Tag Archives: Retail Security

BSIA unveils date for inaugural Liverpool Crime Prevention Exhibition and Conference

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the date for the first Liverpool Crime Prevention Exhibition and Conference. The event will be held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday 25 May.

This free-to-attend gathering will offer security companies an opportunity to showcase their products and allow delegates to view the latest security services as well as listen to engaging seminar presentations delivered by experts in the field.

Organised by the BSIA in partnership with Merseyside Police and the Liverpool BID Company, the event is a must-attend for the North West’s wider business community, major retailers, representatives of local authorities and entertainment venue managers.

The day features a range of experts speakers including Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, who’ll be speaking about developments involving the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

TonyPorter

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Other confirmed speakers include Dirk Wilson, chairman of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section (who will discuss day-to-day interaction with security staff) and Shaun Holland (crime safety consultant of the Liverpool BID Company) who’ll offer a presentation on tackling retail crime.

Alongside the conference, exhibitors from across the security industry will be on hand to demonstrate their latest products and services, giving delegates the opportunity to witness the very latest technological innovations, meet potential suppliers and find out more about which solutions would best suit their business.

Similar past events held in other UK cities attracted record number of over 300 delegates, with attendees including representatives of well-known city centre retailers, as well as other organisations including insurers, healthcare practitioners and local authorities.

JamesKellyBSIA2

BSIA CEO James Kelly

James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA, commented: “We’re very excited about holding this event in Liverpool. We believe it will provide a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to learn about the latest security products and services, while at the same time hearing about the great work that Merseyside Police does for the city. The BSIA’s security experts will be there to share Best Practice advice and help secure a positive future for local businesses.”

*To secure your delegate or exhibition place at what promises to be an informative and educational event, complete the online booking form by following these links:

Delegate Booking Form

Exhibitor Booking Form

**Alternatively, visit the events page on the BSIA website: http://www.bsia.co.uk/events.aspx

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

T3 Security signs guarding deal with Poundworld Retail Group

T3 Security has signed a major contract with a national retail firm Poundworld which will see it expand guarding operations into Scotland and the North West.

Gosforth-based T3 Security has struck a deal with the Poundworld Retail Group to provide security staff in 30 stores across the northern half of the UK. In 2015, Poundworld Retail Group sold a majority shareholding to TPG which is a private equity group.

To meet the demands of the contract, T3 Security will now recruit an extra 30 staff to man the outlets as the contract is rolled out over the coming weeks.

T3Security

Stacey Mitchinson of the Poundworld Retail Group pictured with T3 Security’s Peter Moore and Richard Townsend

Peter Moore, who co-directs T3 Security with partner Richard Townsend, told Risk UK: “This is a big contract for us with a national retailer, and is testament to how much the business has grown. We’ve already had to employ 30 people to man the stores we’ve been contracted to manage, but there’s the potential for more to be recruited if we’re awarded the security management remit at more stores.”

Moore added: “It’s a great partnership, not just for us because it has enabled further growth, but for the Poundworld Retail Group as well. The company’s stores will be well protected by trained and professional security staff.”

Chris Edwards, CEO of the Poundworld Retail Group, commented: “We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with T3 Security. The safety of our customers and staff is paramount, and we’re confident that T3 will be able to deliver the levels of security we need in order to give our customers a great shopping experience in store, while at the same time keeping our staff safe. We’re also really pleased that the partnership has allowed the creation of 30 extra jobs.”

Training for new staff members

Moore and Townsend have drafted in one of their most experienced members of staff, who has worked for 25 years in the field, to train the new members of the team at T3 Security.

Townsend has even found himself practising what he preaches after catching a thief himself during a routine trip to one of the new stores.

Moore said: “The training is in place from us at the head of the business, all the way through to our security staff on the ground. The business is going from strength to strength. We believe it’s down to our ethos that we always go the extra mile for our clients, and also equip our staff with the relevant training for them to do the job properly.”

