Can you prevent shoplifting with a simple hello?
Upon opening the store one morning, we noticed our replacement razor cartridge section was completely empty. Knowing our usual inventory levels, we immediately investigated. After reviewing the CCTV, sure enough we found the culprits, 9:00 pm on Saturday, the cashier was vacuuming and the manager was in the office counting money. A couple came in pushing a stroller, put about $800 worth of cartridges in the stroller, covered it with a blanket, and walked back out the door without ever being offered help or receiving any kind of customer service. How can we prevent shoplifting if we don’t know who’s in our stores?
In another situation, a man came in the store around 10:00am on a weekday. He looked around for a bit, and it was obvious that he had not been noticed. Again, the person running the front register was head down, in the middle of a task, and her mind certainly was not on preventing any shoplifting. So he walked back to the salon hair care section and stuffed about $150 worth of product in his pants and jacket. Then he came up toward the door, saw the cashier was helping another customer, and went right out the door.
When there are only one or two people working in your business at a time, awareness training can be priceless when you need to prevent shoplifting. One night I was on duty, and I noticed a woman come in with a large bag on her shoulder, and rather than choose a small shopping cart, she picked up a hand basket. I observed her walking around the store, choosing random items. She was placing the items in the basket, and I approached to ask if she needed any help finding anything. I was mentally taking notes of what I was seeing in the basket. We kept up this sort of dance for about half an hour, her shopping and me offering help and taking my mental inventory. I had to step away to the phone, and when I saw her next, she was coming up to checkout with one trial size bottle of hairspray in her basket now. Her face went ghost white when she saw me on the phone and looking straight at her. She then said she thought she wanted to get a different hairspray. She walked back through two of the aisles and I could hear items being placed on the shelves. She of course had stuffed all her previous choices in her big bag, but upon coming to the front and seeing me on the phone, assumed I was calling the police on her. (It was really just a customer calling with a question!) I never even had to ask for the merchandise back; she decided for herself that being noticed was bad news. She knew that I knew she had more than that one item just minutes before.
Shoplifters, professional or not, don’t want to be noticed. If you want to prevent shoplifting in your store, you have to train your employees to be aware of the people in the building. Making eye contact, saying hello, and offering assistance can make a potential shoplifter quickly change their mind and leave your store. You don’t need to post a sentry at the door or invest in a greeter. Just let them know you know they are in your building, and that alone can be one of the biggest deterrents.
For more information contact us at Preventshopliftingloss.net or call 1.770.426.0547