About ECR

Our Vision: Continue to be ‘thought leaders’ on shrinkage management

Our Goal – Lose Less Sell More: To facilitate and support the European Retailer and Manufacturer industry to collaborate in creating, exploring and learning effective shrinkage control strategies and practices.

The ECR Europe Shrinkage Group is an expert group specifically focused on Shrinkage which forms one of the broader ECR Europe projects. The Group is characterised by its desire to shed light and develop best practice on how, through a deeper understanding of the root causes of loss, in particular, but not exclusively non malicious types of shrinkage, organisations can better affect the impact it has upon customer satisfaction and ultimately retail profitability.

This unique outlook requires a broadening of mind-set amongst those with responsibility for managing loss, one which recognises that the panoply of causes of loss and not just those that rise to the top through tradition, convenience and compartmentalisation. It also requires a deeper understanding of the impact of various types of loss and how these can affect not only the organisation itself but also the shopper, not least through out of stocks and product availability. Finally, it champions the idea that to effectively manage loss responsibility needs to be recognised and prioritised throughout retail businesses – embedded within organisational functions not normally associated with loss prevention.

In line with this, ECR Europe Shrinkage Group’s overarching purpose as a cutting edge loss prevention think tank is focused on:

  • Developing new thinking and ideas on how to address shrinkage in all its forms through undertaking cutting edge research with retailers and manufacturers.
  • Seeking to develop tools and guidance on how the root causes of shrinkage can be better identified and managed.
  • Creating a dynamic communication strategy designed to disseminate the work of the Group.


The ECR Europe Shrinkage Group was established in 1999 to provide European retailers and manufacturers with a forum to explore new ways of addressing the perennial problem of shrinkage.

Since then it has generated a considerable amount of new knowledge and ideas that have been of real benefit to the industry, not least the Loss Prevention Road Map, the Loss Prevention Pyramid and more recently the Loss Prevention Benchmarking Tool.

Throughout this time it has purposefully sought to actively confront traditional approaches to dealing with loss in the retail sector – challenging preconceived ideas about what constitutes ‘loss’ and how the impact of shrinkage should be measured, communicated and controlled.

This has led to the development of an overarching ‘philosophy’ premised upon the idea that operational failures within organisations are ultimately the root cause of most forms of loss and through the development and prioritisation of operational excellence these losses can be significantly reduced.

In addition, the ECR Approach has prioritised the importance of developing collaborative approaches to identifying and remedying operational failures, particularly between retailers and their suppliers. It has also championed a greater focus upon the impact non malicious forms of loss have upon the profitability of the retail sector and how targeting this problem can generate greater and more sustainable savings than more traditional approaches adopted to deal with malicious forms of loss such as theft by customers and staff.


The ECR Europe Shrinkage and On Shelf Availability group has adopted a new model to guide our decision making and our governance structure. This new way of working will ensure our group continually and consistently strives for excellence and remains driven to achieve our aim of becoming the frontrunners in loss prevention thinking and research.

At the core of this new operating model will be a single person responsible for the overall process that delivers our work plan. This includes leadership (but not execution) of research programmes, seminars, communication, member and sponsor coordination, budget management and connecting the group to other organisations around the world. The working title for this role is the Group Strategic Coordinator.

With accountability and responsibility for the overall programme, the chairman will be the final approver and sign off for key decisions as well as acting as the overall leader for the group and it’s activities.

Contributors to the overall programme are the retailer and manufacturer group members and our research grant providers. Our group members contribute by, for example, attending meetings and participating in research projects whilst our research grant providers provide access to resources such as funding, case studies and communication plans, in order to make operational and strategic aspects of the group possible.

Finally, the execution of our research projects, workshops and research reports as well as various other objectives, such as website maintenance and social media updates is the responsibility of our academic research partners and communications experts.

Today, the organisation is as follows:

Chairman: John Fonteijn – Ahold
Group Strategic Coordinator: Colin Peacock
Group Contributors: Albert Heijn, Asda Stores, AS Watson, Bacardi GmbH, Beiersdorf, Bijenkorf, Carrefour, Diageo Brands, Jumbo Supermarkten, L’Oreal, Marks & Spencer, Metro Group, Mondelez International, Ralph Lauren, Tesco Stores, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Wilko
Research Partner Contributors: Checkpoint Systems, Oliver Wyman
Executors: University of Leicester, Eindhoeven University, Checkpoint PR, AIM Offices

Who are ECR Europe

ECR Europe (Efficient Consumer Response Europe) is a joint organisation of National ECR Initiatives and companies from trade and manufacturing in Europe. Its purpose is to promote collaborative processes as fundamental business principle in the consumer goods value chain in Europe to fulfil consumer wishes better, faster and at less cost in a more sustainable way. ECR Europe builds on more than 20 National ECR Initiatives that gather over 1800 leading companies and have issued more than 250 Best Practices Blue Books covering the different areas of ECR strategy (in particular supply chain and demand management) and optimizing other interface topics between manufacturers and retailers.

Visit ECR Europe Homepage