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In a country where even the most technologically sophisticated security systems have failed to prevent shoplifting, Jorge Nazer, a serial entrepreneur, has hit upon a solution that works. ALTO significantly mitigates shoplifting in commercial establishments through the use of the ALTO seal. Since its launch in 2005, ALTO has become the leading private retail security firm in Chile, with a presence in over half of all large retail outlets.
What comes to mind when you see a red octagon? The reaction is universal – STOP! This is precisely the reflex entrepreneur Jorge Nazer is looking for, and is successfully getting, when a shoplifter enters a commercial establishment and comes upon his ALTO sign. In Chile, petty crime in retail establishments results in an estimated US$400 million per year in lost revenues, and even the most sophisticated technology security systems have failed to prevent shoplifting. ALTO (meaning “halt” in Spanish) is significantly addressing this problem by truly stopping shoplifters in their tracks.
A lawyer by training, Jorge has launched a number of businesses, ranging from selling imported and used motorcycles to starting a high-quality nursery school. The idea for ALTO came while Jorge was participating in a social program for young professionals to work in poor communities called “Jóvenes al Servicio de Chile” (Youth in the Service of Chile). Following a stint with the program in the southern city of Puerto Montt, Jorge spent time abroad conducting research. While living and researching in New York City, he became interested in the city’s “zero tolerance” policies towards crime. Fascinated by the success of this crime-fighting approach, and convinced that the model offered both a significant social and economic opportunity, Jorge returned to Chile determined to devote all of his time and energy into solving the problem of petty crime. ALTO was born!
The first company of its kind in Chile, ALTO is a private security firm focused on the prevention of low-end theft (petty crime) in the retail industry. Jorge launched ALTO on a national scale. Following a successful pilot project at the Puerto Montt locations of the LIDER supermarket chain in 2005 where the amount of inventory lost to shoplifters fell by almost a quarter in the first year alone).. Today the company boasts a wide base of clients, including some of Chile’s largest department stores, supermarket chains, and major malls. Thanks in large part to ALTO, the number of petty crime incidents in Santiago and the surrounding region has fallen dramatically.
ALTO has grown quickly to become the leading private retail security firm in the country with a presence in over two thirds of large commercial establishments. Employing its easily-recognizable “ALTO” symbol (a blue triangle contained within a circle), ALTO prevents and dissuades theft in stores through effectively combining this symbol recognition with its proprietary database tracking the crime history of past shoplifters in addition to its team of lawyers who back up the ALTO symbol with swift prosecution.
Jorge has worked with Endeavor VentureCorps on IP issues and US regulations, as well as expansion strategy. He has received support from an Ernst & Young Fellow, eMBA, and global mentor, and participated in Immersion Tours and Entrepreneur Summit. He also undertook a year-long program with BCG focused on business model re-alignment and growth strategies.
Jorge has mentored fellow Entrepreneurs and participated in the local Endeavor Building Project.
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