Preventing shoplifting


It doesn’t take high technology or big investments to prevent shoplifting from small businesses

Studies show that retailers lose almost $13 billion each year due to shoplifting. Preventing these losses doesn’t take hiring security guards or installing surveillance systems. A handful of simple steps can prevent most thefts.

  • Pay attention to shoppers who have the means to conceal stolen goods. That means wearing bulky clothing, carrying large handbags or umbrellas, pushing strollers, or purchasing items in which stolen goods could be hidden.
  • Have a policy about what kind of bags customers can bring into the store and if necessary set up a bag check system.
  • Look for individuals who spend more time watching the cashiers and sales staff than they do shopping
  • Be wary of individuals who take multiple items into dressing rooms but leave with only one item.
  • Keep your store organized and the products on the edges of shelves. This will make it easy to quickly spot if something has been removed.
  • When organizing your store, place the checkout somewhere customers must pass before leaving. And train your staff to never leave the register unattended or the cash register unlocked.
  • Give staff a code word or phrase they can use to alert each other.
  • Displays near the exit should be low enough that the door is visible.
  • Install fish eye mirrors as high as possible in the corners of the interior so they provide as much of a field of vision as possible.
  • Lock dressing rooms and only allow customers to bring a limited number of items inside.
  • Small expensive items should be kept in locked displays.
  • Place a sign near they entrance of the store that indicates shop lifters will be prosecuted. The sign should match your branding, but consider one that features eyes since research shows such graphics double effectiveness.
  • Signs can be placed throughout the store, but rather than wasting valuable eye-level space, place them high on the wall where potential shoplifters will be looking for surveillance cameras.