Having worked in retail loss prevention for several years, I have been able to see the many obstacles of being able to prevent shoplifting. The larger your store operations become, the greater proportion of theft prevention issues stems from communication problems. It is relatively easy to come up with an adequate merchandise protection strategy like, using clothing security tags on all items above $20.00. If you have multiple employees with various job functions, all which deal with merchandise protection at some point or another, communication becomes essential to making your merchandise protection plan a successfully implemented strategy. Here are a few steps along the chain of merchandise protection that need to be carefully considered at the store level in order to produce an effective clothing security strategy.
Receiving the merchandise is generally the first step in the chain. In some cases, the vendors may already pre-protect their merchandise to a certain extent. This may be sufficient for you, or not. Typically, you know your store’s theft patterns better than the vendors, and should probably implement your own protection strategy. It is important that your receiving team has accurate, updated information on which items should be secured using clothing security tags like Alpha Shark Tags before the items ever make it onto the sales floor. This is the best first line of defense. A quick side note, this also requires that operations orders the proper amount of necessary protection devices.
Merchandising associates are usually the next to handle the merchandise in the chain. It is important that these associates also know the security strategy for the merchandise so that they can quickly correct any issues that they find while working on the sales floor. Merchandising associates also handle the merchandise more than any other associates, so they will also be likely to have great feedback information concerning the merchandise protection strategy. For example, if they are aware of the strategy, and they notice a theft trend on the sales floor, they can provide that feedback to management and make any potential necessary adjustments to more adequately provide clothing security in the store.
Cashiering is typically the last job-function that sees the merchandise. It is also a point where clear communication of clothing protection standards is paramount. Part of a good protection strategy should include where to place security tags, so that they are placed in a consistent manner. This not only makes auditing the protection status easier, but also makes it easier for cashiers to identify the security devices. If the receiving and merchandising associates before them have not consistently and properly placed the clothing security tags, the cashier may forget to remove it, causing a huge inconvenience for the customers. Also, cashiers will frequently be receiving returned merchandise, meaning it is just as important for them, and the merchandising employees who might be returning the clothing to the sales floor, to know which items need to be secured, and how to properly secure them.
So when it comes to important elements of an adequate strategy to protect clothing and other merchandise, clear and concise communication should top the list. If the wrong items are being secured, then you are more likely to lose clothing to theft, and inconvenience customers who are trying to give you their business. Every store needs a good merchandise protection plan; make sure that yours emphasizes communication.
For more information contact us: Clothing Security or call 1.770.426.0547