Shoplifting cost the retail industry around $50 billion in 2016. When you provide your business with merchandise, you are making an incredible investment and when that is stolen from you, it costs you more than just money. It can cost you time and customers as well.
All kinds of businesses are at risk for retail theft, from big businesses and corporations to small businesses. Most criminals know that the big box stores have the money for video surveillance and other anti-theft devices, so they tend to target smaller shops without the resources the larger ones have.
There is no surefire way to completely prevent theft in your retail store. But there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risk of shoplifting.
These shoplifting prevention tips can help you learn how to catch shoplifters and stop them before they ever enter your store.
Keep Your Store Clean
If your store is messy and unorganized, it will be easier for shoplifters to steal. When you're unsure of what goes where, how can you know if something is missing? A lack of tidiness in your store will tell thieves that you don't pay attention to your inventory.
To decrease the chances of your items being stolen, keep your merchandise clean and organized.
You need to build relationships with both your customers and with your employees.
Your customers are a big part of your business and you need to know and understand who they are. The better you know people, the less likely they are to steal from you. If you know a customer's name, the ones who would steal will know you can identify them and the honest ones will know they can report strange activity to you.
But that goes for employees as well. Let your employees know that they're valued and appreciated. Internal theft is a bigger problem than shoplifting, with 75% of employees admitting to stealing from their employers.
The employees who feel happy and engaged in your business won't feel the need to steal from you. In addition to that, they'll be more likely to notice strange behavior and stop theft in its tracks.
As a store manager, there are so many things you have to pay attention to at once.
You need to make sure that there are no loiterers. They're usually a sure bet that there's going to be trouble. When there are a lot of people around, thieves find it much easier to steal.
There are also some shoplifters who will be obvious in what they do. People wearing large sweatshirts who spend a lot of time in the same aisle could be suspicious. The same goes for people who carry large bags or who look around to see if you're watching.
Know what to look out for and keep watching it.
Add Prevention Tactics
The tags that hang on clothing and high-value items are there to deter theft. They might seem like the sort of thing that only the big box stores can afford, but the benefits of these tags far outweigh the cost.
The systems aren't cheap, but they can be the most valuable way to make sure people don't steal from you. Your store will become much harder to rob if you use these devices.
Security tags and labels are your front line defense in any retail security system. They're attached to each piece of inventory to decrease the number of items that are stolen.
Most commonly, you'll find hard tags that are disabled with a detacher at the POS. There are also EAS security labels that are stickers attached to smooth, flat surfaces on books, cosmetics, DVD cases, or other items. These are deactivated by the cashier at the POS system as well.
A more drastic option is an ink tag, which if opened by someone without the proper device at home or in the store will spill ink and damage the garment.
Call the Cops
You might think that involving the police every time a low dollar item is stolen might be overkill. However, you need to set a precedent. When you partner with local law enforcement, you can lower your shoplifting rates by over 21%.
Focus on your POS
It's a good idea in general to consider a POS system. They're wonderful tools for managing a business in today's digital age. But they're also great for shoplifting.
A POS system can help you track all of your transactions. But more than that, they keep track of every function that happens at that system during a specific employee's shift.
Maybe you will start to notice that a certain employee gives a lot of discounts or voids, or if the 'no sale' button is hit a lot during shifts.
These are all things you can pay better attention to when you use a POS system.
Where you put your POS system is just as important as having one. If you put your checkout at the back of the store, you won't be able to keep a close eye on it.
A checkout by the front door ensures that you'll be able to greet and make eye contact with all customers as they come in and let them know that you know they're gone.
Also, stealing cash from a register is a surefire way to get your money without having to go through the act of stealing. Never leave your register unattended.
The best way to prevent theft is through the use of surveillance cameras. They let you keep an eye on the store and record people who commit a crime.
Video technology has increased drastically over the years. You don't have to deal with grainy videos that serve no purpose. Now there are high-quality images, no matter the lighting.
In addition to saving you from retail theft, having surveillance systems can save you money on your insurance as well.
We offer excellent quality CCTV value packages for very a reasonable price, and they even come with a 3-year warranty.
Shoplifting Prevention -- Have a Plan
You need to know ahead of time how you will respond to someone who steals from you. It doesn't matter if you decide to call the police, handle the matter in-store, or let it go, you need to be ready to react when you're stolen from.
There is no way to stop theft completely. But there are plenty of different tactics you can employ to protect yourself and fight back.
For more information on shoplifting prevention, check out our blog today.