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.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/978254

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radiation detectors and x-ray machines, and waiting to use the biometric handreader. While the appeals court noted "some force" to the workers' claim that security is becoming increasingly invasive, layered, and time-consuming, it ruled that passing through security isn't covered by the FLSA because it's not a "principal activity" of the job, noting that facility visitors—not just workers—were required to go through the same security measures (Gorman Jr. et al. v. The Consolidated Edison Corporation). What Happened to Toys"R"Us? By Bill Turner, LPC September 2017: Toys"R"Us declares bankruptcy. Early 2018: Toys"R"Us announces the closure of 180 stores. February 2018: Toys"R"Us announces the closure of 200 more stores. March 2018: Speculation abounds that Toys"R"Us will close all US stores and liquidate. March 14, 2018: Toys"R"Us announces that it will close or sell all 800 of its US stores. I would bet that everyone reading this article has either shopped at Toys"R"Us or received a gift from Toys"R"Us. Founded in 1957 and morphing into its current format in about 1969, Toys"R"Us became the first mega "category killer" toy store. Most kids in the seventies, eighties, and nineties begged their parents to take them to Toys"R"Us. I know; I was one of those parents. The Toys"R"Us dominance of the toy market made small toy stores and hobby shops almost obsolete. Even KB Toys couldn't keep up. So what happened? What went wrong? Some say bad planning. Some say bad luck. Probably both, but the real beginning of the end was the leveraged buy out of Toys"R"Us in 2005 by Bain Capital and KKR & Co. That leveraged buyout resulted in a staggering debt load of $6.6 billion for the company. This resulted in management distraction and put Toys"R"Us in a constant refinancing mode. The tremendous growth in competition from Amazon and Walmart made things worse. With much deeper pockets, both retail giants began heavy discounting of toy prices to get parents to switch loyalties. Then add kids' changing tastes to the mix. Toys"R"Us said "kids never want to grow up." That may be partly true, but online video gaming and phone apps have taken a huge chunk out of the physical toy market. The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 didn't help matters. The irony is that Toys"R"Us still sells millions and millions of dollars' worth of toys, and toy sales rose 5 percent last year. But continued aggressive competition and the Toys"R"Us financial difficulties have taken their toll. Toys"R"Us continuing as a going concern is in doubt by most of the financial community. But there's still hope. As of this writing, Toys"R"Us has officially announced the company's liquidation, but it's working on a possible plan to keep about 200 of its most profitable US stores open, according to CNBC. Can they make it? Maybe. Plans continue to evolve, and as of now, it's unclear when exactly the doors will close. Stop Basing Your Loss Prevention Procedures on Sticky Myths By Mike Giblin, LPC "Wait, I'm thinking about this all wrong." Even the most careful and logical among us catch ourselves on occasion. We thought something was true, but we learned that it wasn't. Further, we realize that our thought process had been illogical. In some rare instances, that realization is fleeting, and we end up reverting back to what's familiar and comfortable. Some habits, some beliefs, and some trains of thought regarding loss prevention procedures we choose to follow die hard. Take a common example. Most of us are aware that science has debunked the myth that "lightning can't strike twice in the same place." There are hundreds of recorded incidences proving that it can and has. In fact, it directly defies logic, not to mention defeats the purpose of lightning rods, to think that lightning won't choose the highest and most conductive target over and over again. It's not just untrue; it's illogical, and we know it. Yet that truth hasn't really stuck with us as well as the myth has. This happens for three reasons: the myth came sooner, the myth sounds right, and the myth is simpler. The "First Thing" Is Sticky. The first way that we're able to conceptualize something in the world around us becomes our default, whether it's true or not. Much of the first explanations presented to us were correct, like learning about light refracting to form a rainbow in grade school. Especially if It Sounds Right. Some explanations we heard first, like the stork explanation for where babies come from, are simple enough but start to attract attention as we grow our knowledge database. If it starts to sound wrong, we become willing to allocate the cognitive resources necessary to attend to it and seek to replace it with a new conceptualization. But without those red flags, myths tend to stick around. Even when you've heard they aren't true. Simple Is Also Sticky. Simpler can mean more parsimonious overall, or it could mean a better fit into the rest of your worldview. It's simpler to think that the cold weather causes us to fall ill (it doesn't) than it is to conceptualize the seasonal lifecycles of viruses and the complex epidemiology of bacteria and the spread of disease. Five Myths That Still Inform Many Ill- Advised Loss Prevention Procedures Myth 1: Thinking a Strategy Works or Doesn't Work Based on Anecdotal Evidence. If someone wore a seatbelt but was still injured in a car accident, we don't say, "Seatbelts don't work!" We know better, and yet all of us hold on to a few lurking beliefs that are predicated on a single event or a funny story. Stop and ask yourself why. Why do you think EAS is ineffective? Is it because you've looked at the overall statistics, or because of a small handful of events? Myth 2: An All or Nothing Mentality with Solutions. If it can't stop everyone, it can't stop anyone. If I can't use it to protect everything, it's not worth anything. All LP solutions can be defeated. Every single one. Most in multiple ways. The question is, how far can a given technology move the needle? continued from page 68 continued on page 70 68 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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