According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States.

To safeguard your business, it’s necessary to design an optimal security program to protect customers, employees and property.

Here are four tips to help you design a security program optimized for your needs.

1. Identify Points of Weakness

Every business has security vulnerabilities. To properly protect your business, consider potential threats, such as:

  • Neighborhood demographics and crime rate.
  • Entry point security.
  • Inventory, merchandise and cash onsite.
  • Store layout.
  • Staff trustworthiness.

Identifying potential dangers allows your security provider to design a program that mitigates weaknesses and improves the overall shopping experience.

2. Install Video Surveillance

Stay connected to your business with video surveillance. Use your computer or smartphone to monitor your business in real-time, and receive immediate alerts of unusual activity such as loitering or shoplifting.

Furthermore, video surveillance allows you to monitor points of sale (POS), such as cash registers and payment kiosks. Placing surveillance cameras near point-of-sale channels helps prevent:

  • Fraudulent transactions (e.g. voided transactions, sales under one dollar, reverse transactions, zero dollar transactions).
  • Employee misbehavior (e.g., misuse of coupons, gift cards, refunds).
  • Suspicious activity near registers (e.g., loitering, products left under shopping carts, no customer present during a transaction)

With transaction data and POS monitoring, better track your business and ensure security.

3. Incorporate Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS)

To stay ahead of savvy shoplifters and prevent loss, consider incorporating electronic article surveillance (EAS). EAS is an anti-shoplifting system that involves attaching tags to clothing and merchandise. An employee must remove or deactivate the tag after purchase or an alarm will sound. EAS gives store owners instant theft notification and can reduce shoplifter confidence.

Before investing in EAS, consider the products you offer to determine whether it would be practical. In a situation where your most frequently shoplifted merchandise is small and inexpensive, it would be impractical to tag every item. Your security provider can work with you to determine the best EAS solution for your business.

4. Strategically Place Lights

A poorly lit property may look inviting to shoplifters. Keep your business safe with appropriate outdoor lighting. Position lights to illuminate steps, covered areas, walkways and parking lots to enhance safety. The type used will vary based on your business’ needs, but may include: spotlights, floodlights, step lights and lampposts.

Image Source: Ervins Staurhmanis via Flickr