Friday, June 19, 2009

Turn LP Into A Profit Center

Loss prevention (LP) is evolving into a revenue generator, with technology among the largest drivers of the change, according to retailers and vendors at the 2009 NRF Loss Prevention Conference & EXPO. In light of the sagging economy, LP executives need to show ROI on their initiatives and demonstrate how their efforts can impact the company’s bottom line.

I attended several sessions that touched on LP’s new revenue-driving role and technology’s part in it, and also spoke with several industry veterans about the shift. “It boils down to this: How does LP equate to earnings per share?” said Kohl’s Corporation loss prevention SVP Randy Meadows in a breakout session titled, “The Evolving Role of Loss Prevention.”

LP executives need to find revenue by tightening their existing programs and embracing new technologies. For example, POS system enhancements and upgrades automate promotions for greater efficiency, and along with video analytics, can help limit discount abuse, cashier fraud, and operational inefficiencies.

You can also find revenue and drive sales by upselling customers making returns. “Come up with a program to treat returners to a same-day discount or coupon — because 99% of them are your good customers,” said Mark Hilinski, EVP, business development and strategic accounts for The Retail Equation. “Try to get customers to spend their return money before they leave the store.”

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