Better data analytics is the factor that will have the biggest impact on reducing instances of retail loss, according to panellists at Retail Week’s loss prevention webinar.



UK retailers lost £3.4bn to retail crime, including vandalism, shoplifting, employee theft and error last year, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer. The losses amounted to 1.2% of retail sales on average.

To improve retailers’ loss prevention strategies and protect their bottom lines, the industry as a whole must get better at understanding and using big data claimed Kris Hamer, senior manager for central retail operations at Asda Walmart.

“The analytical capability, combined with operational expertise to understand how to use it and not have information overload, will be critical to the future,” Hamer said at Retail Week’s webinar, run in association with Alcumus.

Hamer called for “far more directive analytics” which would help inform store colleagues and regional teams about which loss prevention strategies to adopt and prioritise, ultimately helping retailers to be “more lean and agile about reducing loss in the future”.

According to Mitch Haynes, group head of Security at Aurora Fashions and Karen Millen, all departments must “talk to each other” and share data and insights on loss prevention. This would enable retailers to “think about the bigger strategy”, said Haynes, who is also chair of the Retail Loss Prevention Fashion Forum.

Haynes and Hamer were joined on the webinar panel by Nikki Sammé, marketing and portfolio development director at Alcumus, to discuss how technology can tackle loss prevention.