Retail warehouses are currently stocked up on inventory in anticipation of the coming 2018 Holiday Shopping Season. However, with inventories at full peak, opportunities for theft become tempting; this is a serious issue in the retail industry. According to the NRF, inventory shrinkage cost the U.S. retail industry over $48.9 billion in 2017. Internal theft, shoplifting, fraud and organized retail crime (ORC) can have a crippling effect on profit margins. In fact, almost all retailers have been impacted by ORC. In a separate NRF survey, 100 percent of 59 senior retail loss prevention executives stated that their companies had experienced ORC in the past year.

In some instances, theft occurs once returned and excess items are sent back to warehouse to be remarketed. For example, bulk quantities of goods that have been grouped and sold to a secondary market buyer go out the door with specific, typically higher-value, items missing from the pallets. With the evolution of B2B liquidation marketplaces—like the ones B-Stock operates—business buyers have access to more thorough manifests; including products, brands, and condition of items. So, when a pallet arrives and the products inside don’t match the manifest, it is an issue.

The challenge then is for the retailer to identify 1) where the loss is coming from and 2) what do do about it. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Look into whether the issue/loss be traced back to a particular warehouse. Have your customer support team or 3PL track buyer complaints and which facility those complaints originated from.

Implement tighter security measures. Ensure that high value items/pallets are tightly wrapped so tampering is easily noticed. Storing these pallets in an out-of-site, high security area is also a best practice.

Working with a secondary-market solution provider like B-Stock can help offset some of the manual tasks associated with not only loss prevention, but also remarketing and liquidation. From lotting strategies to customer service, payment processing, and logistics we offer better processes to increase profit margins and recovery rates on returned, overstock and liquidation merchandise. Get in touch with us today for a demo on how our liquidation auction platform works.