Having to deal with shoplifting isn’t a new problem for retail store owners to contend with, but it remains an issue for many stores across in the US. In fact, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Hayes International, more than $6 billion was shoplifted from 24 major retailers and small retail stores. So how can retail store owners defend against shoplifters? There are a variety of effective methods used by retail store owners that can help small business retail loss prevention. Protecting your business with the following strategies can help secure your business assets and prevent shoplifting from would-be thieves.
Understand the Different Types of Shoplifters
It helps to understand the different types of shoplifters and their reasoning for steal goods in order to be more in tune with small business retail loss prevention. There are of course the shoplifters that simply want goods they can’t afford, but this isn’t the only type of shoplifters. There are also people who can afford the items, but get a thrill from stealing items and not getting caught, as well as people who do it to turn a profit as they sell items they have stolen. You may also find people who do it for more complex reasons, such as someone who has a personal issue with the store owner and has revenge as a motive.
Employee Phoney Shoppers
One way to defend against shoplifters is to place individuals throughout the store who act as regular customers — but are actually there to keep an eye on other shoppers. Shoplifters will be more wary of store employees, but usually don’t pay much attention to people acting as if they’re also there to shop. The “phoney” shoppers should appear as customers, not looking around too much as this is cause for suspicion. They should use dressing rooms, collect items throughout the store, and be good enough actors to portray a traditional shopper, while still keeping an eye out for potential shoplifting behavior.
Use Uniform Security Guards
Not only can uniform security guards prevent a shoplifter from stealing goods from the store and making it to their vehicle, but just having security guards visibly in or near the store may deter people from shopping at your retail store. People are much less likely to attempt shoplifting when they see that is more likely they will not get away with it. The uniform security guards should be trained in what to look for when identifying shoplifters, as some states have laws against stopping an individual before they actually leave the store with the goods.
Another way to deter shoplifters is to place signs throughout your store that state exactly what the penalty are for shoplifting. You should place these signs on the front entrance door, in dressing rooms, and various other places throughout your store. It is a great defense against shoplifting.
Perform Exit Inspection
If you have had a problem with shoplifters, you can prevent future occurrences by performing exit inspection. While you can’t look through someone’s personal belongings, you can require them to show a receipt for what is in their shopping bag. This prevents shoplifting by individuals that put in more items in their bag than what they purchased.
Use Surveillance Technology
Having surveillance technology will help you to prevent shoplifting from occurring and decrease your loss astronomically. Place video surveillance equipment throughout your store so that most if not all of your store is covered by the cameras. Don’t hide them, because knowing they are being watched can also deter shoplifting from stealing from your store. Train security personnel to view the cameras and look for suspicious behavior.
As a store owner, small business retail loss prevention is an important part of doing business. When individuals steal goods or money from your store, it has a large impact on your business finances and cause tremendous burden on your business overall. You should also purchase adequate business insurance for the cases when preventing shoplifting was not possible.