LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

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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New Solution Protects Today's "New Jewelry Store" A T-Mobile Premium Retailer Turns to a Benefit-Denial Solution to Combat Theft and Increase Sales, Store Safety, and Customer Experience I t is surely a sign of the technology-driven times we live in that a cell phone retailer might have the same value of product on the floor as the jewelry store down the street. "We carry premium electronics and accessories on our sales floor to allow for an enhanced customer experience, and at any given time we have tens of thousands worth of merchandise out," explained Roy Herrera, corporate loss prevention manager for Amtel LLC, a T-Mobile Premium Retailer. "The game has changed. As the wireless industry has evolved, prices have increased substantially. The demand for high-end devices sometimes approaches a frenzy-type situation." This evolution has not been lost on thieves. In recent years, phone stores have become preferred targets for robberies, joining—and often supplanting—banks, liquor stores, and jewelry shops. "You do the math," said Dermot Shea, chief of detectives of the New York Police Department, after a rash of cell phone robberies. "You hit a store and steal seventy-five of those. Even if robbery crews unload them for only 25 percent of their store price, it's a good hit," he told the New York Times ("Detective's Death Shows How Cellphone Stores Are Now 'Easy Target' for Robberies," Feb. 15, 2019). Finding a Unique Solution Unit prices and high demand have created a dangerous mix for retail outlets. In South Dallas, for example, one Amtel store was being hit by thieves two to three times per week, Herrera noted. Banks have dye packs. What option does a cell phone store have? The retailer knew it needed to curb losses, but that was only one of the goals Herrera had in mind as he searched for a modern approach to prevent theft of cell phones from stores. "Most importantly, we wanted to have a safe working environment for our associates. We also wanted to improve compliance with T-Mobile requirements, and we wanted to enhance the customer experience," Herrera said. With those goals in mind, the retailer had to look beyond traditional product protection. A barrier-based solution, like putting high-end phones in display cases, puts staff at higher risk in robbery events, frustrates customers, and dampens sales. Physical protection strategies also do nothing to generate data for compliance tracking and device interaction. Seivold is senior writer for‚LP Magazine. He is a trained journalist who has been covering corporate security for industry professionals for eighteen years. He formerly served as the principal writer and editor of‚Security Director's Report, a monthly publication highlighting trends and best practices in corporate security management. Seivold has been recognized by several organizations for outstanding writing, investigative reporting, and instructional journalism. He has authored dozens of survey-‚based research reports and best-practice manuals on security-‚related topics. He can be reached at GarettS@LPportal.com. By Garett Seivold CASE STUDY Strictly from a loss prevention perspective, it's already been successful for Amtel. Those stores in South Dallas that were being hit multiple times per week? In less than thirty days after installing BricTECH on high-end phones, unit theft dropped 60 percent. Roy Herrera 70 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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