According to the 2017 National Retail Security Survey, shoplifting accounted for 36.5% of total inventory shrink.
Shoplifting can be detrimental to any business, especially to small businesses that are unable to incur significant loss. However, with a solid crime prevention strategy in place, storeowners can minimize loss and better safeguard their assets.
Below we outline ways to strengthen your business’ crime prevention strategy with employee training and security devices.
Train Your Front Line How to Spot Shoplifters
With proper training, employees can act as deterrents to shoplifters. Ensure employees understand when shoplifting is most likely to occur and in which locations. Note that shoplifting most often occurs after school, late morning or from Wednesday through Saturday, and keep employees on high alert during those times.
To further mitigate the risk of shoplifting, encourage employees to take the following actions:
- Appoint a point of contact to reach out to should an issue arise.
- Greet customers at the door.
- Keep a log of any suspicious behavior, such as loitering, to share with coworkers.
- Look out for common indicators of shoplifters, such as customers who avoid eye contact, aimlessly wander around the store or watch employees.
- Offer assistance to lingering customers.
- Stay vigilant at all times.
Employees should understand all emergency procedures, so they know what to do if they suspect shoplifting. Staff members should never accuse a customer of shoplifting or physically confront a shoplifter. Instead, instruct them to give the customer a chance to pay or to contact security to handle the situation properly.
Keep a Pulse on Your Business with Smart Security Devices
By installing smart security devices, managers can keep tabs on their businesses at all times. Storeowners must assess their business’ security vulnerabilities to ensure all corners of the store are properly safeguarded. Additionally, they should ensure employees understand how to properly operate security devices.
Install the following equipment to keep an eye on all in-store activity and monitor any areas where employees might overlook:
- Video surveillance cameras to discourage shoplifters who know they are being watched and to capture visual evidence of criminals.
- Access control to bar criminals from accessing inventory or supply rooms.
- Electronic article surveillance to audibly alert staff when someone attempts to steal items.
- Smart lights to illuminate entrances or covered areas where shoplifters may otherwise escape unidentified.
- Mobile monitoring to receive immediate notification when a potential robbery is in progress.