LP Magazine

SEP-OCT 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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continued from page 19 He says he's also using FRT to notify staff when particularly good customers enter the store, which is particularly useful because his high turnover among store personnel doesn't allow for this type of valuable customer service to evolve naturally. Finally, Patel says he's also finding value from the system as both a timesaver—pointing to problems rather than aimlessly reviewing video—and a driver of better employee behavior. By reviewing video flagged as suspicious, Patel says he identifies a dozen or so people every day who stole from a store. And, for example, by identifying when employees enter and leave the store, Patel observed a problem with one worker leaving the store for extended periods during overnight hours. "This helps me to monitor them in an efficient manner," Patel said. Fleishman said other stores are using it for similar intelligence, from employees who take too many smoke breaks to clerks who allow friends to hang out in the store against policy. To date, Rieger says that, surprisingly, using systems for internal purposes is bigger than training them on external populations—for making sure that people in sensitive areas belong there, for validation into a stock room for a large workforce, and similar employee and contractor control. FRT is one in a class of technologies that are offering stores new opportunities to be proactive in the fight against theft and retail crime, to transition from investigating theft to identifying suspects and preventing it from occurring, and to preidentify threats. As plainly preferable as such a move sounds, it also contains layers of strategic implications that can muddy that seemingly compelling strategic shift. For example, while Patel is successfully utilizing alerts to ban problem individuals as they enter his convenience store, the big-box retailer's test suggested it's a tougher task in an environment with many entry points and where responding staff isn't positioned at the front of the store but may, instead, be in an LP office in the back and tending to other duties. "A lot depends on what you're going to do [when staff gets an alert]. If you're intent on approaching them and asking them to leave, it's more challenging. They'd need to immediately drop what they're doing, and by the time they make it to the front end, the person is probably well within the store. Now they need to look for the individual. And the more time that passes before they find them, the more likely they're either not going to find them or potentially find the wrong person." He said that complication doesn't altogether negate the benefit of getting an alert, but it was among the components that left him with the impression that a smaller, high-risk specialty store might find it easier to realize value. It's probably inevitable that facial recognition will become a standard tool in the LP arsenal, taking its place alongside video, alarms, motion sensors, and officers to mitigate shrinkage and violent crime. On the road there, retailers 21 LP MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2018 AN ABOUT-FACE FOR LP?

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