inventory loss

What does your business need to prevent retail theft? – Atlanta Georgia

Managers and loss prevention professionals alike around the world ask themselves “how can we better prevent retail theft?”

Let me tell you, from experience, this is a task..

You have to look at two other factors when thinking of ways to prevent retail theft. Inventory shrinkage and inventory loss prevention. If you have shoplifters, then you certainly have inventory shrinkage.  As well, if you want to enforce an inventory loss prevention program, then the goal should be to prevent retail theft.

Ok, so let me try and make it sound less confusing, because it can actually be pretty simple. You have retail theft and inventory shrinkage, and you wanna prevent retail theft and create inventory loss prevention. Start with the basics. How is your business suffering from inventory shrinkage? Is the merchandise making it to the store through receiving, but not making it through the point of sale? Dig deep and find at the very least, HOW the merchandise is disappearing. If it comes into the store as expected, then it can leave the store in a couple of different ways including… employees steal it, shoplifters steal it, or vendors steal it.

In the efforts of preventing retail theft and reducing shrinkage , your store should bring in a loss prevention consultant for specific recommendations. Ideally, you’d want an in house loss prevention program developed to immediately curtail inventory shrinkage and prevent retail theft . This can be done by conducting inventory loss prevention investigations on potential dishonest employees (every retailer has these), shoplifters and vendor fraud. Since it is estimated that 50% to as high as 70% of all losses of retailers can be directly attributed to dishonest employees and 30% to 50% is related to shoplifters, you’d be safe be focusing on these two areas.

For more information contact us at prevent retail theft or call us at 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted February 1st, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

The many ways to prevent shoplifting – Atlanta Georgia

Certainly there are many ways to prevent shoplifting, but if your business has no plan, shoplifting will control your business.

I was working for a retailer, starting up a loss prevention program for in their specialty environment. They wanted a retail loss prevention program in the stores to help prevent shoplifting, prevent retail theft and reduce inventory shrinkage. However, they were hesitant about bringing in outside help. They looked at different managers within their company, and narrowed it down to about 3 that had the most experience in dealing with inventory shrinkage.

Not being specialists, they were really having a tough time trying to hammer out the details of a retail loss prevention program. Looking at their plan to control inventory shrinkage, they weren’t addressing the true issues. They were looking at all of the wrong places to deter shoplifters. They assumed that every “gang banger” type in the store was a thief, every homeless person, or every “weird” looking person that entered their stores were gonna steal. Yet, not paying attention to the man in the suit and others. They were stereotyping and really limiting their positive impact. As time went on, their plan really impacted nothing. They needed help, and fast.

It was simple. Retail loss prevention is very basic, yet provides the necessary tools and expertise to keep your business profitable and control inventory shrinkage. Tailoring a program to this company’s needs included building an associate awareness program, helping management identify tell tale signs of theft and loss and utilizing industry standards to control and prevent inventory shrinkage and prevent retail theft.

Retail loss is a killer and this business knew, first hand, the impact on a business without a retail loss prevention program. As time went on and their tailored retail loss prevention grab ahold, they saw the decrease in inventory loss they were looking for.

For more information about inventory loss or inventory loss prevention or inventory shrinkage contact us at prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted January 26th, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Inventory Shrinkage and the poor performance of inventory crews – Atlanta Georgia

Inventory shrinkage is gonna happen. Your best bet is to implement strategies to be proactive, know where and how losses occur and attack them before the retail loss hits you.

Most companies now perform in house inventory procedures once a year. However, many companies use an outside agency to count their merchandise. This can be a real benefit when it comes to payroll issues. However, this can also be a large factor in a poor inventory count leading to large numbers of inventory shrinkage .

Companies I have worked for, for the most part, have stayed on top of these inventory services and most of the time the service is outstanding. In one instance, had myself and two other managers not been present during the count, the inventory shrinkage numbers would have certainly come out much worse than what was already expected to be a poor number. Working to provide inventory loss prevention , myself and the other managers walked the salesfloor, auditing various counters and sections. During a particular review, a manager found the counter making mistakes on almost every count sheet they posted. We decided to watch this counter closer. Inventory loss prevention was obviously not of their concern. We recounted a section of high dollar merchandise where we found the counter missed over $500 in merchandise.

