Last month, we joined thousands of retail industry representatives in Cleveland, Ohio for the annual NRF Protect conference. Crime is still a huge problem for stores, and the event was a chance to present a united front against the criminals.
For us, it was also an opportunity to showcase the role of VoCoVo in preventing losses. The slogan for NRF Protect 2022 was “Protection, prevention, peace of mind”, and this chimed perfectly with our own mission statement. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how our system can help you to achieve all three.
Shoplifting is still a major concern
While much of NRF Protect 2022 was focused on new threats such as digital fraud and cybercrime, there was also plenty of discussion about good old fashioned shoplifting. Retail has always been vulnerable to this sort of crime, and recent years have been no exception:
- Annual retail theft reached an all time high of $61.7 billion in 2019
- Organized retail theft costs the US economy $30 billion a year
- 1 in 11 Americans have shoplifted, but only one in 48 shoplifters are caught
As well as being bad for business, shoplifting also has a disastrous effect on morale. Exposure to crime can leave associates feeling unsafe at work, as our recent survey of British associates found:
- 90% of retail associates have felt vulnerable at work
- 75% have felt that their physical safety was in danger
- A third feel unsafe when they are unable to communicate with the security team
Most worryingly of all, fewer than one in three said that they would raise the alarm if they felt unsafe. Associates are suffering in silence, with little faith in current security measures to protect them. This has to change, and we can help.
A connected store is a safe store
Our system is designed to link associates to the security team at all times. This lets them face any situation with the confidence that help is at hand:
- Headsets allow associates to call security at the push of a button. The hands-free design means they can update the security team as they move towards the incident, saving precious seconds.
- Headsets let associates raise the alarm discreetly. They can speak at a normal volume, rather than making a loud PA announcement or shouting into a walkie-talkie. This allows them to call for help without tipping off criminals or putting themselves in danger.
- Headsets can be linked to your phone system, letting associates call emergency services without having to search for a phone.
- Our message cast feature lets head office send security updates to multiple stores at once. If thieves are operating in your area, you can warn associates to be on the lookout.
- Headsets act as a visible deterrent to thieves. Would-be criminals can see that associates are connected to security, and this will make them think twice before stealing.
We’ve covered protection and prevention, but what about peace of mind? For this, we need to speak to the associates themselves. Our research shows that associates feel 54% safer across all store departments when working with VoCoVo. This effect is even greater for those working alone or at night.