According to the National Retail Federation, retail theft and fraud amounted to 1.62% of sales in 2019 and about $61.7 billion in losses. While these numbers are daunting, there are simple steps you can take to reduce theft in your business. Keep these common retail crimes in mind as you devise a loss prevention plan for your business.
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) states that over 550,000 shoplifting incidents occur each day in the United States. Shoplifting can be discouraged by making personal connections with each customer who enters the store.
Have staff greet each person as they enter your store. Staff should circulate through the store, offering assistance to customers as they browse. Since employees can’t be everywhere, a video surveillance system will keep watch when staff can’t.
Theft during self-checkout
Thieves have perfected various clever methods to avoid paying full price for items or evading payment altogether at self-checkouts. From swapping price tags with products of a lower value to neglecting to scan merchandise, self-checkouts are vulnerable to theft.
To deter theft from self-checkout stations, post an employee in the self-checkout area to monitor and assist customers in need. Use security cameras as a backup.
Internal theft, or “retail shrink,” is when employees steal products from the workplace. To reduce shrink, educate your employees on your expectations regarding theft. They may not think grabbing an apple from the display for lunch will affect your business’s bottom line, but they may not see the full picture.
To further discourage theft, consider an access control system so you can keep track of which employees enter key sections of your retail space, such as the inventory room. You can control who has authorization to enter certain areas and track each employee with a unique access code.
Break-ins are an unfortunate reality for many businesses, particularly those selling high-value products that are easy to resell. Video surveillance and a commercial alarm system are essential in reducing the risk of break-ins. Burglars admit to being deterred by the presence of security cameras. In the event that a theft takes place, high-quality surveillance footage will help you identify the thieves.
While no business is immune to retail crimes, making personal connections with your customers can be a powerful way to deter theft. Implementing commercial security systems will help you resolve any theft that does occur.
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