Retailers are often at the crossroads of staying on top of technology advancements for customer convenience and keeping inventory shrinkage to a minimum. Currently, many retailers are adopting self-checkout kiosks as they are well-liked by customers. However, thieves also prefer these kiosks.
The LPRC conducted an interview study of offenders (the process of which you can learn more about in this LPRC CrimeScience podcast) who admitted to shoplifting from a retail chain at least once in the previous 3 months using the self-checkout kiosks. The study was done to understand the effectiveness of stand-alone and integrated Public View Monitors (PVMs), the goal of which is to notify offenders that they are being monitored and recorded, and deterring shoplifting while using self-checkout technologies.
The study asks:
- Why do offenders choose to use self-checkout to conduct theft?
- Do offenders See, Get, and Fear the PVM?
- Do offenders perceive the risks of stealing from the areas equipped with this technology greater than those that are unequipped?
- What other deterrent factors may prevent offenders from shoplifting?
- What role do employees play in mitigating the risk of self-checkout theft?
- Are technologies or employees more effective in deterring self-checkout theft?
The conclusions drawn were not unimaginable: while PVMs do deter some people, having less attention from employees, among other things, makes shoplifters feel like it is easier to get away with committing crime.