By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI
In our first ever Asset Protection in Food Retail 2022 report we surveyed food retailers about their asset protection activities and found there was a top-to-bottom list of asset protection areas where food retailers have proactive plans.
At the top of the list, food retailers report having preemptive plans on asset protection activities our industry experiences most often, such as shoplifting (100%) and credit card fraud (97%). We also see 96% of retailers have proactive plans on active shooters, health and well-being of associates and civil unrest.
In the middle of the list, we find key areas food retailers are prepared to address including emergency preparedness (94%), natural disasters (93%), loss/theft at self-checkout (92%), robberies (88%), and business data security and privacy (87%). These are all areas that have experienced an increase of incidents over the past few years and it’s a positive sign that most of our industry has taken proactive measures.
The lower third of the list included some of the asset protection activities our industry experiences less frequently, but the industries’ planning still holds strong with 85% reporting plans in place for cybersecurity, reputation/image risk, and payment security and consumer data privacy.
It’s also important to look at the bottom of the list and see areas that need to be improved. Here, 72% of food retail respondents tell us they have plans in place for violence prevention, 69% have plans for overall shrink, 65% have plans for business continuity and 56% have plans in place for adjudication/lack of prosecution.
From top to bottom, what does this list tell us? In many areas, the food industry has taken proactive measures on asset protection, but there remain areas for improvement. Moreover, planning is only one step in preparedness. Practice is also key and ongoing training and emphasis of these proactive plans is essential. This kind of best practice sharing is critical and was the most rewarding part of our Asset Protection & Grocery Resilience Conference earlier this year. As we begin to plan for our 2023 event, we welcome interested food retailers and suppliers to reach out with program ideas and to take advantage of our resources at www.FMI.org/AssetProtection.