Reported in Retail Asia (December 2011)
As Singapore retailers experience a growth in shrinkage for the first time in three years, the causes behind this trend were identified to be retail loss, employee theft and theft by suppliers/vendors. In a feature article by Retail Asia, a global magazine publication for retailers in Asia and beyond, significant retailers were interviewed to comment on the issue and share their business strategies on how to cope.
Ng Whye Keong, Group Director and CFO of Pet Lovers Centre Pte Ltd, was cited as one of the experts to share their thoughts on the issue. In the interview, Ng said that he feels retailers lacks a sense of urgency when in it comes to loss prevention because of Singapore is known for its low crime rates and very strict disciplinary actions against crime. He also recognized the factors that are beginning to encourage retailers to invest in loss prevention – including awareness through training, bottom-line pressures, increased globalisation and expansion beyond Singapore, rapid growth of retail and supply chain software along with lower technology costs.
In addition, Ng also highlighted that low loss-prevention spend reflects the retailers' failure to move with the times. He enumerated the ways of Pet Lovers Centre to prevent employee theft - ceiling mirrors and security guards, point of sale and logistic management systems, electronic tagging of goods, entrance protection, closed circuit television (CCTV), better audit, internal controls and compliance. Pointing out that as technology continues to advances, everyone benefits…including perpetrators of crime. Improvements in technology also increases the sophistication of forgery and theft by means of online retailing, internal white collar theft, etc, thus more sophisticated countermeasures and attitude is needed to combat this and keep retail crime in check.