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Testing the effectiveness of two retail theft control approaches: an experimental research design



This study tested the effectiveness of two situational loss prevention treatments (a protective display fixture and a public view monitor) in reducing loss levels of premium shaving blade replacement packs.


The study used a randomized controlled trial design with each treatment tested in 14 stores. The study also used a 14-store control group. Paired-sample t tests were used to determine whether differences between pre- and post-test product loss were statistically significant. The odds ratio (OR) is used to measure effect size.


The results indicate that the protective display fixture had a statistically significant reduction in loss, showing a difference of 21% between the pretest and posttest. The reduction in loss for the public view monitor was not statistically significant and the level of loss for the control group remained unchanged from the pretest to posttest period.


The results indicate that experimental research designs can be used in retail settings to determine the effectiveness of various theft control devices and technologies. The results of these analyses can help retailers and loss prevention practitioners make better informed decisions regarding which loss control approaches are most effective in reducing loss.

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Correspondence to Tracy L. Johns.

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Johns, T.L., Hayes, R., Scicchitano, M.J. et al. Testing the effectiveness of two retail theft control approaches: an experimental research design. J Exp Criminol 13, 267–273 (2017).

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  • Enhanced public view monitors
  • Protective fixtures
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Situational crime prevention
  • Mechanism of action