If you are a store owner, chances are that shoplifting is not something you would like to spend your time thinking about. After all, it’s likely that you went into business because you have something of value to offer your community, not because you wanted to have to protect yourself from theft.
Unfortunately, even in our high-tech age, shoplifting continues to plague store owners around the world. The good news is that there are non-onerous ways of nipping the problem in the bud. In fact, it is possible to address the reality of shoplifting in a way that also enlivens your business by strengthening your positive presence among both potential shoplifters and your legitimate customers alike.
Know the Signs of Shoplifting
In this blog, we’ve organized a comprehensive approach to anti-shoplifting measures. Our aim is to help you integrate these measures into your overall model of doing business to help mitigate in-store theft.
The first step to preventing shoplifting from happening in your store is recognizing its indicators. There are indeed some tell-tale signs that someone might intend to shoplift from your store.
Signs that someone intends to shoplift
- A person is wearing oversized clothing or carrying large bags that might be used to conceal items, especially if that person is also concealing their face or exhibiting the tell-tale signs of an active thief (e.g., nervous or skittish behaviour).
- Individuals are moving through your store in a group, especially if some are blocking the view of your employees or otherwise distracting them.
- A known past-offender enters the store.
- A person does not seem as though they are the typical clientele of the store (e.g., a group of men moving about a children’s toy store).
Of course, the presence of some or even all these indicators does not necessarily mean that the individuals in question are potential shoplifters. For this reason, store owners and employees might not wish to single out or confront a person for what may seem suspicious behaviour.
Fortunately, there are measures you can put in place to decrease the chances of your becoming the victim of theft.
Enhance Employee Presence
One of the most effective “surveillance systems” is a strong employee presence in the shop, meaning that the store employees make themselves known to a customer right from the moment they enter the retail store to the moment they leave.
Ideally, this kind of presence will not feel at all like surveillance to legitimate customers; instead, most of them will appreciate a warm, friendly greeting at the door from someone who acknowledges them through a smile and good eye contact.
Employees may also signal their presence by occasionally asking customers if they need help with finding anything. Provided the signals are well-placed and not too pushy, most customers will feel looked after rather than surveilled. However, potential thieves who wish their presence in the store to remain anonymous will continually be reminded that they have been noticed.
Utilize Surveillance Systems
Aside from the meet-and-greet and frequent check-in methods of in-store surveillance, other kinds of surveillance measures can include closed-circuit video cameras and other anti-theft devices. Quite often these devices are an effective deterrent to all but the most adamant would-be thieves, especially when paired with signs or other indicators that alert store occupants of their being monitored.
Invest in Quality Anti-Theft Devices
One of the strongest methods in mitigating theft is investing in quality anti-theft devices. At RTF Global, we offer several products with varying levels of security that are designed to fit in seamlessly with your existing store displays.
Vise Anti-Theft Products
At RTF Global, we specialize in security products that are designed to fit nearly any device. From anti-theft devices for mobile phone retailers to hardware stores, our range of security solutions offer varying levels of protection and can fit any need, budget or type of merchandise so hardware stores and retailers can be confident that their stock is secured.
Optimize Store Layout
Believe it or not, the layout of your store can make a difference in deterring or inviting thieves. Be sure that your customers must pass through the checkout before leaving the store. Do not allow customers to return back through the store with their paid-for merchandise to access a rear exit, for example.
Also, provide your customers with clear paths to follow through the store into well-lit areas that afford no one the opportunity to duck out of the sight of staff. (This may prove difficult in shops with tall display cases such as (e.g.) hardware stores; however, even here lighting and the optimization of space can make a huge difference.)
Keep Store Clean & Organized
In addition to creating a good store layout, it’s a good idea to declutter shelves and keep the products on them neatly stacked and clearly visible to store employees. Keep your most expensive items (e.g., jewelry, vintage items) closest in view and within locked showcases, if possible. Untidy shops or spaces where items are displayed haphazardly are an invitation to would-be shoplifters.
Maintain Up-to-Date Inventory
Aside from keeping a shop that gives the impression of its being well organized, it is vital that you have a record of what is in your store at all times. Inventory management tools can help you track typical items that tend to go missing, giving you the opportunity over time to improve your security and surveillance systems. Keeping tight control of inventory is also a deterrent to theft by employees.
Add Mirrors to Reduce Blind Spots
Convex mirrors strategically placed where the hard-to-see areas can remain under surveillance are also an effective tool. Like video cameras, a well-placed mirror can be a deterrent to potential merchandise swipers and a way to increase your presence in the store.
Prevent Shoplifting with RTF
Theft prevention need not be complicated. In fact, as we have noted, the introduction of anti-theft systems can help positively shape your business. Think of us at RTF Global as consultants who will provide you with the security tools that will enable you to optimize your best retail practices. Contact us to learn more about our state-of-the-art anti-theft devices.