Shoplifting is a very real problem for retailers. Each year, literally billions of dollars are lost to “sticky fingers” found on the hands of thieves who walk out of the door with items for which they never intended to pay. Theft greatly affects a store’s bottom-line profits and can be one of the most frustrating aspects of being the owner of a retail establishment.
Sometimes you feel helpless to stop this pilfering, but – indeed – there are steps you can take to lessen the chance that you’ll be a victim.
Maintain an “open” floor plan
Naturally, thieves don’t want to be caught in the act so they look for spots in your store where they won’t be seen snatching your goods. That means you should arrange your shelving, etc. in a way that all or most areas are visually accessible. While that might be particularly difficult in a very large store, in small shops, this is indeed possible. However, even in a larger store where it’s impossible to see all, you can choose a nice open space for items that are often stolen. This will definitely deter shoplifters.
Experiment with different theft prevention configurations for your shelving and other display items. Ask your shop fitter about gondola shelving, which can be arranged in a variety of different ways and moved around with ease should you decide that your original plans aren’t working.
In more secluded areas or in spaces with high shelves, purchase security mirrors and mount them so that they’re visible to shoppers. They’re a low-cost solution and certainly serve as a deterrent for would-be thieves. When someone knows they’re being watched, they are less likely to steal.
Put Up Shoplifting Signs
This may seem like a ridiculous and useless idea, but police departments note that stores prominently displaying the fact that they will prosecute shoplifters tend to have fewer incidents. These ready-made signs are inexpensive so you’ll likely be able to afford to purchase several. Furthermore, in many jurisdictions, if you intend to take a shoplifter to court, you need to have that fact posted in your store.
It’s important to remember that you can enhance theft prevention with items that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You don’t need to buy the most expensive security system in order to protect your store. There are many mid-priced items that will help.
Things like anti-sweep hooks are an ideal solution for those small items that are often the target of shoplifters, such as batteries, razors, or small electronics. These hooks keep thieves from taking multiples of a particular item because they only allow one item to be dispensed at a time. Anyone who intends to steal those items won’t want to stand there and nab just one at a time. It simply takes too long! There are also other kinds of so-called “time delay” systems available that keep thieves from being able to snatch-and-run. Ask your shop fitter for suggestions.
For clothing, RFID tags are ideal. These radio frequency identification tools attach to apparel and can only be removed by clerks with a special tool. These have been around for a long time and are still quite successful in deterring shoplifters.
Similarly, loss prevention items such as zig-zag shelf systems, Invisi-shield™ systems, item wraps, secure product cases, recoilers, and others will assist with keeping your items where they belong. For more specific information, check with your fit out team to learn about options that will help you protect your store, your employees, and yourself.