You’ve heard this question before, but public opinion on this topic seems to remain unsettled. This week’s LPM Insider survey question asks about shoplifter apprehension. We want to hear what our readers think. Read More
A loss prevention definition, at its most basic level, states that loss prevention is about preventing losses and shrink, and enhancing the profitability of retail companies. However, the loss prevention definition that many professionals would offer has grown increasingly complicated as various functions, philosophies, tasks, and responsibilities are debated by the LP community.
Rapid changes in retail, enabled by new technologies, mean that the way consumers shop, the products they buy, and even the way they pay for goods and services are all changing in ways that never would have been expected just a few years ago.
Technology is driving trends in areas such as mobile POS, emerging selling concepts, and business analytics. Intelligent CCTV systems with analytics technology will continue to have a bearing on how LP performs in the stores, but will take on additional value as part of other retail applications. Use of data and predictive indicators, cloud computing, and business intelligence will enhance processes as well as investigations.
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Many also believe that RFID technology will finally take on a bigger role in effectively managing inventories, from original purchase or manufacture until it ends up in a customer’s hands. This may also expand the role of LP into areas that until now were considered non-traditional, such as energy savings, SKU rationalization, accident reduction, and business continuity.
The emergence of omni-channel retailing as a growth driver will have a substantial impact on the role of loss prevention. As described by one industry leader, “As the retail industry continues to consolidate, increase in complexity, and expand omni-channel solutions, the role of LP will change significantly.” Omni-channel retailing will enable customers to purchase what they want, when they want it, and decide how they want to pay for it and have it delivered.
The move toward the infinite store is creating new areas that need to be secured, such as networks and customer data. LP professionals are increasingly being asked to bring their specific skills into areas where they never participated before, causing a shift in responsibilities.
For example, the dual role of increased data and analytics will create a shift in thinking that will change many roles in retail, including LP, which will work more closely with IT departments going forward. Thus a loss prevention definition in the near future will also include an expanded, more proactive leadership role to ensure data is secured and properly managed, because data breaches cost companies in many ways beyond the immediate financial losses, to include litigation, brand protection issues, and additional sales impact.
Last week’s survey question asked about the perception of educational requirements in the industry. Is a four-year degree necessary? One commenter said, “While book sense will help someone understand shrink and the analytics of it, street sense and more importantly common sense play major roles.” Read More
The opening comments gave a feeling of game day as the president of the association, Rocco Prate (The Wendy’s Company) took the stage like a head coach in the locker room, pumping up his “team” for the event ahead. Read More
Academics who examine crime and security-related issues aren’t always seeking practical solutions, but some recent research studies have pragmatic applications and impart actionable advice on relevant LP issues. Read More
“It’s not easy for any of us to balance all of the many priorities that we have in our lives,” said Duke. “But once you’re engaged in something that you’re truly passionate about—something that’s in your heart and you truly believe in—you find the time.” Read More
Carr believes that true leadership requires a dedication beyond the limits of our basic skills and abilities. The capability to be flexible, adaptable, and open-minded heightens our career potential. Read More
To the average consumer, a loss prevention manager might once have been perceived as a “security guard”: a reactionary presence in a retail establishment whose primary responsibility is to apprehend shoplifters. Read More
“In 1995, our president and CEO said to Hibbett Sports store employees: Your first job with the company is to protect the assets of the company.” Read More
Any mishandling or theft of found property while under LP’s control is sure to give the department a black eye and reflect poorly on those in charge. What does it take to avoid that embarrassment? Read More