Store Detective Responsibilities and Characteristics

An LPRC study looked at the individual qualities that would lead to success when it comes to store detective responsibilities.

store detective responsibilities

How do you win at loss prevention? This question is currently under investigation by the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and the University of Florida. Essentially, researchers want to know how LP/AP efforts can successfully support a retail enterprise. What qualities and capabilities are needed, for instance?

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An LPRC study featured in a column by Read Hayes, PhD, CPP, from the July—August 2017 issue of LP Magazine analyzed the qualities of individuals most likely to succeed when it comes to store detective responsibilities. Two US retail chains participated. From the column:

Specialist versus Generalist. Store-level LP people have traditionally focused on customer theft control. Some retailers have all or just select in-store detectives conduct general duties as well as tracking and mapping store incidents and problems for analysis, training in-store LP staff, auditing LP efforts, and apprehending high-impact offenders. Many retailers also use store detectives to provide “bench strength” for promoting investigators, trainers, and supervisors. Each of these SD types is slightly different in mission focus and therefore in requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics needed to successfully handle the position.

Sample Size. Two-hundred-one store detectives were administered a test of their G factor (or cognitive ability), a personality inventory known as the NEO PI-R, and a sheet listing their age, gender, years of education, years of LP experience, and so forth. Their scores and biodata were entered into a computer and statistically analyzed with various job performance scores provided by their immediate supervisors.

As hypothesized, different characteristics were predictive of job performance scores for each of the three types of store detectives. Check out the full column, “Winning Loss Prevention,” for an analysis of store detective responsibilities and the distinctive characteristics that will likely lead to success in that role.

You can also read the other articles in the July—August 2017 issue of LP Magazine by going to the Table of Contents. Not yet subscribed? No problem – register here for a free subscription!


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