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Read Hayes, PhD, CPP
Director of Loss Prevention Research Council on ...

Benefit Denial

Even though many retailers are making great progress, retail theft is an over $40 billion dollar problem, and many retailers are looking for even better countermeasures. Benefit Denial is one of them. The benefit denial concept describes how offenders will be discouraged from stealing an item they can't use or gain any benefit from unless they legitimately obtain it. The benefit denial term originated when crime prevention researcher Read Hayes, PhD was asked by Security Tag executives (later acquired by Sensormatic/ADT) in 1989 to label the protective mechanism of action of ink/dye tags and some small clamps that would damage or ruin apparel, wallets, eyeglasses and jewelry if the tag was illicitly removed. Dr. Hayes met with the Security Tag executive Bob DiLonardo in 1989 and presented the benefit denial concept to their marketing team for use in an upcoming catalog.

The benefit denial idea was that theft offenders were more likely to be deterred if they couldn't use or in any way benefit from an item unless purchased than if theft was made more difficult or risky by electronic countermeasures and protective fixtures. Current benefit denial development is designed to product countermeasures that make highly desirable products useless unless purchased throughout the supply chain.

The LPRC's Benefit-Denial Working Group headed by Best Buy's Tim Fisher and Walmart's Dain Sutherland are working with over a dozen leading retail chains to attract and work with hot product manufacturers and innovative protection solution partners to develop and test cost-effective, consumer-friendly systems.

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