As a retail business owner and operator in Princeton, you are constantly working to deter crime, either by your employees or customers. It’s not easy juggling how to reduce shoplifting and theft while also running your business. Nonetheless, it’s part of the job. In this article, Firstline Locksmith is going to share how you can reduce shoplifting and theft, a crippling crime for retail stores, for next to nothing in monetary expense.

How To Secure Your Retail Store

Did you know that the retail industry loses 45 billion dollars worth of inventory and property damage annually due to shoplifting, theft, robbery, and burglary? Retail crime is one of the biggest problems facing retail chains, superstores, and grocery stores. A loss prevention plan is imperative to reduce cost due to lost property. Here are ways you can prevent loss in your store:

#1. Organize Your Store

The quickest way to prevent theft and other property related crimes is to organize your store. A cluttered store makes it harder for employees to know if something is missing, what a customer is viewing, or how to tell if something was actually taken. For example, pulling all your products to the front of the shelf makes it super easy to see if someone has removed an item; it’s even easier when you see someone slide an item into their jacket right off the shelf.

#2. Identify Potential Shoplifting Traits and Methods

Knowing how a shoplifter steals is only half the battle. In most cases, it will be too late once you realize property has been stolen. So, you can take proactive measures and identify behaviors and methods that shoplifters tend to use. Here are some of the areas that are easiest to conceal stolen items:

  • Purchased Merchandise
  • Umbrellas
  • Strollers
  • Handbags
  • Clothing

Also, keep a close eye on false returns and price label switching. Shoplifters and thieves will do this to steal money or pay less for something. In some cases, a pair of shoplifters will use the price label bait-and-switch, too. An individual will take an item to the acting customer service member and engage with a mislabeled price tag, which then gives the other shoplifter the opportunity to steal something.

Finally, you need to watch out for individuals who exhibit the following behaviors:

Watch the cashier or employees more than they shop
Take several items into the dressing room but only exit with one or two
Carries items around the store and replaces them in the wrong locations

#3. Coordinate Your Customer Service Outreach

Customer service is a must in the retail business. You need to make your customers feel like they belong in your store so that they feel more comfortable purchasing. Here’s a few ways you can coordinate with your employees to keep customers happy and prevent shoplifting:

  • Greet customers at the door
  • Keep an adequate number of staff on the floor (one per section is ideal)
  • Establish a no large bag policy
  • Keep cashiers trained on the inventory pricing structure to catch price tag switches
  • Implement a code or signal between employees that they have a potential shoplifter in the store

Policies and staff training all help keep your store safe and shoplifter free. Granted, you cannot reduce shoplifting to zero, but you can do more to keep it at a minimum.

#4. Reorganize Your Store For Theft Prevention

There are a number of ways the layout of your store can prevent loss due to shoplifting. Here are a few ways you can implement immediately:

  • Place the cashier at the exit so that customers have to pass it to exit
  • Install mirrors to cover blind spots throughout the store
  • Lock small or expensive items in cabinets or display cases
  • Lock the dressing rooms and limit number of items taken inside

#5. Put Up Warning Signs

As much as we think it doesn’t work, signage that warns shoplifters, thieves, and other criminals does help reduce crime. Signs that tell potential criminals that they will be prosecuted remind them that you mean business.

You want to place signage near the entrances of your building, as well as up high where cameras may be placed. Shoplifters look up more than the average shopper to check for surveillance. Placing a sign where they may look reminds them of the consequences.

Firstline Locksmith: Ready To Secure Your Store?

At Firstline Locksmith, we understand the stress behind running a retail store of any size. Not only do you have to run a business, but you also have to prevent loss of property. It’s a tough responsibility. If you’re looking for a way to secure your store beyond non-monetary tactics, schedule a commercial locksmith consultation with us today!