5 Strategies for Preventing Shoplifting in Your Retail Store

Smaller brick-and-mortar retailers are currently facing a number of growing challenges, including increased e-commerce competition, disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and so on.

We’ll go over 5 shoplifting prevention tips to help you keep your retail store safe.

In your retail store, there are five effective ways to prevent shoplifting:

  • Keep your store organised and tidy
  • Be aware of common shoplifting tactics
  • Optimize the layout of your store
  • Install security cameras 
  • Install mirrors

1. Keep your store clean and organised.

Shoplifters love to hang out in disorganised stores. It’s difficult to tell when products have gone missing when items are left in the wrong sections and inventory isn’t well organised.

Making sure products are always pulled forward on shelves, for example, makes it easier for employees to notice missing quantities of items and makes it more difficult for thieves to steal items from fully stocked shelves invisibly. Avoid overstocking display shelves or units with too many products, however, so you can see how much stock is out at any given time.

Regular tidying and stock organisation tasks should be incorporated into your daily routine, especially during busy retail seasons like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.

2. Recognize common shoplifting techniques

Shoplifters are always coming up with new ways to steal without being discovered. Knowing the most common shoplifting ruses and behaviours will help you stay vigilant in your own store:

  • Working in pairs: One person distracts sales floor staff while the other pockets goods, which is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
  • Hiding merchandise: Shoplifters frequently conceal merchandise in their own clothing, other goods they’ve purchased, purses, strollers, reusable shopping bags, and shoes.
  • Switching prices: Shoplifting does not necessarily include stealing things that have not been paid for. Thieves may frequently change pricing tags or labels from one goods to another in order to get a lower price on a more valuable item.
  • Grab and run: Some shoplifters wait for the right opportunity — possibly during a busy period or when all sales personnel appear to be occupied — to race into your store and flee with merchandise. This is especially typical in establishments without security guards or anti-theft devices installed at the front door.

3. Optimize your business’s layout While each store has its unique views on how to display items and create their floor layout, there are a few techniques to assist reduce retail theft by optimising store layouts.

Customer checkouts are frequently placed near the entrance/exit in the most typical design, so that all customers will pass it as they depart. This provides store employees a decent chance of catching shoplifters before they leave, and it also acts as a deterrent if thieves know they have one more obstacle to clear before leaving. Smartsheet, for example, depicts the standard ‘grid’ retail layout, which positions the checkout near the store’s exit/entrance.

It’s also crucial to remove any blind areas from the business. This involves lowering product displays below eye level, locking up high-ticket products, and ensuring enough illumination in your business.

4. Install surveillance cameras

Security camera systems serve three purposes: they prevent shoplifters; they allow employees to watch the whole business for suspicious behaviour; and, if shoplifters do steal, there will be proof identifying them to aid in prosecution.

In certain circumstances, installing surveillance cameras might help you save money on your insurance costs.

5. Incorporate mirrors into your store.

In both large and small stores, mirrors are excellent tools for reducing blind spots and increasing visibility of both products and people. Anti-theft mirrors are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and visibility angles for usage in your business. They’re also a low-cost deterrent for shoplifters for shops on a tight budget.

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