Author Topic: A bit about retail...  (Read 3413 times)

Offline November Foxtrot

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A bit about retail...
« on: December 27, 2011, 10:51:32 PM »
  Most folks don't know much about large scale retailers or how they operate but I'm not sure if any of this info could be useful so here it goes anyways.... 

First, a bit about me and my field. I am a loss prevention/asset protection management professional in the retail industry. I am approaching my 6th year in this field and I'm currently in charge of the following things in 9 big box home improvement stores: 
Safety
Workers Compensation/ General Liability claims.
Environmental and Hazmat
Operations and Expense management.
Loss Prevention,internal and external theft, fraud, interrogations, surveillance,  detention/ apprehension and under cover operations.
Crisis/disaster response and mitigation , physical security, alarm systems,  cctv and just about anything else that comes my way. I am open to any questions about retail or any of the above topics if anyone is interested.  My way of giving back I suppose as I am not an expert in anything else...

Offline archer

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 11:03:08 PM »
have any opinions why some stores/chains feel they can search your purchases on the way out? this irritates the hell out of me and i refuse to shop at stores that do that.

Offline Truik

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 11:05:27 PM »
What type of simple home CCTV setup, backup and install tips do you have for people trying to improve the security of their home?

Thanks for letting us pick your brain.


Offline November Foxtrot

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 11:56:35 PM »
have any opinions why some stores/chains feel they can search your purchases on the way out? this irritates the hell out of me and i refuse to shop at stores that do that.

Stores that do that sort of thing are usually lacking a good loss prevention system or systems meaning that they have obvious problems with theft but aren't approaching the issues from the right perspective.  One of the biggest lessons I teach my teams focuses on allowing good customer service to take priority over the dirtbag element.  I can think of one VERY large retailer that is the absolute worst at this. We'll call in Ginormous Mart for now...this retailer has allowed it's LP teams to practice outside of ethics on far too many occassions. I know first hand of a recent occurence where a 6'8" 320lb LP agent at Ginormous Mart put a very petite 16 yr old girl in a choke hold for stealing a tube of eyeliner; she is now brain dead and it turns out she was innocent. This is just one of many many instances where agents at this company have maimed or killed individuals during apprehensions. So now they seem to hire hack agents and the elderly to do receipt checks at the exits. It's basically stapling shut a papercut IMHO.  So they lump the innocent in with the dirtbags and treat everyone like a criminal.  Try this the next time you venture into Ginormous Mart. Pay for your goods and then just stand in the high traffic area just past the checkouts and focus your attention on the "greeter". If he or she isnt verifying receipts for EVERY person leaving the place but then asks you when you leave,  you have a good shot at winning a defamation/discrimination and punitive case.  I'm not saying to run out and lawyer up but it will show you how companies like that cannibalize their customers in a piss poor effort to stop the bleeding. I don't shop at those places either but I will pop in and walk around for an hour or so to see if I can pick out their under cover agents. It helps me hone my skills.  If you want to try it out, go in on the first Friday of the month in the evening (2000-2100). Take a sporadic path to the electronics department and start quickly selecting some blue rays and CDs or some other small expensive stuff.  Keep the items in the palm of your hand then briskly walk a path around the inner perimeter of the store making your way to the checkouts. Find an closed  checkout lane then walk to where the cashier would normally be standing. Set the items down and quickly turn around. Chances are you will see at least one set of startled eyes turn away "casually". It can be entertaining for you and educational for the agent.  Try it out sometime but don't forget to put the items down before you pass the checkout. 

Offline November Foxtrot

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 12:14:36 AM »
What type of simple home CCTV setup, backup and install tips do you have for people trying to improve the security of their home?

Thanks for letting us pick your brain.

You can pick up some decent dvr based systems for a reasonable price. I'm partial to motion sensitive versions. These only record when motion is detected and can be calibrated for sensitivity based on area and target size.  Of course there are options for accessing live and recorded footage via mobile phones and laptops but that can get pricey. I have a motion system that's linked with a whole house alarm and dvr. The dvr is secured in a safe and all of cameras are disguised to look like light fixtures etc.  As far a back ups go, you can buy software that allows you to make your own data vault of sorts where all of the recorded footage is stored on a separate external hard drive either somewhere in your home or attached to a pc at your BOL or families house etc. I don't trust the online backup companies or services (tin hat). Let me know what your needs are and I'll see what I can dig up from some supplier friends of mine if you're interested. 

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 12:39:35 AM »
Yeah, I got that treatment at Ginormous Mart some years ago over roughly $300.00 worth of groceries.  The lady checked every single item.  When she was finished, I smiled and made my way to customer service.  When asked how they could help, I returned everything.  When asked why, I said, "Well, considering I just spent half an hour at the door with your greeter checking my entire order against my receipt, I figured y'all needed the stuff worse than I do."  I got my money, walked out, and drove 20 miles to the nearest Kroger that is across the state line to buy my groceries again.  I have never been back.  Incidentally, I no longer shop at Kroger either.  One of my family members had an incident with one of the off duty cops they use for security.  Let's just say if the big box stores really want to use thugs for security, I'll spend my money elsewhere...even if it costs me more.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 03:39:15 AM »
 I had the bagged purchase search and check happen at Ginourmous Mart once, and just like OMS, I returned my purchase. The same thing happened at J-Mart when I was pushing out a cart full of bagged (and stapled) layaway items. They checked every single item against my layaway receipt. I've since refused to shop at either. I refused to be searched and checked just because X out of XX customers are thieves. Once at House Depot, I spied the obvious loss prevention agent peering around corners watching me fill my cart. I smiled and walked down the isle he was pretending to shop in; walked up to him and asked if he wanted to check my pockets for the miter saw I was trying to walk out with. He was not amused.  ;D

 25 years ago, I did loss prevention at a large (at the time) mall store (Woolworths) on weekends I wasn't running their gun counter. What always amazed me was WHAT people were stealing. At that point in time, the two most stolen things were candy and makeup.


 Quick somewhat funny story from those days.....I caught a teenage kid stealing cassettes and called the local police. He was detained and had his parents called. I got a visit some 10 minutes later from the cop that I had dealt with....turns out they reached this kids father at his work....as a Highway Patrolman. I never did see that kid again.  ;D ;D

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: A bit about retail...
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 10:00:15 AM »
Thanks, noface81 -- good topic.

For lack of a better idea I'm moving this to the Home And Business Security board, since it looks like that will be the main topic of discussion.