Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 32
SEPTEMBER 29, INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
The expanding role of Canadian loss prevention professionals
to help drive retail success.
BY R ANDY SCOTLAND
NO longer focused exclusively on playing cop, today's loss
prevention professional is increasingly looking to help grow
corporate profits through closer interdepartmental collaboration and a more proactive use of technology. While curbing
shrink remains a prime directive, loss prevention is expanding
its mandate to include big data analytics and Internet Protocol
(IP) applications to show where lost profits lie.
That was the prevailing takeaway from Retail Council of
Canada's latest Loss Prevention Conference.
As presenter Colin Peacock of the University of Leicester predicted, "In ten years' time, maybe there will be no one in this room
that holds a business card that says asset protection or loss prevention. What I think they will say is profit amplification.''
To fulfil that promise, LP needs to take a larger
leadership role, he said.
"The loss prevention team needs to get a seat at the
table. They need to guide the business toward solutions and help everyone will understand both the risks
and opportunities to maximize overall profitability.
Yes, self-scan does increase shrink, but you do save
one or two [staff] head counts per store. You can lock
up the razor blades, but you will lose sales. There are
all of these trade-offs that need to be considered."
The conference's other message? Crime in its myriad guises-
from cyber-fraud to shop theft-is a moving target that continues to erode retailers' bottom line. That means loss prevention practitioners must redouble efforts to staunch the red ink.
and they don't even know that their networks
have been compromised, and data is being
sucked out of their network."
Of particular worry is the rise in data
breaches, much of it by organized crime.
"A 2016 report by the Ponemon Institute illustrated the serious costs associated with data
breaches in Canada," Merchant said. "They
found that the cost of a data breach for the retail sector was $247 per lost or stolen record."
Where thousands of records are compromised,
the hit can reach millions of dollars.
"Loss prevention needs to get a seat
at the table. They need to guide the
business toward solutions that will
help, and everyone will understand
the risks that are being taken."
Retailers a cyber target
It's a herculean task in today's dynamically evolving digital
domain with its attendant rise in cybercrime. But as Colleen
Merchant, Director General of National Cyber Security with
Public Safety Canada told the audience, more and more retailers are aware of this challenge and are tackling it head on.
"Retailers are being targeted. We all read about major attacks in the media, but there's a lot out there that doesn't make
it to the media for many different reasons. There are also companies that don't have the capacity for good cyber-security,
CANADIAN RETAILER | The Loss Prevention Issue
- COLIN PEACOCK, University of Leicester
CCTV does double duty
Not only do loss prevention professionals
seek to bolster their retailers' online safety, they
also need to keep up the fight to secure their
physical stores. For many, that means stepping
up investments in digital video surveillance.
Costs for this equipment have come down
in recent years and the scope of capability
has increased, according to Kristen Cory, National Business Development Manager with
CCTV provider Hikvision Canada. "Video
analytics five years ago wasn't as accurate as
it is now. Video analytics is an algorithm, a
mathematical equation that is built into the
cameras. The purpose of this is to provide