Originally appeared in Loss Prevention Magazine’s LP Portal, August 27, 2019.
Today’s retailers face the herculean task of protecting and securing their retail environments from theft and hostile forces. The morphing opportunism of fraud, deception, and the randomness of situations like active shootings and riots, requires new approaches to protecting people, assets and retail profits.
Retail Council of Canada recognizes the best retail solutions through its annual Excellence in Retailing Awards program. This year, two retailers provided standout examples of retail innovation in loss prevention: Canadian Tire and London Drugs Ltd. Speakers from both these companies will share details of their award-winning programs on September 24 at Retail Secure 2019 – Canada’s only loss prevention conference designed by retailers for retailers.
Canadian Tire Retail’s Images of POS, and London Drugs’ Loss Prevention Response Centreshowcased examples of the kind of smart thinking that stops crafty shoplifters and prepares organizations to plan for critical situations.
One of the ways shoplifters steal from stores is by switching price tags/UPCs of higher-priced products to lower-priced tags/UPCs. Ticket switching happens frequently and can be difficult for cashiers to catch. The most common type of ticket switching is when a dishonest customer takes the price tag from a less-expensive item and places it onto a more expensive item.
In 2018, Canadian Tire Retail introduced Images on POS. The project involved adding the images of products scanned at the Point of Sale (POS) on the cashier and customer-facing screens, so cashiers can visually identify that the UPC of the product scanned matches the image of the product appearing on the screen. “The new solution was easily adopted by store cashiers and has been very effective in catching shoplifters and deterring would-be shoplifters from ticket price switching,” said Racheal Awe, Associate Vice President of In-Store Technology, Canadian Tire Retail. “And, it’s already saved the company millions of dollars.”
London Drugs’ Loss Prevention Response Centre integrates measures such as real-time incident reporting, 24/7 support, a command center to assist with situational awareness and critical incidents, live online fraud monitoring, remote video surveillance of in-store customer service, and business continuity and response strategies. This trail-blazing initiative has improved profitability, safety, and customers’ overall shopping experience both online and in-store. And staff loves it. “In 2018, the Response Centre received 35,200 calls – 42% increase over 2017 – and highlights the power of our program and the importance of this team to our staff and operations.” Tony Hunt, General Manager Loss Prevention, London Drugs.
Retail Secure also includes speakers from Gap Inc., Hudson’s Bay, Michael Hill, Holt Renfrew and specialists from Ivanhoé Cambridge and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – who will also be presenting examples of their innovative strategies at the International Centre in Toronto. Visit RetailSecure.ca for more information and to register.