Retail A Dangerous Place To Work? Balancing Clothing Security and Safety

How do we balance clothing security and keeping our associates and ourselves safe from harm. We know that if we do nothing to combat shoplifting that we will soon be out of business. Shoplifters are like anyone else, they talk. And talk they do, to other shoplifters. They compare stories, techniques and where the best places to steal are. We have to combat shoplifters or your store will end up on the shoplifters’ short list. Clothing security and the security of any other type of merchandise is really quite simple. That is the easy part! If you want help with that reach out to us. We can fix it.


But when is enough, enough? There are shoplifters out there that are ready to take it to the next level and hurt someone in order to get away. The reasons are many, i.e. drugs, desperation, greed, debt or just that they “want it”. When I conduct my live Stop Shoplifting seminars either in person or via webinar I always tell a story. Many years ago a shoplifter stole an item from a store in a mall. That was not in dispute. The item was not just petty it was around $500+, a felony. He was seen by store management and ran. This was a store in a mall on the second level. As he was running to escape, he collided with a woman holding an infant. The infant flew out of her arms and went over the railing and was killed on impact on the planter below.


The shoplifter was caught and prosecuted for not only felony theft but for the infant’s death. That was on the criminal court side. He stole the merchandise, ran, and caused the death of the infant. We do not even need to go into the civil suits that were filed. You can imagine who was sued, everyone including the retailer and employees.


But now put yourself into the place of the manager who chased him. How would you feel? You might say to yourself that you were simply pursuing a thief that caused the death. It’s not my fault. Or, is it? If you did not chase the shoplifter to begin with, it would have never happened. These are the things that you will have to wrestle with, for the rest of your life. I have been a Law Enforcement Officer in both the civilian and military worlds. I have faced more life and death situations, both my life and others, than I care to remember. There have been many thousands of times that I have asked myself if I could have done something different.


So, all of this happened due of $500. It was simply NOT WORTH IT! In fact I want you to look at your shoplifting problem from a completely different angle. If you have an incident where you have to chase a shoplifter occurs and your training to stop shoplifting and procedures broke down or failed. In that case you need to go back and refine your program to stop shoplifting, not be chasing shoplifters through the parking lot. When reading this in the comfortable environment you are in right now it may sound like good justice that the shoplifter himself runs out into traffic and gets hit by a car. But the potential for innocent casualties from that could be too horrible to consider.


When a loss occurs reverse engineer it. Where were the break downs? Was your staff paying attention? Were they even trained in what to look for? Do you have adequate Sensormatic Security Systems in place? Are those Sensormatic Security Systems working correctly? Do you have the correct Sensormatic clothing security tags? Are those clothing security tags placed correctly? Are the clothing security tags using the correct pin? Does your staff (and you) know how to PROPERLY react to a Sensormatic Security System alarm? Is your store’s merchandise arranged and displayed correctly or is it customer AND shoplifter friendly? Are small, high dollar, popular items on an end cap in the back of the store? Are you relying on a CCTV system to discourage shoplifters? Shoplifters do not care if you have cameras or not.


Look at it this way. After thirty-five years in Loss Prevention I have found that there are only two ways to prevent shoplifting and they both must be done together. Staff training to PREVENT or stop shoplifting and a Sensormatic Security System. Other brands are fine also but retail theft prevention with Sensormatic systems tend to protect the widest range of products. Retail theft prevention needs to be a constant, consistent effort on your part. And retail theft prevention must involve your trained staff. Without them you can have the best Sensormatic systems installed and you will still have shoplifting problems. Loss Prevention Systems will train you and your staff on how to avoid confrontations and discourage shoplifters while delighting your good customers.


So if you are ready to stop shoplifting once and for all, contact us or call us toll free at 1-770-426-0547 and let us attack your shoplifting problems together.


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