New Research focususes on 20-year forecast for retail security problems and solutions

March/April 2000 News

New technologies, including digital video surveillance, radio frequency identification and computer-based training, will play a larger role in how retailers predict and detect crime.

However, retailers are not alone in their use of technology. Thieves, too, will rely more on computers and other technologies to commit costly retail crimes.

Those are among the findings of a new study called Loss Prevention Challenges for the New Millennium. The study, based on responses to a six-part questionnaire given to a select panel of industry and scholarly experts, provides a 20-year forecast on loss prevention challenges and solutions and was conducted by Loss Prevention Specialists - Prevention Strategies Group with a funding grant from Sensormatic Electronics Corporation.

According to the study, emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the retail industry, affecting everything from operations to logistics to asset management and providing unique challenges for loss prevention professionals.

"Today's retail security personnel must be proficient in human behaviour in order to understand who steals what and why," said Read Hayes, President of Loss Prevention Specialists - Prevention Strategies Group. "The security staff of tomorrow, however, will rely more on technology to predict crime trends and detect criminals. With retailers losing more than $28 (R177) billion in merchandise each year, many are beginning to understand the importance of technology in staying one step ahead of thieves."

The study also found that retail crime will become more sophisticated, as the traditional "grab and go" shoplifter is joined by professional thieves armed with computers to steal retail assets and information and employee theft will continue to rise, as a tight labour market will dictate hiring less qualified applicants.

"With the increased competitive marketplace and the increased sophistication of internal and external thieves, it is important that retailers utilise emerging and existing technologies such as video surveillance, RFID and source tagging to reduce losses and increase their overall profits," said Jerry Kendall, Executive Vice President of Sensormatic for the Americas and Global Source Tagging.

The full report can be obtained from Loss Prevention Specialists - Prevention Strategies Group. For details contact Read Hayes or Robert Blackwood at (091) 407 816 9601 or visit

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