You probably won’t be surprised to know that the main cause for loss of money in any retail store is theft with shoplifting costing Australian retailers a whopping $600 million in the financial year of 2013-2014. As a small business retailer you may not have much of a security budget to play with, so what shoplifting security measures can you implement to avoid becoming part of this huge statistic?
Keep your store organised
It shouldn’t be that hard to spot if something has gone ‘missing’ from your store after all there should be a gap on the shelf, right? However if your store is messy or disorganised then you probably wont notice until it’s too late. As a tip try and keep all of your merchandise pulled out to the front of the shelves, to create a solid wall. If someone tries to sweep several products off the shelf, it’s easy to spot.
Recognise common shop lifting traits
Shoplifters often work in pairs so that one of the team can distract the sales staff while the other does the stealing. The most common form of shoplifting has to be hiding the goods and places used to conceal items include clothing, handbags, umbrellas, pushchairs and already purchased merchandise. Other things to watch out for are false returns and price label swapping.
Effective store and management tactics
Try using a few customer service techniques which will reduce the opportunity for theft and improve the effectiveness of your shoplifting security strategy
- Say hello to each person that walks through the door, so that they know that you’re well aware of their presence.
- Implement a policy about bags brought into the store
- Depending on the size of your store ensure that you always have enough staff on the shop floor at any one time
- Have a code that members of staff can use to alter other staff members if they’re suspicious of anyone
- Train your cashiers to take note of the price tags and be aware of price switching
Optimise your store layout to prevent theft
The design of your store can make it harder for thieves to go undeterred. Here’s a few tips:
- Have your checkout in a place where customers have to walk past it to exit the store
- Eliminate blind spots by installing mirrors and making sure the areas are well lit giving a thief nowhere to hide
- Keep expensive or small items locked in a cabinet
- Keep dressing rooms locked or limit the number of items a customer may take with them
- Keep fixtures and displays low for better visibility
Signs posted in prominent places can be an effective and low cost deterrent to thieves. Even if you can’t afford a security camera, a dummy one with warning signs can deter. Place other signs near your front door and up high on the walls where would be thieves check first for the presence of CCTV cameras.
Consider using the services of a security company
If it’s a particularly large retail space then it’s going to become increasingly more difficult for your staff to implement shoplifting security. In this case you might want to consider using an experienced security company such as MA Services Group. We have highly trained personnel who know all the tricks of the trade. Just the presence of a security guard is enough to make a thief move on to another store. If you need some help in this area of security then just give us a call on 03 9994 4107 and out us to the test.