When you get some time, I want you to do some online research on how to prevent shoplifting. I did, and I was pretty amused by what I found. It seemed like every link I came across was the same, tired list of “top 10” ways you can prevent a shoplifter from hitting your store. They all said something similar to “have employees wander the store, or use an Alpha Spider Wrap on all items over $X”. I found them all to be, not only very generic, but also not very useful to a small business owner who is perhaps, plagued with this very problem. I thought about what I’ve seen over the years and decided that I could probably do a better job at a list so to speak.
- Hire the right person. In order to prevent shoplifting and employee theft you have to start from the very beginning. Look at your hiring process. Are you filtering applicants, or are you hiring the first warm body that comes through the doors? There was a store manager I knew a while back that probably had the best system for hiring I’ve ever seen. After an initial screening, a manager would conduct an interview. If the candidate passed through that, the store manager would conduct the final interview and offer the job. Not a single employee was brought into the store without the final approval of the store manager. This was also one of the lowest shrink stores in the company.
- Live, eat and breathe customer service. I’m serious here. Don’t just say you are all about the customer. Prove it. From the minute a customer walks through your doors, make them feel like they are welcomed and appreciated. This will not only do wonders to prevent shoplifting, but it will boost sales as your employees will be more engaged and more willing and able to get more product into the hands of your customers. Likewise, you will build a following. I know personally, I shop at the local stores where I know someone will be able to assist me, and appreciate my business. Even if it’s a few dollars more than the chain down the road.
- Know your store. You want to prevent shoplifting? Then know what’s in your store. If you know you have a hot item, then do something about it. That new electronic item… use an Alpha Spider Wrap. Keep finding empty packages in a certain area of the store? Make sure your employees are aware of that, and ensure that they (and you) constantly monitor that area.
- Physical security measures. Customer service won’t stop every thief. Some are just plain determined to steal from you. Here’s where you have to step up and fight back. Use hard tags, soft tags or Alpha Spider Wraps. Install a CCTV system and make sure you have an EAS system in place that will help you battle these thieves.
- Prosecute the thieves that you do catch. If someone steals from you, send them to jail. No one should get a break. This is your money. If someone broke into your home and stole your TV or jewelry, would you just let them go with a warning? Absolutely not. You should treat your store the same way. This sends a strong message to the dishonest community. It shows that you’re not a soft target and you will take steps to protect yourself and your business against theft.
For more information, contact us at Prevent Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547