T3 Security was launched by Moore and Townsend in 2012, initially supplying just two venues with staff. Before signing the Poundworld Retail Group deal, the company employed 100 staff with a portfolio of over 40 locations from Blyth in Northumberland to Newcastle, Whitley Bay, Sunderland, Washington, Hartlepool and Stockton on Teesside, with pub chains like John Fitzgerald and Tavistock Leisure among its growing client base.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

DVS and Lantec Security enhance Sand Martins Golf Club surveillance system with Hikvision technology

Video surveillance solutions developer Hikvision and systems installer Lantec Security have recently completed an upgrade project at the prestigious Sand Martins Golf Club in Surrey with assistance from Hikvision’s UK distributor DVS.

The Sand Martins Golf Club is located near Wokingham and, only recently, the management team decided it was time to upgrade the club’s existing standard definition analogue surveillance system.

Given that the course is spread across many acres of land, CCTV is paramount for the security and smooth running of the location. Steve Lane of Lantec Security headed up the installation project for the new surveillance system, all the while working closely with DVS. A full HD system has been designed and implemented using Hikvision surveillance solutions.

The project consists of 16 Hikvision Full HD cameras, among them vandal-resistant IR domes, bullet cameras and even a newly-released Lightfighter model installed to watch over the club’s grounds.

Hikvision’s ANPR system is employed in the car park, recording the number of every vehicle that enters the compound. The large field of view on the ANPR solution means that it can also serve as a general overview system.

The installation even boasts an auto tracking dome on the 18th hole that streams live images directly into the clubhouse.

End-to-end solution

“We decided to choose a Hikvision system as the user interface is ideal,” explained Steve Lane. “Using Hikvision’s products also allowed us to provide an end-to-end solution covering ANPR, internal areas and the retail space at the club while providing an auto tracking dome which helps with player traffic in addition to general security around the clubhouse.”

Lane added: “The 3 Megapixel picture quality rendered by the cameras on site represents a massive improvement on the original analogue system. The end result will be a great help on any future incidents due to the superior image quality that’s now rendered.”

In conclusion, Lane told Risk UK: “DVS was very helpful in assisting with the design of the security infrastructure.”

Andrew Hall, a PGA professional at Sand Martins Golf Club and overseer of the new security installation, commented: “The system is extremely sophisticated and much more user friendly than the previous one. It’s now very quick and easy for us to search for any footage we need. The ability to view images from a mobile device is also fantastic. Those images are very clear, which is so important when there are any issues to be resolved.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Checkpoint Systems’ EVOLVE-Store app provides retailers with real-time Electronic Article Surveillance

Checkpoint Systems, a leading global supplier of merchandise availability solutions for the retail sector, has announced the launch of EVOLVE-Store, a real-time app for smart phones and tablets that supports real-time electronic article surveillance (EAS) and organised retail crime event management.

The app was developed in response to retail customer requests for an easy means of ensuring that store associates leverage EAS investments appropriately, comply with store shoplifting policies and have EAS systems always turned on and operating in the correct manner.

Features in the EVOLVE-Store app enable retailers to measure and improve consumer conversion rates through real-time visibility of the number of shoppers in stores. The app also measures policy compliance by managing response times to alarm events.

By monitoring, measuring and managing an EAS program, retailers can deter opportunistic shoplifters and organised retail crime activity, reducing shrink and increasing shelf availability, sales and profits. In turn, this improves staff confidence and engagement with the EAS program, ensuring a significant improvement on the return on investment.

Additional features include a staff panic alert to request help from colleagues, an EAS night-save feature to save power when the store is closed, the ability to test, mute or disable EAS systems remotely and multi-user logins for each smart device. 

Beyond retailer advantages, shoppers benefit because stores can monitor inventory more closely and replenish ‘true’ out-of-stocks, so merchandise they seek will likely be available on shelves when purchasing online through click and collector buying directly in stores.

Moreover, studies have shown that shoppers feel safer in monitored retail environments.

“Technology should make life easier for both consumers and retailers,” said Uwe Sydon, senior vice-president of innovation at Checkpoint Systems. “EVOLVE-Store accomplishes this with simple implementation and proven loss prevention and merchandise availability benefits that offer advantages to everyone.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Chelsea FC signs Rembrandt security solution from Intrepid at start of 2015-2016 Premier League campaign

Over the summer, Chelsea FC has been busy with pre-season preparations at its Stamford Bridge retail Megastore in readiness for the start of the new Premier League season. Closed since the end of May, the Megastore has undergone its first major refurbishment since the official opening over a decade ago.

