LP Magazine

NOV-DEC 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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switching at Goodwill just like they do at for-profit retailers, said Stone. What's often different is that after they are caught and banned from a store for a time, they come back as honest shoppers. Such is the loyalty of a Goodwill customer. "We see a number of customers switching price tags and taking a chance to save one, two, or three dollars," said Stone. "If it was me, and I was caught, I'm not going to go back to that store. But they love to come in, so they come back as shoppers looking for that great find." Because getting donations to the sales floor is mission critical, employee training and awareness take on heightened meaning, said Stone. "We let them know that revenue we generate drives our mission and that to provide folks with work we need to safeguard those donations." They drive the point during new employee orientations, in-store training, town hall meetings, morning store safety meetings, and with visuals reminders like emails and break room posters. "It can be difficult for employees and customers to view a donation as valuable because it didn't cost anything. But there is a cost to process it, store it, and move it. There is a cost to accepting it into the system," Stone said. "Many Goodwills have incredible safety programs and have done a terrific job of opening communication channels and providing consistent messaging on a continual basis." Southern Piedmont Internal communications also plays an important role in preventing theft and protecting workers at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, which covers Charlotte and an eighteen-county area in North Carolina. Most recently, for example, the LP department ran a campaign to warn and instruct staff on the upcoming "cold, flu, and robbery season," according to Greg Hawes, its loss prevention services manager. Without LP agents positioned in its twenty-five retail locations, every team member is taught that he or she is part of the loss prevention program and that safeguarding the mission depends on them to observe and report loss. "They are the eyes and ears of the LP department," explained Hawes. "Retail store members have developed and maintain a good rapport with our regular customers, who report suspicious activity to store management, who in turn report it to loss prevention." External education also serves an important loss prevention function, according to Hawes, who was hired in 2003 when the LP department was in its infancy. "A lot of people know we have stores, but one of our challenges has been to let everyone know what our mission is and how our donations fund our mission." Promoting the message to the community and educating shoplifters has been part of that effort. Still, Hawes said they have shoplifters every day, including instances of individuals running out with carts full of merchandise. And robberies committed by gang members are a real, ongoing threat. Without LP staff in the store to provide deterrence, Hawes said they rely significantly on technology and are in the midst of a five-year plan to transition to HD cameras, so they can better secure evidence for prosecutions that will stick and to reduce civil liability claims. They've also successfully tested and have begun installing cameras MISSION DRIVEN Greg Hawes 18 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM "We see a number of customers switching price tags and taking a chance to save one, two, or three dollars. If it was me, and I was caught, I'm not going to go back to that store. But they love to come in, so they come back as shoppers looking for that great find." – Paul Stone, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin

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