By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Yes, the Holiday Pirates have arrived, and they are giving consumers a bad name. These pirates come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and cultural beliefs. No, they don’t have eye patches and peg legs or a parrot on their shoulder — yet they are still Pirates. Who are they and how do you know when one is in your store? You don’t, and that’s the problem. In the old days of looting pirates, at least you knew when they were coming. They would sail into your harbor, row ashore and fire a few shots off to make you run, and plunder and pillage with very little chance of escape, but at least you knew it was coming. Today these pirates have refined their stealing ways, as they no longer make noise and let you know they’re coming, yet there is no doubt they are present, as the numbers don’t lie.
Loss prevention continues to meet challenges on all fronts, from highly skilled cybercriminal operations to solo shoplifters who nimbly pocket low-value items. Overall, risk is becoming more of a priority to retailers, and that cuts a broad swath: ecommerce, return fraud and internal hazards. All areas have seen increases in prioritization from retailers, particularly in organized retail crime, cybercrime and ecommerce fraud.
The 2020 National Retail Security Survey finds shrink at an all-time high, accounting for 1.62% of a retailer’s bottom line — costing the industry $61.7 billion. It cuts deeply across the industry too, with seven in 10 reporting a shrink rate that exceeds 1%.
Increasing boldness on the part of shoplifters due to current unemployment, bail reforms and criminal justice reforms, more attempted theft without fear of consequences, gift card scams, self-checkout, mobile checkout, the frequency of phone scams which is way up, including activation of gift cards.
The National Retail Security Survey is an annual poll of loss prevention executives that benchmarks retail shrinkage and operational information about how retailers are combating losses. The survey also showed that the Consumer Electronics and Home Improvement side of Retail were the least affected, but it’s still something to look at. Proper training and setting up a task group to look into how secure your operation is are two suggestions that will help you begin your loss prevention program. I'm sure you can see the monetary reasons for making this a priority conversation.
Happy Retailing, Mates-
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
With the holidays rapidly approaching and 2020 (the year of hindsight) coming to a fast close, I find myself contemplating the upheaval and challenges the year has brought: Covid 19, fires, earthquakes, and civil unrest to name a few. As of the time of this writing in mid-November, we are still dealing with much uncertainty, stay at home mandates, public division and await a final resolution for the future of our nation. Are you prepared?
Many of us habitually go through life with no plan of action. So, when those “what if” scenarios do arise—we are caught off guard, unprepared and afraid. This only keeps us in reactive mode rather than a responsive one. How can we expect to grow if we are secretly living in fear? Fear for our health and personal safety, fear for the future of our children, fear for the survival of our businesses? The list can go on and on... The first step is to acknowledge that there is an area in your life that does not feel right. An area that could use your attention, and a plan of action.
I can tell you that life is a whole lot better when you directly face and handle these areas of vulnerability. Because I chose to do something about my growing concerns for personal safety, I now have a sense of security that has left me with a feeling of empowerment and the courage to shine a light on many other areas of my life and business that need attention. With determination, I encourage you to make a plan and do something about it.
As we all ring in the New Year a month from now, I challenge you to live more honestly with yourselves, take the time to identify and remove what’s threatening your peace of mind, health, happiness, and growth in 2021.
See you next year,