Can someone tell me when AAP is going to join every other retailer in the world and use EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) or anti shoplifting equipment? They are one of the only major retailers to not use this technology and they are in a market that gets hit hard by shoplifters. Autozone is 100% chain wide with this technology as is Pep Boys, if I'm a thief I'll skip over those and head to Advance. With 4.6 Billion in sales, if they are losing 2% a year to theft, the amount of money they are losing by not using this technology is staggering! Name a big time retailer who doesn't use it, the only one I can think of in the United States is Advance Auto Parts. Are they that clueless or do they think all the other retailers are wrong?
Yes, I'm so very angry that I haven't devoted my life to the higher pursuits of the Retail Automotive Parts industry. What I am is an investor and therefore part owner of this company with a voice that should be heard.
These managers you've talked to are often the subjects of Loss Prevention investigations. They have no stake in the company and could care less if the EAS systems actually work, to them they are just another pain in the butt like employees that show up late or don't do their jobs, just one more headache for them to deal with. They are not privy to shrink numbers so they wouldn't have any idea if they were actually working or not. They feel overworked and underpaid and they don't want another perceived headache. Talk to people in Loss Prevention at those companies, they can give you factual answers on the success of the systems. You are telling me every other retailer in the world is wrong and you are right?
How long ago did Advance test these products? From the people I've talked to most can't remember and the ones that do said it was close to 10 years ago. I'm sure nothing has changed in that industry since then. It wouldn't make any sense to give it another look.
This company has some great people and still has a great future, it's unfortunate that part of it's culture is to continue to employ non-forward thinking people such as yourself who think they know more than the rest of the retail industry because you've been in the business for 25 years.
Hey nice rambling post only for me to tell you that AAP has tested this several times in several markets.
Feel free to rant some more if you'd like.
I've interviewed and hired managers from probably every retailer you listed at one time.....and every one of them will tell you that their company has a shrink problem...and nearly ALL of them...at least the ones of similar industry have very similar numbers.
I know you read a magazine article on the subject...and for that I am very proud of you...that's quite the accomplishment and makes you another internet expert...but after a lifetime of being in this industry...I am confident of what I speak.
I asked this same question when I was a store manager. My incredibly informative DM and RM always told me these systems would deter customers from shopping at our stores. Yes... that's what they said. They also told me that good customer service is the best defense against theft. That is a true statement when you have enough people to greet the customers and help them as soon as they come through the door. We all know that very few of these stores are staffed properly. Many stores are lucky if they can get their phones answered in under 10 rings. To add insult to injury... we started having regional shrink meetings to discuss why shrink was getting worse.... but 2 of the "rules" of the meetings were that we could not bring up anti-theft systems nor were we allowed to discuss our ever shrinking payroll.
I guess the cost of installing those wonderful electronically controlled heating and AC systems must have frightened them... and the fact that they kept my store at a comfortable 80 degress in the summer and a steamy 60 in the winter saved MUCH more money than installing a decent anti-theft system.
What's interesting is that most of the products already have the magnetic (anti-theft) strips in them when they are shipped from the manufacturers. All Advance needed to do is install a detector at the front doors and a deactivator at the registers. I even went so far as to ask if I could purchase one of those simple camera systems found on ebay for a few hundred bucks and put the cameras in the high shrink aisles. Nope... can't scare away customers!! If these cameras prevented one or two $200 tachs from going out the door they would pay for themselves. Even a fake camera system would have detered some crooks.
jason, you hit the nail on the head. That's what the policy was at the Parts America stores before they became Advance stores. Another question is, how much will the cost be beneficial? Instead of going balls deep and arming every store, they should test market it in high shrink stores. If it works, let them faze it into all the stores. I'm sure they will pay for themselves quickly.
I worked there years ago and can understand your frustration. I got the same answers when I asked about it. How will it deter honest customers? Million $$$ question there.
Most retail theft is internal so the magnetic system wouldn't help you much....if any.
Fake cameras don't fool anyone and could get someone killed during a robbery when the robber demanded that you turn over the tape to him. Hard to do when their is no tape huh.