Proactive vs. Reactive Loss Prevention

I recently was doing some research for a litigation case I'm working on and re-read what I wrote for the text book publication, Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference (Butterworth-Heinemann). I thought this topic, taken from my topic on "Grocery Loss Prevention" is fitting in todays economy.

Proactive vs. Reactive Loss Prevention
Ed Van Fleet, CCP of Brookshire Grocery Company has written an excellent article titled, “Why Are You Here? – Reflections on the Role and Impact of Loss Prevention in the Retail Supermarket World” On the subject of proactive and productive efforts Mr. Van Fleet writes:
“With proactive and productive efforts in any of these areas, you can impact the two most important lines of business-the top line (sales) and the bottom line (profits). Combine the two and you have profitable sales. Remember, profitable sales are the lifeline of your company. What can you do to increase sales?
·        Help keep your associates on the job and accident free.
·        Prevent out-of-stocks by reducing theft.
·        Find ways to open merchandise rather that lock it up.
·        Improve shelf life and product integrity through proper sanitation.
·        Make your stores safe and enticing places to shop through crime prevention.
What can you do to increase profits?
·        Reduce costs related to associate or customer accidents.
·        Deter theft of assets, not just merchandise.
·        Increase recycling income, and/or reduce supply costs.
·        Avoid lawsuits, regulatory fines, or other penalties.
·        Increase productivity through an improved work environment.
The grocery business is a simple business. We bring the merchandise in the back and sell it out the front. It is the same as it always has been, yet everything has changed in how we do it. You have to change as well.”
Mr. Van Fleet’s article can be read, in it’s entirety, in the November-December 2006 issue of Loss Prevention Magazine (pages 92-93), ( The article also appears in FMI’s 2006 Supermarket Security and Loss Prevention Survey Report. This report, produced annually, may be obtained through the Food Marketing Institutes website,