Administration errors a key issue for Middle Eastern LP

Administration errors a key issue for Middle Eastern LP

A market for the latest and greatest, without too much legacy infrastructure.

Those are some of the advantages of the Middle East region that Peter Page will be highlighting for delegates at the Retail Risk – Dubai conference on 22nd November.

Peter, who is chairing the conference, is Group Loss Prevention Manager at one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Peter is keen to dispel any preconceptions people may have about retail in the Middle East.

“It’s perhaps not always as advanced as some of the retail brands in the west,” he says, “but where we do excel is in taking them to the next level, particularly in terms of store fit out and delivery.”

One clear difference in the region, he says, is a lower propensity for theft from retailers.

“Shoplifting incidents simply do not happen here, in the way that they happen in the west,” he tells RRN. “And there are very few organisations here committing online fraud at the moment, probably only a handful I can think of. In the west you have organised retail crime but that environment and culture isn’t here yet.”

Where loss prevention technology has more immediate uses, he thinks, is in helping retailers to tighten up procedures and cut down on errors.

“One issue that affects us here is the fact that we have a transient workforce therefore administration errors can be higher. Because people may not stay with organisations for very long they may not fully understand policies and procedures and because some of the LP teams are revolving the focus on policies and procedures may not be as strong either. Those are some of the key issues we have here.”

Technology is transforming retail in the region, where some of the infrastructural challenges can be leapfrogged.  “It’s like not laying landlines in Africa, but everyone has a mobile phone. And where organisations do go into omni-channel and online they are truly global best-in-class”, says Peter.

“It’s interesting that although in some Middle Eastern countries going to the mall seems to be a national pastime, online shopping is penetrating heavily as well. As an expat living here I can shop on Amazon and on eBay as easily as in the UK so actually it doesn’t matter where you are in the world anymore. That is really the point about globalisation and technology.”

Is there potential for Western brands to expand in brick and mortar stores in the Middle East, we ask?

“It’s an interesting question,” he says. “Although it’s intrinsically linked to global commerce and we didn’t escape completely unscathed from the crash it was muted here to some extent. So particularly in the UK and the US where markets are contracting and shopping is trending down they might view this part of the world as a good opportunity to make some bricks and mortar investment.”

The day’s schedule at Retail Risk – Dubai will include free training sessions, speaker engagement, networking opportunities and time with vendors to truly understand their latest and best risk and loss prevention offerings.

Experts will be sharing insights on topics such as regional security intelligence, anticipating strategic issues with omnichannel, the implications of mobile POS for risk and LP, regulations governing transactions covered by cameras, IT security and disaster recovery strategies, data analytics, accurate inventory recording, the cyber threat, manned guarding and much more.

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Source: Loss and Prevention News