Recently, I was talking to a friend who works for a major department store. He mentioned they were backing off apprehensions and moving to more auditing and increased focus on internal theft.
ROI can be a difficult standard to show here to justify the program. In most cases, the value of the product will not equal the cost of LP Detective's payroll and benefits. In addition, you have additional costs for worker's compensation claims, general liability claims and litigation for non productive stops. Lastly, poor apprehension decisions can impact a company's brand. Videos on YouTube can be posted before the police get there.
Here is the magical unknown to the cost that is hard to quantify. Some studies show that a shoplifter steals from a store and gets caught after 35 times. If you apprehend that shoplifter on the 5th time, have you prevented 30 other incidents of theft? There is some value to this argument, it is just whether your CFO buys into it.
What about civil demand dollars? Yes, every company should participate in this program and use the dollars to help off-set the cost of apprehending shoplifters. "Normally" these civil demand dollars and recovery of product does not equal the cost of payroll etc.
Will diverting the LP Detective's efforts to auditing and internal theft reduce the overall shrink number? Hard to say....that can only be determined with a few year's shortage numbers to evaluate.
Most of the time, retailers than eliminate shoplift apprehensions move back to the program at some time. Why? The word gets out on the street that ABC stores is not apprehending shoplifters and the activity gets out of control. In addition, store management teams feels the company does not care by avoiding the issue. Often, managers get involved in apprehensions which can cause many issues by the untrained. They take theft from their store personal.
Lastly, shoplifting is a form of cancer. If you do nothing about it, it just tends to grow in time.
LPDT, LLC offers the only E-Learning training for Retail Loss Prevention at www.LossPreventionAcademy.com. Check out our awareness posters for shortage and safety at www.LPPosters.com. You can follow us on Twitter under LPACADEMYcom and Facebook under Loss Prevention Academy.