Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

Shoplifting Prevention: 5 Tips to Keep Your Store Safe

Are you a business owner that’s concerned with shoplifting prevention?

If not, you should be. Many people take the liberty of a “five-finger discount” — and by many, we mean there are about 27 million shoplifters in the U.S. right now.

Every hour, there are at least 50,000 shoplifting incidents. This number accounts for about 33% of all total inventory shrinkage per business.

Can you afford to lose that much product?

The answer is no, regardless of how big or small your business is.

Here are five easy, actionable tips you can take right now to lower the risk of theft inside your store.

1. Know the Signs

First, be aware of some tell-tale warning signs that a shoplifter is in your store.

Are they standing in one place for long, looking around nervously? Picking objects up and putting them down while not seeming engaged? Are they taking multiple large trips into a fitting room with clothing doubled-up on hangers? 

Or, did they come in with a large, empty bag?

While these signs don’t mean your customer is a thief, they could steer you towards potential perps.

In that case, be open, friendly, and talkative — not accusatory. Train your employees to engage all customers equally, which will deter a criminal’s adverse actions.

2. “Be” the Thief

If you were a thief, what would you steal?

It’s likely you wouldn’t steal a heavy object from the back of the store.

It’s even likelier that you’d grab something quick and easy from a display right near the exit.

Think like a thief and let that guide your store’s set-up. Put expensive items up on higher shelves or behind locked cases. Keep displays away from the entrance and exit — while also keeping them minimal, so employees can notice something missing quickly.

3. Try Mirrors

Depending on the size of your staff and your store, you may have some areas that are “blind spots.”

Try to eliminate these by using cleverly-placed mirrors. They’ll double as surveillance support and can improve aesthetic displays. 

They’ll allow you and your staff to keep an eye on areas they normally couldn’t and they’ll make potential thieves think twice about slipping something into their pocket.

4. Use Electronic Article Surveillance 

EAS is a great tactic for reducing theft in your store.

EAS commonly comes in the form of tags. This technology allows you to tag items that will set off an alarm unless removed.

This electronic tag alone has been proven to reduce theft.

EAS tags are easily installed and removed by you and your staff, costing you no loss of time. But, they’re difficult for shoplifters to remove, adding one more step between them and a free item.

5. Put Up Signs and Cameras

Having signs and/or cameras placed around your store will let potential thieves know you’re protecting your shop.

Signs that state “Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted” or “All Activities Monitored by Video Camera” will make a shoplifter think twice about doing the deed. If they know you’re being proactive, they’ll be less likely to target your store.

Hiring a team like those at Magnum Security Installations, Inc. can get you carefully-placed cameras that offer monitored and maintained alarm systems.

Put These Shoplifting Prevention Tips to Work

No business can afford to lose 33% of their inventory to thieves.

And by embracing some straightforward, simple tactics, you can greatly reduce the risk of theft in your establishment.

For more tips like these shoplifting prevention guidelines, keep scrolling our blog!