GADZOOKS’S POS CRACKDOWN
Byline: Brad Barth
NEW YORK — Having implemented a reporting solution that detects questionable transactions at the point of sale, Gadzooks, a teen apparel chain, will launch a new loss-prevention program this month.
“It’s always an important endeavor to adequately address your loss-prevention needs,” said Jeffrey Creece, vice president of information services at Carrollton, Tex.-based Gadzooks, which operates 377 stores, primarily in malls. “Anytime you’re in the teen retailing business, you have to explore this area more than other types of retailers, from a demographics perspective.”
Expected to reduce shrink levels, the reporting solution will alert Gadzooks’s loss-prevention specialists of any store transactions that the company defines as suspicious, according to a set of rules-based standards programmed into the application. “They’ll be able to quickly discern critical events that happen and address them appropriately,” said Creece.
Creece described the kinds of suspect transactions that deserve closer inspection. “As with any retailer, you’re certainly concerned about peculiar discount activity and return activity,” he said. Yet one unusual discount or sales void is not going to incriminate a dishonest cashier. “It’s not one transaction you’re looking for; it’s a pattern of inappropriate transactions,” said Creece.
When necessary, loss-prevention specialists can use the solution to focus on a specific employee, analyzing only his transactions and viewing his list of rules violations. Or, said Creece, “I [can] see, by employee, only the refunds where they’re exceeding a certain chain average.”
Gadzooks has heretofore been using an auditing solution to detect transactional exceptions on a limited basis. With the new solution, however, the delivery of transactional data will be more timely and comprehensive and will require fewer queries from the loss-prevention department, said Creece. “It’s a powerful tool that enables us to look at incidents more aggressively as they occur,” he said.
The solution is from STS Systems, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, a subsidiary of NSB Retail Systems, Reading, U.K.
The implementation of the loss prevention program is one of two significant technology initiatives planned for implementation this year at Gadzooks. The retailer also intends to roll out a suite of in-store applications this fall to all its locations, increasing efficiencies both at the point of sale and in the back office.
Also from STS, this suite of solutions will be integrated with the company’s host system and will provide increased functionality in the areas of corporate communication and data warehousing.