Not only does shoplifting shrink the store’s inventory but it also puts staff at risk. But, luckily, there are many ways to make it harder for shoplifters to harm your business.
No idea where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to stop shoplifting today.
Keep a Well-Lit Store
A simple way to stop shoplifting is to maintain a clean and well-organized store. If your store is messy, then it’s easier for shoplifters to steal when you’re not sure where each item goes or what you’re selling.
Instead, organize your inventory, keep shelves and displays low, and install bright lights so you can easily oversee the store.
Regularly Take Inventory
Not sure how to prevent shoplifting? Then regularly take inventory.
When you keep track of items that come in and out of your store, then it’s easier to pinpoint missing stock. Ask your team to be active with customers because the more clients feel like they’re being watched, then they’re less likely to steal.
Restrict Access to Dressing Rooms
A surefire way to prevent shoplifting is to guard the fitting rooms. If you sell clothes, ask an employee to grant customers’ access to the dressing room upon request and hand them a card displaying the number of items they’re taking in.
Employees must also track how many times a customer goes into the dressing room and make sure they exit with the same number of items. You should also post signs in the dressing rooms warning about the consequences of shoplifting.
Use a Surveillance Camera System
Those keen on stopping shoplifting must install a robust security camera system. This will monitor what’s happening in your store 24/7 and show you if someone is trying to steal any products.
A camera system will deter thieves as they know they’re being watched so this is a fantastic preventative measure. And if someone steals, the camera footage will help you spot the shoplifter so you can take action. If you’re keen to install a camera system, check out these common mistakes first.
Hire Security Personnel
Does preventing shoplifting feel impossible?
Then hire security guards as they’re trained to monitor customers and know how to handle a shoplifting situation. Plus, shoplifters would be discouraged if there’s a guard to check their receipts when leaving. You can even hire plainclothes store detectives to catch thieves in the act.
Expand Your Team
Although hiring extra staff sounds expensive, having an extra pair of eyes makes a huge difference. You can’t always oversee the store when you’re in the back or doing inventory, so consider expanding your team.
It’s also important to train your employees to prevent shoplifting. Make sure they know shoplifting prevention techniques like spotting a shoplifter and how to confront them if they steal.
Build Relationships With Customers and Employees
Customers are the lifeblood of your business and the better you know them, the less likely they’ll steal from you. Cultivate relationships with them as your honest shoppers won’t hesitate to report suspicious behaviour should they notice it.
You must also build relationships with your employees so they know they’re valued. In fact, three out of four employees admit to stealing from their employers at least once so be mindful of your staff too.
Watch For Loiterers
Watch out for individuals or a group of people hanging around the store with no intention of buying. It’s often a sign that stealing may be in the works.
See if they’re wearing large sweatshirts, carrying large bags, and constantly checking if anyone’s watching. If you notice these signs, keep a close eye on the potential shoplifter and ask your security guard to see whether they’ve stolen anything.
When you have a large store and little staff, it feels impossible overseeing every customer. A cost-effective way to monitor your store is by hanging rounded mirrors in the corner to prevent shoplifting. These mirrors give you a broader view so you don’t have any blind spots.
Use a Point of Sale System
It’s difficult monitoring your inventory, so use a point of sale system (POS) as it shows you what you’ve got and the price of each item. This lets you notice inventory shrinkage and potential issues before they affect your business.
Plus, a POS system prevents internal theft as it tracks every transaction and function that occurs during an employee’s shift.
Manage Refunds and Returns
Another way thieves try and squeeze money out of a business is through fraudulent returns. Don’t be lenient with returns otherwise a shoplifter may take advantage of you. So create a strict return policy and stick with it regardless of the situation.
You should also outline a shoplifting policy and enforce it. Post this in a visible place so employees and customers know that you’d take action should a problem arise. For instance, state that you check large bags as you exit or that bags must be stored in a locker at the entrance.
Now You Know How to Stop Shoplifting
These tips help you know how to stop shoplifting from occurring.
The easiest way is to install a surveillance camera system, hire security guards, and train your employees in theft prevention. Consider using a POS system so you can track every transaction and reduce the risk of internal theft.
Most importantly, have a well-lit, organized store, and cultivate relationships with your customers as they’ll less likely steal. Good luck!
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