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Wal Mart and Theft

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  • Wal Mart and Theft

    I know there have been many discussions regarding how to prevent theft and shoplifting in the retail environment.

    I read blogs and came across one from a Customer Service Desk associate at a WM store in FL.

    http://bbcamerican.blogspot.com/

    The latest posting talked about what got stolen at the store.

    I might make this a weekly feature. I have to remember to make a list - and try to do it on the sly. Keep in mind this is just at the Service Desk. There's another ten-gallon bin back in Claims that gets filled up every single day. Every. Single. Day.
    Also that is just the empty packages they found.

    How would you deal with such apparent rampant theft? The store easily does a million in sales on a weekend and employees are overrun - no time for customer service when all hands on board are at the front ringing registers.

    I have been to WM stores on a weekend and it is a madhouse. On Tuesdays they have just finished recovering from the weekend and getting things straight for the next weekend.

    How would you go about stopping or reducing theft in that enviroment?
    Last edited by LPCap; 08-11-2007, 12:29 PM.

  • #2
    When I worked in Electronics, we were a shrink leader in the store with the lowest shrink in the region. We also had the sales of a supercenter in one of the smallest stores Wal-Mart supported. i.e. We closed.

    According to LP, it was not our job to care what walks out. They were focused on apprehensions. When they were there, of course, they were scheduled for 20 hours a week!

    According to the department manager, people do not need to be leaving the department with huge or expensive items.

    According to the store manager, everyone was responsible and we're the reason that the bonus was only 2k instead of 2.5 or 3k.

    Most of our items were things like giant TVs, etc. Stuff that people would just walk out with, saying they'll pay at the front because the one person in electronics was stuck doing 50 things at once. Putting two people in there, hahaha, was too expensive.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Funny you mention the big stuff "walking out" Nathan, I have heard similar stories of TV's, I also once heard a story of canoes being taken from large chain store kinda place, the shoplifter(s) would just carry it over their head and out the door, personally hadn't seen it myself but I think it makes for a great story/training tool with an element of truth and something to watch for.

      What I have seen personally (not sure if I've mentioned it here or not) was while buying a K&N performance air filter which goes for about $60.00 +/- Canadian, at another large retailer. Twice I have been looking for the right model/part number for my vehicle and opened the box on the floor only to find the regular and much cheaper paper filter brand which goes for approximately $10.00 +/-. On the second occasion the box came from behind the parts counter which made an eyebrow raise even higher, I pointed out to the parts guy that it was the wrong product and left as they had no more in stock.

      A few days later I went to speak to someone in LP, the courtesy counter had no idea of What I was referring to, even when I asked for store security types. The courtesy counter lady (not that I minded chatting with her as well) called 2 different floor managers to receive my concern. I explained the situation similar to how I have here, that this is going on and the profit loss of approximately $50.00+/- they may be suffering with just air filters alone. I suggested that if this has happened twice to me alone, in a matter of 2 years, how often could it be happening over all??? The final turnout was that the manager thanked me for my concern but really didn't seem to care.

      Just something else to think about, hope this helps the LP folks here a bit.
      I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

      If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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      • #4
        Kind of sad...

        I used to work for Wal-Mart in loss prevention. They did focus a large part on apprehensions. I would sometimes catch two or three a day! However, I would always be brought back to earth when I looked at the stolen bin. This bin would fill up everyday and sometimes during the holidays would fill up twice over! And this is just the stuff that people left evidence of. This doesn't include what walks out package and all!

        As far as one poster mentioning that their LP told the associates it wasn't their job to worry about theft. Those LP's should have been canned. I made it every associates interest about theft, I held meeting on fake checks, UPC fraud, return fraud, etc. WM gave a bonus to associates each year that basically revolved around sales and shrink. So, for those LPs to say it wasn't the associates place to worry about it, they weren't doing their job.

        WM went through a restructure in early 2006 and change the LP over to Asset Protection. They claimed they wanted to focus more on safety and internals rather than aggressive apprehensions. I know alot of stores now have 0 LP at all due to this restructure. Just recently I recieved a call from WM asking if I was interested in coming back. I asked the guy why they were calling me and why they wanted to hire LPs again. He said that WM had gotten away from making apprehensions almost completely for that year and realized that while they still needed to focus on internals and safety, apprehensions were also a vital part of the mix. So, apparently some districts are rehiring LPs again and putting them on the floor.

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        • #5
          Here in Australia ever shop as someone standing at the door to check your bags and your docket before you leave the store.

          I must say that this is only done if you do not buy any thing.

          If you do buy then you show your bag and docket to the person at the checkout. Every checkout as Security senses that well pickup anything that has not been paid for.

          Also every few minters you will hear security to area 53 that lets the security staff now where to but the customer does not.

          Two question's:1/ how many security staff are on duty at weekend ??

          2/ what are they doing while all these goods are walking out the door?
          ]

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          • #6
            Mart is contracting out LP at some stores

            I recently saw a position for a retail security at $11.00 per hour. I called the phone number listed and it turned out to be US Security Associates. They 'probably' will have a contract for one of the local Wal-Marts in the Winston Salem area. They claim to have medical and dental. I have no idea what percent of the insurance they pay. For my wife & myself (no children) I pay $175.00 every two (2) weeks at the college I work at but I currently make $11.54 per hour.

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