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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WHY DO PEOPLE STEAL? (LPRC) is currently researching humanizing signage where you talk to the customer directly, joke with them, or even compliment them. Bob: I know what I'm doing is wrong, and I'm trying to ignore that as I do it. I don't like anything that reminds me of it. If you make me feel like I'm stealing from a person, I'll go elsewhere. ACTION 3: Show Them the Victims andConsequences of Shoplifting. When theft is high, prices go up. Shelves don't get stocked, and items don't get sold. Stores go out of business. Normal people lose their jobs. This isn't a victimless crime. Consequence research is ongoing at LPRC. Bob: I have friends who are cashiers. I guess it affects them when someone steals; I just don't think of it that way. If I did, it would be harder to do. Action 4: Avoid Overstocking When Possible. It's human nature to feel worse about taking the last slice of pizza than when there's plenty to go around. Avoid having too much of the same product out, not only because it's harder to protect but also because it becomes psychologically easier to justify stealing. Bob: These corporations make billions of dollars. I'm not hurting anybody by taking one or two things. I'm taking one and leaving ninety-nine. No harm done. ACTION 5: Reach Out in Your Community. Big retail corporations can do an awful lot of good. Most already are. Advertise what you're already doing more clearly and strategize ways to touch these individuals' communities in positive ways. LPRC is conducting two research projects in 2018 on this topic. Bob: Before their big store opened up, there were three other stores on that site—stores that didn't pay their employees minimum wage. They provide a service, I guess. I'd have to go across town if they weren't here. I just don't usually think of it that way. ACTION 6: Make an Effort to Head Off the "It's Like They're Asking for It" Excuse. Things like a messy store and inattentive associates can unwittingly send both good customers as well as offenders the wrong message. Bob: They just make it so damn easy. It's like they're not even trying, like they want you to steal from them. Or they've made the decision not to care. I'm not saying that makes it okay. What I've done is wrong, and I've got to answer for those things when I meet my maker someday, but I would've never done it if it weren't so damn easy. Just do something, anything to show you're making an effort. ACTION 7: Change the Conversation Employees Have Outside of Work. Telling your friends about how fairly you're treated at work is generally not a popular topic of conversation. Not only can your employees turn sour and actively assist others in defrauding you, but also their unkind words about how unfairly they're paid or treated can give members of their social circle just the sense of moral high ground they need to feel okay about stealing from you. Bob: My friend works as a cashier there. He doesn't help me take things, but he knows I do it. He thinks it's funny. I wouldn't ask him for help. I don't need it and don't want him to risk his job. It doesn't hurt people like him. It just makes the CEO bonus a little smaller each year. ACTION 8: Consider the Message You're Sending When You Lock Something Up. Retailers have every right to lock items up based on what's on paper. Its high shrink or above a certain price threshold, so we lock it up. However, it's important to understand the message you're sending both customers and offenders when you protect certain items. The average customer isn't aware of the aftermarket value of things like laundry detergent, Affecting the general public's perception of what an offender's true motives are is a pivotal step in unweaving the Robin Hood narrative. Let customers know that most offenders aren't taking necessities in modest quantities for personal use. Let them know that most shoplifters are fueling a less honorable habit than feeding babies. 54 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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