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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PARTNERING SCIENCE, DATA, AND ASSET PROTECTION TO TACKLE RETAIL SHRINK the variables interact with one another to classify a store into the various categories of shrink. The decision rules were identified leading to shrink categories, which would help Kroger make data-driven decisions. Sell-through was revealed as the most important factor when categorizing shrink followed by employee turnover rate and customer ratings. For example, if a store's sell-through is below average compared to other stores, employee turnover is much higher than average, and the store is a type 1 or type 2 location (upscale stores), the store will likely experience high shrink. Recommendations A dashboard was then created to identify problem areas at the individual store level, sorted in high-to-low shrink order, with red indicating poor performance and yellow signifying good performance for factors like sales, inventory, customer ratings, and so forth. The third decision tree shows low-shrink stores that have above-average performance across the columns. This dashboard is interactive, and one can click on each store to find the problem products and how they vary across peer stores and peer commodities. Limitations Due to the nature of the retail industry, accurate data collection can be difficult and impractical Collaborating with Tomorrow's Industry Leaders By Ed Tonkan, President, Zebra Retail Solutions The annual Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Asset Protection Conference provides attendees with exceptional opportunities to connect with peers on the most pressing issues facing the industry while exploring the innovative technologies currently transforming asset protection.•However, the event also provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with tomorrow's leaders through an innovative program. Founded under the guidance and direction of Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations, the RILA Student Mentor Program was established to integrate the skills and insights of a prominent retail chain, a retail solution provider, and academia as part of a semester-long project. Each year the program focuses on a major area of interest for loss prevention professionals, with the students presenting their ˆndings at RILA's annual Asset Protection Conference. Participating students are selected from The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, where they are pursuing their master's degrees in business analytics. The master's program produces data scientists and was recently ranked second of its kind globally. Michael Hasler, PhD, director of the program at McCombs, has supported the RILA Student Mentor Program for the entirety of the collaboration and has developed it into a capstone project for his•students. Over the past seven years, retail participants have included JCPenney, 7-Eleven, The Home Depot, and most recently The Kroger Co. under the leadership of Mike Lamb, LPC, vice president of asset protection. Aaron Medley, the senior manager of asset protection analytics, was also very involved with the students throughout the project as they applied their advanced analytical skills to over 25 million rows of data. Along with the respective retailers, I've had the privilege of serving as comentor for the program each year and have seen it become a valuable opportunity for all involved. In addition to presenting at the conference, students have the opportunity to become fully immersed in this top retail loss prevention event, engaging with both retailers and solution providers at the show. The retailer also receives key insights from these data scientists that it can leverage to improve business operations. I'm personally inspired by the results of RILA's college student program as the students work with industry mentors to complete these research projects. Pictured left to right are Ed Tonkon of Zebra Retail Solutions; Rajat Malhotra, Raksha Pai, Dani Diehl, and Clarissa Franklin of The University of Texas; and Aaron Medley of Kroger. Maintain good sell-through. Introduce emplyoee benets program, which could decrease attrition. Stores which have lower general manager percentages need to concentrate more on produce freshness. Be mindful of the store inventory levels with respect to peer stores. Clearing at the right time is important. 44 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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