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EXPLORING NEW APPROACHES IN THE PREVENTION OF SHOPLIFTING AND UN-TRIED OPTIONS FOR AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS TO EFFECTIVELY COMBAT THE COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS IN A COST-EFFECTIVE MANNER: PART 2.

The purpose of my first article was to gauge the volume of interest generated by the headline – the response clearly reflects the depth of concern.



SHOPLIFTING REDUCTION OPTIONS.



As a preface, consider the following from a customer or potential shoplifter’s perspective?



STAFF: The Financial Review over 9 months ago reported that the Australian retail sector was short 32000 employees.  Whilst the obvious concern is that service will suffer, the lack of presence is a hand-it-to-me gift to shoplifters? The shortage of staff alone, should motivate exploring the use of unattended dispensing?



The advantages of unattended dispensing in this context are many, not least that goods sold from these machines 



·     are 100% safe from theft – there is zero loss


·     eliminate the risk of conflict between staff and shoplifter


·     reduce security costs


·     provide a totally accurate return per sq/ft statistic


·     also provide realtime inventory management + analytics


and for customers, transactions are quick, secure and seamless . . . . . .  not all bad ?!



In respect to the choice of products one can sell from unattended dispensers: Low as well as high value products such as Perfumes and Electronics [which are often researched pre-purchase] do not need the intervention of a salesperson, in which case:



a) the products need not be displayed in open shelving


b) it is not necessary for the customer to queue to pay for the item


c) the member of staff previously employed in this area is now available to add value in a more productive capacity



From a customer’s perspective: it’s a quick and satisfying transaction


From a shoplifter’s:  a complete negative



Options . . .



RFID: This technology has several advantages beyond it’s security function. 


However, in the event that a shoplifted item’s RFID tag triggers an alarm, the question is:  Is the net profit quotient of the stolen item


a) worth risking the safety of an employee to apprehend the shoplifter?


b) worth the time and potential costs to prosecute the offender?



SECURITY CAMERAS: A costly deterrent but not a guarantee of prevention, even with sufficient security personnel.


 


ELECTRONIC SECURITY AND SECURE DISPLAY CABINETS: Locking goods in secure cabinets or running a securing cable through them that sets off an alarm when the cable is disconnected, is only effective up to a point, it’s a staff-heavy system and an inconvenience to customers who must wait for the goods to be “disconnected” from the system and then queue to pay for them ?



INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: Got to have them – but they don’t STOP shoplifting?



In Part 3, the practicalities of unattended dispensing where it IS and where ISN’T a good fit.



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