Top 5 Retail Loss Prevention Trends in 2020

February 3, 2020
Checkr Editor

For the last decade the retail industry has been in a constant state of change driven by technology, new competitors, and the digitally empowered consumer.

In 2020, supply chain service levels are measured in hours rather than days. Consumers can now return online orders to stores, meanwhile, retailers have the ability to source and hire new employees through an app on a mobile device. This technology driven transformation also extends to retail loss prevention.

Today’s modern retailer needs to blend loss prevention with cyber security to decrease fraudulent digital transactions, establish risk management procedures for short term 3rd party contractors, train employees on safety and security procedures, and stay up to date on new and changing legislation. To help retailers make sense of all these changes, we’ve compiled five retail loss prevention trends:

  1. Safeguard the Retail Brand – In 2020 the role of Loss Prevention and Security is not simply to watch over assets and people but to safeguard the retail brand. The BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands Ranking reported the world’s most valuable retail brands are worth $339 billion more this year than last, a total of $1.4 trillion. Protecting the brand starts by ensuring the right employees are hired for the right positions with a proper screening process to ensure an optimal customer experience.   
  2. Ensure a Safe Shopping Experience – From limiting in store accidents and injuries to deescalating altercations between consumers or employees to minimizing organized retail crime (ORC), there are dozens of safety and security risks to assess and mitigate within the retail store environment. According to Amtrust’s 2019 Retail Risk Report, the most common injury types with the highest payouts are falls from ladders & scaffolding, repetitive motion, and motorized vehicle collisions. Safety starts with customer facing employees. Loss Prevention is charged with ensuring employees, 3rd party contractors, and gig workers are background screened to ensure a safe workplace and shopping experience.  
  3. Scale Seasonal Hiring With Compliance – Seasonality is a critical component of most retail businesses. The sheer volume of hiring can reach 100,000+ seasonal hires at large retailers, and when hiring at volume in the field a retailer can inadvertently open themselves up to hiring related risk and compliance violations. This is particularly true with FCRA & EEOC laws attached to the hiring and screening process. In 2020 retailers & loss prevention professionals should not have to choose between scale and compliance. 
  4. De-Risk the Last Mile of Delivery – The last mile of delivery is the final chance for a retailer to impress a consumer during the purchase process and create a positive impression of the retail brand. This is true whether a retailer outsources last mile of delivery to a 3rd party logistics provider or if the retailer insources the last mile of delivery. To de-risk the last mile of delivery retailers should ensure employees, contractors, & partners are properly screened pre-hire for criminal backgrounds and motor vehicle records, provide continous monitoring post hire to mitigate risk over time, and perform identity verification for any employee, contractor, or partner entering a customer’s home.  
  5. Optimize Programs with Analytics – In retail, actionable insights based upon trustworthy data are gold.  Most retailers are thinly staffed, and according to the NRF Security Survey, “the average LP team has 45.9 employees per $1 billion in sales.” Leveraging analytics can help loss loss prevention teams achieve scale in the background screening process by accurately providing a forecast for when a background screen will return limiting the number of calls fielded from candidates wondering when their background check will return.  

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