One of the industries that suffers the highest percentage of loss through shoplifting is the retail pharmacy industry. Now, you may immediately think we’re talking about prescription drug theft, but that generally occurs during full-out robberies, since thieves would have a difficult time accessing the drug area during regular business hours.
No, the bulk of the theft occurs when sticky fingers go after small items regularly sold at pharmacies/drug stores. As a matter of fact, owners of retail pharmacies point out that among their most pilfered items are cosmetics and facial care products. Another surprising fact is that the demographic responsible for these thefts may likely be women between the ages of about 18 and 35.
Interesting, huh? So, while you were busy looking for young men wearing bulky jackets and looking suspicious, it might just be that sweet young mum with her yoga pants and sweatshirt that’s robbing you of your best-selling brand of red lipstick or facial moisturizer.
And while we often put anti-sweeping devices on hot items like razors, what are we doing about products such as cosmetics and skincare items? If you look around any retail drug store, you won’t likely find anti-sweep hooks on the mascara or eyeliner, though these are indeed among the items most likely to be swept by shoplifters.
So, what can you do? The experts say that you simply must make regularly shoplifted items less appealing to those who wish to steal them. In other words, you want to put retail theft prevention systems in place that cause the shoplifter to pause and determine whether or not stealing these items is worth the risk.
For small items like cosmetics, some sort of checkpoint label is a great idea. Such systems can include so-called “soft labels” that are easy to apply and don’t really impede the shopping process as with anti-sweep devices that demand a clerk assist in buying certain products that are under the proverbial lock-and-key.
These labels can wrap around tubes of lipstick, for example, or be easily adhered to a jar of face cream. Labels like these are then deactivated at the check-out area, but if thieves attempt to exit with them without deactivating, store clerks will be notified immediately. When shoplifters see these tags in place, they are less likely to try to get away with stealing.
Other less-obvious devices also include various kinds of tags that can be hooked on items in a variety of ways. Similar to soft labels, they warn of theft whenever they make their way through the exit without being deactivated. Such tags have been around for some time but the systems connected with them are consistently updated, thanks to advances in technology, and they work extremely well.
Of course, sometimes you simply must turn to something more obvious, like those previously-mentioned anti-sweep devices, which are often used to protect items such as razors, batteries, and other high-theft items. There are many types of anti-sweep devices available, so retailers can choose the ones that best fit their needs and are the least labor intensive for their staff.
If you’d like to hear more about anti-theft devices or labels, contact your shop fitter for further information about your options.