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Zones of Influence and Innovation Chains are the Future of Retail


Have been an advocate for some time of the work being done by Read Hayes and the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) at the University of Florida. The group's primary mission is on scientific approaches to improve LP strategies and interventions in fighting retail crime. 

Forty five major retailers, sixty solutions providers, and five manufacturers are currently LPRC members. All these companies have partnered in conducting over 120 real-world loss prevention research projects. 

LPRC Zones of Influence

Retail crime is multi-dimensional and increasingly its dark side thrives on the internet. By the time an offender is at the retail shelf intent on stealing a particular product, substantial online homework has probably already taken place.

As LPRC research has uncovered, the shelf point or product asset is only the first zone that needs to be influenced to deter crime. Read Hayes points to five 'zones of influence' where treatment can be applied to impede retail theft.


Think of 'Zones of Influences' as incremental additive outward horizons to stronger preventative solutions against crime, each stage reinforces the risk that an offender will be caught, forcing the would be thief to choose another target. 

"A major aspect of influencing offender decisions is accomplished through situational awareness." This cognizance (diagnosis) and tightly coupled interventions (treatments) across the zones have a greater impact on mitigating retail crime.  

Simple stated, across the zones potential offenders need to 'Get it, See It, Fear It', with a personalized approach.

LPRC Innovation Chain

The LPRC innovation chain starts with either a member retailer or solution partner needing a new or improved crime or loss prevention treatment potentially across the zones of influence. Initial work can be done at the LPRC / University of Florida Innovation lab. Subsequent trials can be conducted in actual physical test stores and other venues provided by the member retailers. 

Example Anti-Robbery Innovation Chain (Courtesy of LPRC):


LPRC and the Future of Retail

Brand differentiation and immersive customer experience are the two critical elements that will drive the future of retail. Physical and digital variations of these critical elements need to converge into a seamless unified commerce or onmichannel ecosystem. 

There is a compelling correlation between the LPRC research and the future of retail. Digital empowerment of today's consumers leads to multiple 'zone of influences' towards the actual purchase. Focusing only on the product on the shelf is not a recipe for retail success. 

The value is derived by the intertwined connections between the zones of influences. Think of the power today of new voices such as social media / online reviews (Zone 5) and their impact on legacy retail models. 

Discerning the 'zones of influences' leads to deeper consumer engagements. Innovation chains can be leveraged to shape a positive engaging shopper experience.

Omnichannel Retail Loss Prevention

The Internet, social media, cyber / public (Zone 5) are forever changing loss prevention. Just like consumers, asset protection needs to evolve into the world of unified commerce. Understanding the intertwined processes and creating effective innovation chains across zones leads to optimized solutions that deter retail crime.

Welcome to a new onmichannel multi-dimensional retail loss prevention profession. Zones of influence and innovation chains are the future of retail. 

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