In this research, commissioned by RILA, the aim was to understand how retail merchants/buyers thought about shrinkage, the role they believed they could play in reducing it and their perception of the Loss Prevention teams in charge of reducing shrinkage.
The findings were stark: most buyers did not consider how shrinkage affected their categories, were not measured on shrinkage nor did the majority see the relevance of their role in reducing loss. Their perception of the Loss Prevention team was that their main job was to prevent sales: they were reagrded as the 'Sales Prevention' team! Most buyers had not received regular training and education on shrinkage, nor the role they could play to reduce it.
However, there were some organisations where the loss prevention team had played a more proactive role in engaging the buyers, and the case studies presented in this research describe their results.
For the industry as a whole, the report points to the opportunity for organisations to embrace a new metric: inventory record accuracy as a measure of performance, to invest in education and training, and to kick start joint projects.
An article based upon this research has been published in Loss Prevention magazine.