According to a National Retail Security Survey in 2016, loss of inventory in stores caused by shoplifting and employee theft amounted to almost $48.9 billion. The inventory shrinkage or missing inventory experienced by the U.S. retail industry was mostly caused by shoplifting from outside customers (36.5%) followed closely by theft by dishonest employees (30%). This percentage demonstrates that employee theft is quickly becoming an alarming threat to a store’s profitability and should be given equal if not more importance than shoplifting. With the losses racking up to billions of dollars in gross profit, retailers have addressed these concerns by investing in loss prevention technology, while also exploring other solutions to diminish losses from theft.
To curb the occurrence of criminal activities related to retail loss, a business can hire a private investigator to probe how theft is being executed in order to successfully prevent any future instances. The goal of private investigators in this circumstance is to recover stolen inventory and facilitate prosecution of perpetrators with due process.
Here are 5 ways how an investigative and security consultancy firm can prevent future loss for your business:
- Private Investigators can go undercover to catch shoplifters in the act. A skilled investigator knows how to differentiate between legitimate customers and shoplifters while keeping a low profile. An experienced investigator will have studied the Modus Operandi of shoplifters and can spot these sneaky customers a mile away based on observations, interactions, and telltale signs.
- Loss prevention investigators will evaluate your security surveillance systems, make recommendations on what system will work best for your business as well as install and monitor these systems. Most security cameras are obvious but others can be discreetly installed, especially those that monitor employee movements. It’s part of the investigative and security consultancy firm’s job to identify prime locations where security cameras can be maximized to work effectively. In fact, much of a private investigators work is to watch camera feeds and security footage. They gather all the information and thoroughly go over the video to determine patterns and types of suspicious behavior exhibited by employees and customers in certain areas of the store across different branches if applicable.
- Private investigators will monitor security technology such as Radio-Frequency ID tags that are fastened to products and items of clothing. These tags will activate signals once an item is taken though the perimeter sensor. It is the responsibility of investigators to discover the ways that these tags can be tampered with or foiled and come up with solutions to ensure that these security measures will not be easily removed.
- In the case of shoplifting and employee theft, confrontation and physical violence can be a possibility. When a perpetrator is caught they will either attempt to fight or escape so basic martial arts skills are important. A store or establishment needs to have someone trained to restrain or take down shoplifters without harming other customers or employees.
- Another role of the private investigator, especially with employee theft, is to access the store systems in order to investigate internal sales records. Most of the time an employee doing an inside job will come up with elaborate schemes that they can easily get away with such as; giving away special employee discounts, changing inventory labels, slipping stock into their personal belongings among other strategies. The private investigator will work closely with the company’s records department such as IT, internal audit or accounting in order to discover patterns or discrepancies in the inventory, stock, sales figures and more. A lot of paperwork is required when it comes to investigating inventory losses and shrinkage.
Loss prevention in the retail industry involves serious investigative work. For your workplace surveillance and investigation needs, Forletta Investigative & Security Consultants has a team of highly-skilled experts that will assist you with finding solutions for your business in a discreet and professional way while respecting employees’ privacy rights as well as federal and state laws. We will help you manage your workplace and avoid any potential lawsuits through properly conducted investigations as well as other workplace surveillance services such as Threat and Risk Assessments where risks are identified and preparation plans such as warning systems and evacuation procedures to counter these vulnerabilities are created.
Next, we train the personnel on how to implement plans of action and coordinate with law enforcement for quick response to threats. Once all security and surveillance systems are in place, our investigators will re-evaluate for maximum effectiveness. Also offered by our Investigative and Security Team is FCRA Compliance Consulting where our team will decrease liability by teaching employers how the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can affect them and what they need to do to stay compliant. Other services dealing with workplace and in-house business investigations include: Background Checks/Investigations, Intellectual Property Protection, Surveillance/GPS Tracking/Counter Surveillance, Witness Interviews & Locates, Due Diligence, Polygraph Examinations and Handwriting Analysis.
Our experienced investigators will provide you with comprehensive reports regarding any misdemeanours and wrongdoings being committed within your store or retail establishment.
Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-877-874-9394 and find out how we can help you turn your business problems around.