Improving Employee Awareness To Stop Shoplifting
How do I stop shoplifting? I stop it by using the skills I learned in my 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention. I prevent shoplifting in the store I work for as a salesfloor associate. I also work in a college library where I respond to RFID alarms when books and materials that have not been checked out are being carried out of the building by patrons. I use my L.P. experience to train my library co-workers on how to politely respond to alarms and effectively determine if any items have not been checked out. In short, I am conducting employee theft reduction training as I teach library co-workers and store co-workers and managers what to look for to help prevent theft.
I used those Loss Prevention skills last night to prevent a young lady from getting away with about $100 worth of merchandise theft in my retail job (and it might have been more but I can only speculate on that). I noticed the customer enter the store with a guy and I immediately greeted them and offered to help them find whatever they came in to purchase. They quickly declined my offer and picked out a shopping cart and continued into the store. They looked around for a few minutes and then the male left the store. I notified the Manager-On-Duty of my suspicious person and he helped me keep track of her as much as possible since he also had other responsibilities. Over the next 2 ½ hours I checked on her and watched what she would have in her shopping cart. She had no purse or bag so any theft would have to be a buggy roll-out or a financial transaction fraud. I am very limited in any surveillance I do on a customer and when I did sneak peaks at the patron I caught her looking around and several times looking at me. As she became more nervous seeing me so often and offering her assistance she started approaching me and asking for prices on items. She rambled on about buying things for her mom and dad but not wanting to spend too much on her credit cards. Eventually I was able to watch her hide something in a filing box then stash that box behind other similar boxes. I met her at the cash register where she pretended to ask about other items she had. The manager came over to assist me and I made a pretense of walking away to check on something. The woman told the manager she would be back but had to check on the balance on her credit card before buying the items she brought up. He put the items on hold for her until she could return. I went to the back and recovered the box with the stashed items to stop shoplifting when someone came for it.
I explained to the manager that while watching the young woman on the floor she was constantly making calls on her phone and then told him I suspected she had initially intended to roll the cart with everything in it out the door since she made several passes in that direction but either the manager or I were at the doors when she did so. When she was afraid to do the roll out with everything she finally hid the other items in the tote intending to come back for it later or she would send her male friend in for it. My manager was surprised and said he hadn’t thought about that. This was one of the moments when I was able to utilize employee theft reduction training, telling the manager about the things that might have transpired. I also shared the details with another co-worker who was surprised someone would do this.
There are subtleties I am able to pick up on that I learned over the years in L.P. that I use to help the store stop shoplifting. A lot of those skills involve knowing when to give customer service and aggressive customer service. As I do so I also take the opportunities to provide tips to other store workers, providing a mini employee theft reduction training that can help them understand how to reduce theft too. Since I can’t be at YOUR stores to help out I do suggest you seek out the services of a company that CAN provide training and support. I know one company, Loss Prevention Systems Inc., that can provide that training in my absence and they can even do employee background checks for you, something I cannot do. Make training a priority and see the impact it can have on reducing shortage in your stores!
Get more information on employee theft reduction training, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.