It seems like a single week doesn’t go by that I don’t get asked how to stop shoplifting by at least a half dozen managers. They are usually coming to me, frustrated by the amount of external theft they are seeing and sometimes they feel pretty helpless as they watch their hard earned money and profits walk out of the front door. I know their struggles. I’ve been in their shoes. Before I started my Loss Prevention career I was a store manager for a large retailer for several years. I was, like so many now, bound by corporate directives and store policies when it came to what I could do to protect the merchandise in my store. After all, I was the one seeing it get stolen, not the corporate folks.
The great thing about owning your own business, or working in a small retail operation is the real time decision making that can happen. In my management career in a large corporation, if we wanted to use a type of Checkpoint Label to secure a product, our corporate office had to first approve the idea, test the idea in a small amount of stores, develop an ROI report, make a recommendation to company management, and then, maybe a year later, we’d see the tags in store. In that time frame, we most likely lost thousands of dollars to theft. If you’re a business owner, or a manager of a smaller company, you can make a decision instantly on ways to secure your merchandise. In the past 10 years, I can recall only one time where I was able to get a decision made overnight for an idea that would help me to stop shoplifting.
It was early on in my LP career and I was investigating a large amount of loss on a several heart rate monitors. It wasn’t localized to one sku, or one store. I had an area that covered 15 stores and all stores were reporting losses upwards of $10,000 each. I did everything in my power to research the losses, since I was convinced the loss was due to theft, but Murphy’s Law intervened around every corner. The stores had recently moved the display units to an area that wasn’t covered by a CCTV camera. Additionally, this was the first time that area of the store had been inventoried in over a year. I had no idea when the losses occurred, and I had no way to review the area for suspicious behavior. At a standstill in my investigation, the losses kept pouring in each week.
With nearly $200k in product loss in a category that had sales of about half that, we had to stop the bleeding. I was able to convince my bosses to test out some different types of Checkpoint Labels. We used a simple Label printed with the store logo and name that would alarm if the product went through the doors without being de-activated. We deployed them in all of my 15 stores in the hopes of being able to stop the loss. After a few weeks, it was clear that by using an anti-shoplifting device, we could hold onto our product. We were still losing merchandise, but at a much, much slower pace. While we didn’t completely eliminate the theft problem, we were able to slow it down and become profitable in that category. While you will never be able to stop shoplifting altogether, with the appropriate controls in place, you will be able to reduce your exposure to easy losses.
For more information, contact us: Anti-Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547