Theft is one of the major concerns facing the retail industry today, a fact that was highlighted during the recent Retail Loss Prevention Conference.
Retailers across the country, and indeed the world, face a large common problem – that of loss due to theft. In fact, according to the Consumer Goods Council, as much as 80% of this theft is connected with internal staff.

Retailers experience an average loss of 5% of their overall income annually, a number that often runs into the millions, yet some retailers write this amount off in their budget.
However, with the effective use of methods and technologies, such as business intelligence, they can turn these losses into profit.
“Retail has become a very relevant industry for SAS to collaborate with, due to the fact that retailers deal with large numbers of customers and products, our customer intelligence, risk intelligence and supply chain management solutions can really help prevent future losses and result in increased company growth.,” says Kevin Kemp , sales manager at SAS Institute.
As a leading provider of solutions surrounding business intelligence, SAS was one of the key sponsors of the event and aimed to educate retailers on how its Risk Intelligence, Supply Chain Management and Customer Intelligence solutions can prevent loss and add true benefits to future security implementations.
“Retailers are wary of wasting further money on top of what they lose through theft, and this is where SAS can help. By implementing a risk solution retailers can attain the power to assess their risk and diminish it by applying finances and security solutions to the most affective areas,” says Stacey Hockly, business development manager at SAS Institute South Africa.
“By knowing exactly where your loss occurs you can effectively target areas and save money by not implementing ineffective and wasteful measures across your whole business, which is ultimately why some retailers budget for losses instead of targeting them.”
The event also highlighted that the loss experienced by retailers through crime causes deeper issues than simply monetary loss, often affecting human potential through traumatised staff causing a loss of productivity, and extending to customers losing faith in some crime targeted stores and causing detrimental damage to retailer brands. Unfortunately retailers also fall victim to many fly-by-night security companies, resulting in a false sense of security and further losses through bad investments.
The bottom line s is that crime runs like a very lucrative and productive business in South Africa and it can only be brought under control by retailers working together with organisations such as the CGCSA’s crime prevention programme, the SAPS and recognised security companies.
“Retailers need to evolve as the crime industry has evolved, they need the power to be smarter and to know exactly where, when and how they are affected by their losses,” says Hockly. “By knowing every aspect of your company’s risk, you gain the intelligence needed to reduce losses and have the power to beat crime and prevent further losses, ultimately benefiting the entire retail industry.”