Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shoplifting and Loss Prevention 101



Thank You for the Chair

Thank you to Target, J.C. Penny and Kohl’s for being thoughtful enough to provide a chair for the dad to park in while a mother and her daughters are shopping for school clothing.

We covered a lot of ground yesterday but the longest trip was to Target where my wife and girls were in search of girl’s clothing. Not a topic I can get excited about but I agreed to be the driver for this trip.

After circling the store multiple times to look at things I didn't need so I didn't have to sit in the women’s clothing department waiting on my family any longer than necessary, I finally gave in and found a chair near the dressing rooms.

I couldn't help but to notice the process a customer had to pass through in order to take Target clothing into the dressing room.   My first real job when I was 16 was in a Target store so I’ve been around retail before.  I just haven’t sat in a chair as an adult with nothing else to do other than observing the process built around trying on clothing.

Trying on Clothing

When a customer arrived at the dressing room, the dressing room attendant counted the number of garments the customer had in their hands.  Based on the number of garments the customer wanted to try on, the attendant handed the customer a plastic card with a number on it that corresponded to the number of garments a customer was taking into the dressing room.  You can take up to 6 garments into the dressing room.

Wake Up!  Here’s the Point

So far, I’m sure you’re as bored with my story as I was sitting in the chair.  Here is where the interesting part of the story lies.  When a customer came out of the dressing room, the attendant paid no attention whatsoever to the number of garments the customer had in their hands relative to the number on the plastic card the customer was given when they entered the dressing room.

The attendant told the customer to drop their plastic card into a pile while instructing the customer to either hang their unwanted garments on a nearby shopping basket or the customer was told to drop their unwanted garments into a pile in the basket.

What I observed was this.  The dressing room attendant was clearly trained to be sure she counted the number of garments a customer was taking into the dressing rooms.  This process was precise and well-done. 

It was also clear to me that the dressing room attendant had not been trained on the importance of matching the number of garments being brought out of the dressing room with the numbered plastic card the customer had in their hand.

Why might this Target store experience loss in the women’s clothing department?


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