It’s a dirty secret if you work in retail management, and the problem is that you cannot seal off all the routes. The secret is retail loss, known in some industries as “shrink”. The shrink is an innocuous term for “unintentional and uncompensated reduction in inventory”. In other words…theft. The endless cat-and-mouse dance between the retail worker trying to do their job, keep the numbers in their department high enough so that upper management is happy, and being vigilant against people who are out to steal from them.
The dirty secret is, is that many have found that it is DIRT EASY to take advantage of short staffed, overworked and distracted salespeople to take what they want. If you get the word out that you are having a problem of it, you announce your vulnerabilities for others who could potentially take advantage of you as well. So, it stays behind the scenes, while people continue to come in and devise ways through distraction, use of partners, and subterfuge to rob you blind. If you admit your window is open and unprotected, then you invite others to come inside uninvited. Hence the management silently wrings their hands in abject denial that things are out of hand.
With this in mind, many companies have tried everything: spider wraps, tags, electronic tagged items with sensors. Cameras have questionable to laughable value, but can be quite expensive to install and maintain. A camera shows you what happened, AFTER the fact. So when running back the “tape” later, you see a shadowed blurry figure steal and walk right out of the store. Still the person is long gone. Over worked city staff are not CSI agents on petty retail theft cases. You almost have to have the criminal standing, full faced, holding a valid ID in front of the camera and a note saying “I intend to steal from this place” to get a case tight enough for a prosecution resulting in a conviction, by camera evidence alone.
Worse yet, many business’ employ mock or “dummy” cameras, which look like cameras, (until a thief realizes that it’s a fake) and presumably act as a deterrent. But as the old saying goes, “Locks only keep out the honest people”. Once a thief realizes that your camera is a fake, it’s a red carpet welcome to drain you of inventory, without much effort at all. This effectively is the retailers admission that the areas in coverage really isn’t being “covered” at all, and that management are not overly motivated or committed at all to effectively address and prevent “shrink”. In addition, by having a dummy camera on your premises, you also expose yourself to negligence and liability lawsuits if anything happens to a customer in your location where the use of a camera would have helped identify a suspect.
Retail Security Officers are the Answer
It’s time for many businesses to take a hard honest look at retail security. Officers in uniform or out, whose job is to be a witness to theft in process, or through their presence act as a deterrent for those who would steal from you. The best way to mitigate the crippling losses and stem the dirty secrets of “shrink” is to hire Retail Security Officers. Retail security puts human intelligence to work for you, so that your sales people can help customers, improve sales, help you meet numbers and reduce shrink. And that is the best way to stem the tide and win the battle of tug of war with thieves. Retail security as part of an overall security profile, including devices that prevent tampering, and cameras which record “hot” areas can be an effective defense and deterrent from those who are out to harm your business.
To learn more about our Houston retail security services, please call Jeffery Singletary now for a no-obligation security consultation 281-664-1297. You can call Jeffery anytime, 24-hours a day. Or, if you prefer, fill out our contact form and we’ll call you.