Whilst running your own retail business is often very rewarding, sometimes it presents difficult challenges that require much thought and action to overcome. Take shoplifting for example – accounting for much profit loss, incidences of theft can leave the business with a bad reputation that creates a poor in-store atmosphere and may even turn genuine customers away.
So to treat the problem of shoplifting, retailers will put retail loss prevention at the heart of their operational strategy – but what methods do they use?
Approaches To Prevent Shoplifting
Whilst in an ideal world we'd love to trust everyone, the truth is that we do not know the intentions of everyone who enters through the doors of a retail store. The problem is often balancing that fine line between 'being secure' and still allowing for a 'natural atmosphere' so that the vast majority of people who do enter the store with the right intentions, are able to enjoy their shopping experience without feeling 'watched'.
So with that in mind, here are some methods to use to prevent shoplifting:
- Store lighting. Any dark areas of store present anyone with nefarious intentions the opportunity to take something and place it in a pocket or bag. Even if there's CCTV installed, any poorly-lit areas make it difficult for the camera to present a clear image of what's happening. This is why all retailers must have bright, consistent lighting around the store – the fear of being seen is the main reason why a potential shoplifter doesn't go through with their plans.
- Staff-customer interaction . One of the most-common retail loss prevention methods that stores use, is simply having their staff interact with customers. A simple 'do you need any help?' will show a visitor that staff are around – providing a deterrent for the potential shoplifter, as well as giving genuine customers an opportunity to learn more about the products they're viewing.
- Monitoring items taken into dressing rooms . With a dressing room facility being expected of most clothing retailers, the privacy they afford has often seen shoplifters attempt to make off with items they've taken off the shelf. A classic method of surveillance is stationing a staff member outside of these facilities to note down what and how many items were taken into the fitting room.
Technology is often used too; whilst security cameras cannot be placed directly inside these facilities, they can be used to watch the area outside of the fitting rooms, which will give the store a clear picture of what was taken into them. Security tags are another common technological method of tracking the store's products, ensuring that they aren't taken out of the store without an alert sounding.
- Keep the store clean and tidy . Whilst it may seem an obvious 'must' for safety and aesthetic reasons, the nature of a busy store may see it become untidy and disorganised throughout the day. Any intelligent shoplifter will see this as a sign that the store doesn't have the staff resources to tidy up and thus, won't have the staff resources to watch them slip an item in their pocket or bag. Going about regular tidies throughout the daywill ensure that these thoughts don't come to pass, making them a great retail loss prevention method.
- Place expensive and much sought-after products behind displays . With certain products being a constant target for shoplifters , it makes sense to place them away from shelves and into cabinet displays, so that customers will have to approach staff members to gain access to them. Whilst this is unrealistic to do for every single item in store, protecting the most-expensive items will ensure that the business does not suffer great profit loss through theft.
- The use of effective security tools . Using retail security equipment, such as CCTV and security tags (as well the pedestal systems and underfloor systems they work with), will help to monitor and track possible incidents of shoplifting, altering staff and provide them with evidence. It can be easy to assume that such retail loss prevention tools will require much investment, providing somewhat of an obstacle. In fact, thanks to their effectiveness, they will quickly pay back any investment made in them, as they close the doors that shoplifters go through with the store's expensive stock, saving them money that they otherwise would have lost.
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. Moving along with these changes, 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.
So if you're looking improve or assist your own retail loss prevention methods, why not get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help? Give our friendly team a call on 0800 044 3160 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.