In the ever-evolving landscape of retail, businesses face an ongoing challenge: theft. Despite implementing additional security measures such as extra guards, security barriers, employee body cams and even the use of dummy products on shelves, the issue of stolen goods continues to plague the industry.

This problem has been exacerbated recently by the effects of a post-pandemic economy now facing a cost-of-living-crisis. As a result, the industry is turning to forward-thinking companies, like Harrison Retail, to innovate POS and display solutions for loss prevention.

The cost-of-living crisis and theft

The cost-of-living crisis has had a profound impact on communities worldwide, pushing some individuals to resort to theft as a means of survival. While this issue remains complex, it underscores the importance for retailers to take proactive measures to protect their assets. By investing in innovative shrinkage-reduction, businesses can mitigate the impact of theft while maintaining a secure and welcoming shopping environment.

Theft in retail is a persistent issue that is costing the retail industry billions each year. Despite retailers’ best efforts to enhance security, determined thieves find innovative ways to exploit vulnerabilities. The cost-of-living crisis has only exacerbated this problem, pushing some individuals to turn to theft as a means to cope with financial hardships. Retailers are now tasked with finding more efficient and effective solutions to protect their inventory and bottom line.

We are seeing more and more retailers introduce additional loss prevention measures such as:

  • extra guards, security barriers and body cams for employees,
  • facial recognition systems to flag known shoplifters,
  • ‘dummy’ packages displayed on shelving to be swapped for the actual product by staff members at checkout,
  • and – as reported by the Daily Mail – a south London Sainsbury’s, once the chain’s biggest supermarket in the country, is set to shut later this year with staff revealing that rising theft factors highly in the decision to close.

We’ve always been used to high value items such as alcohol having security protection; however, we’re now seeing everyday items, baby formula, duvets and suncream, displayed in stores with this extra level of security.

The British Retail Consortium recently reported that:

“incidents of theft have increased by 27% across ten of the largest cities in the UK, with some cities up as much as 68%. The nature of these crimes has changed, with perpetrators becoming bolder, and many retailers reporting increasing links to organised-crime activity.”

The full report can be found here.

Adapt and evolve with anti-theft innovations

As the cost-of-living crisis persists, it is imperative for businesses to adapt and evolve. By embracing innovative solutions, retailers can safeguard their assets, enhance the customer experience and continue to thrive in a challenging retail landscape.

Here at Harrison Retail, we are leading the charge in combating theft by developing cutting-edge point-of-sale and product display solutions designed to limit product accessibility, making theft attempts more difficult and reducing stock shrinkage.

Douglas Cook, our in-house Product Development Manager, states:

We are seeing a dramatic increase in requests for anti-theft and loss prevention solutions across our retail client base. It is clear that the industry is facing a real challenge and looking to the most innovative suppliers who are able to react to this problem effectively and efficiently; which is why we continue to prioritise research and development in anti-theft solutions at Harrison.

Leading the market to new innovation

Our innovation and product design experts are working with large supermarkets and cosmetics stores throughout the UK to innovate new loss prevention systems which are currently being trialled in multiple stores.

Our commitment to revolutionising retail security aims to serve as an example for the industry as a whole, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous future for the retail industry.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your store’s vulnerability to theft and explore how we can develop a tailored solution to reduce your stock shrinkage. Email and one of our team will get back to you.