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1Retailers Eye Loss Prevention Expertise

Retailers Eye Loss Prevention ExpertiseBy Leah Gabriel Nurik

2No Title

Challenging economic times have retailers looking to tighten up operations to reduce costs. A recent study by analyst firm Retail Systems Research (RSR) found retailers are looking to invest in technologies that strengthen Loss Prevention (LP) strategies and improve profitability by reducing the loss of stolen goods and cash. Channel Insider takes a closer look at the survey results and what technologies VARs can add to help retailers meet their goals.

3Sources of Shrink

The survey of 83 multi-national retailers, sponsored in part by ADT and Sensormatic Retail Solutions, found that retailers indentified their top three sources of shrink as employee theft of merchandise, shoplifting and employee theft of cash.

4Tough Times Spurs More Theft

Over the past year, 44% of retailers experienced a rise in theft, most likely fueled by challenging economic times. Those retailers that ranked Loss Prevention (LP) high on their list of priorities performed better than those that did not, with their sales growth outpacing the 3% retail industry average.

5Move it on Up

78% of top retail performers reported they moved LP up the priority list versus 48% of underperforming retailers.

6Top Tech Solutions for LP

Successful LP strategies require implementation of critical technologies that span the gamut from RFID to BPO. Among the top technologies identified as advancing LP efforts, 63% of survey respondents cited better business intelligence to analyze all their data; 40% listed more accurate inventory tracking to identify the items being stolen; and 39% cited more creative uses of existing technologies.

7LP Roadblocks

So, what roadblocks will a VAR encounter when selling LP-focused solutions to retailers? 86% of respondents said they are challenged for capital41% suffer from a lack of staff to review LP and audit data (compared to 29% in 2008)36% report existing inventory systems are “extremely” inaccurate and they are unable to quantify areas of loss.

8Cash Vulnerable

One of the largest sources of loss is from within. The report shows employee theft of cash has increased from 32% to 45% of total losses. Most likely, the rise in employee theft is related to economic conditions, and retailers look for more advanced business intelligence solutions, rather than additional staff, to analyze data and results.

9VAR Opportunities

Resellers like Dimension Data and Agilysis as well as a variety of resellers of POS systems are taking advantage of retail’s focus on loss prevention. VARs that can show retail expertise and offer advanced networking and infrastructure, inventory tracking, retail analytics and business process optimization stand to gain and continue to grow their retail practices in these challenging economic conditions.