The ECR Shrinkage Group and Checkpoint Systems Launch Tool for Retailers to Test Their Loss Prevention Program

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Online Benchmarking Tool Enables Retailers to Understand How Their Shrink Strategy is Performing


THOROFARE, N.J. – March 11, 2014 – The ECR Shrinkage Group, an expert group focused on shrink, with the support of merchandise availability solutions supplier for the retail industry Checkpoint Systems (NYSE:CKP), today announced it is launching an online Benchmarking Tool, which for the first time enables retailers to understand how well they are managing shrink versus others and the relative strengths and opportunities of their loss prevention program. Based on extensive global research, the tool provides global benchmarks on the strategic, organizational and operational standards that underpin an effective shrink management strategy.

To access the benchmarking tool, retailers simply complete an online questionnaire. Once the responses have been entered, the tool generates a color-coded model which highlights the areas of the shrinkage framework where they have strengths and then in turn, the areas that need to be prioritized.

The framework, shaped as a pyramid, focuses on ensuring that organizational commitment, starting with senior management, is embedded within a business’ practices, policies, procedures and strategic thinking. The objective is to provide a framework that ensures the creation of high-quality data and data management systems, prioritizing operational excellence, internal collaboration and innovation, as well as keeping shrink on the agenda throughout the company. Finally, the pyramid highlights the importance of empowering store staff to take responsibility for dealing with shrink and recognizing how operational failures are the root causes of many forms of retail loss.

Professor Adrian Beck from the University of Leicester, who developed the Benchmarking Tool for the ECR Europe Shrinkage Group, added, “The Tool was developed after extensive research with some of the leading retailers in the world and is designed to help organizations better understand how their businesses not only view the problem of shrinkage, but also help them to identify the key areas on which to focus to improve their overall performance.”

Tim Butler, Senior Director International Asset Protection at Wal-Mart added, “We used the tool in a planning and strategy session and it was absolutely superb. I would certainly recommend that other loss prevention professionals within the industry take advantage of this free and easy-to-use resource.”

Steve Hewitt, Head of Retail Loss Prevention at M&S, commented, “My team has been using the tool and I can certainly see it forming the basis of a longer term plan in the future. It’s very easy to use, the questions are very useful and the comparative data is excellent.”

The benchmarking tool is free-of-charge and available to all retailers from any sector of the industry. It can be accessed at http://ecr-shrink-group.com/benchmarking-tool

The next ECR Shrinkage Group meeting will take place at the Bacardi offices in Hamburg, Germany, on 19-20 March 2014. To register to attend, visit http://ecr-shrink-group.com/pages/membership.

About the ECR Shrinkage Group
The ECR Europe Shrinkage Group was established in 1999 to provide European retailers and manufacturers with a forum to explore new ways of addressing the perennial problem of shrinkage. Since then it has generated a considerable amount of new knowledge and ideas that have been of real benefit to the industry, not least the Loss Prevention Road Map, the Loss Prevention Pyramid and more recently the Loss Prevention Benchmarking Tool.

Throughout this time it has purposefully sought to actively confront traditional approaches to dealing with loss in the retail sector – challenging preconceived ideas about what constitutes ‘loss’ and how the impact of shrinkage should be measured, communicated and controlled.

This has led to the development of an overarching ‘philosophy’ premised upon the idea that operational failures within organisations are ultimately the root cause of most forms of loss and through the development and prioritisation of operational excellence these losses can be significantly reduced.

In addition, the ECR Approach has prioritised the importance of developing collaborative approaches to identifying and remedying operational failures, particularly between retailers and their suppliers. It has also championed a greater focus upon the impact non malicious forms of loss have upon the profitability of the retail sector and how targeting this problem can generate greater and more sustainable savings than more traditional approaches adopted to deal with malicious forms of loss such as theft by customers and staff.
Twitter: @ECRShrinkGroup

About Checkpoint Systems, Inc.
Checkpoint Systems is a global leader in merchandise availability solutions for the retail industry, encompassing loss prevention and merchandise visibility. Checkpoint provides end-to-end solutions enabling retailers to achieve accurate real-time inventory, accelerate the replenishment cycle, prevent out-of-stocks and reduce theft, thus improving merchandise availability and the shopper’s experience. Checkpoint's solutions are built upon 45 years of radio frequency technology expertise, innovative high-theft and loss-prevention solutions, market-leading RFID hardware, software, and comprehensive labeling capabilities, to brand, secure and track merchandise from source to shelf. Checkpoint's customers benefit from increased sales and profits by implementing merchandise availability solutions, to ensure the right merchandise is available at the right place and time when consumers are ready to buy. Listed on the NYSE (NYSE: CKP), Checkpoint operates in every major geographic market and employs 4700 people worldwide.

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