Loss prevention isn't as exciting of a topic as visual merchandising for most retailers, but it's just as important, if not more so. Beyond the obvious and basic desire to stop people from stealing your inventory, preventing theft and inventory shrink is one of the most basic things a business owner can do to improve profit margins. There are a number of cost-effective options that retailers can use to improve security in their stores, depending on the size of the sales floor and the type of merchandise sold. A modest investment into security measures can pay off both by discouraging shoplifters and making paying customers feel more secure.
Here's a look at a few options retailers can consider for their stores:
- Security tags: Tags are a great option for clothing stores, where merchandise can be more easily concealed than at stores where items are boxed or otherwise packaged by distributors. Tags sound an alarm when moved through the threshold of an electronic article surveillance system. Some also release dye from vials to eliminate the value of stolen clothing. The visible dye vials act as an effective theft deterrent in and of themselves, letting potential shoplifters – who may not be affected by the presence of an alarm system by itself – know that their attempts to take products will end poorly, even if they get away.
- Mirrors: Retailers who want to increase visibility into the nooks and crannies of the sales floor without making a major investment into the purchase of expensive surveillance equipment need to consider mirrors. These useful items can be put to work in the upper corners of a retail space, allowing employees to see into areas where their lines of sight would otherwise be blocked. Mirrors can also be used in more specialized applications, such as in checkout lanes at stores where shopping carts are commonly utilized by customers, to check the underside of carriages and other hard-to-see areas.
- Simulated cameras: Effective camera systems that cover enough angles to truly be useful are expensive and simply not within the reach of many smaller stores. Using simulated cameras can help discourage theft by being highly visible and attracting the attention of would-be shoplifters. This inexpensive solution can be combined with mirrors and tags to craft an affordable and effective theft deterrence strategy.