When I hire a new employee, whether a cashier or a supervisor, part of their initial training involves how to handle shoplifters. Most of the time, they look at me in disbelief when I tell them about the theft issues we battle in our small retail pharmacy. All I have to do is show them the pages of detail sheets where I have scanned empty packages into our pilferage file. Or, depending on the day of the week, I can show them the basket of empty packages under my desk waiting to be scanned. After we go through our apprehension rules, we walk the store and I show them our antishoplifting tools, like our Checkpoint Systems, all the different size Alpha keepers, spider wraps, etc. We go over each tool, how it is applied, how it is removed, and what items are more likely to be used with the tools because they are commonly targeted.
Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes in the country. People generally don’t look at it as a “big deal.” Most incidents of theft can be chalked up as simple greed. They want something and they don’t want to pay for it. Many retailers are trending away from apprehension and going with lenient policies. Their employees are paid more per hour than the item that was stolen is even worth, so they don’t see prosecution as worth the trouble. The justice system is flawed in how it handles shoplifters. There’s no denying that. I see it over and over; we call the police, have them cuffed and stuffed, go to court five or more times, and then the thief gets a slap on the wrist. I have had the officer not show up, or even worse, I forgot the court date and didn’t show up, and the charges get dismissed. This is all really frustrating for any retailer. But I still want to stop shoplifting. I don’t give up, and I don’t ever let my guard down. I abide by my companies policies, but I also educate my staff. Statistically speaking, one in eleven people will steal something today. Those people are caught less than half of the times they do it, and will be prosecuted even less than half of those times. This just perpetuates the problem.
I am a store manager, not a baby sitter. I don’t have time to monitor every single person that walks through the store in order to keep them from stealing. Loss prevention is not so much about catching thieves and putting them behind bars. That’s where a lot of stores get confused. They want to put up threatening signs, hassle every person coming through their front door, and inconvenience their customers. You can’t keep honest cash paying customers loyal to your store by treating them like criminals. Loss prevention is about truly preventing the loss from happening in the first place. Deterrence is the key to loss prevention. That’s why I rely on my antishoplifting tools. In my store, Checkpoint Systems are always ready and on patrol. My staff knows our mandatory list of items that must have an EAS label adhered before being put out for sale. There are items that must be encased in Alpha keepers and or wrapped in an Alpha spider wrap as well. Honestly, the empty packages add up, and those probably only reflect a quarter or what is really stolen. However, I do know that the tools we utilize are making a difference. With the addition of these valuable security measures, our shrink results have been cut in half. Fraudulent refunds have gone down dramatically since they can’t steal the stuff in the first place. Word has gotten out in the community, and incidents of theft have dropped off considerably. The numbers don’t lie; we are winning the battle and we have our Checkpoint Systems and all the gadgets that work with it to thank for that.
For more information on Checkpoint Systems, contact us or call: 1.770.426.0547 or Antishoplifting.net