Corporate suicide?

idleprocess

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For a good-quality jewelry shop or bank, for example, it'd certainly make it vastly tougher to forcibly enter en masse or forcibly remove products. Can apply to entry and exit. Make your purchase, get double-checked at door #1, get authorized to enter the "choke point" zone for exit through door #2. Some customer might certainly whine about the supposed delay, and some might even whine it's an affront and insult, but it's the shop's product and the shop's security, and they've also got a responsibility to ensure customers are protected and the riffraff remains incapable as possible of damaging the shop/inventory/customers.
Implementing a security vestibule exit scheme seems like it would have some interesting ramifications for emergency egress requirements compliance. I suppose that alarmed emergency exits would still be present and deter casual five-fingering which seems to rely on perps not drawing excessive attention to themselves. But the smash-and-grab crowd will still be able to abuse them.

Last time I was in a jewelry store it was a specialty place specializing in accessible vintage stuff and their process involved securing merchandise not being actively shown. No glass displays - you either saw something online you wanted to see or dropped by and asked to see [style/genre] products - and seemingly a staff very conscientious of a manual specifying some general value limit being shown at any one time. The spendier items were also seemingly shown in rooms off of the main lobby/showroom, likely with discreet maglocks should something worth five figures not be accounted for before sale or the prospective customer departed; the main door looked to have a similar arrangement.

Banks also seem to have not only less cash onhand than in decades past but it's also largely internally secured - either in drop safes for receipts or armored cash dispensers whose dispensing is coupled to account withdrawals like an ATM. These factors - alongside the diminishing role cash plays in daily life - has seen the haul from bank robberies trending down.

Other than the design spec for the entry/egress area, along with a variant of surveillance and procedures that'd go along with such a thing, it's hard to see a major downside.
I've noticed that in larger stores there's a tendency to have an awkward confluence of entrance/exit area, to the consternation of their LP folks and overt security. 'Super' Targets and Wal-Marts alike have entrances at the extreme quartile boundaries where the traffic flow doesn't completely co-mingle but there are the likes of customer service, restrooms, rented spaces, themed merch sections, offices/break rooms, etc along the front wall with a pathway along checkout outflow that results in turbulent flow.
 
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TPA

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I think the issue for many retailers is the more hardened their store is to theft, the less inviting it is to customers. They have to weigh potential lost customers against shrinkage. After all, nobody wants to shop in a store that resembles a prison.

THIS. I grew up in a very safe, conservative area. The bank walking distance from my home had tellers sitting at regular desks. You'd just sit down at their desk and if you needed cash they'd just open their desk drawer and hand it to you. I remember when I went off to college, that was the first time I saw tellers behind polycarbonate. Quite jarring.

For a good-quality jewelry shop or bank, for example, it'd certainly make it vastly tougher to forcibly enter en masse or forcibly remove products.

Any of the high-end jewelry shops I've been to in major cities have a well-dressed doorman/security guard who makes the judgement call as to who gets to come in. He unlocks the doors and holds the door for you, then immediately locks it behind you. You're not getting in or out of the store without him letting you. It's done so professionally and discretely that it's unobtrusive. I'm not even sure how many people realize the doorman is locking and unlocking the door.

Implementing a security vestibule exit scheme seems like it would have some interesting ramifications for emergency egress requirements compliance.

Prisons and hospitals don't seem to have this problem. I know, there's different codes for these types of facilities, but at the same time it shows that it CAN be done. There's no reason we can't do something similar with staff having an override for the system. At the very least, if it's a magnetic lock you can just interlock it with the fire alarm. There's already delayed egress at large retailers. No reason it can't be done here. I remember having a go-around with a fire inspector. We had welded two angle-irons in an L shape onto the back exit door of a building and dropped a 2x4 in there at night. The inspector had an issue with this and we pointed out that the 2x4 was removed any time we were there, as we'd park back there too. The inspector then said, "What happens if someone breaks in and the building catches fire?" My boss said frankly, "I hope he dies painfully in the fire." The inspector dropped it. There's the right way, wrong way, then there's code.
 

idleprocess

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Prisons and hospitals don't seem to have this problem. I know, there's different codes for these types of facilities, but at the same time it shows that it CAN be done. There's no reason we can't do something similar with staff having an override for the system. At the very least, if it's a magnetic lock you can just interlock it with the fire alarm. There's already delayed egress at large retailers. No reason it can't be done here.
That occurred to me later. Seen the notices about time-delayed emergency exits in large buildings before. Just do something like that in front of an interlock vestibule / manlock / whatnot with a prominent EMERGENCY EXIT button or some regular exit doors with crash bars flanking. And if it's not a maglock it can be a solenoid latch that requires power to be held shut so in the case of power failure or destruction of the control system it fails open with naught but a spring latch holding it closed.

Just ... that's nontrivial additional investment, additional procedures that retail workers already harried by an ever-more-disgruntled public will drag their feet on, and profoundly unwelcoming for a place that sells general merch. The customer experience matters and the market will move away from a lower-priced or superior good/service because of a bad experience.
 

