Stop Loss Prevention from Becoming Profit Prevention

Product theft has become a $50 billion annual problem for U.S. retailers. Twenty percent of retail products cause eighty percent of stock loss. Referred to as "hot products," these products hold a high value to shoplifters as well as organized crime rings.

Retailers are forced to implement strategic loss prevention initiatives to reduce this level of shrink. In response to such dramatic loss, drastic measures are often put in place –such as locking up merchandise – but prevent access to merchandise by legitimate customers.
There's no doubt that locking merchandise will reduce theft. Although this his strategy seems like a big win for loss prevention, it becomes obvious that the only decline is sales. Locking merchandise decreases sales by as much as $40%!

How do you keep merchandise safe, shoppers happy, and your bottom-line healthy?

1. Think like a shopper.

Would you buy a product if you had to wait 5 minutes or more for an associate to unlock or retrieve it for you? When was the last time you've purchased or even noticed merchandise that is locked in a cabinet or concealed by box wraps or cases?

2. Increase employee awareness.

Shoplifters are intensely vigilant, and alert employees are proven to be the top theft deterrent. Implement solutions that keep your associates watchful. Bonus -- your honest customers will interpret the attentiveness as great customer service.

3. Remember, losing less is only half of the equation.

This may be obvious, but does your company embrace this fact? If not, be a champion – the more you can push the other half of the "selling more" equation, the more cooperation you can get from other departments like merchandising and marketing.

4. Openly display your merchandise.

Increasingly, best-in-class loss prevention solutions enable shoppers to interact with products in an open shopping format that drives sales. Technology, like RFID allows retailers to integrate "invisible security" into shopper-friendly displays.

We all know that products don’t sell themselves, especially when they're inaccessible to shoppers. If locking merchandise is your only option, it's critical to implement strategies that will attract shoppers such as signage, promotional video, lighting or tethered demo products.