TIPS TO PREVENT CUSTOMER SHOPLIFTING

Dec 17, 2018

MINUTE READ

Dec 17, 2018

2 MINUTE READ

If sales and marketing are your business’ offense, loss prevention is the defense that preserves your hard earned revenue. By instituting some thoughtful policies, you can prevent hemorrhaging money from unsealed leaks in your operation.

  1. Loss Prevention and Customer Service Go Hand in Hand – Customer theft is always going to be a threat to retailers. Militant protection of your merchandise will turn your customers off, but a total lack of security will ultimately cost you more money. The best course is to institute a policy of customer awareness. At all times someone on staff should be aware of what every customer in the store is looking at, and they should be sensitive to their intentions. This isn’t just a loss prevention strategy, but the basis for attentive customer service. When executed correctly, the two go hand in hand.

 

  1. Train Employees to Recognize the Tools of Theft -Thieves come in all packages. Some people feel empowered to steal, and some do so out of desperation. Some people are even addicted to stealing (kleptomania). The best way to recognize thieves is by recognizing the tools of the trade. Large bags, shifty movements and unseasonably heavy coats are suspicious. Many shops require that bags be left at the front of the store. Anyone with an unusually heavy coat must be watched carefully. A friendly offer to hang up their coat while they shop is a gentle deterrent from “pocketing” merchandise.

 

  1. Defensive Merchandising – Many thieves target stores simply because they don’t appear to be secure. The simplest way to defend against thieves is to make sure to keep a camera on hot-spots in the store, such as the area near the register and the entrance. A camera on the entrance will capture everyone that leaves, which provides valuable evidence of thievery. Another way to project that you aren’t such an easy target is by locking up your valuable bottles in a decorative glass case. Not only do high-end cases protect bottles from theft, they allure customers that are looking for something special. No products, even inexpensive ones, should be kept too close to the exits. You don’t want to give thieves a chance to reach in and grab something when no one is watching the front. These sorts of “quick grab” thefts are very common, and can be prevented with defensive merchandising.

 

4. Early Prevention is the Best Defense -The further along a thief gets in their plot, the less chance you have of stopping them, and the more confrontation that will be required. Discouraging thieves from even stepping in the door is best. Security guards are standard for large retail operations. For smaller shops, discouraging thieves in the store with attentive floor staff is the next best thing to having a security team. Once a bottle is in any customer’s possession the best practice is to ask them if you can bring it up to the counter for them, thus eliminating their burden as they shop. Should you catch someone on their way out of the store with a stolen bottle, it’s important to let them know that you’ve noticed them, even if it’s too late to stop them from running away. This will discourage them from striking again. It’s best to alert the police in case of theft, especially if you see them in the area again. If thieves get away with stealing, they feel empowered to strike again.

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