Small Retail Profitability Strains

Bob Gamble
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Retail used to be so simple- open a store, source products, sell products, and buy more products. Now, following a time of unprecedented change in commerce, retailers exist in an environment where the margins are narrow and constantly under pressure from rising costs and lower pricing power. When you factor in retail shrink—the job is difficult indeed.

There is no question that retail shrink seriously strains profitability. Retail shrink is multifaceted and addressing the problem is complex, but one of the most effective ways is to think about security as a holistic approach to operations rather than just a tool to catch criminals. Here are a few important points to consider as you protect profitability.

  • Use security technologies to maintain operational execution standards. When people and processes are working well, profitability increases. When everyone is working optimally, any process that isn’t will stand out. Maintaining execution standards will also help employees catch criminal practices such as shoplifting and refrain from them themselves.
  • Follow the money. It is, of course, important to have a comprehensive video surveillance system and to cover POS, but it is also important to balance out, and budget for buying cycles.
  • Using access control can help protect your products, but video analytics can tell you what products are moving and which are not. Both of those aspects are critical in protecting profitability.
  • Video surveillance technologies are a huge crime deterrent and help stabilize loss. You can also use the technology to ensure on-shelf availability or to change displays, or product placement in the moment, rather than wait to figure out the reasons for poor or underperformance.
  • Increased oversight is always an advantage, but even more so when you have increased inventory for seasonal sales. Increased inventory is critical to seasonal sales but without increased oversight, the inventory can be very easily lost to shoplifting.
  • Video analytics can tell you a lot about what products are capturing attention. Analytics may also reveal why certain products are being stolen as opposed to others, such as not enough employee oversight in a particular area.
  • Another advantage of video surveillance is having the ability to evaluate the store in relation to patterns of theft and make adjustments to design and layout.
  • Security technologies are also useful in managing inventory, both on-shelf and in the backend or warehouse. This can lead to tighter inventory and avoid insufficient stock or dead inventory.

Security Instrument understands the needs of retailers and knows that security technologies are for far more than protection. They are instruments of success.