You may or may not know that our brains are naturally hard-wired to avoid change. As humans, we like to play it safe and stick to what's consistent. And quite often, swimming between the flags, especially when we're practising tried and tested practices works. But when we look closely at how retail operations approach the security of their assets, it's easy to see that a failure to look into the latest technology, or the ways to engage your staff in the LP process can be the start of a slow demise. Dramatic, yes - but true.
Shrinkage, otherwise known as the stuff that goes missing from a stores inventory is a significant cost to a bottom-line. But at the same time, it's also a fantastic opportunity to tighten the screws and unlock a whole new flow of revenue and financial security.
Last year alone, the Australian Retailers Association reported that theft cost the retail sector over 7.5 billion dollars - revenue stolen from the Australian economy, and our own pockets. While we know that theft is, unfortunately, going to be present within any culture, could we be doing better as a country to minimise this number?
Working for and with many retail operations over the years, I've always seen a heavy focus on sales and an often token approach to loss prevention. But if we focused on closing the back door on the stock leaving the store unaccounted for, we'd have more stock to sell, less of our assets stolen and a healthier bottom-line.
So with this in mind, every avenue I can see forward for Aussie retail begins with change. Here's what I mean.
Change is understanding that the technology available now in LP is advanced, and it promotes a customer experience like never before. Example, these Astro-Pod displays.
Change is the understanding that our staff are the most crucial factor in our store's security, not just cogs in the wheel. Example, this article when you're finished.
Change is the understanding that minimising the cost of theft is as important as your sales margins. Example, the awesome clients I'm lucky to work with.
Excuse the cliche here, but I can't help but think of the great Albert Einstein's words on change: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
So in closing, I ask you this. Are you looking for new ways to secure your store's assets, engage your staff and help your bottom-line? Or are you staying still, doing the same things over and over again?
If you're an LP or management professional, I'd love to hear what you think about this article in the comments.
Lorri Dangerfield - Instore Security.
"Lorri has over 25 years of management experience and is now helping businesses get the best results on their Loss Prevention."