Retail Loss Prevention
Loss prevention workers work closely with both retail security officers and retail buyers. They may also work with retail clerks and cashiers and retail merchandisers. In short, the loss prevention employee is in charge of exactly what the job title says – loss prevention. However, it isn’t as simple as making sure children don’t break glass items.
Loss prevention starts with security. A loss prevention officer will likely talk to new employees or do training a few times every year in order to prevent shoplifting. Stores may miss many shoplifters, but in general, they can tell at the end of the week how many items were stolen. At least, they can with a good loss prevention officer. It will be his or her job to keep track on inventory theft.
In addition to teaching employees way to spot shoplifters, a loss prevention officer might go undercover a few days a week to spot potential shoplifters. This is especially common in stores where shoplifting happens often. The loss prevention officer will also make recommendations about security cameras and may head up the team of security officers hired by the store.
Loss prevention is about more than theft, though. These employees are also responsible for finding and righting paperwork errors that could result in the company losing money. For example, he or she may look for the error that caused the store to order 10,000 shirts instead of 1,000. When there is an excess of any kind of product, chances are that the product will have to be put on sale, which means that the company will make little or no profit.
Another job duty of the loss prevention officer is to look at ways the company can cut costs. This often makes the loss prevention officer the “bad guy,” since he or she makes recommendations on whom to let go because there isn’t enough work. Cutting costs can also be done through cutting employee hours, replacing employees that are not motivated, and looking for alternative solutions to high expenses.
Some stores hire a loss prevention officer to work purely for them. However, what is more common is that there will be a loss prevention officer for a whole corporation or a whole region. This employee will travel from store to store. For stores that are not part of a larger corporation, loss prevention consultants are available. Pay rate will vary based on a number of factors, with consultants usually making more. In this field, however, education and experience are pluses.