Avoiding shrinkage with automated sales solutions

Select & Collect eliminates external thefts are since the system requires customers to make the purchase before being handed the item.

Shrinkage is an inevitable problem that retailers face and battling this challenge often means implementing solutions that protect the products.

Integrated technology solutions provider Strongpoint revealed to Retail Asia the most theft-prone goods include small items such as razor blades, batteries and tobacco. In South-east Asia, it also includes items such as milk powder.

To help retailers make the shopping process more complicated to discourage theft, Strongpoint offers a Select & Collect solution that eliminates shrinkage while maintaining an efficient and pleasant shopping experience.

“Retailers must eliminate theft because it directly affects their bottom line. We see negative operations procedures implemented, such as not stocking up high-value items on shelves or not offering the full product range, in order to minimise theft of these items. With our Select & Collect concept we help to maintain or even increase sales of these items. Product cards ensure regular shopping, touch screens at the checkout stimulates impulse shopping and integration to the point-of-sale (POS) enables cashiers to upsell through promotions. The Select & Collect concept is widely accepted by customers, once introduced to it correctly,” Roine Gabrielsson, SVP and managing director APAC, Strongpoint, explained.

With Select & Collect, the customer can make their purchase in three different ways. They can select their item of choice on a touch screen, located inside the store and make the purchase by showing a ticket at any checkout or they can purchase Select & Collect items from a cashier pick list while already standing by the checkouts if they do not want to use screens. The third way to purchase an item is by using a self-checkout. By using a simple Select & Collect button, the customer can make the purchase directly at the self-checkout. After purchasing a Select & Collect item, the customer can collect it at a dispenser, usually located just outside the checkouts.

Strongpoint said more than 7,000 Select & Collect systems has been installed globally and its customers range from small convenience stores to large hypermarkets. “But regardless of country and store format, there are some typical items that are stolen. This is typically because they have an attractive second market,” Gabrielsson said.

He added currently, retailers are primarily protecting these items by locking them away, adding security tags and increasing CCTV and security guards. Gabrielsson warned: “The major problem with this is that the shopping experience suffers, as convenience and accessibility drop. This will ultimately hurt your sales.”

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