Organised retail crime (ORC) has been a problem for retailers for years, and as ORC gangs become more aggressive and sophisticated in their crimes, the losses will only continue to grow. According to the NRF 2021 Retail Security Survey, 69% of retail loss prevention professionals see an increase in ORC activity over the past year, and 65% see an increase in violence, an increase of nearly 10% from 2019. With innovative technologies including Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, retailers have new opportunities to combat shrinkage through intelligence-led loss prevention technologies.

Despite great strides in loss prevention and IoT technology, many retailers are still using older solutions that differ from the innovative capabilities of the data-driven solutions available today. This makes it impossible for them to integrate and capture actionable approaches from individual store operations. Many loss prevention strategies that retailers have previously utilized only work in-store, and they cannot take action once items are removed from the store. If IoT is implemented now, retailers can take their loss prevention strategies to the next level, while also better connecting their stores and solving growing business challenges.

Storefront Visualization leverages the latest loss prevention solutions to integrate IoT technology with labels, pedestals and AI-enabled video cameras throughout the store to create a holistic connected store. These technologies ultimately give retailers greater visibility into the end-to-end process of theft, enabling preventable capabilities that ultimately lead to effective outcomes. For example, using radio frequency (RFID)-based electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, retailers can scan all exits and gain a complete picture of what and when the storefront is missing.

This technology was born out of the growing need for data to optimize retail operations and connect all touchpoints in the store. It is also considered the most ideal way to combat the increase in complex ORC activity. Today, many thefts are linked to larger ORC groups that let thieves into stores with lists of items to steal. Once the mules successfully steal the items from the store, they take them back to a brick-and-mortar or online distribution center for resale, which is how ORC can successfully monetize the theft.

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