According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail theft costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Not only does this type of theft hurt the bottom line of retailers, but it can also affect consumers in the form of higher prices.
As a retail store owner or manager, protecting your store from theft is crucial to maintaining a profitable business. Theft can come in many forms, from shoplifting to employee theft, and it can have a significant impact on your bottom line. To avoid losing revenue and inventory, it’s important to implement effective loss prevention strategies. We’re here to offer up some of the most effective loss prevention strategies that you can use to protect your retail store from theft.
Use Technology to Prevent Theft
One of the most effective ways to prevent retail theft is by having visible security measures in place. This can include installing camera systems, implementing access control measures, and placing security tags on high-value items. These measures can help deter potential shoplifters and make them think twice before attempting to steal from the store.
Install Security Cameras
Security cameras are an essential tool for preventing theft in retail stores. They act as a deterrent to potential shoplifters and can help identify perpetrators if a theft does occur. Place cameras in strategic locations throughout your store, such as near the entrance, exits, and high-value merchandise areas. It’s also important to make sure that your cameras are of high quality and are well-maintained, so they can capture clear images of any theft that occurs.
Dwell camera systems, like ones used with The ONE Platform’s ONE™ Assist, can be used to monitor the store and deter theft. These cameras should be strategically placed throughout the store where there is low traffic or blind spots. With dwell sensors, your team members will be notified when a shopper is in a specific location for a certain amount of time, allowing them to either help the guest or deter a shoplifter.
Implement Access Control Measures
Access control measures can also help prevent theft in your retail store. Limiting access to certain products in the store can prevent employees and customers from stealing high-value items. Retailers can display high-value items in locked cases or behind the counter, where they can only be accessed by a store employee. This can help prevent theft and also create an opportunity for employees to interact with customers and provide assistance.
In addition, placing call boxes next to locked merchandise cases can make it easier for customers to get help from a team member to unlock it for them and reduce the frustrations associated with locked cases. Call boxes work seamlessly with ONE™ Assist so that team members are automatically notified when a customer is requesting assistance at any given call box location.
Use Anti-Theft Tags and Sensors
Another common loss prevention strategy is the use of electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems. EAS tags are attached to merchandise and are deactivated at the point of sale. If a tag is not deactivated, an alarm will sound when the merchandise passes through the store’s EAS system.
Leverage Your Team
One of the most effective loss prevention strategies is to leverage your team members to identify and prevent theft. Employees are the front line of defense against retail crime, so they should be trained to recognize and report suspicious activity. There are other ways to leverage your team too such as establishing a loss prevention team, developing a shoplifting response plan, and building relationships with local law enforcement.
Train Your Staff
One of the most important steps you can take to prevent theft is to train your staff on loss prevention best practices. Make sure that your team members understand the importance of preventing theft and are aware of the most common theft techniques. Train them on how to identify and handle suspicious behavior, such as customers who are spending an excessive amount of time in one area of the store or those who seem to be overly interested in your security measures. Retail employees should also be trained to greet customers as they enter the store and to monitor them as they browse the merchandise. Consider conducting regular training sessions to refresh your staff on these practices and to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques.
This training can include:
Recognizing Suspicious Behavior: Employees should be trained to recognize suspicious behavior, such as individuals who are loitering in the store, using a shopping cart to conceal merchandise, or working in teams.
Responding to Suspicious Behavior: Employees should be trained to respond to suspicious behavior by alerting their supervisor, calling security, or contacting law enforcement.
Preventing Theft: Employees should be trained in theft prevention techniques, such as properly displaying merchandise, securing high-value items, and monitoring exits.
Establish a Loss Prevention Team
A loss prevention team can be responsible for identifying and preventing theft in the store. This team can include security personnel, managers, and other employees who are trained to identify suspicious behavior and respond to potential shoplifters. A loss prevention team can also be responsible for investigating any suspected thefts and working with law enforcement to prosecute thieves.
Develop a Shoplifting Response Plan
In the event of a shoplifting incident, having a response plan in place is essential. Make sure that your staff knows what to do in the event of a theft and that you have a clear process for handling the situation. This can include steps such as identifying the perpetrator, contacting law enforcement, and reviewing security footage. By having a clear plan in place, you can minimize the impact of shoplifting on your store and prevent future incidents.
Build Relationships with Law Enforcement
Building a relationship with local law enforcement can be an effective loss prevention strategy. Retailers can work with law enforcement to share information about known shoplifters or other suspicious individuals. Law enforcement can also provide retailers with tips on how to prevent theft and how to respond to thefts that do occur.
Monitor Your Inventory
Monitoring your inventory is another crucial aspect of loss prevention. By keeping track of what you have in stock and what has been sold, you can quickly identify any discrepancies and potential theft. Use inventory management software to help you stay organized and to make it easier to track your inventory. Additionally, consider conducting regular physical inventory counts to ensure that everything is accounted for.
You’re On Your Way to Reducing Theft
Ultimately, preventing retail theft requires a multi-faceted approach that involves both visible security measures and training employees to be vigilant and proactive. By taking steps to prevent theft and responding quickly and effectively when it does occur, retailers can protect their bottom line and ensure a safe and secure shopping experience for their customers.
Loss Prevention Solutions from Advanced Wireless Communications
Advanced Wireless Communications offers dependable loss prevention solutions for retailers that reduce shrink. Learn more about our loss prevention solutions June 6-7 at NRF Protect 2023 or contact us. You can find our retail team at booth 1329.