Loss prevention as an activity has been around since retail stores where first created. Infact the advancement of point of sale devices was driven by the need to make staff accountable for their actions – read our earlier historical post.
Many retailers are large enough to dedicate resource to the good fight of reducing their losses. Typically this is done using a combination of dedicated staff and cctv. At larger stores this is staff and CCTV. In smaller stores just CCTV.
Using a man-power effort like this alone is a blunt and costly method. Yes, it is very visual and apparent and results in deterrent suppression of incidents. But staff soon understand the gaps and limited visibility.
Also, there is the occasional problem of ‘who polices the police’ where a loss prevention member of staff will commit fraud. An example of this is a recent case in the US, where a Walmart loss prevention office after three months of theft was finally discovered.
With rapid advancement in data analytics, an holistic view can be developed of the complete business giving no place for fraud to hide. Investigations can be targeted and swift. With the recent switch from poor analogue CCTV systems to crystal clear IPCAM’s, CCTV has changed from an insurance device to a proactive tool.