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Study: Shoplifting Sapping Staff Morale

Front-line workers want managers to be more proactive in dealing with such problems





An extensive study has found that dealing with shoplifting and other “customer deviant behavior” often produces strong negative emotions on the part of retail floor workers, leading to perceptions of unfairness and to increased turnover, RetailWire reports.

The study included research from Florida Atlantic University and three other schools, and was based on a series of in-depth interviews, three experiments and a survey. Two major findings:

  • Employees expect managers to be more active in guarding the store.
  • More than a quarter of respondents don’t know their employers’ policies for guarding the store.

“Front-line employees are being asked to do too much, policing the misbehavior and confronting shoplifters, often without extra money or training,” said Melanie Lorenz, an Associate Marketing Professor at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business

Most retailers have a policy against associates chasing or physically confronting suspected shoplifters. The approach is intended to protect the safety of associates and avoid the risk of racially profiling innocent shoppers.

Still, standard practice calls for store associates to alert their managers of a potential shoplifting situation. Associates are also told working the floor discourages shoplifting.

Click here for the entire RetailWire story.



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