Understanding retail shrinkage and how these issues can arise, we decided to “sit the counter down”. We talked with him and almost immediately we could tell he wasn’t quite in the state necessary to work, infact he was almost obviously drunk or on some sort of drug. Now, I know I don’t have to say it, but we immediately sent him off the property, not allowing him to drive himself home.
We then had the crew manager, take two of his best counters are recount each of the areas this guy did.

Inventory shrinkage and retail loss can occur everywhere, are you ready for it?

For more information about inventory loss , prevent retail theft or inventory loss prevention contact us at inventory shrinkage or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted January 4th, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Inventory Shrinkage and the Employees that cause it – Atlanta Georgia

I work for your business. You trust me to work hard and be honest.  You pay me for my work, and my work helps your business make money.But something is wrong.

You begin to notice inventory shrinkage . Even though you have established inventory loss prevention procedures in place, a loss is still occurring.  When you begin to look into the causes of the loss, you figure out that it is an employee…me.

I see an easy way to obtain merchandise or cash without having to work hard for it.  You have a large company, while I’m just an employee making barely over minimum wage.  You owe me more, so I’m just going to take it.
Unfortunately, this scenario is much too common.

Employee theft costs businesses more each year than customer theft.  (shoplifting.)  In a perfect world all of your employees would be the honest and trustworthy folk that you hired them to be…but that is simply not the case.

The reasons an employee may cause inventory shrinkage by stealing from your business are many.  There are justifications such as the loss is small and won’t be missed or noticed.  Also, the employee may be experiencing peer pressure to steal from you.  Friends may be asking the employee to take something from you, because it “is easy” and he or she “can get away with it.”

Inventory loss prevention procedures can help deter and prevent employee theft.  Reducing or eliminating the opportunity for your employees to steal goes far in reducing your inventory shrinkage .  Just as you secure your merchandise and provide good customer service on your sales floor, you as the business owner need to have your backroom merchandise secured and accounted for as well.  Also, appreciate your employees and make sure you or your managers have interaction with your employees every day.  Just as a shoplifter does not want attention, neither does an employee that is stealing from you.

For more information about inventory shrinkage or  inventory loss prevention contact us at prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted January 3rd, 2011 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Prevent Retail Theft – Atlanta Georgia

Every retailer knows that you must prevent retail theft if you have any hope of staying in business. At the National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Conference & Expo this year Dr. Richard Hollinger revealed the results of his latest annual National Retail Security Survey. According to his calculations, US retailers lost more than $41 billion last year due to four major sources of inventory shrinkage : vendor fraud, administrative errors, shoplifting and employee theft; the last two accounting for almost 80% of all of the losses.

Most experts agree that if you really want to prevent retail theft it all starts with having well-trained and alert employees. They all need to know how to spot a potential shoplifter. Shoplifters tend to seem nervous, avoid eye contact, wander throughout the store without buying anything, or leave and return frequently within a short period of time. Your employees need to be alert and vigilant at all times. They should be friendly and polite to all customers, and keep the sales floor neat and orderly. Shoplifters love clutter, it makes it easier to disguise their wrong-doing.

When shoplifting is suspected, it’s crucial for your employees to know how to handle incidents. Never directly accuse anyone of stealing. Give the person a chance to pay for the item they “forgot” to pay for by asking, “Are you ready to pay for that?” or “Would you like a bag for that?” Above all, teach your employees to never try to physically stop a shoplifter. Call security or loss prevention. This past June a Kmart loss-prevention specialist was shot and killed while trying to stop a suspected shoplifter. If you’re not trained to intercept shoplifters, don’t even try it!

Make sure your employees understand that shrink is everyone’s responsibility and that a team effort is required to prevent retail theft .