The new, larger Megastore, which opened on Monday 3 August, features lots of innovations designed to improve the visitor experience. Store security and marketing tools have also been upgraded to improve efficiency for the Megastore’s management team.

Intrepid Security was tasked to replace the existing Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tagging system (which the company originally installed five years ago) with its latest RF system. Designated Rembrandt, this helps to update the look of the security to match the new store interior, in addition to providing the benefits of the latest tagging technology and reliability.

The Chelsea Megastore at the Premier League club's Stamford Bridge ground in West London

The Chelsea Megastore at the Premier League club’s Stamford Bridge ground in West London

The Rembrandt systems are sited at three points in the store: one at the entrance and one at each of the two exits (one of which is only open on match days to cope with the 10,000-plus fans who pass through the doors).

Intrepid has also added five thermal overhead people counters within the store, in turn allowing the Megastore’s management to monitor traffic flow on each of the two floors, as well as between floors, on the two staircases. This should enable the team to improve staffing levels as well as merchandising, and generally give a much better level of service to their customers by fully understanding the routes through the store.

Paul Newbury, who has overseen the project for Intrepid Security, told Risk UK: “The new Rembrandt tagging system is technically superior to anything else available for the price point and is working a treat. By working closely with the retail team at Chelsea FC, we made sure they received the people counter coverage they require. By monitoring the people traffic by counter location, members of the team will be able to identify customer ‘hotspots’ and generally busier areas within the store so that they can then maximise future merchandising opportunities.”

The club already has already gained valuable merchandising data following the first home game of the season against Swansea City which they will build on through the coming months to expand sales and merchandise even smarter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Survey highlights retailers’ continued appetite for competitive advantage through digital surveillance

According to the latest Centre for Retail Research (CRR) survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter (27%) of UK retailers have cited ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adoption of network IP for the third year running.

Similarly, across northern Europe, the survey – which was commissioned by Axis Communications – shows that an average of 31% of retailers said that integration with business intelligence applications is their main driver for adopting network IP, peaking at 35% in Denmark.

Of the 278 UK retailers who responded, encompassing no less than 20,350 stores, the data shows that 92.8% currently use CCTV with over 60% of interviewees planning to convert to network IP technology.

‘Quality of Image’ sees the biggest increase in priority with a 40% rise in UK respondents naming it as the most important factor when migrating to network IP.

Other major drivers for the adoption of IP technology include ‘better remote access’ (18%), ‘scalability’ (16%) and ‘reduced total cost of ownership’ (12%), all of them showing an average increase compared to the results of last year’s survey.

According to the latest annual Centre for Retail Research survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter of UK retailers cite ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adopting network IP

According to the latest annual Centre for Retail Research survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter of UK retailers cite ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adopting network IP

Migration from analogue CCTV to network IP

Commenting on the survey results, Andy Martin (retail business development manager at Axis Communications) said: “The migration from analogue CCTV to network IP continues to be of huge importance to the retail sector and will be the biggest single factor impacting on retail security as digital surveillance and network video become the standard.”

He continued: “The UK High Street is still the origin of the bulk of retail transactions, but unfortunately physical stores also carry the highest overheads so the need to ‘sweat the assets’ is vital. Surveillance systems are no exception to that rule. This is where network IP really has an advantage as it can be used to improve both service and sales, not just security, and deliver a real return on investment.”

Martin added: “With retailers operating on increasingly smaller margins, reducing costs is a key priority for them. While IP-based video surveillance does make a noticeable improvement to the top line, the long-term aim of superior image quality should be the lowering of total cost of ownership as it enhances detection and improves forensic investigation.”

Martin sees retailers’ use of business analytics and intelligence applications continuing to mushroom in line with developments in cloud computing and big data.

“With network cameras’ capability to provide higher resolution video and be connected from everywhere 24 hours a day,” he stated, “retailers are now receiving more and more data from a greater number of sources. Business intelligence applications are needed to help retailers manage this huge amount of information and to assist them in interpreting the data so that it’s useful.”

