If you sell clothing you have fitting rooms and if you have fitting rooms it can be tough to prevent theft especially if your store does not use Sensormatic tags on clothing. As is often the case this thought came to me as I was on a shopping excursion. This time I was with one of my sons who was purchasing clothes for a job interview. It just so happened that he wanted my assistance in selecting appropriate attire (yeah, dad can still be useful from time to time especially when mom isn’t home). We went to a department store and looked at suits, shirts, sports jackets and ties. The funny thing is I had worked for this particular business, though not this store, when I started out in my Loss Prevention career. I know the protection we used to use for merchandise including fitting room controls. As we looked at the apparel I was somewhat taken aback at the lack of clothing security tags on merchandise. $35.00 slacks on the low end, suits in the hundreds of dollars, even the sports coat he settled on was on sale from $110.00 to $85.00. Hmmm…I was surprised but times change and I could not see any use of anti-theft devices. We selected several pair of pants, and the sports coat and he went to the fitting room. No one was present to check what he was carrying into the rooms. I found another item I wanted him to try on and took it to him and to be honest I was shocked at the condition of the fitting room stalls. All were empty of people but there were empty hangers, and loose clothing in every one of them. I even saw a large plastic shopping bag from another store in one room. I could not help but wonder how much theft had taken place and when the last fitting room inspection had taken place.
Fitting rooms are notorious for being a favorite location for shoplifters. Due to payroll constraints many stores have stopped assigning workers as fitting room attendants. Other stores have opted for a hybrid whereby the sales associate assigned to a department also controls fitting rooms. This may be done by keeping fitting room doors locked or by placing a point of sale near the fitting room entrance. There are drawbacks to each of these strategies. Locking doors requires a sales associate to be available with a key when a customer wants to try something on. Delay that shopper and you anger them and potentially lose sales. Putting a cashier near a fitting room entrance may give the appearance of control but if that cashier is busy they won’t be able to control activity in or out of a fitting room. Using Sensormatic tags is the only sensible solution to preventing theft of clothing in a fitting room.
Hopefully every store owner and manager takes clothing security as seriously as I do. I understand that stores and especially small stores have limited budgets. It is rarely practical for these stores to staff a fitting room especially when some major retailers have had to move away from that model. Sensormatic tags can take care of many of the problems posed by fitting room theft. Thieves want rewards with minimal risk. Tags present risk because they will set off the towers at the front doors. When shoplifters attempt to force tags off of garments it damages the merchandise rendering them useless to the would-be crook. Stores may not be able to put an employee at the fitting room but they can afford to purchase a Loss Prevention System that can be almost as effective. One reminder though, even if you opt to buy a Sensormatic system and tags you can’t totally neglect your fitting rooms. Regular inspections for empty hangers, old clothing and re-shop merchandise must be made. Cluttered fitting rooms tend to attract criminals.
Clothing security can be difficult when it comes to fitting rooms. Patrons want to try on clothes but unfettered access to fitting rooms can lead to financial loss for store owners. Protect your merchandise with Sensormatic anti-theft systems and let your customers enjoy trying on merchandise while you relax in the knowledge your inventory is safe and secure.
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