Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 28
LOSS PREVENTION TECHNOLOGY
TOOLS TO SHRINK
A look at some of the innovative technologies that are
being deployed to help retailers guard against loss and
continue growing revenue.
BY DAVID MCPHERSON
WITH the holiday shopping season just behind us, retailers across
the country have been busy planning merchandising strategies
and hoping for that seasonal sales surge and fourth quarter lift to
close out the year on a positive note. What they wanted to avoid,
however, is the rise in theft and shrink that's prevalent during the
holidays, and threatening to counteract any sales gains.
"Once November hits we always see a spike in incidents," says
Don Berezowski, Divisional Vice President, Loss Prevention and
Safety, Sears Canada. "Going into the fourth quarter, we typically see about an increase in activity."
A Global Retail Theft Barometer study from 2013 shows shrink-
including shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud and administrative errors-costs the global retail industry more than $128 billion,
with $42 billion lost in the United States alone; on average, this represents 1.29 per cent of retail sales. This is no chump change. No
wonder retailers are paying close attention to this
key area of their operations by investing more
money into loss prevention technologies, seeing
the resulting return on investment.
So, how do retailers combat these increased
incidents? Tried and true methods such as signage throughout bricks-and-mortar stores still
work to catch the small-time players and help
deter the first-time shoplifters. To stay one step ahead of the
more experienced perpetrators and organized crime networks,
however, technology is king, especially when it comes to online
sales and combatting loss prevention in an omni-channel world.
This article looks at what some of the biggest threats are, what
technologies retailers are employing to combat these threats
and the resulting benefits to the bottom line. What are the latest
tools and technologies retailers are using to stay ahead of the
bad guys and shrink their shrink? Let's find out.
According to Robert Miller, VP Sales, North America, Tyco, the
retail world is changing fast, especially as online sales increase.
Companies such as Tyco-a leader in providing the industry with
loss prevention strategies since 1966-are doing their part to help
retailers protect their inventory by coming up with technology
solutions. The end goal for everyone is simple, says Miller: "Keep
the goods in the store as much as possible and
keep the bad guys out of the store. When it comes
to shrink, as it relates to retail and loss, the lower
the number the better everyone looks."
It's no surprise to learn why Tyco, with more
than 1,500 patents and innovative solutions, is
trusted by 80 per cent of the top 200 retailers
around the world to help them control shrink-
leading to improved operations and profitability.
Historically, the most ubiquitous products to
combat retail theft are devices known as EAS
(Electronic Article Surveillance). This technology has been around for nearly a half century
and Tyco was one of the founding companies in
"Some companies are very protective of their
data. But some allow more access to our IT
people. And the reality is, the more access we
get, the more we can do to help them."
CANADIAN RETAILER | The Loss Prevention Issue
- ROBERT MILLER, Tyco
In simple terms, these are the gates at your
entrance and exit doors and labels that go beep.
"What these do is tell the shoplifter: if you
come here to steal you will likely get caught,
so go someplace else," Miller explains. "That
worked for 50 years and it still works today."
What has changed over time is that these
EAS devices have become smarter. In the past,
the only real use was to deter shoplifters and let
them know when a tag goes out of store that was
not removed by an employee. Now, using technology, combined with companies' IT systems,
retailers can take an existing EAS technology
and make it a lot smarter, bringing in traffic