Video: 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Shoplifting

Loss prevention is a significant issue for retailers.

A recent National Retail Federation security survey found the number one source of shrinkage for a retail business is shoplifting.

In order to maximize profits and minimize this preventable loss, retailers need to consider their loss prevention strategy. These are 5 simple ways to reduce shoplifting in your store:

1. Security Cameras

While there are many solutions in the security camera space, the best security camera only works if it is in the right place.

One debate regarding placement is whether or not security cameras should be visible. An article in Total Retail argues that visible cameras are more effective. “It’s true that if shoplifters can see the cameras, they can avoid them, but they work much better as deterrents, preventing the crime altogether.”

A video camera is only effective if the video is clear. In Smart Retailer, a police officer shares that lighting and camera placement are important because, “video is only helpful if a suspect can be identified.”

Another feature to consider when purchasing a security camera is motion-activation. Motion-activated systems increase storage capacity because they only record when there is someone present. According to Smart Retailer, “This also helps in locating a potential suspect. Instead of watching hours of video with noth­ing on it, you can watch the video when there is only activity in the area.”

2. Signage

Simply adding a sign that cautions against shoplifting and alerts customers there is a video security system in place can act as a deterrent. Would-be shoplifters and criminals are looking for a soft target… and knowing they may be caught can cause them to think twice.

3. Loss Prevention Training

Having staff take part in Loss Prevention Training will increase their awareness of the issue and prepare them to act appropriately. An article in Loss Prevention Magazine offers a few tips that small business owners can benefit from.

They suggest “integrating training into the regular workday without taking associates off the floor…which can keep valuable staff members on the floor…and can keep Loss Prevention and safety information top of mind.”

Another suggestion is to tie the training to technology. Managers can better reach their employees “…by delivering training in small bursts in a way that is entertaining, personalized, and gamified.”

4. Customer Service

When entering some retail stores, customers receive a greeting from an employee. The greeting is not only good for customer service but can also discourage potential shoplifters. Employees can say hello to customers while they’re in the aisles and ask if assistance is needed.

A bell that indicates when customers enter and leave the store also alerts potential shoplifters that their presence (and exit) is noted.

5. Neatness Counts

A messy sales floor can cause a store manager to wonder if a theft even occurred. Keeping shelves and racks organized, and merchandise fronted and consistently spaced, can make quickly identifying missing merchandise easier.

Store layout can also help secure a retail store. Shopify says, “Place your checkout so that customers must pass it while exiting.”

Other layout tips include having an open floor plan and putting in mirrors “to eliminate blind spots in corners,” and keeping “fixtures and displays low for increased visibility.”

Utilizing loss prevention strategies such as… 

…can reduce losses from shoplifting… and help small retail business owners keep profits where they belong – their own pockets.