It’s an interesting conundrum that although no one can guarantee great shrink results, bad shrink is easy to predict. It’s a case of we “don’t know what we don’t know.” In other words, one can never really be completely sure if an employee may have stolen, if unreported shoplifting is crushing our profits, or if people are confidently doing important things the wrong way. The reverse however is not true. The absence of important and critical behaviors is easy to detect. And in their absence, one can surmise that our shrink results will be a train wreck or that any positive results are going to be, at best, really fortunate luck.Read More
We can spend a lot of time discussing audits, shrink numbers and awareness programs, but there is nothing more frustrating than the unresolved theft issue. I’m not speaking of the “mystery” stuff where there is uncertainty as to the cause of the loss. Nope, I’m referring to the missing money or merchandise that by virtue of access and opportunity had to be an employee. Things like the dreaded missing deposit or empty back stock containers that used to contain our merchandise.
Their is something psychologically draining about “knowing” you have a dishonest employee problem, knowing they took “stuff” and knowing there is no way you can prove it. Sure you can interview the entire store, sure you can blame it on the employee who quit, and sure you can resolve to never let it happen again, but still you’ll taste bitter dissatisfaction. The interesting aspect of unresolved dishonesty is that it is usually accompanied by a big “I Wish We Had” moment. A mental…maybe verbal…rundown of the things we wish had been in place before the theft. That little bit of now elusive evidence that would have drawn a comfortable trail to the responsible party.Read More
For many retailers, yearly inventories are just around the corner…maybe even this week. In fact, you may not even be here right now or you may be too busy screaming “get those mark downs in” to have the time to read this. That’s fine, I’ll wait…. Okay maybe just bookmark it and come back later because what I’m going to share is important to your after-inventory plan.
I learned to swim at an early age and up until 1975 I considered all bodies of water to be created equally. In the summer of that year, however, I saw a little film called Jaws, after which a swim in the ocean created equal shares of joy and anxiety. Even today, although just a few miles from the Southwest Florida beaches it’s difficult to not think about the potential predator below the blue surface. When swimming I maintain a pretty strict policy—keep my wife between me and the open water…you know- just in case.
Mark Twain wrote, “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.” It’s an interesting proposition and amusing when we consider the answers we must provide when shrink, loss, or performance misses the intended goal. In general poor loss prevention performance has only three sources—systemic error, shoplifting, or employee theft. Thankfully it is only three because even at that, it can be quite difficult to narrow it down to just the one. The issue isn’t that discovery of the main cause is impossible, the issue is we often rely more on “crystal ball” techniques than evidence based analysis.