Shoplifting is a daily occurrence in most stores, and it’s almost impossible to catch every thief that walks through your door. One way to increase your chances of catching the bad guys is teaching your team what to look for, and be aware of their surroundings while they are working. Even if you are lucky enough to have loss prevention personnel in your store, it helps to have the rest of your team keeping their eyes open for any suspicious activity. Employees should understand that it is everyone’s job to do whatever they can to stop shoplifting from occurring at your store.
There have been many times that employees I worked with should have noticed some of the shoplifters I later apprehended. Let your team know how shoplifting affects the business, and why it is important that they stay aware of customer activity in their departments. Some employees don’t understand just how much of a loss shoplifters can cause, and some just don’t care. The goal is to try to get them excited about helping out the store. For a small business, retail theft prevention could be critical to your success. You have to think of every way possible to keep costs down, and profits climbing. Shoplifters could put a huge dent in the profit that belongs in your pocket.
I remember a shoplifting case years ago, when I watched a guy pick up about ten DVDs and go around the wall into a different department. I watched as he placed all of the DVDs on a shelf behind some other merchandise. He did this a couple of times and then left the store empty handed. This is something I had seen in the past, and it’s called staging. Staging is when someone sets up merchandise to come back and get it later.
I had one of my co-workers keep an eye on the doors to see if he came back into the store. We didn’t have to wait very long, because he came back about 30 minutes later. This time, he was carrying an empty duffel bag. Of course, he went straight to the area where he left the DVDs. Once he was in the aisle, he put the bag on the shelf and started walking around other aisles in the area to see if anyone was around. He then grabbed the DVDs, concealed them into the duffel bag, and then headed out the exit doors.
Fortunately, I was watching this all unfold while covertly following him around the store. I stopped him when he exited with the bag and was able to retrieve the DVDs for the store. Once again, the awareness needed to stop shoplifting was not present. During this entire incident, the shoplifter walked by several employees, who had no idea of what was happening. Also, not one of them greeted or asked him if he needed assistance finding anything.
Employees should make contact with every customer that comes into the store. This is a strong tool in regard to retail theft prevention, and it will go a long way with helping to stop shoplifting. The last thing a shoplifter wants is for employees to notice them and ask them if they need help. They want to be left alone so they can commit their theft undetected.
For more information contact us: Stop Shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547