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Q&A: Phil Smith, Director of Loss Prevention at Extenda Retail

Phil has over 25 years of experience in the retail industry, working for brands such as Virgin and Disney heading up the Risk and Loss Prevention… View Article


Q&A: Phil Smith, Director of Loss Prevention at Extenda Retail

Phil has over 25 years of experience in the retail industry, working for brands such as Virgin and Disney heading up the Risk and Loss Prevention function for direct-to-consumer, including teams from Loss Prevention, e-commerce fraud, Health/Safety, and Business Risk and Analysis.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I have over 25 years of experience within the retail industry, working for international brands such as Virgin and The Walt Disney Company heading up the Risk and Loss Prevention function for direct-to-consumer Retail, including leading teams from Loss Prevention, e-commerce fraud, Health/Safety, and Business Risk and Analysis across Europe, Middle East and Africa. I completed my post-graduate in Security and Risk Management in 2007 and have previously chaired and served on numerous industry boards tackling shared Risk and Loss issues the Retail industry faces.

What does your company do? / What is your USP?

Extenda Retail inspires retailers to go further through frictionless, game-changing software, which helps them grow their business and optimize staff and customer experience. Our extensive portfolio of solutions includes Hii Retail (Cloud Retail Software), POS & Checkout, WMS, Customer Intelligence & Loyalty, and Pharmacy Software.

In 2023, Extenda Retail launched a new loss prevention engine to tackle self-service retail challenges and give retailers a competitive edge. This best-of-breed solution utilizes the latest machine learning (ML) technology to identify suspicious behavior, prevent loss and reduce shrinkage, and at the same time increase customer loyalty.

What’s special about the platform and your approach?

Extenda Retail has been working with industry changemakers for 40+ years and has integrated this R&D into solutions that truly make a difference to customer experience, to employees and to the bottom line. The loss prevention engine is unmatched in the industry because it’s POS-agnostic (so there’s no new hardware costs involved) and it draws on dynamic, real-time data to calculate theft probabilities.

What advantage does it add?

Our customers have realized incredible results in as little as 3 weeks. These range from a reduction in costs and catching significantly more fraud, through to improving employee morale and saving them time on the shop floor. Not to mention happier customers as they’re queuing less and avoiding unnecessary checks.

How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?

The implementation timeline varies based on the scale and complexity of a retailer’s operations. Typically, we aim for a seamless rollout within 3 months, but many of our implementations have been shorter. This ensures minimal disruption to the day-to-day running of stores.

Our support extends throughout the entire engagement, from the pilot phase to the full rollout. Customers have dedicated support teams to address any queries, provide technical assistance, and ensure a successful implementation. Our team collaborates closely with our customers to plan the rollout, considering operational factors and potential challenges. We employ best practices for change management, ensuring minimal disruption and a positive impact on loss prevention.

Success to us means no downtime, seamless integration into existing architecture and a high user adoption with simple onboarding.

How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?

We work with over 50 tier 1-2 retail customers, with software rolled out in 38 countries. Our products are used to level up the customer experience on 300,000 checkouts, SCOs and mobile self-scan devices worldwide (yep, that’s billions of transactions a year!) all of which we’re constantly learning from.

Are there other companies you partner with?

We have a rich ecosystem of global partners. They offer technologies and services that perfectly complement our offering. Our commitment to system openness means that our clients can work with partners of their own choice. You can find out more about our partners on our website.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2024 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2024?

Not surprisingly, I’m going to mention shrink. Given the macroeconomic climate and the mass adoption of self-serve technologies (like Scan & Go and self-checkouts), theft, fraud and miscans are on the rise. And this isn’t just in the UK, it’s a trend we’ve seen across Europe.

There’s a lot of talk of self-service being ‘shrinkage hotspots’ but that’s not the case. It’s just that some retailers have implemented these technologies without a loss prevention solution in place, which puts profit at risk and hinders the customer experience.

How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?

IBM recently reported that 71% of shoppers prefer to use SCOs. I believe the answer to the shrinkage issue isn’t to eliminate self-checkouts, but turn them into a competitive advantage with the help of SSLP technology.

Extenda Retail is pushing the boundaries of retail loss prevention. Our loss detection engine leverages the latest AI technology that learns from every shopper’s journey. The SSLP solution boosts the accuracy of basket audits and rescans, and can integrate with other vital systems such as surveillance cameras.

It’s never been more important for retailers to move with the times and implement a solid loss prevention strategy that can pivot to meet marketplace challenges. If any readers would like to discuss what SSLP can do for their business, I encourage them to reach out!

What is on the horizon for you as a company?

As a company, our horizon is focused on expanding our reach and impact in the realm of retail loss prevention. We are dedicated to assisting more retailers in combating losses with utmost ease, efficiency, and supporting the friction free journey for their customers. Our goal is to provide innovative solutions that deliver a return on investment from retailers, streamlining the process and enhancing overall effectiveness. We envision a future where retail loss prevention is not only more accessible but also seamlessly integrated into existing operations, safeguarding businesses and fostering a more secure retail environment.

To find out how Extenda Retail can help your business visit them online here or connect here.



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