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Loss Prevention Tips for the Holidays

Loss Prevention Tips for the Holidays

The Christmas shopping season should put retailers in a good mood, but it’s also a prime time for shoplifters to ply their trade. As stores get busy, it’s easier for a shoplifter to get lost in the crowd. Make sure your store doesn’t fall victim. Here are a few ways to keep money from going out the door due to theft.

Always Greet Customers
Preventing shoplifters starts with one of the basic building blocks of retail: good customer service. When you greet them at the door, establish eye contact and ask how you can help them, you make the potential shoplifter nervous that you will be watching them, even if they refuse your attempts at help.

Don’t Abandon Aisles
Remember, shoplifters want to be left alone to do their work. If a customer indicates they just want to be left alone to shop, that’s all right; don’t be a pest. If you are suspicious about a customer, you can still hang around the aisle by straightening shelves or appearing to be busy. This sends the message that you are attentive to your store. Staffing should be adequate enough that you are able to have someone in all departments and not leaving any space unsupervised.

Find Visible Security Deterrents
Make known that your store does not tolerate shoplifting. You should find a way to do that which does not deter shoppers, but rather creates an environment in which all customers and employees feel safe. CCTV cameras, camera domes and mirrors can all send the message that you are watching for theft. Even something as simple as a bell that rings when someone walks in the door can help prevent someone from slipping in unnoticed.

Maintain Adequate Staffing
Keep adequate staff during peak times of the day. This will not only improve your customer service, but will allow you to have more eyes on the floor. One of the easiest ways to determine your busiest times of the day is to use reports from your POS system to see what time of the day has the most transactions.

Eliminate Dark Spots
Replace all light bulbs immediately after they burn out. If there are areas of the store that are dark, then install better lighting. This not only makes the store more appealing to shoppers, it makes those areas less appealing to shoplifters.

Rearrange the Store
If your store isn’t arranged with preventing shoplifting in mind, it may be time to consider a change. Store fixtures can be arranged to prevent ‘blind spots’ on the salesfloor. They should be arranged to open up sight lines so it’s easy to quickly see all areas of the store. This, of course, is a major change, but resetting your store in this way can have multiple benefits, such as making the store more shoppable and inviting.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton
Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NRHA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.