How important is it for store owners to protect health and beauty products? How important is it to prevent all theft in your store? As I was searching for recent news on Organized Retail Crime (ORC) activity I came across a story that was a strong reminder of why it is important for merchants to prevent shoplifting. A professional shoplifting ring out of Florida was recently caught by police. They are accused of theft to the tune of over $2 million dollars in stolen goods! According to a story in clickorlando.com, May 08, 2018, “5 arrested 1 sought in Florida retail theft ring” the suspects were, “…hitting eight to 10 businesses each day.” This is an incredible amount of merchandise and it was not just one type of store being targeted. The group was hitting grocery stores, drug stores and department stores. The story related that Publix Loss Prevention started the investigation as the group was stealing primarily health and beauty products from their stores. Of course as the investigation by police went into full swing it was determined other chains were being hit by the group also. It turns out the ring was stealing clothes and shoes as well as teeth whitening strips, electric toothbrushes and razors. The goods were then sold on the black market.
What are Organized Retail Theft (ORC) rings and is there a way to combat them? ORC groups are professional shoplifting groups. They can vary in the number of people who operate in a ring and they may even use people outside of the ring to actually do the shoplifting. What makes these groups different from the opportunist who enters a store and steals is that the opportunist may only do it as a prank or for a thrill. They may steal a lot over time but not in the quantities or dollars that professional groups will steal. ORC rings are reselling as a business. They may sell on the internet, out of a warehouse or use a “mom and pop” shop as a cover. They will steal anything they can get out of a store but they love to steal small merchandise that is easy to conceal. This is why it is so important to protect health and beauty products.
So now you know what an ORC group is but how do you fight back against a group of criminals who may be working in teams or sending in others to steal for them? You prevent shoplifting by using Sensormatic Flexible Safers. Safers are tough, durable, locking bags with electronic article surveillance protection built into them. They add size and alarm protection to smaller pieces of merchandise that would otherwise be easy for shoplifters to steal in bulk quantities. How did the ORC group mentioned at the beginning of this article get away with hitting eight to 10 businesses a day? I would be willing to bet that in part they were avoiding merchandise that had electronic article surveillance protection as much as they possibly could. Professional shoplifters know that activating alarm towers with Flexible Safers or other Sensormatic tags is going to draw unwanted attention and make it difficult to go back to that store again. A store that uses anti-shoplifting devices to protect health and beauty products is one step ahead of the bad guys.
It is important that I mention that Sensormatic Safers prevent shoplifting by the opportunist as much as the professional. This is especially true in the health and beauty product departments where so many of the items are pocketable. That means they are small enough to be slipped into a pocket and that is a difficult theft to see. I can tell you that we in the Loss Prevention field are very wary of stopping someone for stealing something as small as a cosmetic item. It is simply too risky and the chance of making a bad stop too great. We often let these people walk out unless they set off an electronic article surveillance alarm and then we leave it up to a store manager or supervisor to resolve the cause for the alarm. We generally won’t make an apprehension for an alarm activation, we simply want to see merchandise retrieved.
You never know if your store will be hit by professional shoplifting rings but I can assure you at some point you will be the victim of some variety of shoplifter. If you want to protect health and beauty products or any small merchandise Flexible Safers are the solution for you. Saving money with a Sensormatic System and tags is a beautiful thing.
For more information about how to protect health and beauty products contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.