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Retail theft- plaguing business since eternity

Esha
on Aug 08, 2018

Retail theft pervades all businesses. To remain safe from retail theft, shopkeepers deploy various strategies like Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags, store checkout alarm systems, CCTV cameras, amongst numerous other techniques.

However, these expensive technologies are not turning out to be of much help. According to the 2016 National Retail Security Survey, US businesses lost around $45.2 billion in 2015 to retail theft, more than 1.38 percent of overall sales, making retail theft one of the leading issues facing retailers today. According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (2006), more than 9 percent of consumers are shoplifters. They are apprehended, on average, only once in every 48 times they shoplift [1].

And not only customers, but employees, too, indulge in shoplifting. Given that employees know the security system inside out and are in charge of handling the store, they can easily take advantage of the loopholes in the security systems. Employee theft can take many forms, like a cashier overcharging the customer and pocketing the difference, overlooking certain items of the customer’s cart, Sweethearting (this means that the employee gives out products to its closed ones, either at a discount or free of cost), processing fake returns and keeping the refunded money to himself, amongst various other techniques.

And not only customers, but employees, too, indulge in shoplifting. Given that employees know the security system inside out and are in charge of handling the store, they can easily take advantage of the loopholes in the security systems. Employee theft can take many forms, like a cashier overcharging the customer and pocketing the difference, overlooking certain items of the customer’s cart, Sweethearting (this means that the employee gives out products to its closed ones, either at a discount or free of cost), processing fake returns and keeping the refunded money to himself, amongst various other techniques.

Thus, there is an urgent need to have surveillance systems, affordable to all, which not only record the live feed, but raise an alarm as soon as anything suspicious is spotted by the camera. This is achievable with the help of FaceorbitTM algorithms. FaceorbitTM algorithms are designed with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) so as to enable, whichever camera they’re installed on, to raise an alarm whenever any item goes missing from the shelves, or the number of items that the consumer picked up from the shelves doesn’t tally with the number of items the consumer is checking out with. This will be possible because FaceorbitTM algorithms are adept at object identification and maintains a database relating to the number of items, and their quantities present within in the vantage area, along with the time logs of where exactly these items were last kept. FaceorbitTM algorithms also help the user maintain a track record about each entrant, which can later be used to identify the culprit, if the need be.

Robberies costed firms an average of $8,180.17 in 2016. With FaceorbitTM algorithms in place, as soon as any weapon is detected within the vantage area, an instant notification will be sent to the authorities in charge, so that immediate action can be taken to prevent loss of life and property, considering there have been 424 violent deaths in 2017, due to retail theft and 2018 has seen an 18% rise from the same [4].

It’s time to step up the game and stop giving robbers an upper hand to flee away with whatever they want, due to lax security systems. It’s time retailers and security agencies work hand-in-hand, to root out crime and prevent unwarranted losses to businesses.