They go by many names—Target stores, Focus Stores, High Shrink Programs—all with the same purpose: To reduce the losses in our highest offender locations. The content of these programs vary in size and depth, but most contain similar components. The similarities makes sense since the most burdensome programs and the most stream-lined both work to create at least some reduction.Read More
While most retail break-ins are opportunistic, a small share are skilled professionals, employing sophisticated planning and methods, resulting in a more successful and lucrative burglary. How then can a retailer limit the potential of a retail burglary occurring?Read More
What is it?
A statistical snap shot audit is an objective method to rank certain operational aspects of a store’s performance. It compares the store’s activities to company averages and scores the store based on being above, at, or below other store’s performance levels. So for example, a store with a $100 refund average would be ranked (and scored lower) than a store with a $50 refund average.
Why is it important?
Truly objective data can provide greater insight and be a better predictor of future and potential losses.
Long Story Short
A statistical snapshot is a form of Forced Ranking applied to stores. Although it is a true and important measure of a store’s performance compared to other locations, it doesn’t take into account important differences that occur due to store size, revenue, location, or staffing.Read More
Retail associates are the first line of defense when it comes to loss prevention. Generating loss prevention awareness via your associates will prevent more loss than any technology, program element or initiative. However, it is also one of the most visible failures of many retailers; to create and sustain adequate LP awareness. Here are 4 common reasons why retailers fail to generate successful LP awareness.Read More
We may think it’s hyperbole when a person says, “I love that book.” Many believe “love” is something reserved for human interactions—with the noted exception of animals and pets. We understand, or think we understand, that loving a book or a movie isn’t the same as loving a spouse, child, or partner. The truth is a bit more startling—the only real difference is in the intensity and duration.Read More
As a human resources professional within a loss prevention organization one of my responsibilities is recruiting our team of loss prevention experts. Selecting the individual whose skills and expertise match the requirements for any position can be a daunting task. Knowing what to look for during the employment interviewing process will help identify the candidate that is the best fit for your organization.Read More
I read an article last week posted by Doctor Hayes in LP Magazine. The article on the need for Evidence Based Loss Prevention makes perfect sense and for the most part I agree with the good doctor’s opinion. I wrote along the similar line in my post, Is Your Deterrence Loud Enough. Our loss prevention goal is deterrence. We don’t have enough staff, money, or technology to “catch” them all, so the best method is one that prevents or deters theft when we aren’t looking.Read More
An audit can be an extremely valuable tool to indicate whether or not a store is operating according to expected standard guidelines and may indicate a potential shrink problem. One would think it’s easy to start auditing; create it, schedule it and gather results. There is more to audit implementation than you think. Here are 5 areas that you should be considering.Read More
In general, the law, with additional support from case laws, provides employers with certain privilege in discussing “business matters” even the dishonest kind with employees. So if an employee is seen or suspected of violating policy, stealing, or may have information pertaining to a loss, it is within our “right” to have a discussion. Such matters, handled properly and professionally are fine, but…and this is a big But…there are many opportunities along the way to step off that narrow path and create company liability.
The potential for civil or even criminal suits (like false imprisonment) are great enough to leave no room for “winging” an internal investigation. And some of the biggest missteps are those that are easiest enough to avoid.
Take a Deep Breath
Seasoned investigators don’t get emotional over internal theft. Yes, we have a passion to resolve and prevent it, but we don’t take dishonesty personally. An investigation is like any other business endeavor—it’s a process. Often, the greatest harm is done by an inexperienced manager or employee who brings emotion…hurt, anger, righteousness…to the discussion.
The Target breach and the other incidents that followed confirmed that cybercrime is a large threat to retailers. Both in terms of the hard costs such as repair and damage payouts and in the soft costs like customer anger and mistrust. I have little doubt that if it’s not already happening, soon colleges and universities will be offering degrees specific to cyber security.
In retail, everyone reports to someone and eventually we need to decide the exact reporting structure for our cyber-security specialists. Like many business functions, including Loss Prevention, there is some flexibility in a cross-functional department.Read More