Working as Loss Prevention Manager shows you all aspects of inventory control. One of the most tedious tasks you’ll face in managing a retail store is keeping up with your stock. Each day you’ll spend a significant part of your day tracking inventory. A thorough inventory system will make it simple to meet the needs of your shoppers and minimize your losses. Each day as you are managing your location, you never know what will happen or what situation you will come across. Some days you run into extremely strange situations that make every day just plain interesting! Just last month, I had a strange incident with EAS Labels involving inventory counts! My store now uses them every day to prevent daily loss.
There are multiple advantages of a having a superior inventory system. It provides theft controls, product tracking, customer service advantages, and managing your financials. Without an inventory system, it’s impossible to know how much is stolen by customers or employees until completely after the fact. You can also steer clear of running out of stock and keep track of how you’re doing. It makes no sense to go long periods of time without knowing the actual status of your stock! Each day I complete perpetual counts of our high dollar, most stolen products. Completing this task daily helps stop shoplifting by being able to immediately track a missing item, and have CCTV of who stole the merchandise! If I count 3 days in a row a specific high theft item, and it disappears on day 4 without any product sales, I will know what time frame the theft happened. Once I have a hot theft item, I usually will place one of my PTZ cameras pointed specifically at that product. I also place EAS labels on them to protect the product. There are extensive benefits of utilizing EAS Labels versus just constant surveillance. Even though I catch a high amount of thieves, I can’t be there 24-7. They help stop-shoplifting by deterrent methods. Retailers can confidently open-display their products which helps with sales. Anytime I start at a new location, I ensure they are utilizing these tags to stop shoplifting. One morning I was completing my daily perpetual counts, and had a subject enter the store acting very suspicious. He paced the sales floor for close to 20 minutes, looking for associates and acting extremely strange. This is a behavior I know too well from shoplifters, so I had to be patient and continue to observe. The subject finally selects 2 of our high dollar products and heads into a corner of the store that is semi-blocked by a tall fixture. At this point, I keep CCTV on him and was thinking I 100% had a shoplifter. I see the subject appear to be in a sitting stance, and stays like that for a few minutes. The subject stands up, looks around, but still has all the high dollar product. The product is still in the packaging and it does not looked messed with at all. The subject ends up leaving the products at our register and walks out of our exit. I quickly run to the area to look for any tags or figure out if I missed something the subject may have concealed. I get to the corner of the store, to find my worst nightmare. Let’s just say I figured out why the subject was acting strange and went to the corner. The subject went to the bathroom inside the store!!! They selected product to look normal in case anyone walked by. So I spent an hour of my time on a stomach issue, than a shoplifting issue. Even though this was an epic fail, at least I know I am on top of anyone selecting our high theft items. I knew at this point, this was going to a long, crazy day! I still continued to do my perpetual counts and finally had a missing item on another product. I was able to view sales history and find on CCTV a known subject come in and try to wipe out an item. They selected the item and went into the fitting room, trying to remove the security tag from the product. The attempt failed and they left the item in the fitting room, so we were able to find and recover the product. It was definitely a win, that day! EAS Labels saved us from taking a loss on this product! After this incident, I had several other occurrences where the labels worked to stop shoplifting. Less worry, but more product on the shelf for customers. Another positive element is how extremely easy they are to apply, and work as an inexpensive fix.
My store management team and I still laugh about the disaster day I had. But the payoff was massive being able to later see how EAS Labels do work, and the importance of inventory controls. This was a strange day, but showed everyone that we are on top of ensuring our product stays on the shelf. You will see a decrease in theft trends once you utilize the same security device program and tracking system that I use.
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