Prevent Shoplifting Tips

  • Greet every customer as they enter the store. This lets them know that you know they’re there and they’re being watched.
  • Concentrate your resources on deterrence as your first line of defense and apprehension second. It’s easier to prevent shoplifting than it is to catch a shoplifter.
  • Smart store design, especially for the small specialty retailer, is very effective as a theft deterrent. If your merchandising allows, use low aisles so your employees can monitor several rows at once. Keep sightlines open from the cash register to all corners of the shop. Keep your high-end items away from the door. Place the dressing rooms in plain sight of the cash register. Count items that go into the dressing room.
  • Train your employees to keep an eye on customers and to watch for suspicious activity. Instruct them on the basic tactics of shoplifters.
  • Issue a receipt for every purchase, and mark the receipt when it has been used for a return. A common ploy is to purchase an item, dump in it in the car, return to the shop and pick up the same item, and show the old receipt as proof of purchase.
  • Alternate the way the hangers face in your clothing racks. This will make it harder for a shoplifter to grab an armful of clothing and dash out the door.
  • Put up a sign that says “Security Camera Surveillance” or something along these lines. It doesn’t matter if you have security cameras or not.
  • Security tag systems (“electronic article surveillance” tags) are very effective. Plug in the transceiver and place the tags on your merchandise and you’re ready to go. For extra protection, put two tags on an item—one in an obvious place, and the other hidden. Again, if you want to go a less expensive route but to somewhat the same effect, buy the inexpensive labels but not the transceiver. The shoplifter will assume you have the transceiver hidden. Check customers for “booster bags.” These are bags that have been lined with foil to stymie EAS systems.
  • Lock your small high-end items in a showcase.
  • Install surveillance mirrors.
  • Check all items before they go into the dressing room. Watch for multiple articles hidden on the same hanger.

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