For more information about inventory loss prevention or inventory shrinkage contact us: prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 30th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Ways to Prevent Inventory Shrinkage – Atlanta Georgia

Whether you’re a big box retailer or a small mom and pop operation inventory shrinkage is a continuing problem. This problem must be dealt with quickly and decisively if you hope to protect your company’s profit margin. There are several different causes of inventory shrinkage . Lazy bookkeeping is a fairly common culprit, but even more common is the individuals, whether customers or employees, who take it upon themselves to institute their own “five finger discount”, eroding your profits and damaging your company’s chances of success.

 When it comes to shoplifters preventing inventory shrinkage is a matter of making your store as unattractive to the shoplifter as possible without alienating your legitimate customers. How do you do that? Start off by having someone on the sales floor at least 80% of the day. Train employees to greet every customer who enters their department and make frequent eye contact with customers who choose to browse on their own. Finally, lower the height of cash register displays and maintain clear sightlines from the cashier to the sales floor.  Use mirrors and bright lighting to keep back corners in view. Seems simple, I know, but what these tips do is allow you to provide your customers with outstanding customer service – the one thing a shoplifter definitely doesn’t want.

Another major cause of inventory shrinkage is employee theft. Here are a few tips to keeping your employees honest: Be behind the counter to authorize a void or over ring, making sure to watch for potential trouble, such as bagged merchandise that could be handed off to someone, money not in the correct slot in the till or too much in the cash drawer. Don’t allow employees to ring-up or wrap their own purchases. Provide employees with shelves or lockers to stow personal belongings. Don’t allow bags or backpacks on the sales floor. These simple tips will ensure that employees know that you’re are aware of the threat and are always on the lookout for it. This will help you to minimize your company’s inventory shrinkage .

For more information about inventory loss prevention , prevent retail theft or inventory loss contact us at inventory shrinkage or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 28th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Shrink the Inventory Shrinkage for your Business – Atlanta Georgia

Inventory shrinkage can occur in almost any aspect of your business.  I recently interviewed an employee that was a cashier.  She was not stealing any merchandise, and she made sure to tell me that in the interview. 

However, she was cashiering for a friend who shopped in our store, and for that friend, she provided a healthy discount.  The employee did not ring up most of what the friend brought to her register, so in about three months nearly $1000 worth of merchandise had left the store without being paid for.
This employee believed that she herself did not steal, and told me that she would “never do that.”  She believed that she was helping a friend, when in fact she was creating inventory shrinkage for her employer.  She justified the theft because she felt the loss would not hurt the business.

This is not an uncommon scenario. Inventory shrinkage caused by employees can lead to more lost profit and total dollars per case than the customers that choose to shoplift.  Businesses that have an inventory loss prevention program in place benefit from these initiatives by preventing theft before it occurs, or by identifying the loss quickly after it does occur.

Additionally, inventory loss prevention programs can act as a deterrent to employees, to help them realize that it is not worth the risk to steal from your business.

When an employee realizes that there are loss prevention personnel who monitor every aspect of the store, watching for any sign or theft or inventory shrinkage , then they may think twice before choosing to steal from you.

Shrink your inventory shrinkage , and boost your profits: prevent retail theft in your business.

For more information about inventory shrinkage or inventory loss prevention contact us at prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.256 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 24th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Ways to Prevent Retail Theft in Fitting Rooms – Atlanta Georgia

 If you own retail clothing stores then chances are you have fitting rooms; if you have fitting rooms then you need to be aware of the ways to prevent retail theft inside of them. An unmanned, unwatched fitting room is a shoplifters dream. They have all the time and privacy necessary to discreetly conceal your merchandise, either on their person or in a bag, and exit without anyone being the wiser. The problem is to eliminate fitting rooms altogether means to also eliminate convenience for your legitimate customers. So, how do we combat this problem?

 First of all keep fitting room doors locked when not in use. Limit the number of items allowed to be taken into the fitting rooms. Post a sign that directs customers to see a sales associate before taking items into a fitting room. Issue color coded tickets or tags to indicate the number of items taken into fitting rooms. Use a return rack for unwanted items, and post signs in fitting rooms warning against shoplifting.

