Securing Holiday Gift Items at Retail Stores
Unfortunately, during the holiday season, typical gift items aren’t just coveted by shoppers. Theft of these items also increases, especially theft by shoplifters. According to analysis by NBC News, which used FBI data, national shoplifting arrests increased by 8.95 percent during November and December 2011, compared to the previous two months.
This makes sense. The holiday season is a time when many people give gifts and, unfortunately, many shoplifters, perhaps looking to avoid paying for gifts or just looking give themselves a few extra presents, join in. Plus, this time of year sees increased foot traffic in retail stores. The overall busy time means that staff are less effective at watching for shoplifters. Criminals take advantage of crowded stores to steal items while sales staff are helping customers.
Items that are frequently targeted by shoplifters during this time include:
- Cellular phone and accessories
- Higher end clothing and accessories
- Video games
Not only do criminals steal these items for themselves, but valuable gift items also have a very high value on the black market. Plus, more and more often, criminals steal items from stores and then quickly sell them online using services like Craigslist and eBay.
Since shoplifting is a very costly crime that causes millions of dollars in loss to retail stores every year, it’s important that you take steps to improve security and prevent shoplifting. Here are some retail store security tips that will reduce shoplifting at your business.
Be aware. It’s tough to keep an eye out for shoplifters when your retail store is filled with holiday shoppers, but not watching everyone in your store can be very costly. Depending on how busy you are this holiday season, you may want to hire extra staff to ensure that your store is properly monitored.
It’s also important that you teach your staff how to respond to shoplifters. If someone in your store is acting suspicious, they will often be scared off by a staff member walking over and asking if they need any help. This lets them know that they’re being watched which, in many cases, is enough to have them abandon their shoplifting plans.
In addition to trusting your staff to identify and react to shoplifters, it’s also a good idea to consider upgrading the security tools used at your retail store.
In addition to security cameras and alarm systems, installing physical security is a very effective way to reduce shoplifting. Unlike cameras and alarms, which require someone to respond to them in time, security gates place a physical barrier between criminals and the objects they hope to steal.
One good way to use physical security to prevent shoplifting is to secure commonly stolen items behind gates or inside locked cabinets. Shoppers will then need to ask a staff member for the item, which drastically reduces the chance of theft. In most shoplifting scenarios, a criminal will quietly slide a small, yet valuable item into a coat pocket or bag and then leave the store undetected. With physical security tools in place, this becomes significantly more difficult to do. This is important since, during the holiday season, more and more people will be carrying bags and wearing big coats, which makes shoplifting easier.
By taking the right precautions, you can protect your store and your merchandise.
If you need help selecting a security gate, please feel free to contact a member of our team. We’ll be more than happy to help you out in any way we can.