Operational shrink has been underestimated, says Colin Stewart, Director of Asset Protection at Abercrombie and Fitch with responsibility for fifteen Countries in Europe and the Middle East.

“There is always that quoted global industry statistic that 5% of your risk is operational, 40% is external and 45% is internal,” he tells RRN.

“Our experience is, that those percentages are a fallacy. What is driving my loss? It’s the ultimate question for all of us, but as it is invariably the case, our answers are largely anecdotal. In recent years however, we have become far more efficient at answering that very question, using data analytics to demystify shrink drivers and put measures in place to address the problem”.

In his presentation at the Retail Risk- Dubai conference on November 22nd Colin will reveal how ANF achieved massive sequential reductions in shrink by closing the gap on “unknown shrink”.

“Essentially,” he says, “getting closer to understanding what was truly driving our loss, and making more strategic decisions about where to spend our time tackling it”.

To register for the conference, free to retailers and end users, go to http://www.retailrisk.com/dubai-booking/

Prior to joining Abercrombie and Fitch, Colin managed the investigative arm of Proact Security Group, mainly servicing H&M.

He graduated law school, and spent some time in criminal defense litigation until the allure of LP became too great. He has also managed contracts for River Island, Benetton and GAP, to name a few.