The good news for retailers is that shrink rates have shrunk from the previous year according to the 2018 National Retail Security Survey. Shrink — the loss of inventory due to theft, error, fraud, or shoplifting — costs 1.33 percent of sales, which totals $46.8 billion. That brings the number down from the previous year's $48.9 billion. The National Retail Federation (NRF) partnered with the University of Florida and Appriss Retail to poll 63 retailers' loss prevention professionals. Here's what you need to know about shopping center security.
Even with the overall shrink rate dropping, more than 40 percent of retailers still face the problem as they say their shrink has grown. Fortunately, that number is down from the previous survey's 49 percent. The following are the top causes for losses:
Shoplifting and organized crime: 36 percent
Employee theft: 33 percent
Administrative errors: 19 percent
Vendor fraud or error: 6 percent
What are retailers using to help shopping center security? These are the top loss prevention systems per the survey:
Armored car deposit pickups
Digital video records
POS data mining
Retailers rely more on technology, considering the use of uniformed security guards and fitting room attendants has fallen. Further, the results reveal retailers are making strides in curbing criminal activity. Nonetheless, retail security teams still have work to do in tightening security with the right solutions.
In "Exposing Loss Prevention," Robert Moraca, NRF VP, loss prevention, makes suggestions to improve shopping center security. He advises using video surveillance with multiple views for eyes on the store and the parking lot. The video system needs to be visible to everyone because criminals tend to go after stores with no camera systems.
Stealth Monitoring’s proactive security solution caught some trespassers dumpster diving in the back of a Georgia shopping center. Watch the video to see the arrest.
Moraca's second recommendation is to build a relationship
with local law enforcement. Don't wait for an emergency to happen. Get to know
the police officers and their names. Networking with them costs nothing but a
little bit of your time. Encourage them to stop by the store for food and
drinks. They may drive by more often, which helps deter criminals.
Although external crime continues to increase, SecurityInfoWatch.com quotes Moraca as saying that retailers have gotten better at controlling internal theft through training and advanced technology. Some possibilities worth exploring include remote video surveillance and live video monitoring. Moraca also encourages putting fewer of the higher priced items on the floor. Instead, display the box with a note to see a sales associate. It can also help to put expensive items in caged areas or behind locked glass.
If you would like more information about proactive shopping center security solutions and how they can help protect your valuable assets, please contact us.