Report: Retailers Embracing New Approach to Managing Loss

RILA research examines adoption of Total Retail Loss concept

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) recently published Total Retail Loss 2.0: From Theory to Practice, a report that analyzes the global retail industry’s adoption of Total Retail Loss (TRL), a concept first introduced by RILA and University of Leicester Emeritus Professor Adrian Beck in 2016.

Based on an online survey of nearly 100 retailers, as well as interviews with senior asset protection executives, Professor Beck examined five factors when reviewing retailers’ approach to TRL and its applicability—awareness, adoption, review, development, and implementation.

The research found the following key findings:

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  • 89% of retailers surveyed were aware of TRL.
  • 64% of those believed TRL had some impact in their organizations.
  • 53% of respondents had either fully embraced the concept or adopted some of its elements.
  • 47% were thinking about using it in the next year.

In addition to understanding the awareness and utilization of TRL across the industry, the report considers challenges to adoption, tips on getting started with the concept, and reveals an updated TRL typology. The updated typology now offers 42 categories of loss—up from 33 in the original version—to account for losses associated with e-commerce, and a structured approach to using the typology based on the experiences of early adapters around the world.

Lisa LaBruno

“Our goal when we teamed up with Professor Beck was to establish a more uniform approach to measuring loss across the industry in hopes of mitigating challenges retailers face managing loss,” said Lisa LaBruno, RILA executive vice president of retail operations and innovation. “Fast forward three years, TRL has gained significant traction globally and retailers are finding great value in this approach. It’s exciting to see the industry leveraging this work, and we’re optimistic that TRL adoption will continue to expand.”

Paul Jaeckle

“It’s encouraging to see more and more companies adopting TRL in their loss management practices. We all share similar challenges in this area, so establishing a more consistent and effective way to talk about it as an industry is extremely helpful,” said Paul Jaeckle, LPC, vice president of asset protection at Meijer and chair of RILA’s Asset Protection Leaders Council. “We’re appreciative of Professor Beck’s work and RILA’s efforts to share this groundbreaking research with the broader retail industry.”

Adrian Beck

Professor Beck added: “It is hoped that both this new research and the original work developing the TRL concept will enable the retail industry to strive towards a more coherent, integrated, and progressive approach to the management of losses and ultimately the protection of profits.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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