When was the last time you checked your numbers? Not your daily sales or monthly goals – your inventory. If you can’t remember the last time you did this, there’s a serious problem.
Inventory management is just one way you can improve your retail store security system. It helps you understand how each unit comes and goes, and sometimes, can help you track down missing items.
Not every number error is the result of a counting mistake, but it is nice to know when the issue at hand comes down to attention to detail rather than shoplifting. If it’s clear that shoplifting is happening all over your store, though, you need to rethink a few things.
Here are a handful of action steps you can take to put control back in your hands and stop letting sticky fingers be such a problem.
Hold a Staff Meeting
This is the easiest step you can take towards having a safer store, and it’s one of the most effective. Plan a staff meeting the moment you realize there’s a shoplifting problem.
Talk to all of your assistant managers one-on-one, then communicate your shoplifting prevention policy clearly with everyone else. Keep in mind that it may be time to upgrade this.
Make sure everyone knows what to do if they feel that someone is shoplifting and remind them how to spot the signs of stealing. Everyone from your newest employee to the manager who has been in the store the longest should feel comfortable approaching such situations, or at least going to someone on the team about it.
Put Up More Security Cameras
As much as you want to trust the eyes on your team, it pays to have a few extra eyes in your store, too. Install security cameras if you haven’t already. If you do have a few around the store, check for blind spots and either reposition what you already have or invest in even more cameras.
The more eyes you have on every angle, the better. This not only allows you to prevent shoplifting but also to catch people in the act. Cameras give you the clear proof you need to confront a shopper who is trying to take advantage of your store.
Not to mention, there is the possibility that some of the shoplifting is happening from within. While most store owners hate the thought of someone on their team betraying their trust, it’s a chance you can’t afford not to look into. Consider placing a camera in the back room or keeping a closer eye on certain people, just to be sure everything is actually running as smoothly as you think.
Make Sure Everything Is Tagged
The next set of retail security devices you need to invest in are security tags. These are the little metal attachments that should go on everything in your store. Each tag has a sensor that goes off when an item is taken out of range – or in other words, when someone is trying to steal it.
Even the most delicate of fabrics need to have a tag on them. There are some sensors that are smaller than others; they’re made with things like children’s clothing, accessories, and intricate pieces in mind.
Such tools protect your store without compromising the overall quality of what you’re selling. If you’re not sure which tags are the best for your store, or how many you need, you can click to learn more.
Do More Counts and Inventory Checks
This was talked about at the beginning of the article, but it’s worth going into detail about. The more counts and inventory checks you do, the better off your store’s security will be.
You can choose to take these on yourself or to split the responsibility up among your senior staff. Either way, everyone needs to be on the same page.
Have some sort of checking system in place to be sure the counts are what people say they are. Beyond that, do random counts from time to time in addition to your regular inventory checks. Also, consider that sometimes it may be better to take on the store section by section rather than trying to check everything in your inventory at once.
Change the Store Layout
Once you have a better control of your inventory and you have every item in the store tagged, it may be time to consider changing the store layout.
Are you making it easy for people to take what they want? Can your team members keep their eye on every angle, or do you need to create a more open space for them?
Take a lap around the store and think about these things. You may have been inviting people to shoplift without even realizing it. Thankfully, a few design changes here and there can take care of that.
Something that goes hand in hand with this is to try having more people on the floor at a time, too. Keep in mind this may mean paying employees a little more each week if you’re having them work longer or scheduling more people at a time. But, the short-term increase in cost now is worth the long-term security of your store, right?
Talk to your team about such changes and try it out for a little while. If it works, keep it going. If you find you have too many team members standing around, lean back on the extra scheduling but keep your other security tactics in place.
Make Your Retail Store Security System the Best It Can Be
Improving store security doesn’t happen overnight nor in the same way. It’s not the same to prevent shoplifting in a clothing store as it is in a grocery store or convenience store.
But, retail store security system improvement always begins in the same place – realizing your establishment has been compromised. If you think something is going on, act on it right away.
For a little more insight on store security, click here.