You may think the occasional thief doesn’t harm big business retailers, but you are wrong. Shoplifting and related fraud cost retail stores almost $50 billion in 2016.
And it’s not just customers taking inventory without paying for it. Around a third of the missing inventory is actually from employee theft. With numbers like this, you may feel powerless to protect your bottom line.
Want to know how to keep thieves from stealing your products and profits? Good news, you’re in the right place. Keep reading below for nine anti shoplifting tips any business can implement.
1. Maintain an Organized Store
Would you say the shelves in your store are well-maintained and organized? If you are laughing at your truthful answer, you may want to take some fast action.
If your store is in disarray, how quick would you notice something missing?
Best practice is to keep any product on the retail floor ‘faced.’ This basically means constantly pulling products to the front of the shelves in tidy lines.
2. Know Common Suspicious Behavior and Tactics
Most types of retail stores are vulnerable to theft. It’s not just pricey electronics and cosmetics. Even strange and weird items have been targeted by sticky fingers.
As such, all store owners should be familiar with some of the common behaviors shoplifters can show.
Be aware of pairs or large groups of people that come in. This is because often one member of the group will distract any staff that is on the floor. The others will then proceed to hide products.
Merchandise can be quickly hidden inside clothing, strollers, and large bags. Sometimes people will hide items in another packaging of items they intend to pay for. This is why all cashiers should open up opaque bins or zippered bags.
3. Design Your Layout with Anti Shoplifting Tips in Mind
It is possible to cut down on the chance of theft simply by adjusting the layout of your store. To avoid blind spots, have mirrors and proper lighting installed throughout the store.
Strive to keep small, easily concealed items locked up with expensive items. Another helpful tip is to keep dressing rooms locked when unused and to limit how many items a customer can take in at once.
Always place your checkout counters and cashiers in a position where people must pass it to exit the store.
4. Provide Great Customer Service
One of the most basic and simple ways to fight back against shoplifting? Customer service. Providing high levels of service to every person inside your store often is a strong enough deterrent for most average joy thieves.
For example, always greet everyone walking into your store. This makes it clear you are aware of their presence. Another good tip is to have enough staff on the sales floor to cover all areas. The larger the store, the more staff you will need.
Consider implementing and sticking to a policy about large customer bags. One option is to ask all customers with big backpacks or duffel bags to leave them at the counter.
5. Avoid Profiling
While you want to leverage customer service to your advantage to keep tabs on customers, be very mindful of profiling. There are many stereotypes about the type of people who shoplift.
These have been shown to be very false, so be mindful when you are approaching customers. If customers suspect you of racial profiling or making a decision based on sex, they likely will leave unhappy. And share with their friends and family to avoid your store.
6. Use Signs
Signs letting customers know that thieves will be prosecuted is a good idea. Visual cues are a cheap, but effective method of deterrence. You can put them up once and then simply let them work their magic.
Tips to ensure your signs make the biggest impact possible include putting one at the front door and hanging every sign at eye level. Including images of eyes has also been shown to increase the impact of anti-theft signs.
7. Get to Know Employees
As mentioned, a large portion of theft can actually be carried out by employees. Often, employees who steal are angry at their boss or company in general.
To decrease the likelihood of this, business owners and all managerial staff should strive to have quality relationships with employees. Make an effort to show staff that they are valued and appreciated.
Engaging staff in business decisions whenever possible is a great way to make them feel empowered. When staff members feel they are part of the company, they tend to be happier.
8. Get a View with Cameras
If you’ve done any shopping in any modern store, you likely have seen cameras either hanging on the wall or attached to the ceiling. This gives you an excellent view to catch any issues.
For example, the Mobile Video Guard system can let you stream high-traffic store areas in order to monitor the areas in real time.
These systems can also help in identifying items being commonly taken. This can point to changes needed in the physical security of products.
9. Hire More Help
While it is true that hiring additional staff members will cost you in terms of wages, it can be a tactic to save you from losing money from theft.
Having more staff to walk the retail floor and interact with customers increases the odds a thief will be caught in the act. The riskier the act is, the less likely someone will carry through with the act.
Protect Your Bussiness’s Bottom Line from Wannabe Thieves
You now have nine great anti shoplifting tips you can implement to protect your business’s profits! Whether you are a small or large store, theft prevention is something that unfortunately must be actively worked on.
If you are looking for more information to help your business, be sure to check out our guide for handling conflict among your staff.