It may sound like an odd question but have you ever considered that it can be difficult to prevent shoplifting if you are not being careful in your merchandising strategies? I currently work part time for a medium size retail store. We recently had a pretty big sale and in order to drive the impulse buys a display table was set up near the front entrance. Our store does use an electronic article surveillance system and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices on many items but not on everything. As I entered the building after being off for several days and I observed the table I noted that there were a number of items displayed that had no protective devices on them. It made me start to think about the ways retailers may unintentionally create their own theft problems.
As I mentioned our store does use electronic article surveillance pedestals and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices. Not everyone is familiar with this equipment so I am going to take a minute to talk about what they are and how they function. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology is best described as a system that uses radio frequency waves to detect protected merchandise that is being carried out of a store. An Alpha Security protective device such as a Keeper box or Spider Wrap (two examples from a whole line of products) send out radio frequency signals and those signals are detected by EAS towers. The towers are located near store entry/exit points and when tagged merchandise is brought into range of the towers alarms and lights in the towers are set off. When the alarm sounds and the lights flash store staff members respond and conduct thorough receipt checks. Merchandise that is not paid for can be turned over to the staff member or the “customer” may be offered an opportunity to purchase the item.
It should be obvious then that if merchandise is not protected then you significantly hinder your ability to prevent shoplifting. That is the first ways that stores create their own theft problems. Some stores may make the decision because management is not aware of retail anti-theft devices that are available. It may be the decision is made because management perceives Alpha Security products and EAS technology is financially out of reach for their budgets. If this is your position, I urge you to reconsider. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. can show you how it is more affordable than you may think (try the Free ROI Calculator on their website).
Other stores do what I saw at my store and position merchandise especially high price/high theft products near their entrances. The idea is to catch the eye of the impulse shopper but it also catches the attention of shoplifters. Thought should be given to the positioning of products. If you want to draw the interest of customers as they enter your building keep the price points of the items on the lower end of the price scale. These items should still be protected with retail anti-theft devices but in the event a criminal attempts a grab and run the financial impact to the business will be minimized.
Another way that retailers may be contributing to theft issues they are experiencing is by failing to train employees on proper response, resolution and reporting of EAS alarms. With proper training employees can use their customer service skills and non-accusatory conversation to recover more merchandise due to an alarm than someone who has not received training. Even shoplifters tend to respond better to sugar than vinegar. Following up with management and reporting system issues or cashier errors to remove Alpha Security products can ensure the EAS system will prevent shoplifting as intended.
Be sure you are taking all the necessary steps to prevent shoplifting in your store. Be careful with product placement, train employees on how to deter theft and use retail anti-theft devices on all of your merchandise.
Alpha Security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.