Managing Retail Shrinkage – Atlanta Georgia

Retail shrinkage is like death and taxes – inevitable. If you spend all your time beating your head against the wall trying to lower your shrink in your shoe department to zero, you can be sure that there will be big screen TV’s from your electronics department marching freely out your front door. You’re not going to be able to stop it all; to even entertain that thought is folly. What you need to do is find an acceptable way to manage your retail shrinkage so that your business remains a profitable one.

First you have to realize where your retail shrinkage is coming from. These days it is measured that 70% of losses in the retail industry come from theft, either shoplifting or internal theft. Believe it or not, that’s the good news. The bad news is that number seems to be on the rise. It is believed that this increase is a result of the global economic crisis mixed with unstable energy costs which get passed on to consumers raising the prices of goods across the board. Higher prices + lower income = more theft.

Now, I’ve found that the best way to manage retail shrinkage is to learn to think like a shoplifter. Anticipate the merchandise that will be most attractive to them place a priority on the security of that merchandise. For instance, if you run a children’s clothing store there’s no point in wasting your efforts securing your Elmo merchandise when SpongeBob is the hottest thing out this year. When it comes to internal theft I suggest surveillance, surveillance, surveillance. In the words of Niccolo Machiavelli, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” Let it be known that you are watching and that you will prosecute any violators to the fullest extent of the law. Practice this and you’ll find your retail shrinkage becoming more manageable each day.

For more information about retail loss contact us at Retail Shrinkage or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Retail Loss Due To Vendor Fraud – Atlanta Georgia

Retail loss can come in many forms. Most of the time we attribute this loss to either external theft (shoplifting) or internal theft (employees stealing merchandise, taking cash from the registers, etc.) However, shrinkage is defined as a reduction or loss in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud. It is often assumed that when we purchase a product or products from a vendor or supplier that they will send exactly what we asked for. After all, we’re providing them with business and paying them for it. This is a terrible assumption.

You must always be aware that there are some organizations that have some rather unscrupulous practices, and in nearly every organization there exist one or two unscrupulous employees. Therefore, it would behoove you to keep a close eye on your receiving processes and perform regular audits every time you receive a shipment to manage any retail loss. Why? I had a case a few years back where a store’s jewelry department was seeing some extreme inventory losses. Of course we explored the usual suspects but the department was locked down tighter than Fort Knox, making shoplifting virtually impossible. The young lady who ran the department did so with an unrivaled zeal that made the idea of employee theft quite unlikely.

So, we examined their receiving processes and found that on many different occasions, dating back nearly 2 years they had been shorted on shipments; just an item here or there at first but the shortages had progressed to an enormous level. We coordinated with the vendor and law enforcement and found that an employee in the vendor’s organization had nickel and dimed several stores out of nearly $200,000 worth of jewelry in the previous years. If any of those stores had done proper and continuous receiving audits they would have been able to stop this retail loss much sooner.

For more information about retail shrinkage contact us at Retail Loss or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Risk Factors in Retail Shrinkage

Retail shrinkage is defined as a reduction or loss in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud. Depending on where you’re located it is very important to gauge the risk factors in apprehending shoplifters. If you’re interested in seeing the dregs of the shoplifting community spend a little time in an establishment that sells alcohol. While most of us enjoy libations, or as my grandmother used to call it “Satan’s bath water”, recreationally there is a growing portion of our society who a tendency to overindulge. This overindulgence leads to bad decisions, a reduction in inhibitions and far too often plain old stupidity.

 I am often employed by a supermarket chain that boasts great sales in its liquor departments. However, on a near daily basis I see someone stagger in off of the street on a busy day – they’ve obviously already had 1 too many. They drift awkwardly down the aisles, select a bottle and slide it down their pants or up a coat sleeve and head for the door. Others simply run in, grab two handfuls off of the closest display and head, full speed, out into the parking lot. You can obviously see how this type of activity can increase the retail shrinkage in this establishment.

As a result we’ve stationed a uniformed security officer at the entrance to the liquor departments to prevent this type of brazen theft. This, however, still hasn’t completely stopped the already intoxicated from trying their luck and attempting to slip past the guard. Furthermore, an already impaired individual tends to have a “Superman complex” and is far more likely to become belligerent or altogether violent when you attempt to apprehend them. For this reason it is important to be extra cautious when working in this type of environment. Retail shrinkage will always be a battle in any retail environment but you must always take appropriate precautions and make intelligent decisions.

For more information about retail loss contact us: Retail Shrinkage or call 1.770.426.0547

Retail shrinkage and retail loss, the effects of owning inventory – Atlanta Georgia

Retail shrinkage and retail loss are one in the same. No matter which term you use, they equal the same… Bad News for the business owner or manager.
I’ve been part of many inventories over the years and have seen lots of ways retail shrinkage affects business. I have to say, the losses all seem to occur the same way at every company.

