Here are the facts:
- According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are over 550,000 incidents of shoplifting that equal over $13 billion stolen merchandise annually.
- Only 1 in 49 shoplifters are actually caught and out of those, 50% are actually turned over to the police.
- 1 in 11 Americans shoplift in our nation today
One of the most inevitable parts of working in retail is dealing with shoplifting.
Whether you’re the owner or an employee, everyone is affected when someone takes merchandise without paying.
So how do you stop it? Is there a way to decrease the chances of loss prevention in your store?
Here are some loss prevention tips to help you put a stop to shoplifters.
Top 10 Essential Loss Prevention Tips
As much as you might want to stop shoplifting from happening at your store, it’s bound to happen if you don’t take the correct precautions.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Keep Your Merchandise Well Organized
One of the easiest ways to identify if something is missing is keeping all your inventory properly organized. When your merchandise is deliberately spaced and arranged, it’ll be easier to notice when something has gone missing.
Crime Doctor, Chris McGoey, gives retail workers a great piece of advice when it comes to keeping their store neat:
“You want to keep all your merchandise ‘faced,’ which means pulling your products to the edge of the shelf to create a solid wall of product. If someone sweeps the shelf, then it is easy to tell.”
2. Know What To Look For
Let’s face it. Loss prevention is always going to be associated with the branding of your business. The higher percentage of shoplifting, the lower the shopping morale will go.
This is why it’s important to be aware of what you should be looking out for when it comes to shoplifters.
Here are some shoplifting signs that you should be aware of:
- They usually work in groups of 2 or more so that they are able to distract the sales associates from what is going on
- Sometimes (very rarely) you’ll run into a bold shoplifter who takes the merchandise and runs
- Be leary of the price swappers. Contrary to popular belief, all shoplifters don’t always take products. Some will exchange an item’s price label for an item from a less expensive label.
- If someone takes a large number of items to the dressing rooms and leaves with fewer items, this is one of the major shoplifting tips.
- Nervousness is usually the primary emotion of a thief. They are constantly watching the cashier and/or clerk while shopping. They’ll sometimes pick up random items with no interest to stall.
3. Door Chimes Are Going To Be Your Best Friend
One of the best ways to monitor who goes in and out of your business is to invest in a door chime.
Companies like Reliable Chimes bring you a variety of door chimes that will help you keep track of everyone who steps foot inside of your store. Because it’s able to be installed in all entrances, this is a perfect way to bring your mind to ease when managing your store.
4. Make Sure Your Customers Understand Your Shoplifting Policy
To ensure the integrity of both your employees and customers, be sure to reinforce your shoplifting policy.
According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, around 73% of shoplifting incidents aren’t premeditated. So having signs in place such as “Shoplifters Will Be Persecuted” will prevent shoppers from acting on impulse.
5. Have A Presence
Out of all the loss prevention tips we have stated, this is going to be the most important.
One of the most important things to do whenever a shopper comes into your store is try and build rapport with them. When you make your presence known to your customers, you increase the chance of retail theft prevention in your store.
Leaving items and people unattended will only lead to icky shoplifting situations that could have been avoided.
6. Take Note Of Peak Seasons
Just like anything else, shoplifting also goes through seasons. And as you can imagine, Christmas is the peak season for shoplifting.
Because there are so many customers, unorganized shelves, consumers on a budget, and shoplifters carefully observing – tis’ the season to be on top of your loss prevention strategies.
7. A Bag Check Policy Can Work In Your Favor
It might seem uncomfortable at first, but implementing a bag-check policy will play out in your favor.
Some stores ask that customers leave their bags with the cashier as they shop. Others don’t allow customers into dressing rooms with huge bags because it increases the chances of shoplifting.
8. Shoplifters Aren’t Limited To Customers
Even though shoplifting is mostly done by customers, it’s important to note that theft can also be performed by associates.
Because associates know where the cameras are and what is checked/not checked, they are likely to be prime subjects for this crime.
9. Visible Security Cameras
As we wrap up our ultimate list of loss prevention tips, we couldn’t forget emphasizing the importance of security cameras.
Because we sometimes miss the shoplifting signs, security cameras are able to catch our blind spots. Even you invest in nonfunctional security cameras, they’re bound to scare the customers thinking about taking merchandise that’s unpaid.
10. Relocate Your Registers
Lastly, the location of your registers is going to be everything when it comes to preventing shoplifting.
When registers are placed near the entrances and exits of your store, customers are required to pass by employers and management before leaving.
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