stop shoplifting

Want To Stop Shoplifting? Then Don’t Take Half Measures In Your Security Strategy

Retail Theft Prevention-3                                                                                             WC Blog 676
Stop Shoplifting – 4

Want To Stop Shoplifting? Then Don’t Take Half Measures In Your Security Strategy
     When it comes to retail theft prevention there are some things that just drive this old L.P. guy bananas! 
Walking into a store, touring the entire floor and never being acknowledged
Getting a sigh when I ask for assistance
Dirty or Broken Public View monitors when I walk into a business
Electronic Article Surveillance pedestals that are in obvious disrepair
Merchandise in cardboard packages with lightweight plastic hang tabs on locking peghooks
Employees who remove an item from a locking showcase and allow you to walk around the store with it
Inconsistent merchandise tagging or use of anti-theft devices
Fitting rooms with empty hangers, clothing tags and worn out clothes left in them
Inconsistent merchandise tagging or use of anti-theft devices
I bring this up because my wife and I were shopping in a clothing store today and while she was looking at the purses I was looking at the security tags on the handbags. First, I didn’t recognize the tags or the symbols on them so I had NO idea what company they are using for anti-theft devices. Second, some bags were tagged and others were not. Being curious I thought that perhaps the store was tagging based on price point. It is a strategy I disagree with vehemently but I understand the thought process. In this instance price point was not the factor, purses could have tags and the same price point of another style was not protected. I shook my head and just followed my wife as she shopped. I have seen similar situations in the store I work at. We sell ink cartridges for printers and some are in protective plastic cases and others are not, even though the price points may be the same. It bugs me if you couldn’t tell.

     What is it that influences one retailer to only take half measures in terms of retail theft prevention while another seems to go all out to stop shoplifting and theft? Having been involved in Loss Prevention for as long as I have been I know that cost can influence theft prevention strategies. The money spent on payroll to tag nearly every piece of merchandise a store carries can seem to be too expensive. Then there is the cost of electronic article surveillance tags and protective devices that are used. What is not always considered is that many devices such as the Sensormatic Flexible Safer are reusable over and over and over again. They are made of strong plastics that are intended to get extensive use. An expensive item such as an ink cartridge can be stored inside them so customers can look at the merchandise but cannot open the package. It takes a cashier with a Sensormatic detachment device to remove the merchandise and the Safer is stored until it is needed for the next load of freight that comes in.  As far as the tagging and application of security devices it requires some time but if merchandise is protected as it gets on the floor and over time employees can get quick at the tasks. The other thing many store owners don’t consider is that as they stop shoplifting with a focused tagging program the shortage dollars go down and offset any addition money being spent on tagging efforts.

     You may not be aware of this but I’m not the only one that goes into stores and makes judgements of how seriously that store’s management takes security. While it may sound like and oxymoron criminals can be very good at their craft. They evaluate your store the way I do and they look at the condition of equipment. They look at things like Sensormatic Flexible Safers and how they are used. If there are certain items not being tagged or protected in a Safer those are the pieces they will steal. Your retail theft prevention strategy will only stop shoplifting if an item is tagged or stored in a retail anti-theft device.

     There are things that drive this old Loss Prevention Manager nuts and half measures in retail security strategies are on the top of my list. If you want to avoid being on my list or simply want help to improve your shortage reduction strategy talk to the folks at Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Their boss, Bill Bregar is a former Retail Loss Prevention Director for national retail chains. He can give you tips to stop shoplifting and improve your profit line. His business is helping YOUR business make more money and that is what you want too. 
Get more information on retail theft prevention, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

When it comes to retail theft prevention there are some things that just drive this old L.P. guy bananas!

 • Walking into a store, touring the entire floor and never being acknowledged

Getting a sigh when I ask for assistance

Dirty or Broken Public View monitors when I walk into a business

Electronic Article Surveillance pedestals that are in obvious disrepair

Merchandise in cardboard packages with lightweight plastic hang tabs on locking peghooks

Employees who remove an item from a locking showcase and allow you to walk around the store with it

Inconsistent merchandise tagging or use of anti-theft devices

Fitting rooms with empty hangers, clothing tags and worn out clothes left in them

Inconsistent merchandise tagging or use of anti-theft devices

I bring this up because my wife and I were shopping in a clothing store today and while she was looking at the purses I was looking at the security tags on the handbags. First, I didn’t recognize the tags or the symbols on them so I had NO idea what company they are using for anti-theft devices. Second, some bags were tagged and others were not. Being curious I thought that perhaps the store was tagging based on price point. It is a strategy I disagree with vehemently but I understand the thought process. In this instance price point was not the factor, purses could have tags and the same price point of another style was not protected. I shook my head and just followed my wife as she shopped. I have seen similar situations in the store I work at. We sell ink cartridges for printers and some are in protective plastic cases and others are not, even though the price points may be the same. It bugs me if you couldn’t tell.
     

