LP Magazine

SEP-OCT 2017

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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solution to delivering a safe place for people to shop. The solution of what to do with the rest of the mall must come from somewhere. There are other services that fit perfectly into this model and provide people with even more reason to visit the location. Thinking about the auxiliary services (for some, these will primary services), one could imagine using the space to cater to those with pets, which is often a no-no in malls, perhaps providing pet health services or an indoor dog park. People use a variety of other services on a regular basis. Making the mall a destination in itself will generate more foot traffic. Adding other options, such as media stations, financial institutions, health services, education provision, and an indoor play area, will make the mall a more attractive place for the whole family to visit together. Giving a wide range of reasons to make a visit to the mall, coupled with the experiences that online shopping simply cannot deliver, will make it a destination. Attracting the whole family and catering to pet owners changes the dynamic. How Does This Feel for Loss Prevention? Sadly, a greater footprint can bring with it more potential issues for security and loss prevention. Criminals could see the new mall as a place where they can practice more pickpocketing or antisocial behavior. The result is that the loss prevention team needs to beef up its presence and provide a different model to protect the assets of all stakeholders. The new mall will meet different challenges from a diverse clientele, possibly longer access hours and a transient custom. The loss prevention services across the mall must evolve. As the rules of the game change, the different departments of a retail organization must keep up. To think this is just a challenge for operations or marketing isn't looking at the whole picture. The skills used by the asset protection team will have to develop to meet these demands. Analysis will need to be carried out to see the new pinch points for losses as the customer profile and habits change over time. Doing things the old way just won't do any more. A mall within a store will have more licenced vendors—third parties that pay for a slice of the space. This means that costs and services will need to be shared, and the vendors will benefit from training and support in this area. A shared service model, along the lines of how the legal industry operates, will give the best asset protection cover at the best value point. Designing something from the ground up that is fit for purpose wins over adapting current (and possibly outdated) models every time. This will lead to a tiered functional matrix that will provide financial stewardship for the mall within a store where all parties can contribute and benefit from this resource. What Are the Details Behind This? It's all well and good stating that a change must happen, but an active loss prevention team needs to know what this looks like on the ground. Diverse areas of the operation will look very different if we have a mall within a store. One of the first considerations in any change is communication. How the asset protection team connects with the new clientele of the mall within a store can have a massive impact on behavior. Attracting new customers means that you also attract new age groups and dialects that will need to be integrated into communication. This is often dealt with in recruitment and training, so the emphasis on making sure the team is ready to help the new foot traffic and understand their space is all-important. This is extended with the fact that the outside world will now be looking over the asset protection team's shoulder. Every move will be scrutinized. This has positive and negative elements. The decision-making process must be more transparent and open, so people can see the mall has changed. If we want to attract clients back through the front doors, then they need to understand what protections are in place that were lacking when they decided the mall wasn't for them. Social media and online reviews You may be able to get items online from a retailer with much lower overheads, but you can't get a spa experience, a manicure, a workout at a gym, or the latest juice mix at a juice bar 41 LP MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 A MALL WITHIN A STORE

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