By Matt Pillar, Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine
Most 10-store grocery chains don't even have a director of loss prevention, much less sophisticated LP technology. But the director of LP at 9-store, 650-employee Woods Supermarkets (Bolivar, MO) isn't like most directors of LP, either. On the day I caught up with him, Doug Haworth was driving to one of his stores — which he does several times per week — to conduct a safety walk and do some front-of-store customer service training. Yeah, he's in charge of that, too. As a matter of fact, it's the customer-service aspect of the job that drives Haworth's philosophy on LP. "I'm committed to not let loss prevention become sales prevention," he says.
That said, sales prevention isn't an issue at Woods — it's a healthy and growing business. But Haworth and the store's owners were concerned about profit and revenue revention at the hands of shrink. Never were they concerned about shrink of the malicious kind. Woods takes great pride in its hiring decisions and Haworth is confident that integrity is a common character attribute there. Still, there was this sneaking suspicion that operator error at the cashier level could be hampering profit.