had been making the suspicious fishing line returns. CCTV showed that they once again were able to steal several hundred dollars worth of fishing line, only this time; the checkpoint label alerted us to their activity. Within an hour, they returned to the store to get a gift card for the stolen product. Only this time, they received a free pair of silver bracelets instead.
For more information on Checkpoint Labels contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.