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Five Strategies for Loss Prevention in Retail

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Retail loss costs UK businesses a staggering £11 billion per year, more than any country in Europe. Even more than the GDP of Monaco, and over 20 times the net worth of the Queen of England. 

There are solutions available, such as our Loss Prevention offering which helps reduce this lumbering figure, our platform utilises bleeding edge innovative technology such as AI and machine learning to prevent theft and loss in retail.  

Below are some strategies we advise implementing to combat shrinkage in retail: 

Active Monitoring 

The most effective solution to reducing loss is having an accurate picture of the physical situation. By this we mean spotting where shrinkage is taking place, be this through theft, damage, fraud or admin error. Retail is a fast-moving landscape where every minute, the parameters of business change. Active monitoring is receiving real-time updates on stock and loss through video intelligence.  Our solution uses state-of-the-art IP Cameras to track specific geo-locations to identify loss in real time, updating the retailer in seconds. 

Loss Prediction 

Building on active monitoring, the next step up would be to predict solutions to avoid the loss that is now clearly visible and understandable. With this insight in place, the AI in our solution can predict when and where loss might take place. It uses machine learning to study the data and identify trends from the behaviour manifested by thieves committing loss in the store. 

Preventative Measures 

With AI predicting the loss accurately, the retailer is also able to prevent it from occurring. The insight it delivers will allow them to understand exactly what measures should be implemented to correct the situation, such as moving high-value stock next to the checkouts, or placing a security desk in areas with low traffic, or placing highly visible signs at the entrance denoting store policies on shoplifting. These measures are more effective when acting on data driven insight as they are a targeted response to loss, rather than a sweeping generalisation at where it could happen.  

Intelligent Inventory Management 

Having an accurate picture of the physical store is important, it’s also key to manage stock levels down to the specific product. Doing this eliminates the errors that are regularly found during stock takes, which are a costly and ineffective method of stock keeping. It also eliminates theft that occurs through internal sources, from staff that manipulate the stock take set-up for their own gain. Our solution not only tracks loss through theft, it is trained on individual items and can update stock lists with loss in real-time. This allows retailers to keep on top of stock by ensuring products are available to those who wish to purchase, avoiding lost revenue in missed transactions. 

Reactive Assets 

Having loss prevention strategies in place is only a solution to half a problem. To be able to effectively lower the £11 billion pound lost yearly, retailers must stop theft from happening. Self-scanners are key to providing a seamless shopping experience to guests, however they also facilitate theft, almost £3 billion yearly. Our solution has the ability to reduce theft through self-scanners immediately. It uses high-resolution cameras built into the assets to identify when products aren’t scanned and placed directly into the bagging area. When this is detected, it automatically locks down the checkout and requests human intervention, potentially mitigating the situation. 

In order to reduce the deficit brought on by loss, retailers must employ a comprehensive solution that will tackle each and every facet of loss. To find out more about how we could provide this service, get in touch with our team. 

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Elliot Morris
Elliot Morris

Further Reading

Convenience Stores; The Inconvenient Truth of Retail Shrinkage
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Convenience Stores; The Inconvenient Truth of Retail

Retail shrinkage is the destruction of profit margins through the loss of stock. Theft accounts for over £5.5 billion per year. This is hard for national chains to endure, but even harder for small convenience stores to cope with.

Retail Crime
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Retail Shrinkage – Losses Caused by Crime

The category presented in the table focuses on shoplifting and organised retail crime, with external theft accounting for 34.6% of total retail shrinkage.  With retailers

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At the Edge of The Retail Industry

IoT has already proven itself extremely beneficial in the retail sector across multiple applications from delivering efficiency in energy consumption to monitoring stock levels in real-time.

Case Study: Scaling with a Top Four UK Retailer

The Hark Platform revolutionised efficiency for a top 4 UK retailer. £0.5 million saved in 3 months. 600 stores nationwide. 368 million daily readings. 24,000 assets monitored.

Find out more about the Hark Platform...

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