The Holiday Season Is Coming: An Update on Retail Loss Prevention and Asset Protection

NewsIndustry NewsThe Holiday Season Is Coming: An Update on Retail Loss Prevention and Asset Protection
  • Industry News
  • 10.03.2022

As the holidays approach, retailers are gearing up for their busiest time, and this year most are no doubt coping with lots of economic uncertainty. It is also true that the holiday shopping season has been starting earlier and earlier, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). More consumers no longer wait for that season kickoff known as “Black Friday” and start their holiday shopping by early November.

Retailers are also facing increasing challenges related to loss prevention - at holiday time and all year long. This was made clear in the new findings published in the 2022 National Retail Security Survey, an annual survey conducted by the NRF in partnership with the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC).

According to the survey, the average shrink rate in 2021 was 1.44 percent, comparable to the five-year average of 1.5 percent. But this most recent survey also underscored the major impact that something called ORC is having on retail loss prevention.

What is ORC?

ORC stands for Organized Retail Crime - and more and more, it has become a serious challenge for retailers. According to the NRF survey, retailers experienced an average increase of 26.5% in ORC. And what is really disturbing is that the vast majority (81.2%) of retailers surveyed said violence and aggression associated with ORC increased in the past year.

A new report written by Dr. Cory Lowe of the Loss Prevention Research Council suggested that “most estimates of organized retail crime are likely underestimates” and that retailers’ experiences with organized retail crime can vary dramatically – “Some retailers are victimized by highly sophisticated organized crime rings who steal incredible quantities of product and reintroduce these products into the legitimate supply chain. Other retailers are drowning in smash-and-grab or grab-and-run incidents. Still others are victimized by individuals, couples, and small groups who steal and resell online or at physical locations.”

Fighting the ORC Threat

What are retailers doing in response to ORC? According to the NRF survey, many retailers are adjusting their priorities and plan to take additional steps to address the threat posed by ORC-related incidents. More than half (60.3 percent) are increasing their technology budget and 52.4 percent are increasing their capital and equipment budget. Many retailers are investing in a range of technologies, including increased video surveillance, as well as the implementation of RFID, computer vision at point of sale, and license plate recognition.

Using technologies like these typically requires very strong connectivity, because signals may need to reach across vast spaces - like what you would find in a “Big-Box” store, which are normally over 50,000 square feet and can typically range between 90,000 - 200,000 square feet.

Going the Distance

Paige’s GameChanger Cable is widely used in retail applications to extend connectivity. The patented, specially formulated cabling solution is optimized for long distance applications and delivers 2.5 Gb/s performance and 100W PoE over 200 meters. In a recent case study, John Fitch of Surveillance One, a systems integrator, explained how they were installing GameChanger in major shopping malls across the country, boosting connectivity without the expense of PoE Extenders or IDFs, and without introducing potential points-of-failure.

Taking It Outdoors

Of course, inside the store addresses much of the problem for retailers, but security (and connectivity) concerns can extend outside the store as well. The Loss Prevention Research Council has identified classifications it considers “Zones of Influence” – areas that can support “more coverage of all aspects of crime prevention and the retail experience.” For example, one of the classifications created was the LPRC Zone 4, which extends outdoors and can include the parking lot.

To support coverage of “LPRC Zone 4”, Paige’s Perimaguard™ Custom Asset Protection solution has shown to be a highly reliable and flexible way for retailers to protect hard-to-secure outdoor assets including merchandise, storage containers, loading docks and roof access ladders.

Perimaguard is a specially designed, weather-proof asset protection cable that threads through outdoor inventory, and its 15-foot segments can be daisy-chained to create a protection loop up to 3,000 feet long. It is an ideal alternative solution for retailers who have tried steel chains to protect outdoor merchandise. If the Perimaguard cable were to be cut or disconnected, an alarm is triggered, as it interfaces directly to the store’s existing monitored security system either through a wireless or hardwire connection. In a case study, a major national retailer estimates a savings of over $30,000 per store annually by using Perimaguard to protect their outdoor merchandise.

Protecting Parking Areas

A newly upgraded version of the Paige GameChanger OSP cable is yet another way retailers can extend coverage to LPRC Zone 4 to improve safety and security outdoors and in their parking lots. The GameChanger OSP cable can go from inside the building, to the outdoors, and even underground and up light poles – making it possible to hang cameras or access points without additional complications and costs. The upgraded GameChanger OSP Shielded Cable includes a CM listing, which removes the limitation of running beyond 50 feet indoors, as well as a 600V AWM rating, enabling it to be used where power cables are present, such as on light poles. It is a single cable that can deliver a point-to-point solution, without needing boosters, electronics, transitions or separations.

David Coleman joined the Paige team in 2016 and serves at the VP, Datacom & Marketing. David brings to Paige over 20 years of management experience since his beginnings at Genesis Cable Systems.
David Coleman
VP of Datacom & Marketing