Given that network video is an open platform solution, it can seamlessly allow integration with emerging technologies and, therefore, transforms the surveillance camera from being a forensic tool aimed at solving problems to a proactive tool that’s designed to optimise business processes and reduce cost.

“This is clearly evident from the survey,” asserted Martin, “as nearly half of the UK retailers polled stated that queue management (49.9%) and people counting (49.2%) are the two most important non-security network IP applications of most interest to them.”

Increased adoption of business-focused analytics

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR, commented: “The survey clearly highlights the continued move towards IP-based camera systems across the retail sector. This is a growing trend that’s driven by the need for HD-quality images and the increased adoption and use of business-focused analytics – two areas where IP systems demonstrate a clear advantage over older technologies.”

Bamfield added: “The survey results further suggest that retailers continue to appreciate the added benefits an IP-based system can deliver, which is readily evident in the high convergence rate each year.”

Andy Martin concluded: “Customer theft is still the biggest security challenge facing retailers at the moment, as nearly a quarter (24.2%) of respondents said that their main reason for using CCTV is to prevent or investigate theft. 80% of respondents cited the prevention of internal or external theft and better safety as the main driver for the use of CCTV, seeing an average fall in loss of 15%. As a whole, the UK has embraced the benefits that CCTV can bring. This is particularly true of the retail sector. Certainly for the UK, I believe that the migration to network IP has become the norm. It’s no longer a question of ‘If’ but ‘When’ the technology will be adopted.”

*The ‘CCTV in Retail’ survey involved 2,200 retailers operating across a wide variety of sectors and attracted 673 responses from specialists resident in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden

**Research was carried out by the CRR between July-August 2014 and follows similar Axis Communications-commissioned surveys conducted in 2013, 2012 and 2010

AxisCommunicationsCRRRetailSecuritySurveyInfographic1

AxisCommunicationsCRRRetailSecuritySurveyInfographic2

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Axis’ Camera Companion upgrades security regime at convenience retailer Nisa

Axis Communications’ Camera Companion system has been voted the ‘most innovative’ solution available by an independent panel at an innovations showcase run by the Association of Convenience Stores, and was also chosen for installation at a branch of Nisa, the national convenience retailer.

Axis Communications and partner Defence Security were selected for the installation following an initial proof of concept trial. Axis led the trial at the Nisa Local in Hockley where store owner Rav Garcha challenged the specialist security surveillance company to expand the functionality of his current analogue set-up – including remote central monitoring, mobile accessibility and the option to integrate cross-functional retail analytics.

Commenting on the project, Daren Lang – regional business development manager for northern Europe at Axis Communications – said: “What they needed was a small, cost-effective solution that was not only easy-to-use and set up but also innovative. The installation needs to grow and adapt with the business plans of the store.”

Axis’ Camera Companion is an easy-to-use video surveillance solution optimised for small systems up to 16 cameras. It consists of software running on standard Axis cameras, storage on SD cards or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, software clients for PC and smart phones and standard network equipment. It offers future-proof IP advantages such as digital HDTV image quality and optimised bandwidth usage with Axis Mobile Streaming.

Axis' Camera Companion software and cameras are making a positive difference to security at Nisa

Axis’ Camera Companion software and cameras are making a positive difference to security at Nisa

Dave Brown, business development manager at Defence Security, added: “The store’s existing system often experienced faults and failures and needed a wholesale upgrade. In comparison, the flexibility and image quality offered by the Axis cameras is streets ahead. Even its smallest camera achieves two-and-a-half times the picture quality of most analogue systems.”

Compact dome and fixed lens cameras

As part of the store’s upgrade, Defence Security replaced 16 conventional cameras with a range of Axis compact dome and fixed lens cameras. Variously featuring video motion detection, active tampering alarm, two-way audio and integrated passive infrared sensors, the cameras capture the entire store in full HDTV image quality.

An in-built microphone and speaker system also allows members of staff to communicate directly with customers at the critical point of sale area in the store. The Axis cameras’ superior image quality and reliability also mean that footage is of evidential quality and certified for use in court.