What is it that influences one retailer to only take half measures in terms of retail theft prevention while another seems to go all out to stop shoplifting and theft? Having been involved in Loss Prevention for as long as I have been I know that cost can influence theft prevention strategies. The money spent on payroll to tag nearly every piece of merchandise a store carries can seem to be too expensive. Then there is the cost of electronic article surveillance tags and protective devices that are used. What is not always considered is that many devices such as the Sensormatic Flexible Safer are reusable over and over and over again. They are made of strong plastics that are intended to get extensive use. An expensive item such as an ink cartridge can be stored inside them so customers can look at the merchandise but cannot open the package. It takes a cashier with a Sensormatic detachment device to remove the merchandise and the Safer is stored until it is needed for the next load of freight that comes in.  As far as the tagging and application of security devices it requires some time but if merchandise is protected as it gets on the floor and over time employees can get quick at the tasks. The other thing many store owners don’t consider is that as they stop shoplifting with a focused tagging program the shortage dollars go down and offset any addition money being spent on tagging efforts.
     

You may not be aware of this but I’m not the only one that goes into stores and makes judgements of how seriously that store’s management takes security. While it may sound like and oxymoron criminals can be very good at their craft. They evaluate your store the way I do and they look at the condition of equipment. They look at things like Sensormatic Flexible Safers and how they are used. If there are certain items not being tagged or protected in a Safer those are the pieces they will steal. Your retail theft prevention strategy will only stop shoplifting if an item is tagged or stored in a retail anti-theft device.
     

There are things that drive this old Loss Prevention Manager nuts and half measures in retail security strategies are on the top of my list. If you want to avoid being on my list or simply want help to improve your shortage reduction strategy talk to the folks at Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Their boss, Bill Bregar is a former Retail Loss Prevention Director for national retail chains. He can give you tips to stop shoplifting and improve your profit line. His business is helping YOUR business make more money and that is what you want too. 

 

Get more information on retail theft prevention, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

 

Curbing Shortage: Steps For Clothing Security And Merchandise Theft

How do you handle clothing security for your store? What I mean is this, what controls do you have in place to prevent theft? Who may be stealing in your store and where is it happening? If you are operating a store and selling any type of apparel you need to ask yourself these questions. Psssst…store owners who don’t sell clothing I recommend you don’t stop reading. You may not sell clothing but the information will be relevant to you too. The first thought that you probably have is this is an article on shoplifting. Yes and No. Shoplifters are a big concern for stores and more so for those stores that are not using any type of security tags on clothes. It is important that you don’t discount the chance that you have employees who may also be stealing from you. Retail anti-theft devices can deter theft at all levels and theft accounted for approximately 66.5% of retail shortage in 2017 according to the 2018 National Retail Security Survey (pg. 5). 
     

With 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention experience under my belt I will unequivocally tell you that if you are not using a retail security system in your store you are inviting theft into your building. Those stores that have a Sensormatic security system and use security tags on clothes (and nearly all other merchandise) are deterring criminals from stealing and sending them where? That’s right, to YOUR store. Criminals know what security systems look like when they walk into a store and they know what security tags and labels on clothing look like. Theft is always risky and the bad guys know that but they make every effort to avoid being detected and going to jail.  So, when they enter YOUR store because they ran into security equipment at the store just down the block you are inviting theft in. You aren’t without recourse you can join those who have installed a Sensormatic system and have added clothing security to their merchandise. If you have any questions about the purchase of a system and tags Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can give you information you need to make a smart decision.
     

Getting back to the original question though, how do you handle clothing security? Bearing in mind that employees and customers will steal from you there must be steps in place to cover all of your bases. Here are some tips to help you control the opportunities for merchandise theft:

As we have already discussed retailers should be using security tags on clothes. I recommend Sensormatic hard tags to make forced removal of tags an almost impossible task without damaging garments.

Train employees on the importance of customer service. Teach them how it can help increase store sales and how it can deter theft. Note: Training employees on how to stop shoplifting through customer service is a skill and Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer training seminars that will teach associates the best methods to identify it and stop it…SAFELY.

