How to Eliminate Shrink This Holiday Season

Like other retailers, grocers and supermarkets find the holidays to be one of the most prosperous seasons of the year. But with more store traffic comes greater pressure to protect store assets and prevent loss.

Along with more sales, the holidays also bring a dramatic increase in property crimes and theft including shoplifting. Larger U.S. cities have reported a shocking 45 percent increase in these crimes during the holidays.

While much has been said about asset protection and loss prevention issues affecting the broader retail industry during the holidays, grocers and supermarkets face a number of unique problems that receive far less attention.

The following are some of our top solutions featured in our eBook The Top 5 Asset Protection and Loss Prevention Problems Faced by Supermarkets During the Holiday Season:

Consider using discount shelves which have been shown to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) examining why nearly half of America’s food supply is ending up in landfills cited discount shelves as a viable solution to preventing throw-aways as a result of over-orders.

Donate more food.

Food donation has become a large part of the modern retail and grocery world and offers supermarkets an opportunity to get involved with local charitable organizations during the busy holiday season. But despite the opportunity, 10 percent of the 133 billion pounds of wasted food produced each year is lost at grocery stores, restaurants, and other vendors.

Eliminate overfilled displays and planogram divergence.

As it turns out, the “pile em’ high, watch em’ fly” philosophy to product displays doesn’t seem to ring true as revealed in a study conducted by a 550-store grocery chain. Following a thorough analysis of freshness, shrink, and customer purchases in all of its perishables departments in 2008, Stop and Shop/Giant Landover saved an estimated $100 million a year by cutting back on overfilling.

Know which items are stolen the most.

Preventing theft under the added stresses of the holiday season may require you to prioritize your loss prevention measures to the areas or products stolen most frequently.

Generally speaking, higher priced items are the largest targets for theft. For grocers, meat and seafood typically tops the list. However, it’s well worth it to invest the effort in uncovering which particular products are leaving your store without being paid for most often. With these insights in hand, you can adjust surveillance, reposition displays, or take other actions to prevent opportunities for shoplifting based on high-target items.

Increase floor presence.
Putting more staff on the floor is an obvious theft deterrent, but the idea of “presence” goes beyond this. By simply greeting each customer at the door and offering assistance during their visit sends a powerful signal to shoppers that their activities are being monitored.
In-store theft is very often a crime of opportunity so any degree of vigilance on the staff’s part can make that opportunity seem far less appealing to would-be shoplifters.

Use tech tools to detect counterfeit cash.

In addition to the employee training measures mentioned earlier, counterfeit detection machines can augment human detection by quickly scanning notes and notifying staff of any fake bills. These tech solutions are particularly useful given the fact that counterfeiters have gotten good at producing currencies that closely resemble original notes.