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Retail Loss Prevention Forum - How collaboration is the new buzzword

Good customer service is good loss prevention as store managers are out on the floor not only selling, but protecting their stock.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail Loss Prevention Forum - How collaboration is the new buzzword

Good customer service is good loss prevention as store managers are out on the floor not only selling, but protecting their stock.

This was one of the key points to come out of The Retail Bulletin’s Loss Prevention Forum at Reigate Hill Golf Course on Tuesday which attracted major retailers including Brantano Footwear, Jessops, Merlin Entertainment, Peacocks, Pret a Manger, River Island, Spar and Wickes.

Sponsored by specialist retail solutions provider Torex, the theme of the round table lunch discussion was “raising the profile” and focussed upon how loss prevention managers increasingly worked with other departments including operations, legal, HR, finance and marketing to trouble-shoot issues within the retail environment.

How loss prevention or profit protection was perceived within the business depended upon the dominant culture of the organisation, but it was often seen as the last chance saloon for problem solving as many departments incorporated other functions including buying and merchandising, operations, risk, health and safety and even licensing within the LP remit.

“Collaboration is seen as the new buzzword as loss prevention teams are working closer with other departments and increasingly competitor loss prevention heads to share data and ideas that will reduce the UK’s £4 billion pound shrink issue,” said Stuart Dean Product Manager, Torex.

“Loss prevention has redefined its role and aligned itself with operations so that it is no longer seen as a function that concentrates solely upon preventing loss at the expense of sales, but as a creative department that problem-solves and maximises the potential to achieve both.”
The consensus around the table was that there was generally a more positive perception of the LP role which was no longer seen as compliance driven ‘Check list Charlies’ but as collaborative partners seeking common solutions to everyday problems.

Examples included marketing, operations, buying, HR and LP sitting down to solve complex issues including technology requirements and the protection of people and products.

“It is increasingly seen that Loss Prevention is trusted to solve common problems and is probably the one department that interacts with all of the others in a positive ‘can-do’ way because it fundamentally understands people and how to get the best out of them.

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