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Is loss prevention going away?

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  • Is loss prevention going away?

    Seems like a lot of the merchants where I work have no loss prevention at all. The employees are not allowed to touch anyone; many don't even try to get merchandise back. They call us (regular security) to walk around for security theater, but we can't do anything except assist if they try to detain the suspects. All the career criminals know it; its really a waste of time.

    I understand not having your 19 year old retail clerk try to confront shoplifters, but I honestly don't understand not having their own store security or LP at least some of the time (on a random basis, of course). What's the point of having security tags and a detector at the door other than to alert the manager that today's inventory will be lighter?

  • #2
    two words: GHETTO LOTTERY

    today's "wise" shoplifter is just as likely to be a Ghetto Lottery hopeful as a legit shop-lifter.

    Its the natural evolution of the Civil Rights movement, and things are coming Full Circle.

    Back before "Civil Rights" certain groups were not allowed to roam freely in stores because of stealing, disease, rudeness, violence and last but not least a habit of rummaging through the wares requiring lots of extra labor to re-stack/re-face.

    They had to come at certain hours to back door, give order to clerk and clerk would get their stuff and they'd pay for it.

    Today, more and more stuff is now held behind Security Cages and you must find a clerk to unlock it for a $1 bottle of cheap shampoo, which takes 20 minutes, so it easier to order on Amazon if you live in a slum neighborhood.

    Of course that also means you can't just have stuff dropped at your door, so you need to have stuff delivered to your neighborhood supermarket Amazon Pickup location.

    Its just like the Good Old Days, for same Good Reasons.


    • #3
      Because shoplifters steal a tiny fraction compared to employee theft and fraud.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tom Horn View Post
        Because shoplifters steal a tiny fraction compared to employee theft and fraud.
        good point, I've known a few people who had a dream of opening a restaurant only to be rudely awakened to the fact that a huge part of that, maybe the biggest part, is trying to keep your employees from stealing you blind the second you turn your back.

        Takes all the charm out of the equation.

        They say "First be the sort of person who NATURALLY likes 'loss prevention' work against dishonest employees, THEN think if running a restaurant would be a way to do that".


        • #5
          Tom has a point - from what I've seen a dishonest employee can steal a lot more in one shot or over time than any individual thief.

          But I would add that its hard to have accurate metrics on this, because a professional shoplifter can hit multiple stores. We often get pictures or descriptions of thieves that will hit the same chain store in different cities around the region. One woman is driving a Cadillac SUV, so I'm guessing she's making a good living at it. The variation of the flash mob is to send a small group into the shopping center, split up and hit multiple stores at the same time, and then meet up at a prearranged point off site (trust me, I've seen it). Hard to calculate the total loss on something like that.

          And the stores that do nothing are just encouraging more of the same. We've essentially rewarded the criminal class for their bravado / violence / lawsuits by allowing them to get everything for free, and passing the cost on to the honest people.


          • #6
            I'll make one more comment on this, which is some retailers need to rethink their returns policy. Even Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer, famous for their liberal refund policies, have put some restrictions on returns. On the other side of the equation, you have a local clothing chain that allows you to return $300 of merchandise at a time, with no receipt. No restrictions on how many times a month you come in. They know they're getting ripped off at every store and getting the merchandise back at other stores, but corporate won't budge. I'm sorry, but if you're losing $300 a pop with no LP and no policy change, don't whine when you go under.

            The link below is about the current economic crisis in retail. One more reason retail is dying...