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Loss Prevention Checklist: Insights to help safeguard your Christmas revenue

November 09, 2021 BySensormatic News Desk

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As retailers look forward to the holiday season revenue, they will also have to grapple with heightened risk of shrink due to an increase in organized retail crime (ORC) and shoplifting. Take the time now to develop a loss protection plan that will safeguard your Christmas revenue.

After a year and a half of disruptions, lockdowns, re-openings, and re-lockdowns, Christmas 2021 will be a welcome source of revenue for retailers. But it will also be an opportunity for theft — and this year, the risk of theft may be even higher than usual.

In fact, a recent shrinkage report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 57% of retailers said organized retail crime (ORC) had increased as a result of COVID-19, while another 50% said the same about shoplifting. Employee, e-commerce, and returns fraud, meanwhile, are expected to increase as economic pressures put greater strain on workers' finances, as reported by Loss Prevention Magazine. All told, retail crime costs retailers in the U.S. and Europe $60 billion each year, while Australian retailers were losing $3.3 billion early in the pandemic, much of which was due to criminal activities. Retailers in LATAM, on the other hand, are increasingly the targets of online attacks, many of which originate with ORC groups.

Couple these concerns with the coming holidays, and retailers will want to leverage every tool at their disposal to combat shrink during the busiest shopping months of the year. The good news is there are actions retailers can take now to maximize loss prevention by mitigating theft and its associated risks this Christmas.

Know your patterns

Understanding how shoppers move into, through, and out of your retail locations is a critical component of loss prevention. Do you have multiple entrances and exits? And which are most heavily used? What are your highest traffic times, days, and routes within the store?

The same is true for identifying patterns of shrink. By taking the time to identify which items are statistically most at risk for theft, as well as what are the high value items for this season, retailers are able to make decisions that proactively disrupt theft patterns.

Any video surveillance system can be useful in identifying these patterns. However, retailers looking for options for loss prevention may want to consider enhancing existing surveillance systems with video technology that can detect shelf sweeps, loitering, persons of interest, and crowd formation activity.

And if your organization isn't currently leveraging traffic analytics to help complement loss prevention programs, now may be the time to consider it — and our eBook, Traffic and its Value for Every Function, can help.

The good news is there are actions retailers can take now to maximise loss prevention by mitigating theft and its associated risks this Christmas.

Protect your merchandise

It takes significant time and manpower to ready retail space and merchandise for Christmas shopping, and leaving loss prevention measures until late risks being unprepared when the rush hits. Beyond Christmas set up and decoration, tasks like proper merchandise protection tagging and placement to readying your Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system take time. While labour scarcity and record-level demand for retail workers certainly doesn’t make the prospect of loss prevention preparedness any easier, many loss prevention solutions absolutely do.

Retailers can get a jump on shrink reduction strategies by ordering enough merchandise protection products to account for the increase in Christmas inventory, given special consideration to your most vulnerable and targeted merchandise. No matter what products you carry, there are effective merchandise protection solutions available to help manage shrink. To free up more of your associates’ time, consider expanding — or implementing — a source tagging program so your products arrive tagged and ready for the selling floor.

Cutting-edge loss prevention technology has even more to offer in regard to merchandise protection. Retailers looking to maximize their protection can explore options like connecting to Sensormatic SMaaS — the cloud-based loss prevention analytics platform — to gain insights into shrink events, spot ORC activity, identify training gaps, and better prepared staff, or by adopting RFID-enabled solutions to provide superior shrink analytics and optimize inventory transparency.

It takes significant time and manpower to ready retail space and merchandise for Christmas shopping and leaving loss prevention measures until late risks being unprepared when the rush hits.

Prepare your people

Few things can have an impact — whether positive or negative — on the shopper experience like individual retail associates. The same can be said about their impact on loss prevention. In fact, attentive and alert associates have been proven to deter theft. That's why aligning staffing according to peak traffic and purchase times, and implementing the right training, is crucial for a successful holiday season.

Remember the importance of knowing patterns of traffic and shrink? One of the reasons why is so you can staff —and train — accordingly. For example, by posting extra associates in high traffic areas, training them to recognize suspicious crowd formation activity, and using staff members who are trained to spot shoplifting tactics to monitor self-checkout lanes, you’re effectively disrupting shrink patterns. You are preventing loss.

Retailers can get a jump on merchandise protection by ordering enough merchandise protection to account for the increase in Christmas inventory, given special consideration to your most vulnerable products.

Get more guidance from a partner you can trust

With so much riding on this holiday season, don't go it alone. Download the Sensormatic Solutions 2021 Holiday Loss Prevention Checklist today. It's a step-by-step guide filled with actionable insights and advice that can be put into practice immediately. Get your Checklist today.

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