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Review These Loss Prevention Tips With Your Staff

Loss prevention is only effective if everyone on your team knows how to spot a shoplifter and stays engaged on the salesfloor. If you have new team members or if you’ve noticed some habits that need correcting, review this checklist to ensure your store, your staff and your customers are safe.

In addition to the loss prevention checklist, discuss the following habits you and your staff can implement into their regular routine.

  • Work in pairs. If a customer comes into the store and needs assistance, be sure another associate is available to stay at the front of the store to greet additional customers and watch the door. If there is only one associate staffed at the checkout counter, ask a salesfloor employee to come to the front of the store to help the customer.
  • Develop a code system. Many stores today use headsets to communicate with associates and to better assist customers throughout the store. Consider implementing a code system to communicate suspicious behavior or possible theft through headsets or over the PA system. Instead of using color codes (think “red alert!”) that may tip off thieves if they overhear, use different names and phrases to represent different threat levels. “Has anyone heard from Stephanie today?” could mean an associate has witnessed someone pocket an item, while “Carl is on vacation.” can suggest suspicious behavior in the parking lot.
  • Always remain cautious. Many retail operations have rules in place to protect their staff from harm in the event of a shoplifter, and one of the most common is to never pursue a shoplifter. While your team should be comfortable asking any customer if they need assistance, if a situation escalates and a team member is unable to calm a customer down or witnesses theft, best practices dictate that they remove themselves from the situation. Be sure your team members understand that their safety is paramount in any theft situation, and their first priority is keeping customers and each other safe. Pursuing shoplifters is a job left to the authorities.

For additional training resources, read about the Loss Prevention course at yournhpa.org/training, available to NHPA Training members. Ensure your staff is well prepared to serve your customers and contribute to your operation’s growth.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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