Skip to main content
Reducing shrink

The Growing Role of Asset Protection in Decreasing Shrink

Violence prevention, in-store associate safety among top concerns for today’s practitioners
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer

With shrink becoming an increasingly pervasive problem at food retail, the asset protection function has become more vital than ever. While asset protection has always focused on a limited range of threats including loss prevention, theft and certain aspects of shrink, today it encompasses credit card fraud, emergency preparedness, payment security and privacy,
shoplifting, cybersecurity, violence prevention, employee safety, and so much more.

FMI - the Food Industry Association found in its 2023 “Asset Protection in Food Retail” report that asset protection now touches virtually every part of the food retail business, and that its practitioners are embracing their new roles as risk management partners within their
organizations. Among the top areas of responsibility for today’s asset protection function are security, people safety, shrink, distribution and pharmacy, respectively.

Arlington, Va.-based FMI also found that the most significant asset protection concerns are
violence prevention, active assailant, in-store associate safety and emergency preparedness.
Additionally, FMI learned that, more than ever before, asset protection practitioners are focusing on people protection, being proactive instead of reactive about reducing loss, and teaching, training and communicating with associates at all levels.

For its part, FMI is supporting preparedness through training and facilitating peer-to-peer
conversations, and the association’s board of directors established the Violence Preparedness Committee last year, which is co-chaired by the chief executives of Kroger and PepsiCo.

In speaking with an audience at this year’s RILA Retail Asset Protection Conference, Joshua Ridgeway, senior director of asset protection at Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, encouraged retailers to focus on putting the customer first and figuring out how asset protection can fulfill their needs first and foremost. Ridgeway also implored retailers to work with their suppliers, service providers and other partners, to address common issues within asset protection. “Right now, we have entered a time where how we protect our customers, our employees and our assets is going to become a competitive advantage,” Ridgeway said.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds