How Big Box Retailers are Preventing Theft – Lessons for Local Hardware Stores

For big box hardware retailers, preventing theft and navigating loss prevention is an ongoing area of concern. Over the years, retail theft issues have grown by leaps and bounds, especially due to problems with organized retail crime (ORC) and loosened laws surrounding “misdemeanor” instances of shoplifting. According to CNBC, organized retail crime cuts into profit margins on an alarming level: $778,000 for every billion in sales. Local hardware stores are just as, if not more, at risk of retail loss, but they can take lessons on loss prevention from big-box stores.

How Big Box Hardware Stores Prevent Theft

Large retailers have really buckled down when it comes to loss prevention. Some of the big names in hardware retail are taking a more holistic, all-encompassing approach to loss prevention by using total loss strategies. This means:

  • Closely managing problems with shrinkage on every level
  • Utilizing management tactics and monitoring profitability
  • Focusing on brand and people protection and safety

However, ORC requires big box stores to go a few steps further when it comes to loss prevention. Many big box hardware retailers are investing in employee education about loss prevention and ORC, and also building the workforce so adequate staffing is always available. They are also using retail anti-theft devices, such as recoilers with alarms on high-value merchandise and implementing greater levels of on-site surveillance.

Lessons Local Hardware Stores Can Learn and Implement

Even though local hardware stores are smaller and have fewer resources to allocate, they can take notes from bigger retailers and see similar positive outcomes. The retail loss prevention systems utilized by large retailers can be broken down into smaller, more economical strategies that work for smaller companies.

Local hardware stores can implement:

  • Educating employees about problems with shrinkage and ORC
  • Identifying which products are most vulnerable to theft
  • Increasing surveillance by increasing employee floor coverage
  • Add retail theft prevention devices like recoilers with alarms to stop theft

Implement RTF Global’s Retail Anti-Theft Devices for Loss Prevention 

RTF offers a variety of loss prevention products that can be used in hardware stores for securing merchandise. Our products can be seamlessly worked into an existing display, such as a slatwall or pegboard, without expensive or extensive reconfigurations of store displays. Work with us to build a comprehensive loss prevention strategy for your store.  


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