Did you know that an estimated 1 in 11 people in the United States has some history with shoplifting?
When it comes to managing your business, how do you go about stopping potential shoplifting? Is there a way to stop thieves without damaging your customer relationship?
Well, there’s no straightforward or easy answer. But we have gathered some expert loss prevention tips that may help you keep your store from becoming a thief’s playground.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Keep Your Merchandise Organized
When trying to prevent shoplifting, it’s a good idea to keep your merchandise organized.
If your store is a cluttered, chaotic space, it’s very easy for thieves to take advantage of you. Make sure your products are neat and in their own designated space.
What if you notice products missing from your shelves or blank spaces when you haven’t sold anything? That may be your first warning sign of shoplifting.
2. Store Layout Matters
One of the most effective ways of eliminating shop lifting is planning your store layout.
Having your checkout zones near exits forces all movement through your store to one central area. This can help you and your loss prevention team keep an eye on customer activity.
Keeping shelves throughout your store will also help eliminate blind spots. Smaller and expensive products should be locked away. Jewelry is one of the top things to be stolen from retail locations.
Shortening the aisles throughout your store will help your loss prevention team keep an eye on customer activity as well.
3. Get Your Customer Service Team Involved
Keeping your employees involved in your store’s business is a foolproof way to prevent shoplifting.
Customers and your service team interact daily. Use this to your advantage! Your customer service employees are often the last employees your customers see. They should be taught what shoplifting clues to look for.
Training them on loss prevention tactics will help eliminate product loss. It will also help them build a rapport with your loss prevention team.
4. Avoid Profiling
Unfortunately, news these days are full of stories of people being unfairly profiled by stores and police.
Many of these false profiling cases are based on race and gender. According to some studies, men steal more than women. Many shoplifters are also middle-aged and unemployed.
In light of this, it’s important to get to know your employees and treat them fairly. Treating your customers with respect will help eliminate any shoplifting tendencies.
5. Get to Know Your Customers
Going hand-in-hand with the above tips, building that business-customer relationship is extremely important.
Having a relationship with the people keeping you in business is a great way to prevent them from stealing from you. Having a professional and excellent employee base will keep your favorite customers back.
It will also keep shoplifters at bay. Nothing puts off a thief more than being approached by a cheerful employee ready to have a conversation.
6. Use Mirrors and Cameras
When designing your retail layout, be sure to use mirrors. Mirrors are great for keeping a visual on those blind spots. Curved mirrors placed in the corners of stores will provide a wider view of your store’s interior.
Another effective deterrent are security cameras. Having cameras placed prominently throughout your store gives you an added security benefit.
It will also force shoplifters to think twice before stealing from you. Potential thieves should be made aware that your business uses security cameras.
7. Signs Are Great
Placing signs that dissuade shoplifting at the main entryways alerts customers that you will uphold the law.
Signs should be located in and around bathrooms and dressing rooms and near the mirrors and security cameras you’ve installed. Potential thieves will most likely glance up to check your security details and see the signs.
Language on all signs should be clear. Adding eyes to signage has also been proven as a successful loss prevention technique.
8. Use the Police Wisely
Your loss prevention team should have a good relationship with the local police.
Calling the police for every small theft may seem overzealous. But it’s actually a very effective way to prevent larger thefts in the future. Potential shoplifters will know that your store is not a good target due to your use of law enforcement.
9. Manage Returns and Keep Track of Receipts
Return fraud is one of the largest reasons for shrinkage in the retail industry. Nearly every retail company has experienced return fraud.
Thieves pick items off shelves, walk it over to the customer service desk, and attempt to “return” it. Managing returns by having strict return policies is an essential part of eliminating shoplifting.
One of the most important steps is to always require a receipt for a return. Adding time limits to returns also helps stop fraud in its tracks. When allowing returns, make sure to make that return only in the currency used.
Be consistent in all returns. Remember good customer service is important. You don’t want to damage your relationship with your customers.
But you also don’t want to be taken advantage of. Working with your customer service team will help prevent most fraud.
10. Use Alarms and Warnings
Our final tip is to make sure your store has alarms and that your merchandise is protected.
Place tags on your clothing merchandise that will alert you to tampering or outright stealing. These security tags are small and can be placed on any of your high-end merchandise at risk of being stolen.
Having alarms on your entryway will also help eliminate stealing. Bells that chime or buzz when someone enters or leaves your store will help you track how many customers you have at any time.
Even More Loss Prevention Tips
These are just a few of the many ways to halt shoplifting in its tracks.
Unfortunately, shoplifting is a reality of owning a business. But these expert tips should help to limit or even eliminate it.
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