Loss Prevention Research Council Announces Call for ‘Benefit Denial’ Technology Developers

Members of the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) invite innovative solutions providers to join their Benefit Denial Working Group (BDWG) to develop and test leading-edge product protection solutions. The working group is comprised of more than 16 retail chains, including Best Buy, OfficeMax, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Meijer, Publix, Kroger, AutoZone, Sears/Kmart, Sterling Jewelers, Office Depot, AAFES and Lowes Home Improvement. Members of the BDWG are focused on the study and trial of new loss prevention technologies that render products useless until they are purchased at the point of sale.

“Group members have defined ‘benefit denial’ as a system or technology designed into, or applied to, retail products that prevents anyone from gaining value or use of a product without first making a legitimate purchase,” explains Read Hayes, Ph.D., director of the LPRC. “The system or technology should ideally protect the product from point of manufacture throughout the entire supply chain, and have no significant negative impact on the consumer.”

Several leading retailers have already lined up to support this program, as benefit denial technologies have the potential to revolutionize asset protection by virtually “locking down” products throughout the supply chain. This type of protection would enable retailers to more openly merchandise products, resulting in increased availability to customers and ultimately higher sales – while at the same time minimizing loss from shrink.

In addition to the potential benefits to sales and shrink, there are several other areas that will be evaluated, including the impact on customers and store operations associated with modifying or eliminating physical lock packaging or enclosures, and streamlining the checkout process.

In order to develop a comprehensive database of best practices and insights for the industry, the trials will be designed to encompass a wide variety of product categories, benefit denial technologies, and store formats. As part of the effort, the LPRC is working closely with the Entertainment Merchants Association, which has developed extensive expertise and insight into potential test models for several key product categories, including DVD, Blu-ray Discs and gaming content.

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