Retail shrinkage – a.k.a. theft – affects nearly every kind of store, from small boutiques to big box entities that stock millions of dollars of merchandise. Some shop owners will feel the effects of shrinkage more than others, but regardless of size and amount of annual loss, everyone looks for new and innovative ways to halt this growing problem.
Reducing Retail Shrinkage with Loss Prevention Products and Personnel
What most experts suggest as the most effective way to deal with loss prevention involves combining two things: retail display items that help avert theft and a well-trained staff that is always on the alert, especially in places and at times when theft is most prevalent.
For example, employees should be taught to recognize the signs of shoplifting. A shop owner can do this with each employee upon hiring or can hold occasional meetings to review the most common characteristics of a shoplifter. These include:
• Shoppers who spend a lot of time glancing at clerks or associates
• Shoppers who refuse to make eye contact
• Those who wear bulky clothing out-of-season (like a heavy jacket in very warm weather)
• Someone who goes in and out frequently without making a purchase
• Large groups of shoppers that enter together
Employees should also be taught to acknowledge shoppers when they enter the store and should tell all visitors that they are nearby if they need any help. This lets potential shoplifters know – indirectly – that they are being watched.
Another important aspect of controlling retail shrinkage is achieved by keeping a shop neat and tidy. That not only involves teaching employees to be diligent about tidiness but also means purchasing display items that assist in this goal. When a shop is organized, it’s easy to tell where shrinkage is occurring and where better loss prevention assistance might be necessary.
Don’t hesitate to spend money on loss prevention items such as electronic tags, tethers and recoilers, secure hooks, alarms, sensor labels, and other such products. A shop fitter who’s experienced in helping retailers with shrinkage prevention can recommend a number of solutions for protecting the products that you sell, from small things like health and beauty items or cell phones to clothing, computers, and other larger items.
Loss prevention solutions might also include security cameras, security mirrors, and – for large operations – television/audio visual set-ups that allow full-time security personnel to keep an eye on the inventory at all times.
Whether you’re setting up shop for the first time or renovating your store for a fresher look, loss prevention should be a major part of your design. Sit down with your shop fitter and ask him/her to draw up plans that include the loss prevention display items that will work best for your product line and with your budget.
It’s important not to cut corners when it comes to purchasing retail shrinkage prevention solutions. Money spent on such items up front means less dollars lost at the hands of shoplifters who eat into your profits.