10 Oct Making It Difficult For Shoplifters
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Shoplifters cost retailers billions of dollars every year. Here are some tips that can help minimise the risk of light fingers lifting your valuable goods. Most of these tips are simple and affordable – the more barriers you can place between the thieves and your products, the lesser the risk. A couple of these tips will not only reduce the risk of shoplifting but they are also likely to improve your saloes conversions.
Engaging Your Customers – ALL Your Customers.
Customer engagement is often often credited as a generator of sales. Customers like to feel they have the attention of staff. Shoplifters, however, prefer inattention, they like to fly under the radar. For shoplifters, staff attention is a risk. So by engaging with your customers you are enhancing the sales process while seriously deterring shoplifters.
Security cameras are great but really they are more about capturing evidence. When it comes to prevention there is nothing better than alert staff. Staff will see a lot more, have a feel for the behaviour of customers, spot behaviour that is suspicious and be able to take steps – like paying even more attention to someone acting suspiciouly – to prevent a shoplifter exercising their itchy fingers.
Having alert staff is great butu it won’t help much if there are not enough staff on the floor. In fact not having enough staff can encourage shoplifting by some who would not normally steal – waiting for service, holding a product, seeing that staff are fully occupied and unlikely to be able to deal with you soon, an easy exit, the temptation to walk might be too great for some normally honest folk.
Light Things Up.
Lighting is the enemy of shoplifters – they love the dark. So, make sure you don’t have dark spaces on your retail floor. Security cameras love the light – if ypou need to produce footage for evidence, proper lighting will help ensure you get a clear picture.
Simple signs and warnings can be great deterrents. A few words on a sign can let shoplifters know they will be taking a great risk by targeting your store. There are some basic themes that will cause shoplifters to think twice. Things like:
- All bags will be checked as you leave this shop.
- This property is monitored by security cameras.
- Anyone caught shoplifting will be handed over to police.
Stronger Protections For Selected Products.
Some items are a very desirable target for shoplifters – either because of their value or because they are easy to “lift”, or both. Make these items difficult to reach, placing an extra barrier in front of these items is a good loss prevention strategy. Some extra barriers could be:
- having locked displays for these items,
- making these items only available at the sales counter,
- having the items chained to a counter, maybe with alarms if the item is detached.
A good access control system will ensure you know all about the “comings and goings”on your property. You can restrict access to certain areas or at selected times, and you can identify when access permissions or protocols are breached an by whom. Given that, unfortantely, pilfering by staff accounts for a significant percentage of stock losses, access control can be a vital component of your loss protection strategy.
Electronic Barriers / Deterrents.
Advances in technology means there are now all sorts fo electronic and digital barriers and deterrents you can place between the shoplifter and your products. Some examples are:
- alarms that sound when unprocessed goods are taken through the shop exit,
- tag\s that damage goods unless they are removed by the right process or tool,
- cameras that keep an eye on your property and can follow suspiciously behaving characters.
Specialised Security Personnel.
For those looking for a “five-finger discount” seeing a security guard watching over your shop will often mean they will look for easier pickings somewhere else. Security operatives are a great deterrent but they are also trained to identify questionable behaviour. Having a security operative stationed in your shop allows your staff to focus on sales (not that they should ever turn alertness off!). And really good security personnel will enhance the role as guardian with great customer service skills. Exact Security is the right port of call for the protection of your retail venue – whether it is a single shop or a large centre.
Really good security operatives are our specialty. Yes, those operatives who are both highly skilled security professionals and who understand and deliver great custgomer service. As well, we can deliver exceptional surveillance camera solutions and provide you with comprehensive risk assessments to assist in your loss prevention planning.
To start te conversation about security in your retail precinct reach out to the Exact Security team.