Loss of inventory and sales from shoplifting is as frustrating as it is costly. Many independent retailers lack the revenue to buy high-tech surveillance systems, article tracking equipment, and POS systems that benefit corporately-backed franchises.
In this article, we’re going to share with you some straightforward and painless ways you can easily implement to cut down on shoplifting and foil crooks looking to make a quick grab, all while helping your business’s bottom line.
Shoplifting is a crime of opportunity. When your sales floor is sufficiently staffed with attentive employees, you can effectively reduce the opportunities for shoplifters to steal from you.
Here are some ways training employees to be attentive can help prevent loss:
- Employees at the register can catch price swapping and fraudulent returns.
- Friendly employees show awareness by greeting incomers and outgoers.
- More eyes on the sales floor can help watch for shifty behavior and move loiters along.
Aside from providing a presence on the floor, hard-working employees can help keep your store tidy. Not only is a pleasing store inviting to your customers, but it can also help thwart theft.
When your store is clean and tidy, you can:
- Easily spot out-of-place items to help maintain an accurate inventory.
- Show you’re vigilant in your store’s upkeep. When you’re sloppy, it sends a message that you aren’t aware or care about your items, practically inviting shoplifters to snatch from you.
If increasing employee presence isn’t possible for you, consider hanging a bell or installing an alarm system on your door. Even though regular ringing can get a little bothersome, it will alert you to traffic so no one can sneak past you when you’re distracted by other business needs.
Store Layout and Display
There are several ways you can design your store layout and display merchandise to make shoplifting more difficult. Here are changes to your sales floor that you can implement:
- Keep displays and fixtures low so that they don’t obstruct the view of shoppers.
- Direct exit traffic past the checkout allowing you or your staff to greet everyone as they leave.
- Install “security” mirrors in hard-to-see areas to minimize blind spots among your shelving.
- Display easily pocketed items in hard-to-reach displays
- Lock valuable items in display cases requiring employee assistance for purchase.
- Organize your store with bulky, difficult to snatch items in the back, and easier grabs where you can see them.
Anti-Theft Store Signage Everywhere
Adding signage can be a pre-emptive practice that can deter shoplifters. Whether your signs say “Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted” or that the store is monitored with security cameras (whether this is true or not), this extra step may cause potential shoplifters to rethink their choices. You can be creative with signage, adding humor, or keeping the tone light-hearted, if that matches your brand personality.
- Place signs in high traffic areas: entrance, bathrooms, changing stalls, and back aisles.
- Consider signage up high near surveillance cameras (or where surveillance cameras would be if you don’t have any) where those skimming for security will easily see them.
- Add illustrations of eyes on signage; this will give offenders a feeling of being watched.
You don’t have to invest in expensive equipment to cut back on your store’s shrinkage from theft. A thoughtful layout, employee training, and a few well-placed signs can go a long way to prevent shoplifting and discourage opportunists looking to get a five-finger discount.