ECR Retail Loss Group - Sign Up for Working Group Meetings

by Colin Peacock

Total Retail Loss

ECR Retail Loss Group; Register for 2021 Working Group Meetings

The ECR Retail Loss Group consists of five core working groups, each with a unique scope against a key retail loss problem, challenge and opportunity related to leadership, strategy, capability building, processes, technology and innovation.

The working group meetings serve as a platform, for retailers, brand owners and academics only, to engage, contribute, collaborate and learn. Each meeting would typically start with a presentation from a retailer or a new research paper from academia, and is then followed by a discussion, debate and then agreements on next steps.

For 2021, most of the working group meetings will continue to be virtual using the GoToMeeting service, however two face to face meetings are planned in Prague (Oct 6th & 7th) and Paris (Nov 17th & 18th) where we plan store visits and very interactive work sessions to take advantage of the unique opportunity that face to face meetings present us, plus of course the chance to informally network in the evening with pizza and beers

Please now take a moment and consider which working group you would like to participate in, from none to all, and who else in your organisation should also participate. Register then for the groups and dates that best fit you and your colleagues schedule.

1) E-commerce Loss and Returns Working Group

As the proportion of retail sales accruing through all forms of E-commerce activities continues to grow, this group is concerned with developing a deeper understanding of the nature and scale of retail losses associated with this form of retailing and the required responses to the problem, including the new skills, tools and techniques required to support the business choices and risk appetite.

Adopting an inclusive definition of E-commerce – all forms of retail selling and buying conducted through the use of the Internet, including the many different fulfilment models including the dedicated automated fulfilment centres (Amazon, Ocado, etc), the pick and ship from fulfilment centre inside / near the store (peapod), pick from store and then Instacart, Delivery Hero and then the other models yet to be invented!

The group looks at the flow of product and information related to both the sale and the return of products. The group is currently interested in exploring the following areas:

·        Developing a typology of the various causes of E-commerce-related losses and additional costs.

·        Create benchmark data that can quantifying the scale and nature of E-commerce loss by fulfilment models.

·        Exploring the ways loss prevention leaders can support the [more] profitable growth of E-commerce 

·        Evaluating approaches and interventions focused on better managing E-commerce losses and costs

·        Building new tools to support decision making and investments in managing the rate and cost of returns

·        Developing new data and then tools to help retailers predict and forecast returns

·        Identifying a long and then short list of the most promising start-ups to address the current and emerging E-commerce loss challenges

To register for any or all of the e-commerce group meetings, click here

2) Retail Loss Working Group

This group has been meeting and working together since 1999 and brings together the core group of leaders from retailers and CPG’s working on the problem of retail loss and wrestling with the challenge to sell more and lose less. This group is responsible for shaping the overall agenda, and it is this group that sets the priorities. The Group is currently interested in the following areas:

·        Sharing latest trends, case studies and benchmark data on retail loss

·        Identifying and sharing current pain points / dilemmas, for example, the nature and shape of retail field teams

·        Shaping and leading a common agenda for CPG’s and Retailers.

To register for any or all of the retail loss working group meetings, click here

3) Food Waste Management Working Group

A third of food intended for human consumption is wasted, studies suggest that the majority of this waste happens in the home, however the retail sector has a role to play, within its own four walls and beyond, with shoppers and producers. This group is very narrowly focused on the retail supply chain, with the participants in the group typically working for retailers, in roles concerned with the prevention of waste and then the optimisation of the work processes associated with the management of surplus food. The Group is currently interested in the following areas:

·        Learnings on new technologies, innovations, especially packaging, to prevent and better manage surplus food in retail stores.

·        The implementation of new practices and technology to increase visibility to the expiry date

·        Organisational strategies and case studies on delivering food waste reduction, especially the role of collaboration

·        Understanding the true cost of food waste and best practices to manage the exit of surplus food, including markdowns

·        Category deep dives, best practices for the hot categories including in-store production, dairy, fruit, etc

To register for any or all of the Food Waste and Markdown working group meetings, click here

4) Video in Retail Technologies Working Group

As a technology, video has a long history of use in the retail sector, with early examples dating back more than 40 years. While its primary use has largely been focussed upon trying to control crime and deliver security, as new video technologies have emerged, it is beginning to be used more broadly within retail business. Building upon recent research commissioned by the ECR Retail Loss Group, this sub-group is interested in the following:

·        Sharing best practices around the use of video technologies.

·        Developing greater insights into how video analytics can be better utilised.

·        Understanding how the technology can be used for non-crime and security-related issues.

To register for any or all of the Video in Retail working group meetings, click here

5) Self-Checkout Working Group

This recently established working group builds upon the extensive research that has been driven by the ECR Retail Loss Group. Certainly, within the global Grocery sector, and increasingly in other parts of retailing, the use of various types of self-scan and checkout technologies (SCO) is becoming ever more evident. While offering significant benefits to retailers and consumers, it now also clear that they increase the risk of additional retail losses. This sub-group is focussed upon the following:

·        Developing a better understanding of the nature and scale of retail losses associated with SCO.

·        Evaluating a range of approaches and interventions focussed on controlling SCO-related losses.

·        Sharing best practices on the design and management of SCO technologies

To register for any or all of the Self Checkout working group meetings, click here


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