TPA

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Just ... that's nontrivial additional investment, additional procedures that retail workers already harried by an ever-more-disgruntled public will drag their feet on, and profoundly unwelcoming for a place that sells general merch. The customer experience matters and the market will move away from a lower-priced or superior good/service because of a bad experience.
If you think those workers get the shaft, try dealing with the amount of crap airline employees have to put up with. I honestly don't know how they do it. I don't even like having to deal with the rest of the public as a passenger, and haven't since May 2020. Flying private isn't always luxurious, but it sure is freeing.

As far as customer experience mattering, maybe in other countries, but not the USA. People regularly, loyally give money to companies who deliver bad products and bad experiences...and keep going back to them. Comcast, Apple, and the airlines come to mind.
 

jtr1962

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As far as customer experience mattering, maybe in other countries, but not the USA. People regularly, loyally give money to companies who deliver bad products and bad experiences...and keep going back to them. Comcast, Apple, and the airlines come to mind.
Sometimes bad service is just due to lack of competing options. The US has no high-speed rail system. Flying is the only way to travel which is faster than driving. If the airlines had to compete with HSR on their shorter routes (200 to about 1000 miles) they might start making air travel more civilized. That said, even if they did, trains are still hands down the best way to travel for lots of reasons. Way more room, you don't need to wear a seat belt, you can walk around, use the restroom whenever you want. The ride is way smoother than flying or driving. And door-to-door, HSR is as fast or faster than flying out to at least 500 miles. Even over distances where it's slower, many will opt for comfort over saving a few hours.

Of course, since the airlines in the US have no HSR to compete with, they essentially have a monopoly. That almost always means crappy service.
 
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idleprocess

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If you think those workers get the shaft, try dealing with the amount of crap airline employees have to put up with. I honestly don't know how they do it. I don't even like having to deal with the rest of the public as a passenger, and haven't since May 2020. Flying private isn't always luxurious, but it sure is freeing.
General public seems to be getting a tad more coarse and more churlish year after year.

As far as customer experience mattering, maybe in other countries, but not the USA. People regularly, loyally give money to companies who deliver bad products and bad experiences...and keep going back to them. Comcast, Apple, and the airlines come to mind.
Funny you mention Comcast as I'm well aware of how unloved that ISPs are as I work in the industry. Persistent billing issues, persistent outages, technical problems - everyone has a threshold for these that will drive them to a competitor. Doesn't matter if the competitor charges more or has worse-performing service - the negative motivation is strong.
 

letschat7

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If you think those workers get the shaft, try dealing with the amount of crap airline employees have to put up with. I honestly don't know how they do it. I don't even like having to deal with the rest of the public as a passenger, and haven't since May 2020. Flying private isn't always luxurious, but it sure is freeing.

As far as customer experience mattering, maybe in other countries, but not the USA. People regularly, loyally give money to companies who deliver bad products and bad experiences...and keep going back to them. Comcast, Apple, and the airlines come to mind.

 

pnwoutdoors

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Sometimes bad service is just due to lack of competing options. The US has no high-speed rail system. Flying is the only way to travel which is faster than driving ... Of course, since the airlines in the US have no HSR to compete with, they essentially have a monopoly. That almost always means crappy service.

The last time I actually experienced high-grade service on a commercial airline flight was in the 1980s with Singapore Airlines. A big, over-sized cross-Pacific flight mostly bedecked with business and first-class type seating, wider aisles, a more-open feel to everything, and plain civility and willingness to assist by the staff. The cattle cars operating in the domestic U.S. market, these days, are like night and day when comparing to that.

Haven't flown more than a couple of times since the 1990s.

One would think flat crappy service would be corporate suicide. But people are willing to take the cheapie "Wal-Mart" approach to products and services these days. At least, in the U.S. And so, schlock continues to be offered. I'm all for saving a buck, here and there. But not at the expense of essential utility, basic civility, etc.

Another good example: cast iron pots and skillets. It's been a coon's age since the average cast iron pot maker bothered to complete the production process with a good smoothing and polishing of the cooking surfaces. Result? Ultra-slick for the life of the pan. Used to be commonplace for a self-respecting pot maker to produce pots with an actual non-stick, prepared surface, knowing that was useful and desired, not just 100yrs from now but right now out of the gate. That sort of corner-cutting is everywhere.

Should be suicidal. That it isn't is an ugly sign of the times.
 
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Dr. Jones

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I think that what most are missing here is that this epidemic of retail theft, along with failure to prosecute for petty crimes, is intentionally being allowed to happen.

The Hegelian Dialectic, named after the German philosopher Georg Hegel who first elucidated it, works by means of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, more commonly referred to as problem-reaction-solution. A problem - in this case, widespread lawlessness - is allowed to fester and grow by those desiring to move society in a certain direction. This eventually leads to the general public demanding that Something Must Be Done; those who have promulgated the unwelcome situation are then only too happy to oblige, by instituting a restrictive, police-state oriented solution to the problem that they themselves created.

Look around; this is the way the world works, and how we've collectively ended up where we currently are.
 
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