4. Customer Service Culture
Probably the #1 problem in my high-risk stores is a lack of engagement from the teams. There’s a reason shrink is higher in some stores and most times it has a direct correlation to customer service levels. What’s so hard about telling a customer “hello”, or offering to assist them? This is quite frankly the most basic form of retail theft prevention and it really gets under my skin when I see employees avoid eye-contact and flat-out ignore my customers. THEY ARE THE REASON WE HAVE JOBS! Every person that enters your store should be treated like absolute royalty. Honest customers will appreciate this and your thieves will move down the road to an easier target.
5. Store Design
Now, you don’t have to go and reinvent the wheel, but there are some very simple and inexpensive measures you can take that will stop shoplifting. For starters, install some mirrors in those pesky blind-spots, or wrap them around the entire perimeter of the store. It lets your staff easily monitor customers as well as thieves much easier. You can also “lighten” the place up a bit. Look for those darker spots and corners in the store and install better lighting. Thieves don’t want to be seen, so shining a spot light on their favorite corners will really put a crinkle in their day. One bigger move you can make is to eliminate any… well, bigger display units. If you can get your merchandise out on a 4 ft. grid as opposed to a 12ft grid, then do it. Keep your customers in eyesight and you’ll quickly realize that your thieves will hate it.
6. Security Cameras and Public View Monitor
Here’s an easy test to determine if you need to have security cameras. Are you open to the public and do you sell things? If you answered yes, then you should have cameras. Not only do they work to stop shoplifting, they can help police identify those that take from you, try to break in after hours and can also be used to debunk “slip and fall” insurance claims. Cameras should be the first tool taken from your retail theft prevention tool kit. I like to encourage stores to use a mix of “overt” cameras (the ones you can clearly see), “covert” (the ones you can’t) and public view monitors to really drive home the message. I also like to encourage the use of the public view monitor in other parts of the store than just the entrance. If you have a category that’s always being stolen, well put a big monitor that live streams a camera placement. There are various, low cost solutions that can fit any retailer’s budget.
7. Checkpoint System
This really should go hand in hand with a security camera system. If you have merchandise that you sell to the general public, a Checkpoint system is an investment worth making. Where security cameras are a deterrent and can serve as an investigative tool, your Checkpoint system is actively working for you 24/7. You won’t know if a thief is walking out with your product, but your Checkpoint system will. Trust me, you’ll recoup that small investment in a month or two. You’ll also have more peace-of-mind knowing that someone (or something) is working to stop shoplifting in your store all hours of the day.
8. Checkpoint Tags
Just like love, and marriage. You can’t have one without the other! Sure, you went ahead and bought that shiny new Checkpoint system, but you skimped out on the tags. That’s like buying a car, but not the wheels! Complete your retail theft prevention tool kit and make sure you are using the Checkpoint tags on everything that you can. If your thieves want to steal them, then protect them. You’ll find the little effort it takes to apply the tags is well worth the decrease in shrink.
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