Mary Polidan

Mary Polidan
Mentor: Dr. Hyunjoo Oh
Warrington College of Business
 
"I was a part of Dr. Oh's Retail Consulting course during the spring semester of my junior year. In this course, my group worked with Sunglass Hut to help with their loss prevention efforts. Through this project, I developed an interest in consumer behavior and insights. At the end of this project, I wanted to continue exploring these ideas with Dr. Oh and discover how different environmental factors (such as store lighting) can affect customer's shopping behavior and/or propensity to steal."

Major

Marketing

Minor

Retail, Theatre

Research Interests

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Loss Prevention
  • Psychology

Academic Awards

  • Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholar
  • Warrington College of Business Dean's List
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • Warrington Leadership Development Program
  • UF Case Competition Team
  • Catholic Gators Coalition

Volunteer

  • Grace Marketplace

Hobbies and Interests

  • Performing Arts
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Photography
  • Dance

Research Description

Loss Prevention of Luxury Sunglasses
Retailers and vendors have strived to improve the shopping experience by providing consumers with more convenience, freedom, and control. At the same time, these efforts can increase dysfunctional behaviors such as shoplifting. Retailers are reluctant to use certain deterrence measures, such as displaying merchandise in locked cases, because they feel that these measures can decrease the quality of the shopping experience and alienate their good customers resulting in lost sales. According to the National Retail Federation, merchandise loss through shoplifting and other organized crimes in the US retail industry has reached $44 billion in 2015. These problems are especially problematic to retailers who carry product categories such as luxury sunglasses. Luxury sunglasses are especially attractive to shoplifters because they meet all of the criteria that make a product desirable for theft. They are Concealable, Removable, Available, Valuable, Enjoyable, and Disposable. As a result, sunglass retailers have a difficult time with their loss prevention strategies. Many retailers place the most attractive merchandise close to front doors to attract shoppers inside the stores. However, such merchandising practices also increase shoplifting. It is important to understand what trade-offs of such practices regarding enhancement in shopper experiences (sales) and inventory loss from shoplifting.