Have locked fitting room doors if you cannot afford a dedicated fitting room attendant. All items must be separated piece by piece to prevent items from being hidden between layers. Use number chips to track how many items a customer takes in and limit that amount to 6 pieces at a time. The rule must apply to employees who are shopping as well as customers.

Do not allow employees to ring up family or friends at the register.

Require employees (including all managers) to have purchases and bags checked before leaving at the end of the shift.

Conduct manager training on how they can prevent employee theft. Again, Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer this in a training seminar as well as other training sessions.

Do not allow employees to keep personal belongings at a cash register or on the sales floor. Provide lockers or locking cabinets for the storage of personal effects while the associate is on the clock.

If it is in the budget consider a limited closed circuit television system to keep an eye on cash registers, front doors and even hard to see sales floor areas. 

Finally consult with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. on a theft evaluation of your store and areas of vulnerability. They can also assist with a shortage action plan.

Clothing security is not hard it just requires having the right resources and knowledge of theft related issues. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction to bring down shortage. Sensormatic has the right tools to protect your clothing (and other merchandise) to send crooks to the next retailer that has not put a security system in place.

 

Need information on clothing security? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.
         

 

Train Employees On Sensormatic Security Systems And Store Operations To Improve Profitability

Does the way you manage your employees have an effect on how much they try to stop shoplifting in your store or how they perform their jobs for that matter? Do poor work habits ever carry over from a previous employer they had that don’t work in your store? Sometimes we recruit and hire a new worker based on the experience they bring from working for another retailer. It seems like a good idea, they won’t need a lot of training and if the other employer didn’t fire them they must be a good worker. I was talking with one of my sons the other day about his work and he was relating about issues they are having with a co-worker. This employee came from a big box retail store that sells groceries among everything else a customer may need. It seems some of the “tricks of the trade” grocery stockers used there are showing up in my son’s grocery store, tricks that they do not permit in this company. Cases of canned goods are left in the boxes and placed on the shelf. If there is overstock merchandise rather than sending it to the stockroom it is being shoved on top of other merchandise or facings are adjusted to accommodate them. My son says that the department manager has talked to the new employee about this and my son has tried to point out what he is doing wrong but he is not improving. Managers, do you have “talks” with your employees or do you spend time training them and coaching? How about your anti-theft procedures? Are you taking time to actually train your employees on how to respond to a Sensormatic security system alarm? Do you show them how to tag merchandise with security labels or hard tags to prevent theft? Talk is cheap so the saying goes. Training and coaching is not, it is time-consuming and it can be tedious but if done correctly the rewards are tremendous.
     

Can training relate to theft prevention and store operations? Absolutely it can, just as shortage, store operations and profits are all directly tied to each other. Try running a store where shortage related to theft, operational errors and vendor mistakes is left unchecked. Store shelves go empty, replenishment of products is slow and inconsistent if it happens at all and sales dry up as shoppers leave for lack of products or variety of products. Training of new employees must not be a quick 10 minute lesson on the cash register or salesfloor. It has to be a detailed, comprehensive list of job responsibilities that someone has to spend time on demonstrating and then letting the worker go hands on. AFTER a training checklist has been completed supervisors then have to monitor performance and provide feedback as the employee begins to do the job solo. Is merchandise being placed on shelves or hung up according to YOUR expectations? Do you want clothes hung up and sized? Do you have a height level you are allowing canned goods to be stacked? Do you want Sensormatic security system tags placed on a uniform location on clothing? All of these things are important to how the store operates.
     

Stacking cans too high or “making space” on the shelf for overstock can impact how much other product is placed on the shelf or impede a customer’s ability to take a can from a shelf. Clothing not sized or grouped properly may throw off your ability to order more of a certain size of product. It could also bleed over to sloppy habits and racks becoming unshoppable or sloppy. Customers may be turned off or frustrated having to search through fixtures and choose to leave rather than buy a new item. Inconsistent placement of security tags can lead to a reduction in theft deterrence (crooks tend to leave merchandise alone when they see tags) and an increase in false electronic article surveillance alarms. If cashiers don’t know where tags are or don’t see them they may forget to remove them or deactivate them. Too many false alarms and employees get complacent with alarm responses and the alarms no longer stop shoplifting.
     

When time is taken to properly train and teach, employees are more confident in what they are doing and it makes them happier. Happier employees take pride in their work they understand the impact of what they are doing and take a real interest in how to stop shoplifting and how the Sensormatic security system works. They care about product placement and appearance.  While they own much of their success you and your management are responsible for it too. Do it right and watch your store grow and keep turnover low. 

 

Need information on Sensormatic security systems? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 today.