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Demystifying the Mystery Shop

Posted on 6/17/16 9:44 AM

Some refer to themselves as mystery shoppers, secret shoppers or even undercover agents. The fact of the matter is, “mystery shopping” is about monitoring the quality of employee interaction through the eyes of the customer. The results provide a snapshot in time to give retailers/grocers/restaurant owners an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

An estimated 2.5 million mystery shoppers serve as the eyes and ears for those clients in an effort to enhance the customer experience and in some instances determine adherence to the client’s policies and procedures. Many times, the information collected during mystery shopping programs is used to help the client improve training programs, better articulate expectations they have of their staff, and otherwise improve the ways in which the client serves its customers.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping, Retail, Secret Shopping, ICU

The Problem with Winging an Investigation

Posted on 6/3/16 10:17 AM

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.

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Topics: store operations, Audits and Investigations, LP Innovations, Retail, Victim, Investigations

Denial: A Cure for Crime and Everything that Ails You

Posted on 3/21/16 9:00 AM

A man walks into the doctor’s office and the doctor inquires, “what’s the problem?”

“It’s my arm, doc. It hurts when I move it.”

The doctor considers the issue for a moment and then responds, “well don’t move it.”

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Topics: loss prevention, Retail, Victim

Video Blog Series-LP FAQ in 2- Audit Frequency

Posted on 1/29/16 1:00 PM

LP FAQ in 2 is a new blog series by LP Innovations which answers the mostly frequently asked LP questions in about two minutes. 

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Topics: Retail, Shrink, Retail Audit, Audits, Shrink Calculation, LP FAQ in 2, Audit Frequency

Video Blog Series-LP FAQ's in 2

Posted on 11/13/15 10:15 AM

LP FAQ in 2 is a new blog series by LP Innovations which answers the mostly frequently asked LP questions in about two minutes. 

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Topics: Retail, Shrink, Shrink Calculation, LP FAQ in 2

The Problem with Winging an Investigation

Posted on 8/7/15 11:03 AM

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.

Read More

Topics: store operations, Audits and Investigations, LP Innovations, Retail, Victim, Investigations

Is Your Company Headed for the Emergency Room?

Posted on 2/11/15 11:37 AM

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.

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Topics: loss prevention development, preventing theft, loss prevention, Retail

Results That Should Make You Cynical

Posted on 1/27/15 1:00 PM

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.

 

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Topics: preventing theft, Retail, Inventory Results, Inventories

Retail Bill of Rights: A Law Loss Prevention Can Live With

Posted on 1/20/15 12:20 PM

If you’re a “formula retailer” in San Francisco (defined as 11 plus stores), you have probably heard of the passage of the Retail Bill of Rights. You can read more here, but in short, the law requires a number of things related to employee hours and pay, including predictable work schedules, better schedule notices, less “on-call” abuse, minimum shift hours, and access to additional hours. There is little doubt that some of these changes will come with a greater financial burden to retailers, but the trade off may be lower shrink.

Whether it is direct cause or simply reflective of the changing dynamics of retail, we know from the statistics provided by the National Retail Security Study (NRSS), or the University of Florida Report, as it is often called, that there is a correlation between the percentage of part-time workers and shrink results. As one would anticipate, the more part-timers making up a company’s workforce, the higher their shrink tends to be. It is not that the presence of part timers causes shrink, but rather three key elements that are pervasive in a part time work force.

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Topics: Retail

Denial: A Cure for Crime and Everything that Ails You

Posted on 11/13/14 12:38 PM

A man walks into the doctor’s office and the doctor inquires, “what’s the problem?”

“It’s my arm, doc. It hurts when I move it.”

The doctor considers the issue for a moment and then responds, “well don’t move it.”

Read More

Topics: loss prevention, Retail, Victim