The fitting room is an essential part of any clothing store. Being a private area that allows shoppers an opportunity to try on items that they're interested in purchasing, the provision of such facilities can be a major factor in persuading people to buy products on the spot.
Ironically, the problem with them lies in their strength – the privacy of a fitting room creates an opportunity for people to steal, leading to stores having to put stringent retail loss prevention methods in place. Some of the most common shoplifting tactics that occur inside a fitting room include the layering of stolen items under a shoplifter's clothing, using shopping bags that they have with them to conceal items or by swapping price tags to get the items for cheaper. So how can the retailer combat these methods?
What Retail Loss Prevention Methods Can Be Used To Counteract Shoplifting?
Through a combination of staffing, strategy and technology, a retailer can vastly reduce the potential of theft via their fitting rooms. Here's how:
- Meet and greet customers . Acknowledging customers when they enter the store is about more than offering 'good customer service'. Although making them feel welcome is important in setting the right atmosphere for them to shop in, greeting visitors with a simple 'hello' will communicate to potential shoplifters that staff are present, and are able to see them. This visual and verbal acknowledgment can sometimes be enough in dissuading would-be shoplifters in going through with their intentions, even when thinking about this in the privacy of a fitting room.
Whilst smaller stores may not be able to justify the cost of extra staff, placing their fitting rooms close to the store's counter will allow for staff to perform the visible and verbal meet and greet.
- Use CCTV as a deterrent . Despite common belief, it is not against the law to install cameras in changing areas; however, their use must be for ' a particularly serious problem that cannot be addressed by less intrusive means ' [i] . Most people will understandably not appreciate being monitored by security cameras in a 'private area', so in practice, seeing CCTV inside changing facilities is relatively rare. Instead, the entrance/exit area of changing rooms are monitored and signs are placed within them, explaining that movements in/out are being monitored. This balance helps to assure genuine customers that they aren't being recorded, whilst it enforces to potential shoplifters, that their movements are being watched.
- The design of fitting rooms. The general design of the fitting room can be used as an effective retail loss prevention device. Although changing facilities are intended to be private, they should feel as though they have a level of visibility (in the areas outside them). Some great ways that the design of fitting rooms can be changed to create that sense of visibility include positioning them near 'high traffic areas', using short doors (so feet can be seen) and installing visible deterrents (such as the aforementioned signage inside or CCTV outside).
- Using EAS security tags . Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) plays a key role in ensuring that staff are alerted whenever ashoplifter attempts to leave the store with an item. Working with an EAS system installed near the entrance/exit of the store, the tags are designed to be sensed by the signals that are sent out, trigging an alarm when they are. The only way to deactivate them is by taking them to the counter and paying for them. This makes them the ideal security devices for stores who need a stringent level of security, yet don't want to produce an 'overly watched' environment for their genuine customers.
Overall, the fitting room is the one area of the store in which balancing between loss prevention and customer experience is at its most challenging.It's only by employing good design, great customer service and retail loss prevention devices that the threat of shoplifting can be severely reduced.
If you operate your own retail store and are interested in learning more about how you can improve the security aspect of your fitting rooms, why not consider getting in touch with the experts here at Maxtag?
Improve The Security of Your Retail Store, With Maxtag
Here at Maxtag, we are one of the leading retail security providers in the UK . Having been installing all manner of security devices for over two decades, we have seen the trends in technology change during that time. We are now in a position in which we are able to offer expert advice on the changing landscape of the industry, as well as how recent innovations can combat retail crime, further reducing profit loss.
Whether you're looking to upgrade your CCTV to the latest HD cameras for better security and/or analytics, or you're in need of EAS systems that can sufficiently track where your products are taken; you can feel rest assured that we have the technology to allow you to establish a safe and well-functioning in-store environment.
To learn more about our retail loss prevention methods, give our friendly team a call on 0800 044 3160 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org