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News & Events

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News & Events

13th August 2013

The British Red Cross has appointed Lodge Service to provide ‘mystery shoppers’ and security audits and training to help protect the charity’s network of 320 gift shops and £28 million annual revenue that funds charitable services. The three-year contract follows a decade of support for the charity by Lodge Service, and now includes on-line reports on incidents and trends data for the charity’s management and internal audit team.

Lodges Service’s mystery shoppers investigate all British Red Cross shops twice a year – 640 visits to locations as far afield as the Scottish Outer Isles - to provide feedback on staff compliance with service standards and also to detect security issues at the point of sale, to ensure payment is received and processed correctly.

Programme reports include feedback on ten criteria, including the competency of shop staff in processing donated items; their knowledge of Red Cross activities when questioned in-store; and whether they invite customers to sign up for the Gift Aid scheme, which accounts for £1 million of extra funding annually. The results of the programme are collated using a secure, on-line database, which the Red Cross can access to respond to incidents and monitor any trends across the network that require management action.

Lodge Service also supports the charity’s internal audit team by carrying out regular checks in some 80 nominated shops to assess procedural compliance in a number of operationally critical areas. These include store administration and cash control, as well as compliance with physical and personal security standards and health and safety provisions.

‘Shrink awareness’ training workshops are organised to help shop managers and key volunteers understand the causes of business loss. Over 500 staff have attended the annual events which include case studies on loss prevention, data on trends and practical tips on how to reduce vulnerability to losses and deal with a suspected shop lifting incident.

Lodge Service also carries out covert investigations on a reactive basis where losses are suspected or staff may be failing to attend a store during opening hours, for example. Support can include telephone calls to the store or visits, to observe activity or make test purchases and monitor payment.

Miranda Bradley, retail development manager at the British Red Cross, says:

"Lodge Service offers a very personalised and responsive service, reacting quickly to our needs. Their depth of experience in retail security, safety and compliance means they can offer excellent advice if we are dealing with a related problem. This includes consulting on potential risks from any new procedures we’re planning - looking ahead to recommend options for dealing with them safely within our internal systems and processes."

For further information:

Lodge Service,
Brook Point,
1412 High Road,
London N20 9BH

0800 289 080

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