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INDUSTRY FOCUS

Active Deterrent for retail

Every day 115 shop workers are assaulted in the UK. With physical attacks and threats against shop workers at unprecedented levels, the British Retail Consortium states that the retail industry now spends over £1bn every year on crime control, and the cost is rising.

That shocking figure, together with staff reductions, political uncertainty and online sales further fuelling shrinking bricks and mortar sales, perhaps suggesting the idea of increasing your LP infrastructure may seem counter intuitive, but there is more at stake than simply loss reduction.

It’s clear that traditional LP systems, EAS and CCTV alone aren’t now viable as the sole way to reduce losses.  The deterrent value alone in these systems is no longer enough, and staff no longer apprehend suspected shoplifters, as the risks of attack become greater. Less staff on the shop floor means staff thinly stretched, carrying out other tasks and so they are unable to monitor the shop floor and as with everything else, the modus operandi of the professional shoplifter has changed to keep pace with new technology.

So, what exactly is Active Deterrent?

The conception, rather than focusing on a specific system to supply the solution, works on three principle criteria in order to have maximum benefit. The potential offender must be able to see the device, quickly understand they are being monitored and finally fear the device as something that materially increases their risk of apprehension.

See it.

Get it.

Fear it.

Several forward thing manufacturers have pioneered this new AD technology. Intrepid partners, US smart response innovators Indyme and German smart shelf technology leader IMCo, utilise IoT sensors, coupled to a range of active local devices to provide real-time monitoring capable of detecting and alerting suspicious behaviour to staff, well before it turns into an actual theft. Innate intelligence allows for fine tuning to a specific environment, product or type of retail. There are also other benefits: improved customer service, reduced attack risk for staff, less out-of-stocks and reliable, real-time sales data. 

As a proven deterrent, there are plenty of figures to back up the case for Active Deterrent being the LP approach of choice for the future. Manufacturers are now investing in this technology at supply level; in Germany, several global cosmetics companies are now initiating active deterrent sensors into their POS, reducing shop floor losses by as much as 88%, with an impressive sales increase of 14% over the last 12 month period. The main gains of the smart system being less out-of-stocks, positive feedback from staff and customers and an impressive ROI of between 8 weeks and 6 months, depending on location.

In Australia, a major grocery chain instigating AD for razor blade displays has seen losses fall by 74% and sales increase from between 8 – 25%. And there are a plenty of additional benefits – easier and faster stock replenishment, time saving, shopper friendly removal, less broken packaging and an ROI of between 3 and 6 months.

Intrepid has just completed extensive trials with the two largest supermarket chains in the UK, implementing systems from both tech companies, with bespoke solutions to custom fit each retailer, with spectacular results; so impressive in fact, that Intrepid is now undertaking to roll out Active Deterrent for both companies.

Changing the mindset of retail to accept this approach, even if focused on higher risk merchandise, has its challenges. It’s well known that live merchandise sells - putting any sort of barrier between your customer and the item reduces sales. Active Deterrent protects the product, averts the risk of violent attacks on staff, enhances your existing LP systems, improves customer service, provides the right conditions for higher sales conversion rates and provides a happier, safer work environment, making it a win-win approach to LP from all angles.

And the proof of concept? It’s already a proven approach to loss prevention. In the USA, Indyme’s 30,000 installations have a proven track record of substantial loss reduction, with an average shrink reduction of between 30 and 60 per cent across a wide range of categories, increased sales and customer satisfaction. Active deterrent for retail? It’s the future proof approach to LP.

Intrepid has exclusive UK partnerships with Indyme Smart Response and IMCo

Article submitted by Noel Verbruggen, CEO and Founder of Intrepid.

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