Using Axis’ Corridor Format, the cameras record footage in vertical aspect ratio which is better suited than traditional landscape format for monitoring the narrow aisles in the Nisa Local store. The system is also fully open to future high-spec integrations that use surveillance data to analyse staff levels, peak trading hours, customer footfall and buyer behaviour.

Data can also be collated to inform staffing policy, store layouts and the relative success of special promotions or offers.

Rav Garcha told Risk UK: “The great picture quality and advanced audio detection features are incredibly important. In the past, we’ve experienced armed robberies and several incidences of abusive behaviour and threats being made towards staff. Axis’ cameras can be relied upon not only to see these incidents in perfect detail but also hear and record what’s being said.”

Increased surveillance coverage

Despite reducing the store’s overall camera count, the new Axis Camera Companion system has significantly increased surveillance coverage in the store, as measured against the retailer’s historic analogue system.

Indeed, the success of the Hockley store project has resulted in the installation of a network video encoder at Nisa’s Broadway outlet.

Garcha concluded: “We’ve been incredibly impressed with the entire Axis Camera Companion package, from ease of installation right through to the end product. We now have a bespoke surveillance system set-up and an analytics capability that will make a real difference to the business’ profitability.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

‘Christmas crime bonanza could cost the UK’s economy over £1 billion’ states The Shield Group

While the current trend is for general crime rates continuing to fall, shoplifting is on the rise. According to Home Office figures, the number of shoplifting offences in 2013-2014 has risen by 6.7% when compared to the previous year.

The Christmas period usually sees very little crime in most business sectors, but there’s one great exception: the retail industry. Since the recession in 2008, the holiday ‘free-for-all’ has become considerably worse with the increased footfall during the festive season something of a double-edged sword for UK retailers.

True, an influx of customers does cause sales to skyrocket, but it also leads to overcrowded shop floors, in turn providing the perfect cover for shoplifters.

Shoplifting is often considered a victimless crime. However, research shows this isn’t the case. The economic effects of shoplifting during the Christmas period are massive, with thieves stealing an average of £37.04 from every family.

In addition to these costs, for the staff working in shops and stores who are threatened with or subject to physical violence when confronted by thieves, this can have dire psychological effects.

The majority of retailers will encounter some form of security threat over Christmas, but it’s the large department stores that are targeted the most. This is due to them stocking those products most commonly found on the thieves’ wish lists. Items such as tablets, game consoles, perfume, women’s clothing and jewellery are most popular.

This doesn’t mean smaller shops shouldn’t watch out, though, as the thieves often approach smaller and more vulnerable retailers because they stock alcohol, Christmas decorations and, in some cases, high value food items, etc.

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

Being aware of the issues

John Roddy, CEO at The Shield Group, said: “Dramatic increases in shopper numbers creates the potential for serious problems. There are also some consumers who derive a thrill out of stealing. They typically pocket a ‘free’ gift during an otherwise legitimate shopping trip. However, traditional criminals also get in on the act as shops become so packed that it’s much harder for security teams to be aware of the issues. Add to this mix a thriving black market and the lure of swift financial gain is potentially all it takes to motivate the criminally inclined.”

Threats to retailers are not just external. During this time of year figures consistently show an increase in employee theft. This type of theft alone cost the UK economy over £300 million in 2013.

Temporary staff are often employed over the Christmas period, of course, and research recently conducted by First Advantaged shows that significantly more inaccuracies can be found in the CVs of seasonal workers when compared to those of their permanent staff colleagues.

Nearly 50% of education verification tests carried out on seasonal workers uncover discrepancies, while a third of employment history verifications turn up inaccuracies and discrepancies of some form.

According to Roddy, the solution to this issue lies with the retail owners themselves.

“Security should be every shop owner’s number one priority,” asserted Roddy, “not only to ensure that nothing is stolen, but also to guarantee the safety of both customers and staff alike.”

In conclusion, Roddy added: “By implementing appropriate security measures and reviewing the temporary staff that are being employed, there ought to be no reason why crime should be allowed to ruin the Christmas holidays.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

How can retailers avoid false alarms this Christmas?

