New Retail Partnership Seeks to Help Reduce Store Theft

VoCoVo partners with SHELFIE to enable real-time tracking and intervention of in-store theft.

Retail communications specialist, VoCoVo, and retail computer vision expert, SHELFIE, have formed a new partnership to tackle the rising problem of retail shrinkage.

The partnership will see VoCoVo’s voice communication technology integrate with SHELFIE’s autonomous high-frequency computer vision technology to provide retail staff with early warnings on product loss from shoplifting and employee theft, allowing early intervention.

The system works by using SHELFIE’s technology to continually audit and track stock levels on store shelves by digitally viewing them. Deep learning algorithms identify any instances where stock depletes outside of established shopping behaviour, triggering a real-time alert to the VoCoVo system. VoCoVo, whose customers include Tesco and Selco, translates this trigger into a discreet audio alert sent to store security staff via VoCoVo headsets, detailing where the shrinkage is likely to be occurring and intervention may be required.

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Chris McKie
Chris McKie

Chris McKie, head of product at VoCoVo, explained, “Knowledge is power. We’ve combined the latest advances in digital communication and computer vision to provide retailers with a solution that will play a critical part in combatting theft, an issue which has impacted the industry for too long.”

UK retailers have the highest shrinkage in Europe, costing retailers £11bn ($15.2bn USD) annually according to the Retail Security in Europe report. VoCoVo’s own research also shows that over a third of UK retail workers (38%) have experienced store theft since the pandemic began. The collaboration brings many efficiency benefits with some of Europe’s largest retailers already using the VoCoVo/ SHELFIE integration to actively and progressively manage potential shrinkage cases.

Yehia Oweiss
Yehia Oweiss

Yehia Oweiss, vice president of EMEA at SHELFIE, added, “It’s simply another instance where our automation liberates retail staff to serve customers. No one at these retail stores is constrained to watching tedious CCTV footage in some dark room. Instead, staff can help shoppers in the aisles, while SHELFIE’s algorithms precisely monitor for suspicious behaviour. Where shrinkage may be occurring – staff are informed automatically to take action via their VoCoVo headset.”

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