Help Prevent Shoplifting at your Retail Store
The warm weather is on its way and there’s more daylight these days. This means that more people are venturing out of their homes and into the shopping malls and retail strips. However, this also means that more criminals are out looking for potential targets, and that includes shoplifters.
Shoplifters take advantage of busier times of the year to strike when they think store staff will be distracted. When there are more customers in the store, there’s a greater chance that your employees will be busy and they may not notice someone slipping an item into their bag and walking out. Criminals know this and they take advantage of this fact.
That’s why it’s important to take the time to prepare your store and your staff for shoplifters and their tactics. Here are some tips to help prevent shoplifting at your retail store.
Teach your staff to be aware of shoplifters and their tactics. It is often difficult for staff to pay attention to everyone in the store during a busy day, but it is important that they are trained to greet each person who enters the store. If someone is greeted with strong eye contact and a hello when they walk into the store, they know that staff are paying attention and that they are alert. They know that they have been noticed when they entered, which also means that their actions inside the store will likely be noticed. This is often enough to spook a shoplifter into leaving.
It’s also important to teach staff to speak with customers who are spending a long time in the store or who are acting suspicious, such as those who are walking around aimlessly or who are picking up random items and putting them back without really looking at them. These people could just be waiting for a moment to strike. If an employee walks over and asks someone if they need help, they will realize that your staff is attentive and they’ll likely abandon any thoughts they have of stealing.
Improve your Retail Store’s Layout
Make sure that your store’s layout allows your staff to see as much as the store as possible from the cash register or other locations where they spend a lot of time. Use lower shelves so that criminals cannot hide behind them and place mirrors to help staff see around corners. If criminals can’t hide, it becomes much harder for them to shoplift.
Use Physical Security
Physical security tools such as security gates and locked cabinets can drastically reduce shoplifting. Shoplifters typically target small yet valuable items that can easily be stashed in a bag or coat pocket. If you lock these items inside locked cabinets or behind security gates, criminals will not be able to access them without the assistance of store staff. This prevents shoplifting.
In addition to protecting against shoplifting, these tools can also protect against smash and grab robberies. These are crimes where someone smashes through your store’s doors or windows, enters the property, steals as much as they can, and leaves the scene before the authorities can arrive. If your store is protected by physical security, these sorts of crimes become much more difficult to commit.