For small and medium-sized businesses across the country, theft can play a significant role in cash flow and bottom line. In the UK alone, retail crime soared to a record £613m at the start of 2016, indicating that more needs to be done by business owners to keep their stores shoplifting-proof.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to prevent – or, at least reduce – shoplifting in your store, and we have listed some of the most useful below for you to peruse.
- Maximise your visibility
Being close by to valuable stock is one of the best ways of reducing the possibility of shoplifting. Placing your displays closer to the till or cash register, keeping your store tidy and using mirrors to eliminate blind spots are just some of the ways you can maximise visibility within your store, ensuring that criminals can’t run away with your goods.
- Inspect your purchases
When your employees take payment for goods, make sure they double-check all of the merchandise you sell. By checking baskets, purses and envelopes, you have added peace of mind that additional stock hasn’t ended up inside – and that your customers aren’t taking home extra items for free!
- Implement a shoplifting policy
By carefully crafting a shoplifting policy, you can show your customers that you are serious about crime. Displaying posters and warnings around your store such as ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ can effectively combat shoplifters.
- Lock up your products
Depending on the industry you operate in, you may decide to protect your merchandise by locking it and limiting access to display cases or catalogues. By keeping products out of arms reach and requiring employee assistance can add a security barrier between your products and thieves.
- Make your security systems visible
By putting your security systems on display, you will deter shoplifters from taking your valuable stock. Whether you rely on faux cameras, security guards or you decide to take advantage of the security services offered by All Time Security, letting customers know that you are protected is one of the most effective deterrents against shoplifting.
- Know how to spot one
By understanding the key behaviours and attitudes of shoplifters, you will be able to enter ‘alert mode’ and watch customers who appear nervous, stare, wander and regularly leave and come back. Although it’s impossible to individually monitor everyone, looking out for suspicious customers and communicating with members of your team is a great way to reduce the chances of shoplifting.
- Have a strong presence
Greeting every customer individually and helping them with their shopping process will not only boost your levels of customer service but also remind potential shoplifters that they are being monitored. If you work in a clothes store, for example, you could monitor the number of items customers take with them and then assist by bringing items to their changing room. It is a great way to subtly check that they are not stashing away clothes in their handbags.
Although it would be impossible to eliminate shoplifting from your store, following the advice mentioned in this article will make it more difficult for thieves to take away your merchandise without payment. Follow our tips for design and customer service, and you’ll soon see that your store is less attractive to shoplifters and that your profits are increasing.