Employees and Employers alike are increasingly excited about the idea of different food options being available to them – but the question begs, what about Micro Markets and theft?
Micro Markets – an unattended fresh food and beverage solution, available to employees 24/7, 365 days a year. This open market concept allows staff to pick a product from an accessible rack display, or refrigerator and scan the item at a self-checkout kiosk. Done! No need for an attendant. However, it raises a commonly asked question… ‘what about Micro Markets and theft?’.
Whilst in the Southern Hemisphere we are not accustomed to Micro Markets, the likes of the USA, UK and some European Countries are, and theft rates across these countries have proven to be low, in fact, shrinkage is around 4%* (keeping in mind a Micro Market typically increases sales turnover by 50-300%, for a variety of reasons including healthier food options, when replacing a comparable size vending bank in the very same location).
It can certainly feel like a big transition to remove the ‘theoretical lock on the vending machine’ and rely on the honour system, however theft concerns in Micro Markets are largely unfounded as most employees don’t want to lose their job over a snack.
Often, Micro Markets will exist in secure access environments serving a known group of people with a formal payment facility such as the self-checkout kiosk. The most important thing however is that the markets are operated within a monitored methodology which focuses on prevention, management, and control of shrinkage.
Prevention: Micro Markets are equipped with 24/7 surveillance cameras and signage to deter any would-be thieves. These are used at the employer’s discretion and in most cases, they choose to go with a ‘trust’ based ethos and not activate the cameras. Correct messaging done with properly placed written and digital signage also help preventing theft.
Management: Reporting and video evidence of any theft can be provided to the employer for them to review and act as needed. In partnership with 365 Retail Markets, Vendpro provides you with 365 Cancel AlertTM with cancelled transaction app and display monitor. This feature matches video footage and timestamps to the time of theft and instantly displays captured images of the customer when the transaction is cancelled. When the kiosk is not in use, the 365 Cancel AlertTM screen will be idle and can support a slideshow of commercials, which are managed through the 365 web-management tool. This allows for additional communication and advertising opportunities to help maximise your staff and consumer reach. The integrated 365 camera surveillance solution benefits from partnering with leading market security companies, such as March Networks (for state-of-the–art camera technologies) and Panoptyc (offering a video review service), who combat theft and keep your markets operating at peak efficiency. You can read more about these companies in the FAQ
Control: The operator of the market will regularly review item sales data to find buying patterns and easily spot any issues. That is why the 365 ADMTM management and reporting software tool has proven to be such a contributing success factor to effective stock and theft management. In addition, route drivers can do a physical inspection each time they visit a market to check for any tampering with the video cameras, video screens, or for things like credit card skimmers on the kiosk.
So, will most employees do the right thing?
The likely answer is, yes, they will. And those who don’t, won’t go unnoticed.
*Automatic Merchandiser • June/July 2020 – Chart 4D