Fidelity ADT has recently been re-awarded the exclusive distribution rights for the Sensormatic Retail Solutions portfolio in Sub Saharan Africa and has its sights set on African expansion.
Ilze Van Eck, Retail Lead Fidelity ADT, says the Africa strategy is ready for implementation and the business is aligning itself in-country for local support for its retailers. “The plan includes remote maintenance via the internet for our African clients with a remote help desk setup in Johannesburg.”
She reports that 70% of the SA retail market currently uses Sensormatic which includes all the large corporate fashion retailers and the largest FMCG retailer in Africa.
“Over the last five years we have seen great technology advancements in retail solutions,” says Van Eck. “RFID has become more accessible and has been boxed into a simpler solution without needing full point of sale or software integration. Acousto Magnetic Sensormatic EAS has changed to include built-in, people-counting lenses and network-ready devices. Solutions have definitely moved from a copy-and-paste package to a customised solution based on a consultative process with customers becoming strategic partners.” Customers can expect inventory intelligence, accurate stock takes, and stock replenishments from stock room to sales floor.
“At a time when store margins are under intense competitive pressure, shrinkage can make or break a retailer’s bottom line,” she says.
The 2014/2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer by Checkpoint, Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, pegs shrinkage costs at US$ 123,4 billion for retailers globally each year. That amounts to 1,23% of retail sales. The main sources of shrinkage include dishonest employee theft (39%), shoplifting (38%), administration/non-crime losses (16%) and supplier fraud (7%). “More than 75% of the shrinkage can be attributed to employee theft and shoplifting,” says Van Eck.
High-risk merchandise includes items that are easy to conceal, with wide public appeal and have a ready market for resale such as footwear, batteries, mobile device accessories, wine and spirits, and razor blades.
“According to the Barometer there are five key loss prevention best practices the first of which is leveraging internal data to better understand shrink performance metrics and SKU category and store levels. We agree and believe retailers need to find the right tool to make this as hassle-free and accurate as possible. As mentioned, this may not be a one-fits-all solution but a combination of several solutions, for example.”
A holistic approach is essential. “The mix of loss prevention solutions such as EAS, fixtures, manual screening, employee training, etc as well as communicating the solution and making it visible in-store is a great strategy,” adds Van Eck.
Access control remains a priority for retail clients, she adds. “Access control can be the route to all evil if not managed appropriately. Back areas such as cash offices and the likes, need to be strictly monitored and secure. It doesn’t help putting in an alarm system at home if you leave the garage door open and it’s the same principle with retailers. High risk areas need highly effective access control.”
“Simply retail clients want advanced monitoring tools that can analyse data from various sources and produce intelligent reporting. We will continue to provide this to our retail clients and the African market that we believe has great growth potential,” she concludes.