Nobody can predict the future. We can look backward and at the present. We can hear about and see certain things that are already unfolding. But it is important to think and plan for the future.
Previously I wrote about how you need to understand your company’s total retail enterprise and how that plays into security and loss prevention. Your company also needs you and your team to be watching and thinking about the future. Tactically, we should be looking at data and talking to people about current and evolving violence, fraud, and theft incidents and trends. We should know where new stores are planned to open, new high-value merchandise we plan to carry, new operational processes, and so forth. We need this information to assess necessary protective action.
You should also be thinking a little about strategic issues—about how your organization and similar businesses are evolving what and how they sell and operate. What macro challenges lie ahead? Demographics, crime trends, buying habits, illegal selling sites, and methods should all be examined periodically.
Skimming over LinkedIn articles and retail magazines can help us all stay a little more up to speed. There are a lot of people paying close attention to shoppers and their wants, needs, and behavior. Loss prevention and asset protection professionals should strive to include a little retail 101 and future trending updates in their monthly routines. How retail will be structured and delivered will absolutely drive what needs to be protected and from what threats. We already see some meaningful emerging patterns.
Read more about the trends effecting loss prevention in the Evidence-Based LP column in the March-April 2016 issue. The contents of the entire print magazine are available online as well as in a PDF version via the Print Archive.