Clothing is the perfect item to sell. Its retail value is perception based, driven by fashion and trends and most importantly everyone needs clothes. Clothing at all levels drives business. Kids outgrow it, teens demand it and every occasion, season and possible reason keeps it moving through your registers. This is a double-edged sword. The same reason we want to sell clothes are the same reasons shoplifters want to steal it. Clothing Security is vital to a successful merchandising strategy, after all you can’t sell what you do not have.
I’ve seen all manner and magnitude of clothing theft in my career in LP. $2 underwear to $125 jeans, it all can disappear in the blink of an eye and with it your profits. Clothing security and devices like Checkpoint tags need to be included in your sales plans at every step, from merchandising to setting shelf capacity. Poor planning here could drive your sales and profits into the ground.
The investment in devices, like Checkpoint tags, is easily compensated for by just stopping a few shoplifting incidents. Likely though having your merchandise protected will do much more that stop a few incidents of theft. People need clothing, people want clothing and that created an environment where people will steal clothing.
I keep several shoplifting videos on my laptop. I use them whenever I do shrink and LP training. Some are funny, others serious, but all of them provide real world examples of the potential loss retail faces every day. Losses can happen in the blink of an eye and ignoring Clothing security is a risk that no one should take. Let me share my thoughts on one of the videos with you.
In an anchor store in my local mall the sale guide called for placing their recently received sports team jackets in high traffic, high visibility areas such as walkways, intersections and, in a stroke of pure awesome, right within sight of the doors leading out to the parking lot. This location wasn’t using a modern Clothing security system, No checkpoint tags, no MPS at all really. They weren’t unprotected though.
I’m sure that whatever manager or merchandiser decided on how they were going to protect these coats meant well. They figured that if all the coats were connected by a long steel cable, securely locked together then no one could possibly conceal a dozen jackets at one time. It was a perfect defense. I’m sure many of you reading are groaning inside, knowing what happened next.
In walks the booster, his getaway driver sitting about 15 feet away with the engine running, and he sees the coats. It was his lucky day. Some kind soul had neatly packaged a dozen $300 coats together for him, complete with an easy to carry handle, only a few steps from the exit door. In under 30 seconds he entered, carried $3600 in merchandise out in one hand and was gone before any associate could even get to the door. Checkpoint tags, a different location and the most basic of alarmed MPS could have changed this scenario.
This is just one situation, a single moment in one store, on one day, and it resulted in a significant loss. It was a series of decisions, many that ignored Clothing Security almost entirely, which allowed this to occur. We must be smarter and work to balance the needs of security and sales to find a solution that benefits everyone. Well everyone except the shoplifters.
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