Today’s post was supposed to be some more story telling about the life and times of the RENEGADERETAILER, but after speaking to a colleague yesterday about their inventory issues I have decided to post an “educational rant” about how as Managers, Leaders, Coaches, we need to point our guns inwards before blaming internal or external theft for your inventory losses.
Yes! External factors affecting your losses are unfortunately the price you pay to be in Retail buuuuuuttttt……and I mean buuuuuuutttt….your Team Members are the key to preventing it or actually in many situations the cause of it.
Impossible that my Team is stealing, borrowing, giving special discounts. They are so Nice! – Store Manager
I hate to tell you Sugar Bear, I have been burned many, many times because I thought my Team Members were “Nice” or because they had a family or because they went to the church of Adam West. Nay, Nay!
Inventory loss due to theft internally or externally will always be there, live with it, or kill yourself by stressing about it. Your choice, but believe me living with and knowing what causes it is much easier, less costly and dare I say cleaner.
The root cause for the majority of theft is based on 2 simple words
Employee Engagement Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.” – Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue
If your Team Members area not engaged towards working as a Team ..forgettaaboutit.
Disengaged Teams will:
- Not to be saying Hello to the External Customer when passing by them, and therefore allowing a potential career shoplifter an open door to realize – and yes they know – and take action on the fact that no one cares or is watching them because they are too busy texting or posting about how their Store Manager passed by them again without recognizing their fluorescent pink hair that goes against the dress code.
- Not re-merchandising when passing by a section that looks empty or in dissaray. Continuously Merchandising allows everyone to see when a product goes missing from its home – it’s like a professional NHL players smile – distracting. If there is a hole there maybe a mole, especially if it’s a high end product that normally doesn’t sell within minutes of the store opening its doors.
- Fill there bags, pockets, socks, underwear and even butt cracks with product. Why? Simple…..B-E-C-A-U-S-E T-H-E-Y-C-A-N. When is the last a voluntary bag or locker check was performed? When is the last time anyone checked one of the Managers bags when leaving the Store before they go home?….hmmmm, ahhhhh, you maybe surprised how many Team Members consider your inventory as “Samples” for them to take. When I was a rookie it shocked me, now I am angry and disappointed that one of my family members has lost their loyalty to me.
- Will give their own version of a Friend’s and Family discount when they are at the cash. Remember theft is not always physical it is also seen during transacation, receiving of merchandise, and time clock theft.
This list can go on and on to no avail and I will continue to add to it but, believe me this is preventable (I did not say stoppable) ONLY if your Team is engaged.
Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” – Sam Walton
Engaged Teams will:
- Do the opposite of everything above. Simple.
- Not be afraid to let “someone” know that one of their Peers or Managers is giving themselves or their friends a five finger discount; or a ten finger discount if it’s a larger item.
- Will be interested in how the Store is doing.
- Will focus on their tasks at hand and not wander around the store. Even if they are part of the social committee.
- Will say “Hello, Bonjour, Allo, Shalom, Dude, Duddette” to each other when passing by.
- Will be your best bet towards preventing external as they will report it right away.
- Will approach Customers, will talk to Customers, will engage Customers. – BOOYA! This is the #1 way to prevent external theft. Customer Service the *Shit out the potential or known thief.
- This post can go on, and on but the jist of it all is….
Engage with your Teams
Set your expectations with your Teams
Show your Teams you are human and approachable.
Have fun with your Teams.
…..Most important of them all: Be in the trenches with your Team. Do not Manager your Store or your Team Members from your Office. Nay! Nay!
Have a PHENOMENAL day.