April 25, 2023
5 min read

Employee Theft: More to the Story

Dan Armour
Manager of Profit Protection
Employee Theft: More to the Story

Last week we outlined the top three employee theft scenarios in grocery, but now let us understand the full story and how you can help prevent future loss.  

Scenario #1:

A customer came through the check-out line requesting to override the price due to an item being mislabeled. The cashier contacted the manager and was instructed to override the price for the customer. After the customer left, the cashier was told to always take care of the customer! The cashier had several other items that were mislabeled for the same week. They overrode the items as instructed and the manager did not say anything to the cashier for the rest of the week.  

Then one of the cashier’s friends came through the check-out and asked for a discount. The cashier overrode the item as a mislabel. The following day nothing was said to the cashier about the override. The cashier then overrode all transactions for people they knew. The manager never looked at any daily, weekly, or monthly override transaction reporting.

Storewise Tip: With the Storewise platform, customers have access to twelve custom reports including an override report. In our report we bubble up transactions outside the norm. We recommend reviewing any override transactions and ensuring the correct behavior occurred at the POS.  

Scenario #2:

The meat cutter’s scale was out of labels at the end of their shift. The meat cutter contacted the front manager to let them know why the label was not on the package for the last customer. The front manager stated it was not a problem and they would hand-key the item at the register. It took 3 days before the labels arrived at the store and all meat orders were hand-keyed during this time. The Store Manager never knew the hand-keys occurred since they did not have an efficient way to review hand-keys.

Storewise Tip: The hand key report on the Storewise platform provides the viewer with details regarding the date, time, cashier, lane, and transaction amount related to the hand key. This report should be viewed weekly as part of the overall loss prevention process and procedure. Remember a hand keyed item will only credit the department for the sale, if your company wants to understand item sales, hand keys makes this more difficult.

Scenario #3:

The cashier rang up an item that had an expired vendor coupon. Their supervisor told them to key in a store coupon with the amount to take care of the customer. The cashier then keyed in a couple store coupons for their friends. Since the cashier was not questioned about the other store coupons, they then made it a common practice for all friends and family. The supervisor did not routinely review coupon transactions.

Storewise Tip: Coupon transactions are an essential part of the grocery experience and loss prevention process. These transactions should be viewed weekly to ensure proper behaviors are validated.  

We must always validate proper behaviors that are occurring in our businesses and to do this we must review data. When we first started examining these internal investigations it looked like the only issue was employee theft. As we dug deeper, we discovered that a lack of processes and follow-up possibly built the foundation for these employees to justify the theft.  

So, ask yourself, if you view Loss Prevention, Asset Protection, or Profit Protection as only discovering internal theft, then you believe employee turnover will solve your shrink loss. However, by looking at the complete story, one can minimize losses before they begin while reducing employee turnover. Will this process stop all theft? No, but it will minimize the opportunity for employees to conduct theft at the point of sale.  

So, what is the real unexpected cost of internal theft and fraud? Constant employee turnover.    

Storewise Fact: 90% of Storewise customers who utilize our Risk Protection solution identify loss in their store due to employee training deficiencies or internal loss.

As Manager of Profit Protection, Dan Armour is responsible for leading Storewise in all facets of profit protection to enable Independent retailers to protect their profits. With over 20 years of experience in Walmart, Target, and GameStop Loss Prevention/Asset Protection roles, Dan and team are able to identify, research and help train Independent Grocers on how they can improve their operations and protect their profits.

Connect with Dan

Recent Articles