 Lastly, train your sales associates in the art of “killing them with kindness”. Post a fitting room attendant whenever possible and instruct them to inquire about each person’s selections. If they are a legitimate customer it’s just good customer service. If they’re a potential shoplifter it makes them aware that the store associate is watching and knows every piece of merchandise they went in with and every piece they came out with. The best way to prevent retail theft is to make the potential shoplifter afraid to commit a crime in your establishment. There are plenty of other retailers who don’t go through these lengths. Shoplifters know this and will take their crimes somewhere it is easier to go unnoticed. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to prevent retail theft in your fitting rooms.

For more information about inventory loss prevention or inventory shrinkage contact us: prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 21st, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

Don’t Go Overboard in Your Attempts to Prevent Retail Theft – Atlanta Georgia

In the field of Loss Prevention one of our most important duties is to prevent retail theft . Therefore, it’s not surprising that we take it extremely serious; it is also not surprising to find that some of us have been known to go overboard or cut corners in an attempt to make an apprehension or two. Let’s be honest, thieves don’t have any rules, that’s why they’re thieves. They’re not particularly adept at following the standards and by-laws of a normal society. We, however, do have rules; we have quite a few of them. If we choose not to follow those rules, for even the most righteous of reasons, how are we any better than the thieves?

I worked with this guy once who we’ll call Ben. Ben was awesome! I’ve never known another person with a better eye for theft or more zeal to prevent retail theft than Ben. One day he spotted this middle aged woman who had taken a handful of jewelry into the fitting room with her. The company we worked for had a strict rule that no apprehensions were to be made once an individual went into a fitting room. Ben simply couldn’t stand by and allow an obvious theft (and it was pretty obvious) to take place. So, disregarding the company policy, Ben watched the woman as she exited the fitting room and made the apprehension once she exited the store. He recovered the merchandise and the woman was arrested and cited for retail theft. Ben was terminated several days later for violation of company policy.

Why? Because rules and regulations are there for a reason; and more often than not when it comes to those of us who are charged to prevent retail theft they are there to protect us from harm or the company from costly lawsuits. Ben lost sight of the ultimate goal and paid a sad price. We are here to ultimately reduce shrink within an organization. Our attempts to prevent retail theft must always be in support of that final goal.

For more information about inventory loss or inventory shrinkage or inventory loss prevention contact us: prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 13th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft

How to Prevent Inventory Loss – Atlanta Georgia

The definition of inventory loss is simple: A condition that occurs when there are fewer products on hand than should be; resulting in lower sales and shrink. In other words, when you do your regular inventory count (these should be done at least annually, by the way, and more often if necessary) you find that the number of merchandise physically counted is lower than the number of merchandise that your books projected that you should have on hand. This is inventory loss and this leads to loss in profits, and we all learned this complicated equation in Business 101: no money = bad.

Now that we all know what inventory loss is the trick is to find a way to prevent it. In order to do that we need to know where it comes from. Most of it comes from waste, pilferage, internal or external theft. Increased loss prevention measures will help you to establish where your loss is coming from. If it is a case of internal or external theft (employee theft does make up around 40% of all shrink from retailers in the U.S.) then it’s time to send a message that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated. Place signs stating that “All shoplifters will be prosecuted” and install a CCTV system, if you haven’t already, to warn all employees and customers alike that they are being watched.

When you do catch someone (whether internal or external) prosecute that individual to the fullest extent of the law. You’d be surprised at how fast bad news travels within an organization or a community. On the other hand, if your loss is coming from waste then you need to reevaluate your processes to figure out if you are doing things as efficiently as possible. If not, it’s time to sit down with your team leaders and come up with a new strategy. Regardless of where it originates, inventory loss is a serious problem for any company. Take a proactive approach to limiting it and it’ll save you lots of trouble.

For more information about inventory loss prevention , inventory loss  or inventory shrinkage contact us at prevent retail theft or call 1.866.914.2567 – Atlanta Georgia

Posted December 8th, 2010 by Staff Writer and filed in prevent theft