During the festive season it’s vital that retailers protect themselves against increasing cases of theft while ensuring their customer base has an enjoyable shopping experience without the inconvenience of false alarms. Brian Sims offers some top tips to ensure it’s only the Sleigh Bells that are ringing this Christmas.

Shopper traffic in the UK increases by nearly 100% between the first Saturday in November and the last couple of days before Christmas. In the same period, retailers are expected to lose an estimated £1 billion as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses.

False security alarms are not only frustrating and embarrassing for consumers, but also waste valuable employee time. For retailers to protect consumers and employees from possible inconvenience, every alarm must be treated as if it’s for real. Here are some handy tips to guard against false alarms and help ensure a positive shopper experience:

Test your Electronic Article Surveillance antennas
Store employees should first ensure all antennas and security equipment are working correctly. These tests should ideally be carried out each day before the store opens.

Check your deactivation systems
One of the most frequent causes of deactivation failures for retailers often occurs because the unit isn’t plugged in correctly, or because it has been unplugged accidentally. Store employees need to make sure that all deactivation systems are plugged in and functioning as they should.

Modern deactivation systems are designed to integrate seamlessly into Point of Sale procedures, ensuring the effortless deactivation of security tags when plugged in and fully operational.

Deactivate at Point of Sale
A major cause of false alarms is tags that haven’t been correctly removed from the merchandise at the Point of Sale. Hard tags and labels need to be correctly deactivated and/or removed at the Point of Sale to avoid causing the consumer an inconvenience or delay on leaving the store.

Today’s deactivation products are designed to easily integrate at the Point of Sale, with newer solutions now offering increasingly improved detection capabilities and range. This ensures a rapid checkout for your customer and worry-free deactivation every time – no matter what the size or position of the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) label used.

False alarms can present a huge headache for retailers

False alarms can present a huge headache for retailers

Watch out for tag pollution
Tag pollution from other stores does happen. This occurs when non-deactivated tags from other retail outlets are carried out of store by consumers, in turn causing unwanted alarms. As a result, these alarms decrease the effectiveness and integrity of installed EAS systems.

Ensure your employees are correctly trained on tag pollution as per your Head Office policies.

Be aware of metallic articles
Tagged and/or metallic articles found in the vicinity of the EAS system, such as holiday decorations and displays, can cause interference. Taking more time to consider the layout and positioning of certain types of merchandise can also reduce the frequency of false alarms.

Ensure tag applications are correct
An EAS label or hard tag not applied in the right place could pose problems for retailers during deactivation. For example, EAS labels should be positioned close to the barcode so employees don’t need to scan the merchandise twice.

By ensuring all products are universally tagged and the position of security labels is uniform, retailers can then enjoy reduced false alarms.

In addition, by streamlining product tagging (or tagging products at the point of manufacture, ie source tagging) and integrating deactivation at the checkout or when a scanner is used at the Point of Sale, retailers may prevent false alarms and keep merchandise protected without placing a significant burden on store employees.

Provide training
The effectiveness of any EAS system is largely based on how colleagues interface with it. Training for new staff and refresher sessions with existing members of the team will help keep false alarms to a minimum.

Keep a log of alarms
Keeping a log of all alarm activations will help to trace false alarms and identify whether they’re being caused by staff members or a system error.

By reducing false alarms and ensuring that EAS systems can effectively prevent theft, retailers can keep products on their shelves during the holiday season and ensure customer satisfaction and reputation is safeguarded.

Fraudsters rely on festive cheer to fleece employers

As the festive season moves into full swing, KPMG’s Priya Giuliani has warned that ‘the threat from within’ is the ghost of Christmas present.

Giuliani argues that, with many businesses in a relaxed mood, employees intent on committing fraud will try to take advantage of opportunities where the usual ‘safety checks’ are relaxed, and either attempt to remove stock or simply get away with misappropriating assets.

A partner in KPMG’s Forensic Risk Consulting practice, Giuliani explained: “Money can be tight at this time of year with higher than usual spending leading to additional pressures on employees. Combine this with a time of year when targets and bonuses are assessed and it’s easy to see how employees might be tempted to falsify sales or overstate performance so they look like they’re hitting their targets.”

