The Power of Deterrent Marketing for Retail Crime
October 25, 2023
Miranda Reyes

When our team discovered an ALTO storefront decal defaced with an expletive, their reaction was far from frustration; instead, it was one of delight, marking the accomplishment of a significant goal. This rebellious act of petty vandalism carried a more profound message than intended.

Our storefront decal’s deterrent effect is now clear in dissuading potential wrongdoers and safeguarding our communities. Our work doesn’t merely bring together retailers, legal experts, and on-site customer specialists to collaborate on our safety solution; it creates a potent shield against the recidivist cycle.

With the existing challenges in mind, ALTO has set out to strategically transform the retail safety landscape by emphasizing accountability and consequences. Stores that once faced the risk of recidivism with no consequences now display the ALTO decal, symbolizing a strong partnership between us and the retailer. The decal serves as a powerful message to habitual offenders: attempting to commit shoplifting without facing repercussions is a futile endeavor.

In this blog post, we’ll explore ALTO’s power of deterrent marketing and how our unique approach is making a difference.

Retail Crime: The Rise and Fall Through The Gaps

When Piggly Wiggly pioneered open access grocery shopping in 1916, it marked a significant leap in consumerism and shopping convenience. While store clerks once filled grocery orders for customers, the change introduced accessibility. Customers were now free to browse the aisles and select the items on their lists themselves.

While this was widely seen as a convenient step, others saw this as an opportunity; with products now available on shelves, discreet shoplifting saw a rise. Even with the introduction of security measures like cameras and barcodes, underground organizations continue to target the loopholes in safety and legal measures to continue their operation.

Today, the nuances of shoplifting crimes have caused cases to fall through the gaps in traditional prosecution methods, leading state legislatures to lower penalties for shoplifting felonies. These legal gaps – case volume, insufficient evidence, and lack of timely law enforcement response, in turn resulting in significant delays between apprehension, arrest, prosecution, and sentencing – offer repeat offenders the opportunities to escape justice. This, in turn, emboldens their reoffense.

To effectively combat the expansion of shoplifting and organized retail crime, it’s crucial for retailers, legal agencies and communities to partner together and raise strategic solutions to those tactical operations of offenders.

ALTO & The Deterrent Effect

Repeat offenders employ the same rational decision making process as anyone else. They plan their operations and consider aspects like product accessibility, security camera blind spots, and store associates being preoccupied with their daily duties to maintain store operations.

A focus of ALTO’s solution to these gaps in mitigation is on deterrence. The routines and expectations of offenders are disrupted, while they are made to realize the harm they inflict on real people. Our store decal represents just one facet of ALTO’s comprehensive safety strategy. By altering the expectations of potential or repeat offenders, we, in turn, place gaps in their decision-making process.

By combining people with technology, we are establishing a comprehensive solution for efficiently collecting and analyzing incident data to proficiently address retail crime throughout our efforts to mitigate future incidents and instill a deterrent effect. ALTO’s on-site teams work closely with retail employees, providing essential training, resources, and advanced incident reporting technology to bolster the crucial bond between safety and justice.

ALTO first originated in 2005 in Chile, formed as a response to the rising issue of retail crime, and has since expanded to multiple countries including the US. By working directly with store personnel, building strong partnerships with law enforcement and prosecutors, and deploying a nationwide team of legal experts who build thorough cases and advocate for retail crime victims, ALTO has achieved remarkable success. In the US alone, ALTO has significantly reduced retail crime for retailer clients – one national retailer reported a 30% decrease in store crime. Through innovative practices that prioritize accountability and justice, ALTO enhances safety, therefore improving the shopping experience of customers and the wellbeing of store associates.

The ALTO decal plays a pivotal role in our end-to-end retail safety solution, serving as a significant deterrent, though it’s essential to remember that deterrence is just one facet of our comprehensive safety solution. As we continue to expand, our vision creates a future where security and prosperity harmoniously coexist in our communities.