Integrated Solutions for Retailers: Building LP from the Ground Up

September 30, 2013 | Coverage

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After 25 years of minimal LP investment, $2.5 billion fashion retailer Chico's came to grips with its internal shrink.

Constant Improvement Leads to High-Performance DVRs

Sean Owens, LP analyst at Chico's, discussed the company's constrained video infrastructure with Protection 1 National Account Manger Tom Fox. At Fox's recommendation, Owens conducted a side-by-side comparison of the initial CCTV equipment at Chico's with the 3VR S-Series Hybrid video appliance running 3VR OpCener client software. It didn't take Owens long to convince Leo Doran [Vice President of Loss Prevention at Chico's] to make the switch.

"Video that often took a couple of days to produce and deliver via CD with the original system is now produced and prepared for electronic distribution within a couple of hours," says Owens. He adds that the user interface and feature set in the OpCenter application is far richer. "The old system gave users a motion bar and a timeline, which they could manipulate manually to align specific video with specific transactions," he explains. "With 3VR, we can break video out by event card via integration with our POS exception-reported solution. Or, we can apply transaction parameters and automatically pull the video associated with those parameters," he says. For instance, security officers can automatically receive video of the day's 50 largest cash refund transactions and quickly review and prioritize them. The software also features case management tools that help investigators organize, manage, and share digital evidence.

Fast Access to Video Inspires Store Audit Creativity

Owens was tasked with training security officers on the company's audit protocols and 3VR recorder and case-management software tools. Owens also developed and deployed processes to communicate store audit schedules and audit time frames to the eager security staff. With this training complete, the security officers embraced their new roles as integral members of the greater enterprise-wide LP team. Doran says the results have been extremely positive. "The security officers feel like a part of our team," says Doran, "and they really enjoy the video research part of their jobs." The additional responsibilities have given depth to th bench strength of the Chico's LP team. Some of the company's security officers have become so good at auditing, they're now developing employee cases. "Perhaps they saw something in an audit that caused them to dig deeper, and they subsequently uncovered employee dishonesty and fraud cases," says Doran.

Enabled by the 3VR platform and inspired by informal competition, the Chico's security officer team performed and documented more than 1,000 store audits in a 12-month period.

ORC and Store Ops: Two Very Different Drivers of Facial Recognition Apps

Chico’s has worked with Protection 1 to procure public view monitors in stores and it might soon turn to its go-to LP solutions partner for another ORC deterrent: facial recognition technology. "In tests, we've seen very positive results from facial recognition in 3VR analytics," Doran, says...Like all modern LP executives, Doran is willing to share the value of security-borne technology with the rest of the enterprise. "The test results from 3VR analytics indicate that facial recognition is also a powerful tool for marketers and store operators," he says. "Dwell time, demographic, and customer sentiment analysis is taken to unprecedented levels with facial recognition."

Read the rest of the article in Integrated Solutions for Retailers.