LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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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by Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Dr. Hayes is director of the Loss Prevention Research Council and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida. He can be reached at 321-303-6193 or via email at rhayes@lpresearch.org. © 2018 Loss Prevention Research Council EVIDENCE-BASED LP Monitors or Locked Displays? I t 's complicated. We don't want to overplay our hand here, but the role and responsibility of today's asset protection professionals is increasingly complex, and mission critical, to their organizations. Think about it: LP is protecting globally traveling people, extensive supply chains, hundreds or thousands of stores, distribution centers and offices, websites, 24/7 data interchange, and the brand's reputation. We might rightly describe our evolving function as multidomain loss prevention/asset protection (LP). Multidomain LP For our LP teams to maintain their well-deserved status as problem solvers, we must continue to learn and understand evolving multidomain dynamics and threats in order to focus and significantly improve operations and outcomes across the entire range of protective activity. The key to deterring or defeating errors, accidents, and intentional theft, fraud, or attacks rests in LP's ability to simultaneously operate through and across all domains, all the time. LP must present differing types of offenders with multiple dilemmas for which they have no immediate answers and no way to predict what will happen next. Our digital and physical adversaries are making significant progress leveraging deception, crews, and violence to exploit weaknesses across our domains. And our current and incoming LP professionals need the savvy and skills to proactively and simultaneously deter, disrupt, and detain offenders across the multidomain retail enterprise. Our goal is supporting our organizations by making people and places safer and more secure. We focus on ensuring what our customers want to buy is on the shelf or in-stock when they want it by securing increasingly convenient checkout and by creating a safer, 24/7 place to work and shop. If one or more of these things don't happen, our retail companies fail with our shoppers. Herd or Group Immunity Another initiative our team is working on is to describe and test the group or herd-immunity concept. Herd immunity is indirect protection of most people or places from infectious disease (or in our case people and process errors, and crime attempts) that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become resistant or even immune to an infection or other problem, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not so well protected or resistant. In medicine, in a population in which many or most individuals are immune, chains of infection are likely to be disrupted, which stops or slows the spread of disease. A key concept here: the greater the proportion of individuals in a community who are resistant, the smaller the probability that those who are not immune will meet an infectious person. In our case, we're preparing to test this hypothesis by examining if the more store locations that are effectively treated with a benefit denial process where protected high-loss items don't function until activated upon licit purchase, the better the system works overall (even lower losses after expanding coverage to other retailers). Likewise, do untreated similar and close-by items and stores receive what Dr. Ron Clarke describes as diffusion of benefit or halo effect because offenders wrongly assume untreated sites are treated. We're excited to see if our research discovers ways to do more with less while also informing better cross-retailer collaboration to help all participants better protect their people and places. LPRC Research in Action Our team is focused on working with our retailer and solution partners to minimize crime and loss-control problems. Whatever we do should affect perpetrators' decisions, but it should not unduly affect our shoppers or employee teams. We strive to do no harm. This issue's Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) study is one of many that examine how shoppers/customers notice and respond to protective treatments. To accomplish this, the LPRC research team conducted a series of intercept interviews with store customers to obtain their perceptions of enhanced public-view monitor (ePVM) interventions in merchandise category areas. The full report of this, other similar research, and over 350 additional research briefs is in the LPRC Knowledge Center for download by member supporters. The purpose of the customer interviews was to better understand their awareness of each intervention; reaction to the interventions; interest in having select anti-theft interventions so that high-theft products can be maintained in open displays (rather than kept locked or behind the counter); the impact of the interventions on willingness to purchase products; and the impact of the interventions on their overall perceptions of personal safety in the store. 62 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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