The National Retail Federation’s annual Loss Prevention event was held in Orlando this week, and although the content of the event was focused on loss prevention specifically, solution providers were also spotlighting how their solutions can impact other key areas for retail.
In addition to reducing shrink, sponsors and exhibitors showcased how their retail customers are using their systems to improve other aspects of the business including merchandising, marketing and labor scheduling.
Following is just a selection of solutions exhibited at the recent LP event that can assist in multiple aspects of a retailer’s business:
➢ ADT’s electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems also can be used as traffic counters to help retailers determine sales per customer in the store. Video components can augment this ability by providing visual identification of customer demographics as well as where they are spending time in the store.
➢ Envysion’s digital surveillance system is a software as a service (SAAS) subscription service that provides a minimum of four cameras per store location for approximately $150 per store per month. Envysion provides detailed reports and videotapes helping retailers determine traffic flow and better workforce scheduling.
➢ GE’s Security Retail Solutions division helps retailers like Starbucks, Swarovski and Price Chopper improve security and business processes through video analytics. Beyond people counting, GE’s research and development team is working to bring behavioral analysis to retail through facial recognition technology. By being able to predict customer behavior, retailers will be able to prevent theft and improve sales through better merchandising and labor scheduling.
Breaking historic barriers
It seems intuitive that retailers should be making the most of any solution, but because Loss Prevention as a business unit has not historically been part of the core business, many retailers may not be utilizing their loss prevention systems to their fullest potential – or they could be duplicating systems.
Through no fault of their own, many of the more mature members of loss prevention in retail came from backgrounds such as law enforcement and the military, lacking business expertise and technology knowledge. Today, retailers may want to take another look at their loss prevention team and facilitate the knowledge and communication that will help link them to other key parts of the business, including marketing, merchandising and IT.