Own Business? Try these 5 Things to Stop ShopliftingApril 7, 2014
Entrepreneurship always has its challenges, but there is no reason why shoplifting needs to be a recurring problem. Modern advances in business monitoring systems have made shoplifting prevention easier than ever. Diversify your shoplifting prevention strategies to protect your assets and ensure that your business stays safe, no matter its size.
Use Surveillance Equipment and Business Monitoring Systems
One of the best ways to deter criminals is to install a sophisticated monitoring system, complete with surveillance equipment, on your business premises. Would-be thieves think twice before shoplifting when they are aware that they could be caught on film. Ensure that these cameras are installed in prime locations, such as the entrance and corners, as well as throughout the business itself. Convex mirrors also work well to disguise surveillance equipment and catch criminals in the action.
Design Your Business with Shoplifters in Mind
Consider designing or re-arranging your store with a layout that makes shoplifting difficult. Make as much of your store visible to employees as possible, with wide aisles and a clean, clutter-free atmosphere. It is easier to rob stores that are disorganized and difficult to monitor. Keep the store well-lit, with clear paths to dressing areas and clearly visible racks and shelving, so you can spot a shoplifter quickly. Displays should also be low in order to force thieves to stoop when selecting merchandise, which makes them easier for you to notice.
Guard Commonly Stolen Items
Keep items that thieves in your area commonly steal under lock and key. Maintain a display behind the cash register or in a glass case that locks to help stop criminals from being able to easily reach merchandise. Other highly visible areas, such as racks in front of the cash register, are also good spots to place frequently coveted merchandise. Use the same rules for the most expensive items in your store that would account for heavier losses if they were to be stolen.
Train Employees to Be a Part of the Solution
Hold a teaching session to help employees know what to look for in potential shoplifters. Instruct them to watch all customers, particularly those who will not make eye contact or keep their hands near their pockets. Encourage them to move around the store to make thieves uneasy about being caught. Stagger employee breaks and ensure that there are enough workers on the floor at all times to deter criminals. Make sure that shoplifting policies are known and enforced by the entire staff.
Inspect Items During Checkout
Develop a checkout strategy to keep would-be thieves from ripping off your store. Inspect items like handbags, briefcases, and shoe boxes for hidden merchandise inside. Check tags while ringing up items to make sure they have not been removed and replaced with cheaper tags from other merchandise. Customer service agents should focus on the items and the individual checking out rather than anyone attempting to distract them in an attempt to shoplift.
According to the Washington Post, during 2010 retailers lost $10.9 billion from shoplifting in Florida alone. Many of these instances could have been prevented with the simple implementation of these strategies. Keep your business monitoring systems in place and stay on top of shoplifting prevention to avoid being added to the statistic.