As soon as the holiday season starts, the retailers start stocking their shelves. They also begin hiring extra help, but while doing so that also have to consider operations errors and chances of fraud that may take out a big chunk from their profits. Following are some of the ideas through which a loss of dollars can be prevented:
1. It is a fact that temporary associates are hired by the retailers when the holiday season is on for tackling the extra demand. It is significant to understand that these associates are not committed or loyal to the company.
Also, there are increased chances of making costly errors, maybe unknowingly. For example, they may scan the promotional coupons improperly or do not adhere to the return policies. This may have an impact on the business. To avoid this, it is necessary that temporary staff is trained properly.
2. Retailers also offer coupons to their customers during the holiday seasons and this also increases the chances of coupon frauds.
This can cost the consumers and retailers a whopping amount. This can be avoided by training the employees to look for such high dollar and free coupons. Many times, the coupons can also be counterfeit.
3. Many times, there can be problems due to cloned credit cards.
To avoid such a situation, the last 4 digits of the card can be matched with the last 4 on the receipt every time large number of gift cards are bought. Also, the credit card should never be entered into the system manually. The employees must be aware of such practices.
4. It is very important to know that the abuse costs and return fraud faced by the retail industry has been estimated to about $10 billion-$15 billion annually.
This loss majorly occurs when the holiday season is at its peak. The refund policy must be reinforced by the retail managers with cashiers so that they can pay attention to those customers who return valuable products without receipts.
5. A significant hike in organized retail crime is seen during the holiday season.
To avoid this, the cashiers must be suitably trained for scanning each and every item carefully and this also helps in ensuring accurate inventory for the business.
6. One must also pay a lot of attention to hidden items that may have been hidden in the cart.
Some of the things that are usually hidden are makeup items, DVDs and OTC medications. It is important to ensure that the customers rung each and every item in their cart. Every item must be entered properly in the list for a proper invoice.
7. High value products like DVD players and televisions need to be protected as they are also susceptible to being stolen when the holiday season is going on and the rush of the customers is too high.
It is important that “grab and go” kind of shoplifting is controlled.
8. Lastly, it is important that SCO or Self Check Out area is also taken care of as many times, losses may also occur in this counter.
“Four elements are necessary for a successful loss prevention plan:
1) Total support from top management
2) A positive employee attitude
3) Maximum use of all available resources
4) A system which establishes both responsibility and accountability for loss prevention through evaluations that are consistent and progressive.”