If you run your own retail operation, then you'll be fully aware of the effect that theft could have. Not only does shoplifting, robbery and internal theft affect the profit margins of a business, such incidents also create an unsafe environment for staff and customers; creating a negative reputation that the business would find hard to overturn.
Thankfully, there are a wide range of retail loss prevention methods that you can use to placate the threat of theft – from some of most time-honoured to the latest advancements in technology.
Retail Loss Prevention Tips From The Professionals
As along-time provider of retail security devices here at Maxtag, we have worked with a multitude of different retailers – from well-known brands with multiple stores to protect, through to new start-ups who want to ensure that their security is as stringent as possible from the get-go.
As a result, we find ourselves in a unique position to offer help and advice when it comes to protecting your own store. So without further ado, here are our tips on retail loss prevention:
- Be alert on the sales floor. Staff being aware of what's happening on the sales floor is the perhaps the most-commontactic to use to counteract shoplifters in a store. Would-be thieves are constantly looking for opportunities to steal, so naturally, they won't like the attention that customer service and eye contact brings. If staff suspect that anyone is up to no good, they should engage them in conversation – something as simple as a 'Can I help you?' will place a thought into a potential shoplifter's head that 'they're being watched'. The added bonus to providing attentive customer service is that(genuine) customers will appreciate the help and look upon the store as one that cares about their shopping experience.
- Revise the layout of the store. Organising the layout of the store so that sales floor staff have maximum visibility is another time-honoured retail loss prevention tactic that is used to deter shoplifters. By ensuring that product displays aren't too high and avoiding large clusters of products that obscure line-of-sight to the rest of the store, opportunities for thieves to take their chances will be closed down, making theft far less likely. Placing the store's most-expensive (or sought-after) products behind locked displays will also protect store inventory from being stolen.
- Keep the store well-organised. It's all well-and-good optimising the layout of the store, but the busy nature of the working day may see items pile up, and the shelves and floor becoming cluttered. Such incidences provide opportunities to potential shoplifters – and cluttered shelves make it difficult for staff to identify missing items. Better organised displays will also make re-stocking easy and give genuine customers the impression of a store that takes its presentation seriously; encouraging them to check out the items on display,rather than putting them off.
- Ensure that the store has good lighting throughout. Having a decent level of lighting will not only help to promote safety, it will also discourage shoplifters. Any dark areas that are caused by tall aisles and corners will prevent staff from having a clear view of the displays. This gives shoplifters ample opportunity to hide merchandise on their person without being seen. A well-lit store provides the shop floor with a'wide open feeling', even if the aisles are stocked high.
- Use large mirrors. For small businesses that have a small number of staff, a simple method to help them look for occurrences of theft is the use of mirrors. We've established that potential shoplifters don't like to be spotted, so seeing themselves in a shop floor mirror may just be enough to make them think twice.
The main role of using mirrors though is that they provide staff with an extended view of what's happening in areas of the store that they can't see ahead of them. Furthermore, the timeless aesthetic quality of glass can see it effortlessly integrated within the overall design of the store, as well as adding to the perceived size of the shop floor too.
- Be aware of internal theft. Whilst we should be able to trust everyone (especially the staff we employ), sadly, internal theft is a common cause of a retailer's profit loss. In-store theft can come in many different forms – from stealing direct from the stockroom to people not scanning through items for friends and family. A frequent retail loss prevention tactic retailers use to combat internal theft is to make their employees more accountable for stock loss – using procedures such a 'buddy system' were two staff work directly with each other or a point-of-sale system that can track discrepancies immediately.
- Use retail security devices. The best way to ensure that your staff have the means of being able to be aware of any shoplifting incidents, is by utilising the latest retail security technology.As society has grown more technologically aware, investing in such things is extremely cost-effective – even the smallest businesses would benefit tenfold.The most common retail security devices include:
- EAS systems. Working with tags that are placed on products, EAS systems are designed to sense any items that are taken through its'invisible barrier'; sufficiently altering staff to a possible theft. Genuine customers are able to have their tags removed/deactivated at the point of purchase, so using EAS tags (though by now, a time-honoured security technique)is still a great way to balance the need for stringent security, with creating a good in-store atmosphere.
- CCTV Cameras. Security cameras are also nothing new – but in the last decade alone, their capabilities have developed greatly. Whilst older systems were constantly derided for their picture quality and lack of zoom capabilities, today's CCTV systems are able to capture images in high-definition; the same qualities as the average widescreen television set.
Furthermore, whilst 10-20 years ago, CCTV held footage on video tapes and optical discs, modern security cameras are able to send footage to an off-site storage device or even make use of the internet to store them on the virtual Cloud.Accessible from wherever you may be, you do not even have to be on-site anymore to view what's going on in your store. This opens up a new world of possibilities in how you can manage your retail operation going forwards. Interested in learning more about retail loss prevention? Then why not get in touch with our CCTV experts today?
Improve Your Retail Operation With Maxtag
Whether you need a single camera or a whole network of them, the team here at Maxtag are able to work with you to find the best security solution. For more information about the work we do, have a look at our case studies page in which we detail some of the recent jobs we've performed for different business operations.If you would like to learn more about how we can provide you with the means to achieve the best retail loss prevention, do not hesitate to give us a call today on 0800 044 3160 or send an e-mail to email@example.com and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.