The Warehouse Group (TWG) is New Zealand’s largest retail group, with more than 260 retail stores and 12,000 employees across New Zealand.
Like many retailers with a highly desirable range of products, high-conflict events were common, and like their peers around the world, retail crime had peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They needed an intuitive way to level up their crime intelligence and prevention, as well as a solution that could be quickly implemented and efficiently managed by team members.
TWG was already using Auror’s Retail Crime Intelligence platform to identify and internally report people who were offending in stores, so they knew exactly who to call.
In order to leverage the power of technology even more in preventing crime and loss, TWG started a 60-day License Plate Recognition (LPR) trial with two of its retail stores, and subsequently rolled out the technology to the majority of their store network after seeing the value and enhanced visibility it provided.
LPR, also known as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), is technology that reads license plates on vehicles and sends this information to the Auror platform to turn into actionable intel. Vehicles involved with events are recorded as Vehicles of Interest (VOI).
With cameras installed in the car parks of the pilot stores, team members received alerts each time a VOI that was linked to a repeat subject entered the parking lot.
Within the two-month trial period, 98 VOIs were detected, with 58 of them being linked to two or more people. Of the VOIs detected, 71% visited the pilot stores more than once, showing the repeat behavior of the people offending. The total value of events linked to these vehicles was almost $29,000.
In one case, a vehicle detected at both the pilot stores was linked to six people. One of these people had been involved with 16 events reported on Auror’s platform. They also had previously shown aggressive and erratic behavior and was responsible for NZ$6000 worth of loss.
Additionally, they learned through the pilot that more than 25% of detected VOIs were involved in offences outside of the region where the pilot stores are located. This ensures vehicles are flagged across the board and teams in other parts of the country are warned in advance if any VOIs are detected in their regions.
The ability to anticipate if a previous offender is about to enter the store is incredibly helpful. Our teams feel safer and are less stressed about dealing with potentially dangerous or aggressive people in-store, which means they are able to focus on delivering great customer service to other store visitors.
Michael Hulme - TWG Profit Protection Chapter Lead
During TWG’s pilot, there was a situation where a detected vehicle was linked to someone who had been involved in an assault at a store outside of the pilot region. Staff were able to monitor this person and while ultimately no items were taken, it demonstrated the additional benefits of collaboration on the platform between different stores across the TWG retail network.
Michael Hulme (Profit Protection Chapter Lead) says this creates a much safer environment for staff, allowing them to focus on providing excellent customer service while helping to keep offending down.
“The ability to anticipate if a previous offender is about to enter the store is incredibly helpful. Our teams feel safer and are less stressed about dealing with potentially dangerous or aggressive people in-store, which means they are able to focus on delivering great customer service to other store visitors. The impact has been immeasurable.”
A bonus of using LPR is that it helps improve collaboration with police. Each time a stolen vehicle is detected via LPR, it sends a real-time alert directly to local police. During the first month of the pilot, the two pilot stores saw nine stolen vehicle detections each.
A lack of resources often keeps police from being able to offer more help to retailers, so LPR is a way for retailers to help police, help them. In some cases, police presence at stores, thanks to LPR stolen vehicle alerts, has helped to deter people from offending at those stores.
The impact of Auror LPR solution has been immeasurable.
Michael Hulme - TWG Profit Protection Chapter Lead
On the heels of their pilot’s obvious success, TWG decided to roll out Auror LPR to more of its stores nationwide. LPR is currently in use at the majority of TWG’s stores.
Explore LPR for Retailers in more detail and how it can help you prevent repeat loss and violence across your stores.
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