Effective loss prevention involves an ongoing understanding of exactly what is occurring in-store and the strategies which will best combat any loss occurring.
Like anything, these strategies will also evolve over time and require frequent refinement and adjustment to protect the all-important retail bottom line.
If effective loss prevention is on your list of things to look at this year, here are five loss prevention resolutions for the new year.
Know your loss
Retail loss takes many forms including shoplifting, fraud, employee theft, and human error. But to understand what the major culprits are in your store, you need to know where the loss is occurring.
This involves looking at the current stock, reconciling it against your inventory, delving into store analytics, and considering whether there are specific trends occurring.
For example, analytics might reveal your returns are prone to fraud or reconciling your stock against inventory might indicate shoplifting is occurring.
Have a strategy
Once you know where the loss is occurring, it’s time to develop a strategy.
In most instances protecting a store against theft and loss requires a multi-level approach that includes overall store protection, such as CCTV or security guards; good store design that minimises the opportunity for theft; and also theft prevention at a product-based level using electronic article surveillance (EAS) accompanied by security labels and tags.
Technology plays a key role in combatting theft, particularly at a product level.
It’s also important to remember, the technology of security tags and labels evolves over time.
Staff are the frontline of loss prevention and should be screened and educated accordingly.
The new year offers the perfect time to review your hiring systems and procedures to ensure staff are checked prior to commencing employment. It is also a good time to re-educate staff on the signs of shoplifting, along with what to do when a theft occurs.
Meanwhile, now is also the opportunity to revisit store policies surrounding inventory reconciliation and returns.
Measure to manage
It’s not enough to just audit your loss prevention strategies once a year.
Every retailer should be measuring their loss consistently in order to manage and mitigate it.
This involves using analytics and data from areas like the Point of Sale system, along with the information gleaned from stock takes, and the insights from your EAS system about false and real alarms.
Rinse and repeat
Once you have your new year’s loss prevention strategy in place, it’s a case of rinse and repeat.
Continue to regularly audit your loss prevention strategies and consistently hone them over time.
You can gain further insight into loss prevention best practices here, download our 2022 Trends in Retail report here, or view our range of EAS shop detection systems, security tags and security labels.