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Spotting Shoplifters in your StoreJanuary 14, 2021

According to statistics released by the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), retailers around the country are losing approximately $35 million worth of stock every single day. However, fewer than one in 50 culprits are caught – with less than half of them actually being prosecuted for their actions.

While these figures may indicate that it seems impossible to curb this alarming trend, there are a few ways in which business owners can prevent their merchandise from being stolen. Below are some aspects that can indicate the presence of a shoplifter in your store.

1. Presence of Loiterers

In many cases, shoplifters will hang around outside and/or inside your store for longer than is necessary to make a regular purchase. If you notice this happening, have an employee approach the loiterers to ask if they need assistance with finding what they’re looking for. Individuals who continue loitering are highly likely to be seeking the opportunity to shoplift.

2. Large Groups of People

Shoplifters commonly operate in large groups, as this makes it easier for them to steal merchandise without being identified. As such, you and your employees should always be wary when a large group enters your shop and causes a disturbance – this is often done to distract employees so that merchandise can be easily stolen.

3. Large Bags and/or Loose Clothing

Assess the clothing of suspicious looking individuals in your store – are they wearing a heavy coat or excessively baggy clothing during hot weather? Are they carrying a large purse or other type of bag? If so, this could indicate that they may be trying to conceal goods under their clothing or slip items into an open purse while no one seems to be watching.

4. Nervousness

If you or an employee spots an individual or group that appears to be nervous for no apparent reason, it’s usually an indication that they are up to no good. Pacing through the store, picking up items that they don’t seem to be overly interested in or having a shifty appearance should all be considered as suspicious activity and handled accordingly.

5. Leaving Fitting Rooms with Fewer or No Items

Owing to the fact that cameras may not be installed in fitting rooms due to privacy concerns, this provides the ideal spot for shoplifters to commit their crimes. If an individual takes several items into the fitting room area, but leaves with far fewer items – or none at all – there’s a strong chance that they may be attempting to steal your merchandise. Always ensure that employees check the amount of items going into fitting rooms and compare it to the amount that is left behind.

Training employees to spot abnormal behavior, ensuring that your store has a layout that makes it easy to view all merchandise and having CCTV cameras installed can all go a long way in helping to prevent stock losses. Electronic article surveillance devices that emit audible alerts when an individual tries to leave your store with stolen goods will also help prevent shoplifters from honing their craft in your store.

If you would like to have CCTV installed in your store, contact our team today to set up an appointment with one of our consultants.

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