Giuliani added: “For many businesses, the lead-up to Christmas also represents a boost in demand. Many companies turn to temporary staff for support, but in the rush to improve customer service they may not adequately vet the new recruits. With many regular staff taking time off, the resulting lack of supervision also provides a rise in opportunities for the fraudster.”

Also, Giulani said: “We’ve also seen a marked rise in payment diversion fraud, where fake requests are made to change supplier’s bank details so that funds are diverted into the fraudster’s own bank account. Our analysis shows that cases range in value from just over £30,000 lost by one business in a single transaction to a total of £5 million extracted from another. In almost all the cases we’ve seen, fraudsters appear to be making use of openly declared business relationships.”

In conclusion, the KPMG analyst stated: “It’s particularly worrying that fraudsters often rationalise their behaviour. They may believe that they’re only ‘borrowing’ the money from their employer to tide them over an expensive Christmas, but the fact is that their actions might have serious repercussions when it comes to an organisation’s financial stability. It’s something that cannot be ignored because, if it is, any business falling victim to fraud is more likely to be a ghost to Christmas future.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

UK retailers lose £2.7 billion to shoplifting, employee theft, internal fraud and administrative errors in last 12 months

According to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer, shrink – comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors – has cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013 and £2.7 billion in the UK alone. This represents 0.97% of all UK retailer sales on average.

Underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, the research was carried out in 2014 by The Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst. It’s based on in-depth phone and written survey interviews conducted in 24 countries among 222 retailers responsible for no less than £475 billion in sales.

The average cost of retail crime per person (which, unlike shrink, is based on dishonest employees, shoplifters, fraudulent suppliers and the cost of loss prevention) across the 24 countries surveyed ranged from £46 to £338. The annual cost of retail crime to UK shoppers, as passed on from retailers, averages £80.00 per person.

Shrink appears to be down slightly in most countries. The lowest shrink rates were recorded in Norway (.83% of retail sales) followed by Japan and the UK (.97%). The US came in at 1.48% of retail sales, down slightly from 1.50% last year. The highest rates were recorded in Mexico (1.70%) and China (1.53%).

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Russell Holland, vice-president of sales for the UK and EMEA distributors at Checkpoint Systems, said: “Over the last year, retailers in the UK have been taking great strides and made substantial investments in the fight against retail crime. Many UK retailers reported that improved security methods have helped them to keep losses under control. We’re also seeing retailers invest in their employees’ education and understanding of loss prevention, marking an encouraging step in the fight against retail crime in the UK.”

While shoplifting remains the biggest cause of all retail shrink in 16 of the 24 countries surveyed, here in the UK both administrative and non-crime losses ranked first (at 36.5%) with shoplifting next on the list (at 25.3%).

Stolen merchandise: the most popular items

The most-stolen items across Europe are those products that are easy to conceal and harbour a good resale value, such as fashion accessories, wines and spirits. Other frequently stolen products include power tools, mobile accessories and make-up products.

Survey respondents state that source tagging – the application of EAS or RFID labels on goods prior to their arrival at retail stores – has increased around the globe. Such tagging is currently used on high value and high theft items like meat, health and beauty products and alcohol.

80% of UK retailers are source-tagging up to 10% of products. A further 20% are source-tagging over 20% of all merchandise. In addition, 50% of European retailers plan to increase the number of source-tagged SKUs.

According to The Smart Cube: “This report provides detailed descriptions of the sources of shrink and helps retailers understand the most cost-effective ways of addressing their problems. A number of Best Practices emerged from our research, including appropriate spending ranges to address the issue.”

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

“We’re pleased to support this global statistical research for the thirteenth year,” said Per Levin, president and chief sales officer for shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions at Checkpoint Systems. “Our hope is that retailers can learn more about the causes of shrink and work with their suppliers and solutions partners to create joint programmes designed to reduce shrink and its associated costs.”

Interested parties can obtain a copy of the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer report by logging on at: http://www.GlobalRetailTheftBarometer.com

*Retailers wishing to participate in next year’s Global Retail Theft Barometer study may register here

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News