Having a clothing alarm in your store is obviously the best clothing security device you can employ. That being said the system is only as good as the people and policies that work and are enforced within those same four walls. Being a multi unit loss prevention manager allowed me to see how good or how bad a clothing alarm could work depending on the store staffs. In the good stores the employees were trained from day one on the importance of clothing security, how to place security tags on clothes, how the clothing security tags functioned and how to properly react to a clothing alarm.
Knowledgeable store managers knew that having a Checkpoint system was a benefit that if worked with properly could reduce the store’s shrink. They also understood that the weakest employee would be their weakest link in shrink reduction. An inept employee could affect the clothing alarm system a number of ways; for example, they could improperly place security tags on clothes causing damage to the product or offering little or no deterrence to the potential shoplifter, they could simply forget to apply the checkpoint tags and they could improperly react to a clothing alarm by overreacting or not reacting at all. The good store managers are always on top of training and auditing compliance of the consistency and proper application of the checkpoint tags.
One of my stores was constantly having issues with attempts and successful defeats of the clothing security tags. This is a huge red flag that there are much larger problems within a store. I immediately called my district sales counterpart to review and crunch some numbers. We sat down and reviewed inventory counts as well as daily, weekly and monthly sales trends and quickly realized that shrink was trending up and sales were trending down. I knew this would be the case but I wanted my sales partner to be there when I put the two trends together so that he could see how I came about that conclusion from a few defeated checkpoint tags.
To forcibly attempt to defeat security tags on clothes you bring a lot of attention to yourself as well as make a lot of noise. Having this many repeated offenses within one store told me that the staff was not employing good customer service and had become task oriented as opposed to paying attention to their surroundings and more importantly to the customer. I invited my sales partner to sit in the LP office and watch the performance of his staff. Within an hour we had concluded that indeed a mass training effort was needed, and as a side note he helped me and one of my store detectives apprehend a shoplifter who had cut a couple checkpoint tags and stuffed shirts down his pants.
My sales partner could not believe we had found poor sales numbers and poor customer service practices as a result of finding defeated clothing security tags. I explained to him that the checkpoint system is helpful on many levels and every piece if studied can give you insight as to the entire business not merely loss prevention. From that point on we shared a great partnership that opened many insights for both of us into either side of the business. That type of partnership allows for deeper understanding of business decisions that on the surface you with which you may not agree. Clothing security is imperative and necessary but one must never forget to utilize every facet of the checkpoint system. I always tell my peers never doubt what a checkpoint system can do for your business.
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