You’ve probably heard me say it before, but if you are an employer, chances are one of your current, or former employees have stolen from you. It’s not a guess, or an assumption. It’s fact. No matter much you scrutinize a person’s background, or how well you think you are in the know, if the opportunity presents itself, and someone in your store has a lapse in conscience, it’s going to happen. More than likely, it’s happening right now… as you read this. You have to stop employee theft in order to maintain profitability. It’s that simple.
There are hundreds of different ways you can stop employee theft. One of the more simple ideas comes from a case I investigated a few months back. I work for a company that carries a wide variety of footwear. We stock any type of shoe you could possibly imagine. That also includes some very expensive Kicks. Even if you offer your employees a discount on their purchases, free (or almost free) is always a much better deal in the eyes of a dishonest employee.
The store had recently received some new shoes that retailed for $159. It wasn’t a large shipment, just enough for a few runs. A couple of days went by and a manager contacted me and stated that he noticed that one of his employees was wearing that style shoe, but he couldn’t recall ever seeing the employee purchase them. After collecting some additional information, I conducted an investigation. I reviewed the employees purchase history and all I saw was a few pairs of lesser priced shoes of the same brand that were purchased recently. For the sake of conducting a thorough investigation, I looked at a few of those transactions on the store’s camera system.
I looked at the style of shoe that was recorded on the sales receipt and matched it to what I saw on camera and I immediately noticed they didn’t match. I could see that the pair of shoes that he actually left the store with were the $159 shoes, but it appeared that he had placed them inside a lesser priced box. The new cashier failed to verify the style numbers and he was able to create a $100 loss to the store. After looking at a few more transactions, I saw that he had done this numerous times over the past 6 months. While this wasn’t one of the biggest cases of my career, it still highlighted an area that we needed to focus on in order to stop employee theft.
I then began to review, on a weekly basis my employee’s purchases. While I wouldn’t look at that many of them, I would look at what I thought were high risk transactions. Those involving footwear, or electronics where I knew that prices could be switched. By taking this simple step, over the next few months I was able to make cases on 3 more employees. During the interviews with each of them, they all told me they exploited a broken process in the store from training to manager presence on the sales floor. I can tell you that after those employees were removed from the store, the profits increased dramatically in our shoe department.
For more information, contact us at Stop Employee Theft, or call 1.770.426.0547