STORES Magazine - May 2009 - (Page 66)

LPINFORMATION / SHOPLIFTING Ounce of Prevention Surveillance, training can help retailers keep a handle on shrink BY D. GAIL FLEENOR T he recession has dealt retailers a double whammy: Sales are down for many chains, as consumers are reluctant to part with their cash, but merchandise is still going out of too many store doors without passing through the point of sale. In a 2008 NRF survey, 74 percent of 116 participating retailers saw an increase in shoplifting for the year. According to the most recent National Retail Security Survey (NRSS), U.S. retailers attributed 34 percent of their companies’ inventory shrinkage to shoplifting, at a cost of $11.8 billion. “Not only have we seen a dramatic increase in shoplifting, we’re also seeing people becoming more brazen in their attempts,” says Tim Ruggiero, territory loss prevention manager for Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. “It’s becoming more challenging for me to come up with methods to give to my managers to deter and prevent [shrink] … In a word, they are frustrated.” His division is seeing more forms of theft and fraud, like hot checks, fraudulent credit cards and gift card scams, Ruggiero says. After seeing inventory shortages grow in 2006 and 2007, “I am very proud of our decrease in 2008,” says Diane Holtz, president and COO of Pet Supermarket. “I do not believe that the economy helped us; I believe fighting back did.” Sunrise, Fla.-based Pet Supermarket has a three-step program to combat shoplifting and other theft: hotline reporting, exception reporting of the POS SHOPLIFTING 34% of U.S. retail shrink Cost: $11.8 billion Source: National Retail Security Survey and customer service. “Over the last two years, we have developed a loss prevention department that involves everyone on the payroll,” Holtz says. “We reward up to $500 for reporting a theft, which can be done anonymously.” The pet care chain advertises the hotline number for reporting any issue of harassment, theft or impropriety by stapling a business card containing the information to each employee’s pay envelope. Security consultant Chris McGoey also believes that employees can make a difference in reducing shoplifting. “Good customer service is still the No. 1 method for preventing shoplifting losses,” he says. “Retailers that run skeleton crews looking to save payroll dollars now often end up paying for the decision later on the inventory shrinkage expense line.” Los Angeles-based McGoey operates, a multi-purpose security site. He says almost all retailers have seen an increase in shoplifting, a 66 STORES / MAY 2009 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2009

STORES Magazine - May 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Facts to Chew On
What Shoppers Think
Deals "R" Us
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Brand X Power
Home Improvement
Credit Where Credit's Due
Locate, Locate, Locate
New Playbook
Staying in the Fast Lane
Clean and Green
Driven to Please
Farm System
Rx for Shrink
Zeroing Out Zombies
Rogues Gallery
Ounce of Prevention
Loeb Retail Letter
Chain Action
Optimism Rocks
ARTS Update
Point of View
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2009