There can be a solution, but management must be willing to incorporate specific policies, procedures and create a proactive loss prevention environment. Retail shrinkage will ALWAYS happen but it can be controlled and kept to manageable levels. For this to occur, management MUST incorporate some sort of retail loss prevention program and make them accountable for a large portion of the inventory shrinkage. This will encourage the program to dig deep to the root causes of retail loss and build a solid plan or shrink reduction strategies.  

In most companies, Retail loss prevention is the department to turn to when you store is having inventory shrinkage or retail loss. As specialists, they will and should develop a program to help counter the retail loss a store may be experiencing. Focusing their efforts on employee theft investigation, shoplifter apprehension, operational accountability audits and front end controls, retail loss prevention offers many solutions. Now, for a retail loss prevention program to be successful, they must have and maintain a solid partnership with their operations business partners. This includes onsite managers, corporate level managers and business owners.

If a plan to counter retail shrinkage and retail loss is created, then a business can focus on what is most important… boosting profits. Keep your profits and seriously consider creating or incorporating a retail loss prevention program. After all, that’s why most businesses exist, to make a profit.

For more information visit us at retail shrinkage or call us at 1.770.426.0547

Retail Shrinkage in High Risk Areas – Atlanta

Retail shrinkage is defined as a reduction in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud. These contributing factors increase exponentially when your place of business happens to be in a high risk area. What is a high risk area? Depending on where you live it may simply be a popular mall or busy part of town with enough foot traffic that a would-be shoplifter can easily blend in. More often it is a store located in a somewhat undesirable part of town; some place where the socio-economic status of the surrounding community lends itself to an increased crime rate.

Over time I have worked in a number of these types of places attempting to reduce the retail shrinkage in particular stores. As a result I’ve become acquainted with a number of drug addicts and boosters.

I consider these to be your 2 biggest problems in this type of area. Drug addicts steal either to maintain their high or to eat (any money they do make legitimately goes to drugs). They are often impaired at the time of the theft so they may or may not remember even being apprehended, arrested, etc. This is a problem because they may be back the very next day, unaware of what happened previously.

The real enemy of retail shrinkage is the booster. Unlike the drug addict they are fully aware of what they’re doing and normally consider it a business. Like any good businessman they make it a point to perfect their craft, know the industry, your limitations, etc. and exploit them in any way they can. In poorer neighborhoods boosters can regularly sell your merchandise for half of the price that you do. After all, they stole it so whatever they make is all profit to them. Your retail loss is their retail gain.

If you’re going to operate a business in a high risk area you need to make yourself aware of the causes of retail shrinkage in these areas. Do not let retail loss make your year of poor profits

For more information about retail loss contact us at Retail Shrinkage or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

The facts about retail loss – Atlanta Georgia

Retail loss comes in many forms. From the associates taking merchandise to distribution center mis-ships or mis-directs, losses occur. However, one form of retail loss that many companies seem to overlook is that of vendor fraud. Especially for those of you that sell food items. In my career, I have seen many instances where for years store management has disregarded the fact that vendors do contribute to losses in their stores, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

As an example, a general merchandise store I worked for always seemed to have an issue with the items they sold in the cooler section of the store. This includes a variety of sodas, soft drinks, beer and other beverages. Retail loss being huge in this particular store and this area contributing the most retail shrinkage , I looked at it closer.

The manager on duty, against the company’s policy, was simply blind receiving shipments of beer into their store. The vendor delivering the merchandise showed an invoice for 200 cases of beer, the manager would simply sign the invoice and send the vendor on his way. Talk about retail loss exposure. The next visit from this vendor, I did an audit. 25 cases of beer were missing from the shipment. I walked out with him to his truck, and literally found 25 cases sitting in the back of the delivery truck, almost as if he intentionally set the beer aside.

Deliveries in and out of your stores pose a huge potential from retail shrinkage . It is vital to the success of your business that you inspect every shipment of merchandise from vendors coming into your stores.

Later, after inspecting the cooler box, we found several empty beer cans contributing to retail shrinkage . We installed a covert camera, and within two weeks time, this same delivery guy was caught on camera guzzling a couple cans of beer after he stocked the shelves.

For more information about retail shrinkage visit us at retail loss or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Get control over retail shrinkage

If you are suffering from retail shrinkage problems you may feel like you have no control.  We will take a look at a few ways to get control into your hands to stop those issues and start making more money.

You probably have a “security system”.  This is a burglar alarm that you only arm when you are not there / store is closed.  To add to this basic level of security against burglary, consider installing motion detection light outdoors.  There are products designed for this, such as that offered by TAKEX.  Great deterrent that will hopefully keep thieves out.  You may be able to connect to your burglar alarm so that if the sensor is triggered it will set off the alarm and dial the central station.

