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We've seen it all before - the restrictive 'house rules' like meticulously counting every item the customer takes to the change room, or the unnecessarily stern signage that makes people feel like they've stepped into a low-security prison. It's reactive loss prevention, the result of a store that has most likely been walloped by theft.

And trust me, in my travels we come across stores who are losing out big time on stolen stock - while store owners still have the power in these situations, often their income is walked out of the store as they can't be watching 24/7. So where does a store go wrong when it comes to LP and how can they improve? Firstly, they generally don't have the latest tech that will deter theft - this is what we provide at Instore, but not entirely what I'm talking about here, LP is about more than the tech alone.

It's about positive staff/customer engagement. Here's an example. 

Firstly the crim walks into the store, looking shady as usual. You might know them as a 'regular' and start to feel the understandable anxiety that comes with knowing someone is going to steal your merchandise. 

So, instead of everyone going quiet, praying that your passive-aggressive signs deter the offender. Why don't you go and strike up an honest conversation with the person?

Offer help as you would any regular customer, but bring a real enthusiasm to the scenario, positive energy that shows you're interested. While you're offering to help the crim, speaking to them about their day, asking question after question, they'll know they're not invisible. 

They might insist on not requiring help, and so be it, but they'll feel you're confident, switched on and engaged - the store is yours.

This is a clear example of active LP from your staff. An interactive experience for the customer is often the worst-case scenario for any criminal. When stores are silent on this front, the shop becomes anonymous. When your staff put in the energy with the customer or the crim, the store gains a memorable identity - it's the place where help was there for them, and they felt important. 

As a disclaimer here, if you can spot a physical threat from an offender, then it's always best to keep your distance and notify security or the police. 

We've always said that great LP begins with staff who are actively engaged in your process - and a method that's solid, based on transparent procedures and active engagement always wins. Let me know what you think, how do you go about being active with your LP?

And of course, if you'd like to talk about the latest technology available to secure your assets, you can reach me here. EOFY is always a good time to sort this stuff out...

Lorri Dangerfield - Instore Security. 

"Lorri has over 25 years of management experience and is now helping businesses get the best results with their Loss Prevention."
 

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