For retailers, loss prevention is always top of mind. While most customers are honest, there will always be a few that act in their own self interest. Retailers need to take precautions to prevent theft from occurring.
Every day there is a news story about a small business being robbed. CBS Baltimore recently reported the theft of a $21,000 ring from a store in Maryland. This kind of loss can seriously impact the bottom line for any store. In fact, according to Entrepreneur, U.S. retailers lose more than $33 billion to theft yearly, by both employees and customers.
Preventative measures may not prevent all instances of theft, but they can significantly deter people from trying and help you reclaim lost items.
Make security obvious
According to Business Insider, businesses spent significant resources on technology that remains hidden. However, this strategy doesn't work. Thieves need to be aware of the danger of pocketing something. Make sure cameras and mirrors are obviously placed and that customers know you are keeping on eye on them. The knowledge of being monitored will prevent many thieves from trying to steal.
Be strategic with visual merchandising
Put objects that are easier to take closer to the checkout counter. Likewise, if some items are more likely to be taken because of their value, make sure they are in the sightline of your employees. Additional measures include using security tags and alarms so that customers will not be able to leave the store without purchasing the items.
Have an awesome team
Having employees you can trust is invaluable. First, you need to be able to trust that they won't steal from you. Next, you need to be able to get them to help with loss prevention. Make sure employees are aware of the dangers and what to do when they see something suspicious. Store owners can't always be around. It's important that the whole team looks out for the well-being of the business.
Interact with customers
Patrons are more likely to steal when they feel like no one is paying attention. This means another solution to preventing theft is simply to have stellar customer service. Have employees make eye contact and say "hello" to everyone who enters the store. Have employees provide customer assistance throughout the store and offer to help customers find what they're looking for.
Always stay up to date on the newest forms of technology available for loss prevention. As technology becomes outdated, thieves learn their way around it until it is less effective. Stay one step ahead of customers at all times and always be on the lookout for new tools that can help you effectively prevent theft.
In an ideal world, you would be able to trust customers not to make off with unpaid merchandise. Unfortunately, it's still a big issue. Invest in a team that will help and be strategic with your store layout and you will be able to reduce loss.