If you are finding yourself reacting to a theft, especially one that falls under the umbrella of organized retail crime, you have lots of company. As a business owner or manager, you should have some type of Anti-Shoplifting plan in place. You may not use any type of product protection tools. Some businesses rely solely on customer service and/or securing items behind cases. If that is working for you, then by all means, carry on. In my store, however, that approach will simply not work. We sell a variety of items, and our stores are not set up to run that way. We sell many of the same items flea markets sell, and some of the unscrupulous vendors know the easiest way to make more profit is to pay as little as possible for their inventory.
In the world of organized retail crime, professional shoplifters prey on businesses like mine. They case our stores, know our trends, and strike when we least expect it. Fortunately our Anti-Shoplifting tool chest is full and our plans are ever-changing. If one thing doesn’t work, or stops working, we change it up. A new recruit for a fence operation may be deterred by Checkpoint Tags. They know they will get less money for the stolen merchandise if it has to be cleaned. Another thief may not even look for tags, and just wipe out an entire section. You may choose to protect one type of product and then the next time they come in and go for a completely different line of product. One time it may be high retail skin care, the next it could be pain relief or stomach remedies. That unpredictability is what makes Anti-Shoplifting efforts so important when your business is being hit with this type of crime.
We are a small retail pharmacy. A lot of what the professional shoplifters are going for depends on the season. I had moved my focus to razor cartridges recently. That was where we were being targeted about twice a month. I now have them merchandised in Alpha Keepers. These are great deterrents because they add extra weight and bulk to the “job” of the thief while keeping the items visible to honest customers. The thefts had seemed to stop so when I walked into my cough and cold section on New Year’s Eve, I was not really surprised to see that all of my Breathe Right strips were gone, and I mean every single box. I watched the DVR and see a man come in, wearing a big puffy coat (it was actually a cold day) and accompanied by a child that looked to be no more than four years old. He held the child’s hand the entire time, except when he was dropping all nineteen of those boxes into a shopping basket. Then he took that basket over to another aisle, stuffed the product in his coat, left the basket in the floor, and they left. The boxes were all tagged with store identifiers and Checkpoint Labels, so I’m fairly certain his coat was lined with foil because he never caused an alarm. As of now, since I have restocked, those strips are now merchandised in Alpha Keepers, in addition to the tags. It was a $250 lesson that taught, once again, the game plan has changed, so mine has to as well. It’s a shame he brought a child in to deter suspicion, and now that he has seen it work, he will likely try that again. Next time he comes in, he probably won’t be so apt to grab those strips once he sees they have been put into the keepers. Anti-Shoplifting is a big deal, and it can be hard work. You don’t have to fight that battle alone though. Take the time and look into some tools that will make your job easier.
For more information contact us at: Antishoplifting.net or call 1.770.426.0547