I am a retired PI but currently LP manager of a 3 store chain of high end wine/spirits/gourmet, etc products. I get regular industry updates and have seen quite a bit of coverage on Washington state stores that have been privatized. They are apparently experiencing a rash of shoplifting and lawmakers are thinking about imposing strict reporting on theft.
I see this as a great opportunity for Washington state PI's and security professionals to get involved with CCTV, LP programs and surveys, employee awareness training, etc. Or maybe, like me, hired as an LP manager for a large store or chain. Many retailers look at LP as a cost but it is actually a profit center.
Recent article below:
Washington: Lawmaker proposes new rules to stop liquor thieves
Since privatization, shoplifting of booze on rise; bill would allow state to close problem outlets
Source: The Olympian
By JORDAN SCHRADER
January 14, 2014
One would think losing money would be reason enough for stores to protect their liquor bottles from thieves.
But police say they have seen shoplifting reports pile up since voters privatized Washington liquor sales in 2011. In response, state government may force problem stores to shape up or risk losing their licenses.
"We cannot have juveniles and mentally ill people and chronic inebriates walking into a store and grabbing a bottle of spirits so easily as we have in some stores," said Rep. Chris Hurst, chairman of the House committee with jurisdiction over alcohol laws.
The committee took testimony Monday on a proposal giving state regulators at the Liquor Control Board new authority over stores with "unacceptable" levels of theft.
But it would be up to the board to decide how much theft is unacceptable. And the legislation would depend on police telling the board where shoplifting is happening.
Police say that's difficult as long as stores are unwilling to say how much of their inventory is turning up missing.
Some numbers do show up in police reports. Tim Bennett, a Walla Walla police officer, told lawmakers his department almost never received reports of shoplifting from the old state stores - just five theft reports in more than seven years before the stores shut down in 2012. In the first 10 months of 2013, it received reports of 86 thefts, he said.
But stores often don't report shoplifting because they don't know about it at the time, said Don Pierce, a lobbyist for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. They only find out later after counting their inventory - and retailers have resisted revealing loss data to the authorities for competitive reasons.
The police group wants state government to require reporting of those numbers statewide.
The proposal being pushed by two Enumclaw lawmakers, Republican Rep. Cathy Dahlquist and Democrat Hurst, doesn't go that far. Instead, it zeros in on stores that law enforcement knows are targets.
The liquor board would be able to seek audits from those stores on their thefts. Then, if the owners don't crack down voluntarily, the board could impose changes such as extra staffing, security cameras, record-keeping systems and moving liquor displays. If the stores still didn't comply, the board could eventually suspend or revoke their licenses.
Retailers didn't flatly oppose the measure Monday, but said many stores either aren't seeing major theft or have addressed them without regulations. In fact, the requirements that could be imposed are based on some stores' successful techniques.
What's really needed is more law enforcement funding, retailers said.
For years, stores have tried to get police to respond to shoplifting, said Amy Brackenbury, who lobbies for the small grocers in the Washington Food Industry Association. But it hasn't been a priority.
"If it's truly a major public safety issue, and we think it is, then let's treat it that way and not just by penalizing the retailer that makes the mistake of having his merchandise stolen," Brackenbury told the committee.
Rep. Cary Condotta, an East Wenatchee Republican, said he can't believe any owner wouldn't protect such expensive merchandise - "liquid gold."
"Is there really any store out there that wants theft, that just doesn't care?" he asked.
But Pierce said after the hearing that stores may be making the decision to protect their most expensive booze, while accepting that there will be some theft of the cheaper stuff and building that into the price they charge.
Condotta said he would seek some changes in the proposal. He doesn't want to leave it to the liquor board to set the threshold for sanctions.
Hurst has been doing some checks of his own and said most stores are doing a good job preventing theft - but not all.
"I walked into a couple stores, one o'clock in the morning, there was Jack Daniel's and Jagermeister, seven, eight steps from the door with no one in the front of the store," he said. "I literally could have filled my vehicle as full as I could, without anyone even knowing that I had been in the store."
Police said that makes it easy for booze to fall into the hands of underage drinkers.
"The reward of being the hero at that party or being accepted by the group," Bennett said, "that makes for a very large reward for some teens and young adults."
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Thread: Possible business opportunity
01-15-2014, 04:10 PM #1Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
- Fairfield, NJ
Possible business opportunity
01-15-2014, 11:40 PM #2
Sounds like the same penalties they give clubs/bars/venues if they become nuisance properties. Roscoe it's definitely an untapped or under tapped market IMO. I'd think larger chains would have some type of security/LP policy already in place, and that it's the smaller stores that are more in need of these services.Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.
01-16-2014, 10:15 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
Sounds like Wash State needs to look at how (most?) of the other 49 states, and other 200 odd Nations on Earth handle this without "State Owned Stores" or WTF they had in WA.
Tell them to start by looking at France and Germany.
Maybe the store with(EXPENSIVE) the booze so close the door wasn't in a 'diverse' neighborhood, hence the lack of concern from owner. Maybe he also had a CCTV, so if was kids he'd just call their parents, and due to WA's lack of "diversity", he could count on parents taking appropriate action.
I've never understood the panic over some kids getting ahold of some booze. I've seen my share of young kids drunk for first or 2nd time enough times to know it is mostly just funny. If a 14yr old gets drunk and missed a full day of school, even "finals" it ain't "the end of the world" since he isn't the 'bread winner' and if a girl is not likely to be a mom, and even if she IS a mom, she will have 'back up' from HER mom.
Maybe they should make drinking AFTER age 21 illegal.
Some numbers do show up in police reports. Tim Bennett, a Walla Walla police officer, told lawmakers his department almost never received reports of shoplifting from the old state stores - just five theft reports in more than seven years before the stores shut down in 2012. In the first 10 months of 2013, it received reports of 86 thefts, he said."
MAYBE the lazy Govt workers just didn't report the thefts! If they said "our computer inventory system shows only 5 'shrinkages' in 7 years" then MAYBE they'd have something.
Last edited by Squid; 01-16-2014 at 10:18 PM.
01-16-2014, 10:41 PM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
Why do you continue to post racist and uninformed comments?