Smart solutions at SCO
Criminal activity is at an all-time high in stores across the US and UK. Tasked with managing hybrid stores and an overstretched staff, retailers are facing a constant increase in shoplifting, looting and organised crime. Shop thefts have more than doubled in the UK over the past six years, while in the US shrink accounted for $112.1 billion in losses, up from $93.9 billion in 2021.
With inflation ballooning, the cost of living has been increasing and shoppers everywhere have been feeling the pinch when it comes to making their money count. This increased price of everyday goods is one potential reason why some people might be turning to theft to make ends meet. Organised crime also plays a major part in the retail theft epidemic, with the Association of Convenience Stores finding that most thieves are repeat offenders, suggesting the presence of gang recruiting to carry out a “shopping list” of thefts for resale. In fact, shoplifting now seems an open secret, so much so that social media site TikTok features hundreds of videos sharing tips on how to shoplift, or encouraging “looting challenges”. The hashtag “borrow tips and tricks” has amassed 8.9 billion views to date.
Faced with this rising tide of criminality, retailers are increasingly having to take security into their own hands by equipping staff with body cameras, specialist training and more accurate monitoring systems. Ultimately, the extra vigilance all comes at a hefty cost, with 28% of retailers reporting being forced to close a specific store location, 45% reducing operating hours and 30% altering in-store product selection as a direct result of retail crime, according to the latest NRF figures.
Brands like Sports Direct have been trialling face recognition software to track and monitor repeat offenders, while H&M is looking to replace their security tags with smart sensors that are harder to detach. Lowe’s has also produced an RFID program, Project Unlock, which embeds products with a chip that is set to inoperable and only unlocked when legitimately purchased and scanned. John Lewis, meanwhile, has joined 10 of the UK’s biggest retailers to fund a police operation, Project Pegasus, that will monitor CCTV pictures and use facial recognition technology to get a better understanding of shoplifting operations.
There is no silver bullet solution for this widespread problem. Instead, a combination of robust technology, staff training and business processes can all work together to give retailers peace of mind, shoppers a renewed sense of safety, and to protect frontline staff.
Smart solutions, empowered staff: Fighting the loss prevention crisis is a new white paper from the team at Flooid. Outlining the reasons why retail crime is on the rise and providing use cases on how businesses are combating these criminal attacks, the white paper explores the many ways that Flooid’s expertise and offering can provide an immediate impact for retailers with varied needs.
Read it to discover how Flooid creates:
Flooid’s Empower app enables associates to remotely monitor and respond to self-checkout issues in real-time and from the palm of their hand. Instant alerts allow staff to understand who needs help, meaning customers are no longer left waiting and employees can better catch non-payment activities. Wide-ranging compatibility means Empower can be deployed across self-checkout, cashier operated registers, convertible lanes, kiosks and the new generation of mobile POS devices.
Flooid Insights provides in-depth analytics to keep customers engaged and retailers informed about operational practices, while Flooid’s innovation within the SCO UI improves functionality and keeps transaction flows smooth, meaning customers are less likely to become frustrated and walk away.
AI-driven companies like Edgify are pioneering intelligent intervention software, producing false selection alerts, fraud detection and basket alerts from software-enhanced weighing scales. Flooid has partnered with Edgify as two of the companies taking part in Intel’s Open Retail Initiative, producing proofs of concept in exciting new areas, such as intelligent sensors for product scanning. Combined with Empower, associates have digital tools they need to ensure targeted alerts for suspicious activity.
To learn how Flooid’s solutions can help make your stores safer, more efficient and cost-effective, come and visit us at NRF 2024 – booth #3121.