Loss Prevention

By  Carly Bohach — November 01, 2006

Reducing inventory losses inside the store is a constant challenge for retailers. Organized crime rings targeting retailers steal in excess of $30 billion in merchandise per year, according to FBI statistics. In addition, according to the National Retail Security survey, employee theft is estimated to be responsible for 48 percent of store inventory shrinkage.

In a move to help retailers combat organized retail theft, ADT Security Services, a unit of Tyco Fire & Security, offers a software tool that makes it easier for retailers to collect and share information on organized retail theft incidents nationwide. Developing databases with information on organized retail theft patterns is one of the most important tools the FBI and retailers are using to fight this crime. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has been working for the past few years with the FBI to develop an Organized Retail Theft (ORT) database.

ADT's software tool allows retailers to log important information about an organized retail theft incident, such as the date and time, the number and description of people involved, and the type and quantity of merchandise taken.

Retailers also need systems in place to prevent and deter both outside and internal theft. To be effective, loss prevention systems must be designed to reduce the opportunity, desire and motivation for theft. To help deter theft, retailers are taking steps to establish good procedures for hiring, training and supervising employees.

In an effort to track and manage all incidents throughout its organization, Sportsman's Warehouse chose ShrinkTrax's Web-based case management solution to better manage theft. "The solution adds clear accountability at all points in our investigative cycle and provides all of our users with immediate, Web-based access for all loss prevention," says Michael Van Orden, CTO, Sportsman's Warehouse. The incident and case management tool has 'one-click' integration and seamlessly manages internal theft, shoplifting, fraud, accidents and an organization's specific incidents.

"The Trax case tool has comprehensive tracking and reporting that will give us added visibility into each case and help us to apply our resources better to increase our productivity," adds Van Orden.

Meanwhile, Spain's Group Cortefiel set up a source tagging program for its Women'Secret lingerie chain using ADT's anti-theft systems. All items are protected throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing and distribution centers through to sales outlets in Spain and worldwide. Also, Sensormatic anti-theft systems, incorporating Ultra Max acousto-magnetic technology, have been installed in 280 Women'Secret stores.

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