Shoplifting and theft are problems that every retail store faces, and you probably won’t ever stop them altogether. You can, however, drastically reduce the amount of merchandise that goes missing with a few simple steps. Many of the most effective shoplifting deterrents don’t cost a penny, and those that do often pay for themselves over time.
Make sure you and your employees greet every customer who walks into your store and offers them assistance. This is good customer service, but it’s also a theft deterrent. Thieves want to walk into and back out of your store as subtly as possible without being noticed. That’s a lot harder to do when you and your employees make it a point to acknowledge their presence. Make sure you look customers in the eye when you greet them. Honest customers will feel more welcome and think you more friendly. Those looking to cause trouble will know that you’ll be able to recognize and identify them later if necessary.
Open Things Up
Shoplifters like dark corners and hidden nooks and crannies. They want to stay hidden, so it’s your job to get rid of the hiding places in your store. Make sure all the areas of your store are as well lit and open as possible. One clever way to do so is to utilize short display shelves. Taller shelves will block your view, but short styles allow you to look over them and see the entire store.
Make It Obvious You’re Watching
You clearly don’t want to stalk your customers as they shop or make anyone feel uncomfortable, but you do want to let everyone know you’re watching. Install security cameras and make sure some of them are obvious. Put up signs telling people they’re on camera and letting them know that you prosecute all shoplifters, no matter how little they take. It’s important to follow through on this threat. Calling the police when appropriate creates a highly visible reminder that you mean business.
Increase Store Presence
You may also wish to hire a security guard service. Uniformed security officers serve as a highly visible reminder that you’re serious about protecting your property. You can also utilize plain-clothes security guard services to help you catch shoplifters if your loss is running high. Whether as a physical presence to keep people honest or as an extra set of covert eyes, security guards can add a great deal of safety to the store just by being there.
When your store is losing out to shoplifters, you don’t have to just sit back and take it. These steps can make a big difference in how customers view your store and your frequency of thefts. Even just having the presence of security whether it be uniformed guards or security cameras, can make shoppers think twice about trying to pocket products without paying.