During business hours is when most  retail loss occurs. And over 42% of your losses (based on industry average) are by employees.  Employee theft can be much more fatal than shoplifting because employees have access to sensitive info and typically steal ten times per occurrence more than a shoplifter.  Look for a loss prevention professional to hire for an audit.  These pros will identify vulnerabilities and help you set up policies and procedures to nip this issue in the bud…and might even identify an issue with an employee.  At that point they can help you through how to process the employee theft investigation etc… to get the best possible end result for your business and good employees.

Consider a Checkpoint systems retail shrinkage control system.  This system tags merchandise with security devices that come in a variety of sizes, shapes and even paper labels.  The devices will interact with sensors at doorways and actively alert when there is a theft in progress.

For more information on how to develop a loss prevention plan, visit: retail shrinkage control



Problems with Retail Shrinkage? Try Checkpoint Security Systems

Retail shrinkage is a growing problem around the world today. Retailers are always looking for the best solution to protect assets and boost profits. One of easy and most obvious is adding anti shoplifting equipment like Checkpoint Security Systems.

A growing chain of supermarkets in the south learned the value of a Checkpoint Security System after recently opening a new store and experiencing retail loss as high as 10%. The store management had no clue how or why these numbers were so high, but the corporate office wanted, needed, demanded answers.

Loss Prevention Consultants worked with the store team to develop shrink reduction efforts in store and recommended several tools to help combat the retail loss . Of those solutions, the Loss Prevention Consultants recommended the first step to control loss was to install a Checkpoint Security System. Shoplifting was a large portion of the overall store’s retail loss and had a huge impact on the morale of the store.

Daily the store management team was told of customers that come into the store and “shelf sweep” entire sections of the store, then get out of the store almost completely unnoticed. Checkpoint Security Systems are designed to prevent customer theft by being an obvious, audible and conspicuous deterrent to reducing acts of shoplifting.

The store decided to go with a Checkpoint Security System. The program was rolled out and Checkpoint labels were placed on merchandise deemed high loss. Additional anti theft devices were placed on areas like liquor and some electronics. The Loss Prevention Consultants also recommended using a loss prevention agent to help monitor customer theft activity as well.

As time went on, the loss prevention program created by this team of Store Management and Loss Prevention Consultants should a dramatic return on investment. Within the next inventory cycle, retail shrinkage was cut down to 3.3%, a dramatic decrease in one year. A large portion of this reduction was directly related to the installation of a Checkpoint Security System.

For more information about retail shrinkage visit us at retail loss or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Controlling retail shrinkage before it controls you! Atlanta Georgia

It is sometimes interesting to look at the items that a shoplifter may choose to steal.  My team recently apprehended a shoplifter that took a lot of what you’d expect to see taken from a large retailer such as ours – makeup, cologne, etc.  She also took Kool-Aid.

Retail shrinkage is unpredictable.  While we can theorize on what a potential shoplifter may want to take from your business, there is no way to be 100% sure what will draw the attention of a thief.  That is why it is imperative to have good loss prevention procedures and training in place – to boost those profits and reduce the retail loss .

Retail shrinkage is also a very broad descriptor of loss.  It is, essentially, anything and everything that can possibly create a loss to your business.  This can be employees, vendor errors, shoplifters and paperwork errors.  Anything that creates a loss of profits by lost merchandise or assets.

Experts in the field of loss prevention can analyze your business and its practices, and develop plans to narrow that broad spectrum of retail shrinkage into a workable concept for you.  Once the type of shrinkage is narrowed down to what is occurring in your business, then you can begin to combat this retail loss , one shoplifter, employee thief, or dishonest vendor at a time.

For more information about retail shrinkage or retail loss contact us or call 1.770.426.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Retail Shrinkage caused by an Honest Thief – Atlanta Georgia

Retail shrinkage is not just the loss a business incurs from the merchandise that is shoplifted by customers.

I recently interviewed an employee that was accused of underringing – intentionally allowing a customer to leave her register without paying for all of the merchandise.  This cashier underrang for just one customer, a friend of hers, and it added up quick:  nearly $1000 in less than three months.

The sad thing is that the loss could have easily been higher.  What if she had multiple friends that she was doing this for? This type of retail loss is common place, and your profits fall victim.

Combating retail shrinkage has to be a priority for the business owner that wants to be profitable.

The amusing thing about this case is that the cashier did not feel that she did anything wrong.  She explained that she did not profit from this “theft”, and that she only did it because her friend asked. She assured me that she would never steal.  She admitted she could just not tell her friend “no” when the friend asked for this favor.

Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story.

Employees that cause retail shrinkage can often justify the loss that they are creating.  And that justification often sounds bizarre to us honest folk, but it is a justification nonetheless.  Justification that can overshadow any guilt or regret an employee might feel for creating a retail loss for your business.

For more information about retail loss contact us at retail shrinkage or call 1.770.426.256. Atlanta Georgia