Training is a major key in any store’s plan to prevent shoplifting. First of all, you have to train your employees to know who is in the building at all times. I cannot count the times I have heard someone recalling an external theft incident say that they never even saw that person come in. They need to be aware of behaviors common to shoplifters, such as avoiding eye contact, looking around to see where employees are, and don’t ever forget to notice if they are carrying what we refer to as “a giant shoplifter bag.”
Your employees also need to be trained to properly install and remove retail anti theft devices. They should be able to tactfully explain to customers why they are in use. We don’t usually encourage our staff to tell customers that they are there to keep people from stealing, or any other negative connotation. I train my staff to always tell people that ask about them, we are utilizing those tools to ensure the products are on the shelf when the customer comes to buy them. Take Alpha Keepers for instance. We used to keep our razor refill cartridges in a this huge dispensing cabinet, so to speak. The customer pressed a button, opened a door, and retrieved the package. When it worked. Then when we got Alpha Keepers, we tossed that monstrosity in the trash, put up some pegs, and hung those bad boys up. No more complicated instructions; no more making honest customers feel like they have to find the cheese at the end of the maze.
We also utilize Alpha Spider Wraps. They are fantastic for high retail items that are just too big to put in an Alpha Keeper. However, with these, I learned a nice $100 lesson just two days ago. If the person attaching them is not properly trained, they may as well just hand it over to the thief. My assistant had stepped outside for a moment, and noticed a car backed into a spot at the corner of our parking lot, with a someone in the driver’s seat. That wouldn’t be unusual since we are a small retail pharmacy, and someone could just be waiting for the medication to be filled, but where the car was parked made my assistant feel something was amiss. He came back through the door just as a woman was walking out. He spoke to her, and she said nothing. Instead, she put her head down and sped up. He knew then and came upstairs and said “I think we just got hit.” Unfortunately, that gut feeling he had was exactly right. We watched the DVR, and sure enough that woman was a booster. We watched as she went down the oral hygiene and shaving sections, looking but not picking anything up. (Everything that could be targeted by boosters has some type of product protection on it in those sections.) Then she went to the shampoo section and stopped at the hair regrowth formulas. She picked up one that had an Alpha Spider Wrap around it. She tugged and pulled every corner, but had no luck. Then she chose another box, and after turning it over a couple times, pulled the package through the cables, ripped off the Checkpoint Labels, and stuffed it into her bag. She got another one too. As I watched I could see that the wraps on the last two boxes had not been put on correctly. That was two $50 mistakes. The cables have to be put on so that there is one around each side, like a holiday bow. They cannot be wrapped around the box all one way, like a bandage. If they were all three attached right, that lady could have pulled and yanked until her fingers snapped, but those cables would not have loosened, and all of the packages would still be sitting on my shelves.
You live and learn. The sun still comes up tomorrow, and when I have a staff meeting, we will have a short lesson on the correct and most effective ways to use the Alpha Spider Wraps. The booster knew what they and the Checkpoint Labels were capable of or she wouldn’t have taken the time to remove them, so I know our deterrence measures are being noticed.
For more information on the different tools to prevent shoplifting, contact us: 1.770.426.0547 or Preventshopliftingloss.net