Fear and loathing along the path to purchase 2016
President Donald Trump — nobody saw that coming.
Except maybe one man Drug Store News interviewed for our January 2011 cover story: Stewart “Stewie Rah-Rah” Rahr, the freewheeling billionaire-philanthropist and former owner/founder of Kinray, the largest privately-held drug distribution company at the time he sold it to Cardinal Health for some $1.3 billion.
“[Trump] would be an amazing president,” Rahr told DSN. “He possesses the attributes the country needs. He’s intelligent and a tremendous negotiator. He’s a leader in every sense of the word, and he loves America.”
A lot of people thought he was crazy. In a December 2010 DSN online poll, 74% of users believed that a Trump White House would be bad for the industry.
Fast-forward to 2016, and a series of DSN polls about the presidential race would play out much like the actual election: 58% of users believed a Trump presidency would be better for business; 50% believed it would be better for health care; and 51% said they planned to vote for Trump.
There is no question that our country is more deeply divided now than at any time since the Vietnam War. Certainly, millennials — which retailers and brand marketers spend so much time trying to reach — have never experienced anything like this. If you watched the demonstrations that broke out in cities all across America the day after the elections, you saw a lot of young faces in the crowd.
The key takeaway is that Americans today feel disenfranchised, disillusioned and disappointed — conservatives as much as liberals. That is why the election turned out as it did. Voters — consumers — want to feel connected to something, something that is meaningful. Half of America felt that they were not.
That message is as true for retailers and CPG companies as it is for political candidates. More than ever, purpose matters. What your brand stands for matters. Authenticity matters. And complacency kills.
Walmart, Corrective Education partner to reduce shrink, help offenders
There aren’t many good-news stories when it comes to loss prevention.
But Walmart and its partner Corrective Education are trying to change that with the introduction of the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative. The program aims to cut down on the amount of resources local law enforcement has to commit against retail crime; not only effectively reduce shrink, but also reduce the labor hours required to monitor, catch, apprehend, detain and prosecute shoplifters; and help ensure one bad decision doesn’t become the defining moment of an otherwise good person’s life.
Specifically, the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative gives first-time offenders an opportunity to avoid prosecution by participating in an online education program, at a cost of $400 to the offender, that not only explores the reasons behind why people choose to shoplift but also identifies community resources, such as job training programs or government assistance programs. The offenders also are given access to life coaches who can guide them through the online resource.
“Restorative justice is relatively new in the retail space,” Paul Jaeckle, senior director, asset protection strategy and operations for Walmart, told Drug Store News. “We view restorative justice as a win-win-win initiative,” he said. “The programming allows for Walmart to invest in an individual who made a mistake to help educate them and get their life back on track.”
Recidivism rates through the program are as low as 2%.
The program works. “We have phased the deployment into roughly one-third of our stores nationwide, and we’re pleased to see that the results are very consistent, with between 30% and 40% reductions in calls to law enforcement,” Jaeckle said.
According to CEC, the lifetime cost of an average shoplifter is about $15,000, and this program helps reduce that shrink burden. This $15,000 cost refers to the amount a shoplifter will cost a retailer in their lifetime, specifically referring to losses incurred from merchandise stolen without being caught, paperwork needed to process a shoplifter when caught, employee hours devoted to potential shoplifting and more.