Is the woman in the picture a Loss Prevention Officer conducting a surveillance? Probably not, she has a shopping cart and seems genuinely focused on the merchandise. If she turned out to be LP, you would think she has a good cover right? Not so fast. What if it’s 20 degrees outside? Where’s her coat?
I get it, LP offices are notoriously hot (occasionally the total opposite). I also dressed extra light when working at certain stores just as some of you do now. Although we may work in rooms that feel more like saunas than offices, it’s still important to grab our coats before hitting the sales floor. I would recommend bringing an extra jacket, a lighter one you can wear when on the job so you don't sweat too much. Also if you’re conducting an extended walk and have a shopping cart, nothing stops you from removing the coat and placing it on the cart. It’s still visible to others so you’re in safe territory.
As a Store Detective, your job is to blend in by looking like an average customer. Blending in is critical not just because it allows you to observe shoplifters more effectively, but also because the last thing any of us want to do is offend an honest person whom we begin to observe. In order to blend in, we must consider everything from our pace, posture, where we stand, how we observe others, when we make eye contact and when we avoid it. All these things are important, and yet we often ignore the simplest one, like wearing a coat on cold days. Someone working in a cold climate a few days before Christmas and dressed in short sleeves will draw some serious attention every single time.
Let’s recap, if it’s cold outside, wear a coat. That’s it, best of luck as always, use common sense, follow your company’s policy, and always stay safe.
Want to learn more about becoming a Loss Prevention Officer? Check out The Store Detective Training Manual. A Practical Reference for Current and Aspiring Loss Prevention Officers.
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