Express Stores Reducing Shoplifting
The Problem • What can Express #892 do to reduce shoplifting?
Background • Express Stores nationally have lost over 2.5 million dollars so far this year from shoplifting • Express Castleton location has recently seen an increase in shoplifting
Form of Research • Review of shoplifting literature • Performed survey of Express #892 employees on shoplifting prevention
Research findings: Causes for Shoplifting • Rite of passage-teenagers • Drug use-resell stolen items for a quick fix • Organized rings-resell designer labels on the black market
Research findings: Red Flags • Most shoplifters often give off signs they are up to no good • Employees must keep an eye on: 1. Customers who keep their hands low 2. Opened packages and purses 3. Customers who appear nervous or ask a lot of questions (distraction)
Research findings: Be aware of methods • Anyone can be a shoplifter, so employees need to be aware at all times • Popular Methods: Use of bulky clothing, packages, and large sacks. The “accidental drop” method The “brazen” method
Research findings: Better Employee Training • Stores should hold monthly meetings over possible shoplifting scenarios and prevention • Most employees do not know what to expect when faced with a shoplifter • Most employees are uninformed about shoplifting in general
Employee Training Cont’d. Many employees do not know how to respond appropriately! A cohesive plan of action is the key to catching a thief! • Should call police and alert other employees/store manager immediately
Employee Training Cont’d. • Training should include store policies and state laws concerning shoplifting • Training should include warning signs and methods of shoplifters • An informed employee is the best employee
Research findings: Store Methods to Reduce Shoplifting • Staff training • Cameras • Security tags (ink tags, RFID tags, EAS tags, etc.) • Mirrors • Limit number of items in fitting room • Remove large fixtures from sales floor, allows better viewing of customers
Research findings: More Ways to Reduce Shoplifting • Alternate hangers in opposite directions • Put expensive merchandise in the middle of the store • Have an employee at the front of the store at all times • Have displays low to see the whole store (reduce blind spots)
Get personal: Communicate! • Acknowledge each customer by greeting them • Check up on customers to see if they need assistance • Shoplifters do not want to talk to an employee in fear of being caught • Communication is a great deterrent
Our Recommendations • Install security cameras (CCTV) • Removal of large fixtures from store entrance (eliminate blind spots) • Implement monthly store trainings on shoplifting prevention
Recommendations Cont’d. • Increase number of tagged items • Consistently have employees on the sales floor to assist customers • A fitting room attendant should be present at all times
Innovations to prevent Shoplifting Electronic Tagging and Digital In-Store Surveillance Improvements
Innovations in Electronic Tagging • Source tagging with Electronic Article Surveillance or “EAS” for short. • EAS involves placing anti-theft labels inside the product during the manufacturing process instead of at the store. • Source tagging eliminates the need to apply and remove tags at the store.
Other Innovations in Electronic Tagging • Tagging products with Radio Frequency Identification devices or “RFID” for short. • RFID tags replace standard bar codes with electronic tags that track retail goods throughout the apparel supply chain. • RFID tags allow for “smart shelf” technology where a individual product’s movement from a shelf is captured.
Innovations in In-Store Surveillance • Many retailers are opting for in-store surveillance with digital alternative to outdated videotapes. • These digital tapes allow for easier preservation of a file, more so than an actual video cassette.
Benefits of Using These Anti-Theft Innovations • EAS tags allow retailers to place anti-theft devices on a wider range of products. • EAS tags allow employees to watch shoppers more often because they are not busy applying and removing tags. • RFID tags allow retailers to better track product movement. RFID helps identify the objects that were taken off the shelf, put back on the shelf, taken into the dressing rooms, and returned form the dressing rooms. • Basically with RFID retailers can trace certain batches of goods quicker and know which goods are off the shelves. This reduces “shrinkage” by making it harder for goods to disappear. • In-store surveillance improvements help cover frequent areas of high theft better. They also allow for better coverage of the cash register, which reduces employee theft.
Concerns With Using These Innovations • Source tagging with EAS creates higher costs for product vendors and for retailers forced to replace current functioning tagging systems. • RFID tags have privacy campaigners concerned that this technology could be used to monitor the whereabouts of customers and for building profiles of customers’ shopping preferences. Some also worry about the continued tracking of products even after it has reached the consumers home. • Concerns over digital video surveillance includes the high cost of implementation and training requirements.