Retail loss prevention, or shrink reduction, is a set of practices employed by retailers to reduce profit losses due to theft or incorrect business procedures. These profit losses can occur as a result of accidental or intentional behaviors or can be the result of negligent or inconsistent business processes.
The National Retail Security Survey found shrink is 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 7 in 10 reporting a shrink rate that exceeds 1%. The loss associated with shrink results in two impactful outcomes, losing the capital invested to attain merchandise, and missing out on the potential revenue the merchandise could have generated with a sale.
Shrink can be primarily attributed to external theft, internal theft, administrative errors, and a small percentage is caused by supplier fraud. Among the emerging areas of concern for retailers is self check-out and traditional check-out lanes. In a recent survey by the Loss Prevention Research Council, it was found that 58% of self check-out shoplifters defined stealing from a self check-out machine as easy.
Bottom-of-the-basket (BoB) shrink loss is part of the top concerns at self check-out and in traditional check-out lanes – whereby the cashier unintentionally fails to ring up items on the bottom of the shopping cart – or intentionally when a cashier or person at self check-out purposely ignores the items on the bottom of the shopping cart. In either case, the results negatively impact the retailers’ bottom line.
Datalogic has products and solutions that address different areas of shrink in the retail store environment, especially at the check-out to prevent Bottom-of-the-basket shrink.
THE EFFECT SHRINK LOSSES HAVE ON RETAILERS
Bottom-of-basket (BoB) shrink is a top contributing factor
The impact of shrinkage on the retail industry continues to be sizeable. Some BoB losses are the results of honest mistakes, in where the forgotten item is left on the bottom of the cart. But, in the United States alone, industry wide BoB losses are an estimated $2 billion dollars annually.
Bottom-of-basket (BoB)items are frequently overlooked or forgotten at check-out. Many factors contribute to this problem, a long line of impatient shoppers, pressures on cashiers to increase throughput, distracted cashiers or customers, or by simple cashier or customer intent.
Numerous attempts have been made over the years to combat this problem, from cashier training, lane redesign and mirrors, to video and infrared sensors. The common problem with these efforts, however, is that they can’t integrate with the POS and do not remain effective over time. They can’t recognize what the items below the shopping cart are and link it to the item’s UPC. That means that they can’t ring up items before they’re lost, they can’t deter collusion, and they can’t stop cashiers from ignoring that an item is on the bottom of the cart.
FINDING EFFECTIVE AND RELIABLE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR LOSS-PREVENTION
Turn potential losses into profits in real time
Visual scanning systems that recognize items without having to read the UPC codes are an effective and reliable solution to prevent shrink at the check-out.
- Continuous and effortless vigilance
These are systems using smart cameras flush-mounted in the check-out lane that are continuously watching for items.
- Proactive alerts in real time
When an item is detected and recognized, its UPC information is sent directly through an Ethernet connection to the POS.
- Expedite check-out – Enhance throughput
At tender time, the cashier verifies the items that were found under the basket and continues to close the transaction. The item can remain under the basket, and you’re assured to get paid for it!
Datalogic helps retailers take the necessary steps to implement effective loss prevention solutions with specific technologies to protect their investments. By understanding different causes of shrinkage and how to address them, you can keep your store safe and profitable.