Stock rooms tend to be highly vulnerable areas for theft. Of course they do vary in size based on the size of the store and the merchandise carried in the store but all are potential security risks. Regardless of what size a stock room is it is important to ensure there are appropriate security measures in place. It is easy to assume that since merchandise is in a stockroom area there is limited access to it and therefore it is safe from theft until it goes to the floor. There can be a tendency for complacency on the part of managers when they fail to recognize the possibility of employees stealing while in a stockroom. In many cases retail anti-theft devices are not placed on merchandise until the product is moved to the sales floor.


Retail anti-theft devices do prevent shoplifting on the sales floor.  Wrapping electronics merchandise in Alpha Spider Wrap for example allows the customer to handle product and walk around the store with it for convenience. The electronic alarm capabilities and tamper proof hardware provide the store with protection against theft. Sales go up when customers don’t have to wait for assistance to get an item from a secured show case. The same protection that can prevent shoplifting can also be used to prevent employee theft. The one place that employees have access to and where customers cannot go is the stockroom so it should be a focus for making sure Alpha Spider Wraps and other devices are being used here.


When I was Loss Prevention Manager for a big box store, I recall having one particular case that made me rethink our merchandise protection strategy in terms of when we protected merchandise and specifically in our stockroom. We had a stockroom dedicated to electronics within our main stockroom.This area was monitored by several cameras and a key was required by a team member in order to enter it. It seemed that this was a secure environment with little chance of internal theft. Securing product with retail anti-theft devices could take place when merchandise was ready to go to the sales floor.


One morning I was approached by one of our stock team members who was trained to work in the electronics stockroom. She told me she had come across an empty package in the electronics stockroom. I inspected the box and left it in place and initiated an investigation. After several weeks I was able to successfully identify the culprit and caught him stealing several high dollar items, including a digital camera. During live closed circuit television surveillance I watched the employee remove contents from a box, conceal the merchandise in his pants and then hide the empty package behind other products on the shelf. I stopped him while he still had the merchandise in his pants, making it more than a little difficult for him to deny his crime.


The case made me realize that while we did a good job of using Alpha Spider Wrap and other retail anti-theft devices on our sales floor to prevent shoplifting, we had a very real flaw in our overall merchandise protection strategy.  I had relied too heavily upon the stockroom controls we had in place to be the deterrent to internal theft when I could have been using the same devices to add increased security to merchandise in the stockroom areas.  Even though I did catch this particular employee within his first few months of employment, I could never be absolutely certain I had an admission for ALL the theft he had caused.  The question I think every conscientious investigator asks is, “Did I get a full and complete admission?”  I like to believe I did, but the question always nags at me.


     Don’t allow your stockroom to be the place from which a dishonest employee feels comfortable stealing.  Use the retail anti-theft devices that prevent shoplifting to also stop internal theft.  Protect your merchandise when it enters the store and it will be safe wherever you keep it, on the sales floor or in the stockroom.


For more information on Retail Anti-Theft Devices, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547