Shoplifting is on the rise overall, but especially at this time of year. As cooler weather moves in and the holidays approach, retailers of all types see an increase in theft. For smaller retailers, shoplifting can be devastating and have a real impact on the bottom line. You probably already have some security methods in place, whether it be mirrors or surveillance cameras, but if you want to get ahead of the thieves, here are some additional things to help you foil shoplifting attempts this holiday season.
- Take a hard look at your store’s layout. Is the cash register in the front or back of the store? Can you see everyone in the store or are your retail fixtures blocking your line of sight? The check-out area should be in the front of the store, to limit the likelihood of a shoplifter paying for one item, then grabbing another for the bag on the way to the door. If you can’t change the location of the register, plan to position a “greeter/thanker” at the store exit. If your store fixtures are blocking your line of sight, get mirrors to hang on an angle above them so you can see the entire store.
- Use glass display cases for valuable merchandise. You can still display them, but they can’t be touched because the case will be locked until an associate opens it.
- Use open shelving for display pieces, and keep additional inventory out of sight in drawers or behind a counter, making it more difficult for someone to just grab and go.
- Wire items like handbags and wallets to the display, so they can’t be separated until they are unlocked by an associate.
- Use open carts instead of big tote bags for carrying shoppers’ treasures. You’ll be able to see what’s in the cart. Big black bags can hide a lot of things.
- Use additional clothing racks for overflow clothes. Jamming clothes together not only narrows the aisles, it gives the thief more cover for nonchalantly putting something in their bag. If you have wide-open aisles and clothes that glide easily across the racks, you’ll be better able to spot something out of the ordinary.
- Make sure your store is well lit inside and out. It’s easier to steal under the cover of darkness.
- Keep your store organized by using shelving, display cases and bins for different products. Keep product types in some kind of order so you’ll be able to tell when something is missing or out of the ordinary.
- Use signage both inside and outside your store letting customers know that shoplifters will be prosecuted. Signs can sometimes be all the deterrent necessary. Signs should be hung higher and be visible to anyone “casing” the store.