In current day and age, it seems that many people like to blame others for their problems in life. In keeping with that theme, then, shoplifting must be your problem, because you as the store owner or manager are at fault… right?!?
Actually, I think there could be some truth to that–but not in the way you may be thinking. Shoplifters are despicable pond scum; that is one of the problems in our society. They result in a collective jump in price for our necessary goods and services. The shoplifter alone is responsible for their theft.
But we as retailers do have control over our environments. The Merchant laws in almost every State in American actually define and make shoplifting a crime and provide protections for the Retailer. So where is the problem?
We simply do not exercise adequate control over our retail establishments. Oh, I know we have to be careful, because we do not “want to run off our good customers”. This is true, but that is assuming that shoplifters and customers feel, act and respond the same way. Nothing is further from the truth. A good customer rarely even notices the anti-shoplifting efforts going on. They simply do not care. They did not enter the store and begin shopping with even the slightest thought of theft. They are there to compare your prices, service and store’s feel. Oh, sure, they may notice the Checkpoint Antennas or gates at the door, but most have no idea what they are for– and even if they do, they don’t allow it to occupy their thoughts while shopping. Honest shoppers don’t have to care about your LP measures. The closest they get to your shoplifting efforts may be seeing the sign that says “Shoplifters will be shot at sunrise” or some such thing.
A shoplifter is another issue. They are watching for your anti-shoplifting efforts. Thieves pay close attention to employees that are providing excellent customer service. They are afraid of your employees. In case you did not know it, customer service is the number one way to prevent shoplifting. All other tools and devices are a support mechanism for customer service.
So start controlling your environment. Get some training from us if necessary and make it happen. YOU have control over whether or not a shoplifter ruins your day, week, month or year. Don’t be the reason that shoplifters find your store more attractive than your competition.