Shoplifting can have negative effects ranging from profit loss to decreased employee morale and work satisfaction. With a few tips, you can do a better job of protecting your merchandise.
Trends in shoplifting
The National Associate of Shoplifting Prevention gathered statistics about the prevalence of and reasons for shoplifting. The organization found that tens of billions of dollars are lost every year from retail stores. However, it’s not easy to catch people in the act of stealing from your store. There are shoplifters across several demographics, regardless of age, race or gender. Many people steal for the thrill more than the merchandise, NASP explained. Shoplifting isn’t often premeditated, but one way people get away with it is by actually purchasing something to appear less suspicious.
Educate employees on best practices
The first step in stopping shoplifting is training your employees on what to look for. Often people who plan to steal will wander around the store for a long time, avoid eye contact with staff, appear nervous, look around in a paranoid manner and linger in store corners or behind shelves.
How your store is arranged can have an impact on the frequency of shoplifting occurrences, depending on how visible the merchandise is. Staples recommended setting shelves up by height, starting with short shelves near the register. Additionally, display tables should be neatly organized so it’s easier to spot something out of place. You can also post signs around the store that warn customers about the shop’s policy on shoplifting. Consider moving your cash-out area to the door if it’s not already, so everyone has to walk by as they enter and exit the store.
Specialty Retail Report explained that associates shouldn’t explicitly accuse a shopper of stealing, nor should they go after the culprit themselves. Instead, have employees call security immediately and ask customers if they’re ready to make a purchase when they’re caught hoarding merchandise.
Tools to bolster security
It may be impossible to arrange store fixtures in a way that leaves 100 percent of the store visible to staff members. For areas that are a bit more hidden, consider installing security cameras and mirrors. Staples recommended placing the cameras in obvious locations so shoppers are aware that they’re being watched. Mirrors are particularly excellent for seeing around corners and down long aisles.
If you sell apparel, you should look into Universal Ink Pin and Clutch Kits that prevent shoppers from stealing the items. You’ll also need a Universal Magnetic Detacher to remove the tags once merchandise has been purchased.