Loss prevention is a significant issue for retailers. A recent National Retail Federation security survey found the number one source of shrinkage for a retail business is shoplifting. In order to maximize profits and minimize this preventable loss, retailers need to consider their loss prevention strategy. These are a few simple ways to reduce shoplifting in your business…

Smart Security Systems

A security system is a business’s first line of defense. by installing smart security devices, managers can keep tabs on their business at all times. One debate regarding placement is whether or not security cameras should be visible. It’s true that if shoplifters can see the cameras, they can avoid them, but they work much better as deterrents, preventing crime altogether. A video camera is only effective if the video is clear so the thief can be identified. Another feature to consider when purchasing a security camera is motion activation. Motion-activated systems increase storage capacity because they only record when there is someone present. Additionally, employees should be trained on how to properly operate the security device and access footage. Also, your access control solution should help your business minimize risk and create a safe environment by controlling who can enter a building or access specific areas within the premises. When done well, access control systems should enable effortless movement and enhance the overall efficiencies of day-to-day business. The easiest crime to solve is the one that doesn’t happen – so it’s essential to set up access control that starts with this goal in mind. Also, consider smart lights that illuminate entrances or covered areas where shoplifters may otherwise escape unidentified.

Loss Prevention Training for Employees

Your employees are key to preventing shoplifting in your store. Training is so important. It should be part of every new employee’s onboarding experience. Having staff take part in Loss Prevention Training will increase their awareness of the issue and prepare them to act appropriately. One suggestion from Loss Prevention Magazine is to tie the training to technology. Managers can better reach their employees by delivering training in small bursts in a way that is entertaining, personalized, and gamified. There is no universal profile of a shoplifter, but about 25% of all shoplifters are under 18, so it is not just adults who you have to keep an eye on.

Shoplifting most likely occurs after school hours, in the late morning, or during busy retail days such as the weekend or sale days. These are the most targeted items for shoplifters: Clothes, alcohol, razors, baby formula, electronics, over-the-counter drugs, lighters, and food mostly meat cheese bread, and milk. Keep a log of any suspicious behavior, such as loitering, to share with coworkers.

Customer Service

When entering some retail stores, customers receive a greeting from an employee. The greeting is not only good for customer service but can also discourage potential shoplifters. Employees can say hello to customers while they’re in the aisles and ask if assistance is needed. A bell that indicates when customers enter and leave the store also alerts potential shoplifters that their presence (and exit) is noted.
Have a point of contact if you suspect a shoplifter – stay vigilant at all times. You must first have probable cause if you plan to detain a person suspected of shoplifting. This means you or your staff must have witnessed the person take your merchandise and attempt to leave the store without paying for them. When you approach the shoplifter, immediately identify yourself. Always have a form of ID to show the suspect. If you have loss prevention personnel who aren’t in uniform, see to it that they have their badge or ID handy. The next course of action depends on your shoplifting policies. Some stores choose to prosecute and involve the police. In some cases, merchants may choose to just retrieve the merchandise and ban the shoplifter from the store. Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate your policies to your staff to avoid confusion or mistakes.

With a trained workforce and a security system on your side, your store stands a much better chance against would-be thieves. Partnering with a trusted security vendor is the best way to ensure your business is secure.

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About Facility Protection Group

​Facility Protection Group is a Florida state certified systems contractor specializing in electronic security services supporting both traditional and cloud based Access Control (Card Access), Video Surveillance / CCTV, Audio / Video Intercoms, and Intrusion Alarm Systems. Founded in 2018 and located in Tampa, Florida; Facility Protection Group has assembled a team that has a tremendous wealth of industry knowledge and experience.