LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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MEG COSTA is a freelance writer who frequently covers the physical security industry. Over the last eleven years, she has written for industry trade publications, done corporate communications for a leading residential monitoring company, and worked in public relations for a variety of security companies. She has a master's in journalism from the University of North Texas. Costa can be reached at meg@mightypenmedia.com. Read the Full Sensormatic Global Shrink Index Report "The Sensormatic © Global Shrink Index benchmarks retailer performance globally and sheds light on other factors affecting loss prevention. Knowing the state of shrink helps retailers better assess the challenges and solutions to make merchandise secure yet accessible for a better customer experience," said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president and general manager of Tyco Retail Solutions. The statistics contained in this report highlight the magnitude of shrink's impact on retail and affords the opportunity to dive deeper into the sources of shrink, particularly in the US, as well as the loss prevention tools to help combat loss. To view the full report's findings, visit shrinkindex.sensormatic.com. In many countries and in areas throughout the US, expanding city populations and difficult economic conditions are conspiring to give employees and shoppers alike the motives for theft. Meanwhile, a shortage of retail workers and the proliferation of the Internet are creating greater opportunities for stealing products. all sizes. Smaller retailers in particular are challenged to prevent shrink with relatively few associates on the store floor, which creates greater opportunities for shoplifting, associate theft, and sweethearting. "Technology becomes critical for these [smaller] merchants," Warne said. "Electronic public-view monitors act as a visual deterrent, keeping an eye on stores when an associate isn't immediately on hand. At the same time, retailers are turning to lower-cost, cloud-based, remote video monitoring and analytics tools for 24/7 coverage to efficiently augment their current security strategy." Keenan says "reverse" public-view monitors—where the screen displays the point of view of a loss prevention professional—can be even more impactful. This is especially true for experienced thieves who may doubt that a store's cameras are working or being monitored. Meanwhile, US retailers also fall below the global average of merchandise tagged with EAS tags, both by the manufacturer or supplier and in-store. For retailers that are struggling to keep shrink manageable, upping their EAS tagging might be an easy, cost-effective way to minimize both internal and external theft. Warne points out that EAS will only become more high tech in the coming years in response to more sophisticated techniques being used by shoplifters and ORC groups. For example, EAS source tagging will mean goods arrive tagged and ready for merchandising, and smarter EAS will only alarm when tagged items exit the store. In addition, EAS systems are now being integrated with video to provide real-time loss-event validation, alerts, and responses—rather than simply showing footage of an event that is already occurred. As thieves become savvier, retailers are deploying advanced tools and features beyond EAS that help detect and investigate theft. For example, as described in a feature article in the January–February 2018 edition of LP Magazine, Rite Aid is using the power of social media and crowdsourcing to get the public to help track down robbery and shoplifting suspects. And Warne says more retailers are starting to leverage LP analytics through tools such as cloud-based shrink management as a service (SMaaS) platforms. These systems show retailers where spikes in organized crime are happening, so they can proactively prepare and even prevent ORC crime from flourishing. Looking Ahead While the sheer cost of US retail shrink may seem daunting, Warne points out that it's simply part of the business. "As long as there are retailers, we will have retail loss," she said. The trick for retailers is minimizing the losses. As thieves become more sophisticated in their tactics, retailers have an opportunity to respond in kind. For both nationwide brands and local mom-and-pop stores, loss prevention technology can serve as a force multiplier, deterring and detecting theft in both new and tried-and-true ways. In today's challenging retail landscape, these tools might be the difference between failure and success. THE WORLDWIDE IMPACT OF SHRINK 45 LP MAGAZINE | JULY–AUGUST 2018

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