Is Loss Prevention Watching You?

In today’s ever competitive markets, reducing costs is a big priority.  It’s therefore no surprise that theft remains one of the fastest growing expenses facing retailers.

According to a survey conducted last spring of senior loss-prevention executives at many national grocery retailers, shoplifting accounted for 38% of the shrinkage, followed by employee theft at 34.5%. A majority of the respondents also said shoplifting was a growing problem.  Supermarkets and grocers lose the highest percentage of sales to shrinkage; seeing an average of 3.23% evaporate, or 2.5 times more than the industry average.  This in turn has caused companies to spend more on loss prevention than ever before.

Looking at other company trends, “U—Scan” also known as “self” check—out lanes have been installed at most of the retail grocery chains to help reduce labor costs.  Due to the theft associated with “self” check—out lanes, more and more sophisticated software and video surveillance techniques are being used to spot potential offenders.  Due to the increased scrutiny of the “U—Scan” lanes and the companies’ concern over employee theft, it is strongly recommended that when you need to purchase anything at work that you use the regular checkout lanes.  While your intention may be completely honest when checking out yourself, why even put yourself in a questionable spot? Don’t do it. Always have someone else check you out to avoid any form of suspicion.

Another area that loss prevention monitors closely is “found property theft.”  What is “found property theft?”  Found property theft occurs when someone who chances upon an object which seems abandoned takes possession of the object, but fails to take steps to establish whether the object is abandoned and not merely lost or unattended.  In some jurisdictions, the crime is called “larceny by finding” or “stealing by finding.” Whenever you find an object in the store that seems to be abandoned, it is your responsibility to turn that item over to the appropriate designated personnel.  This pertains to all items, no matter how large or small.  It even includes items like change from the “U—Scan” lanes that a previous customer left behind.  Be smart. Don’t take chances…turn it in!

The overall message when it comes to loss prevention is that you, and not just the customer, are always being watched. So make sure to perform your job to your best ability.