Retail theft has a serious impact on your bottom line. To put it into prospective, retailers lost more than $37 billion to theft in 2010. This figure is up $4 billion from the prior year. Keep in mind that retail theft includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud. Now you can see how detrimental theft can be to your business. The more steps you take to prevent theft in your store, the more profitable and successful you'll be. Keep reading to learn 8 things you can do right now to prevent theft in your shop:
1. Create And/Or Share Your Shoplifting Policy
If you don't already have one, create a shoplifting policy. Then communicate this policy to your customers and employees. Even something as simple as a sign that says "Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted" can be very effective at deterring theft.
2. Put Visible Security Systems In Place
There are many security system choices available to shop owners today, including security mirrors, motion sensors, security guards, cameras, and even faux cameras. The key is to have these systems in place and visible to customers to stave off thieves. Better yet, have several different types of security systems in place so customers know that it will be hard to get away with stealing in your store.
3. Lock Them Up
If you have expensive merchandise in your store, especially if these products are small, then show them in a locked display case. This limits access to the expensive items, and the extra step of needing employee assistance gives you an extra line of defense.
4. Maximize Visibility
Many successful shop owners will say that the first step in loss prevention is to keep a constant eye on your merchandise. In order to see everything in your store, keep shorter shelves and displays close to the register. Tall shelves and displays should be placed around the perimeter of the shop. If there are any blind spots, strategically places mirrors throughout the store to improve visibility. Also, always keep your store clean and tidy, so it will be easy to see if something is out of place or missing.
5. Move The Registers
The best place to put registers is right next to the entrance and exit of the store, and make sure they are always manned. This way, customers must walk past employees when they come and go, which is the perfect opportunity for employees to keep a watchful eye on all customers.
6. Implement A Bag-Check Policy
Today, women's bags and purses can be monstrous in size. This can make it easy for a shoplifter to grab an item and quickly drop it into a large bag without being noticed. To prevent this from happening in your store, train employees to prohibit customers from bringing bags and backpacks into dressing rooms or bathrooms. Be friendly and polite while asking customers to check their bags with an employee prior to bringing them into one of these secluded areas.
7. Be Alert And Aware
The more eyes you have watching for shoplifters in your shop, the less likely it is that someone will get away with stealing from you. Train your employees to be alert and aware of what's going on around them at all times. If there are a few items that seem to be stolen the most often in your store, then place these items right at the front of the store, near the registers, so employees can keep a good eye on them.
8. Be Present At All Times
This can be a tough one, because many customers don't like to be bothered while shopping. But there is a way you can be present at all times without making your customers feel like you're stalking them. Start by greeting every customer that steps through the door. Also, make sure employees are offering to help customers throughout their shopping experience. This shows customers that you're always watching so they better not try to shoplift. It also gives you and your employees a great opportunity to track merchandise so you'll quickly spot something that's out of the ordinary.
You probably won't completely eliminate shoplifting from your store if you make all 8 of these changes, but you will greatly reduce the number of times someone steals from your store. These theft prevention steps will make it very difficult for anyone to get away with stealing. If you have any questions or would like to beef up the security in your retail business, then call your local security service. They will be happy to help you. You can also visit http://www.intellexsecurity.com for more information.