How to Prevent Shoplifting in Retail Stores: Crucial Tips to Follow

Shoplifting is one of the most common security threats retailers face in their businesses. Having shoplifting occurrences in your store makes the level of security questionable and creates an unsafe environment for your customers — which would be detrimental to your business. Failing to secure your store from perpetrators can be costly, and may even put your own safety at risk. That’s why it’s a must to implement stricter security measures to prevent shoplifters from committing such a crime. 

To help you with that, here are crucial tips to follow in order to prevent shoplifting in retail stores:

Be Aware and Beware of Common Shoplifting Signs

One of the ways to effectively prevent threats such as shoplifting from happening in your retail store is to recognize the signs, so you know what to do and how to handle it. It’s important to move ahead and be vigilant since shoplifters almost always devise new ways to get away with shoplifting without getting caught. 

Here are some telltale signs of shoplifting that you need to be aware of:

  • Wearing large or baggy clothing even in summer months
  • Steering clear of eye contact
  • Keeping an eye on the staff instead of checking the product or merchandise
  • Taking cover in corners
  • Staying too long in dressing rooms to stash smuggles merchandise
  • Taking advantage of stores during peak hours
  • Lurking in one area and staying near exits
  • Carrying things like baby carriages, pocketbooks, bulky packages, etc. 
  • Walking with short or unnatural steps (can potentially indicate that they are hiding something between their legs)

Note: These signs are a helpful guide that can serve as your basis for knowing whether or not shoplifting is about to happen. It’s best to subtly observe their actions first before confronting them. In the event that you decide to confront a suspected shoplifter, do it once they have exited the store as it is ideal to have additional personnel with you when you approach them. It’s safer to handle a potential shoplifter when there’s at least one or more people with you. 

Keep Your Retail Store Organized

organized your store

An organized and tidy store plays a significant role in preventing shoplifters from doing away with their shoplifting tactics. Take note that an unorganized store where most of the items are placed in the wrong sections is a perfect place for shoplifters because they can easily grab something without you even noticing if an item went missing. 

Here are some store organization tips you can do to keep your store safe from shoplifting:

  • Avoid overstocking display shelves with way too many products, so you know how much stock of that certain item is left on display.
  • See to it that tidying and stock organization is made part of your daily tasks, especially during busy store days such as Sales, Christmas season, etc. 
  • Make sure that products are pulled forward on shelves, so staff members can easily notice when an item is missing. 

Train Your Staff

Maintaining safety and security in retail stores is not meant to be a one-man job. As a store owner, it’s not enough that only you know how to protect your business because you also need to delegate the responsibilities properly to your staff or employees. 

Every staff member should be aware of the possible scams and threats that can transpire in your store, which is why they should know about anti-theft protocols. They should also be trained to spot signs of shoplifting and how to properly deal with shoplifters or when to alert security guards and police officers. 

Determine Potential Items At-Risk

Shoplifters don’t always come for the most expensive items such as jewelry or big gadgets in the store. Instead, they target small valuable items — ones that are easy to grab and place inside the bag without anyone noticing. 

Managing your inventory is not an easy feat, especially if you don’t have a proper system from the beginning and you let it go out of hand. Hence why you have to use inventory management tools and techniques that will enable you to better manage your inventory. Doing this also helps you determine the most expensive items or inventory, and create a plan on how to keep them safe. 

Other ways to protect your inventory include: 

  • Placing expensive items near the counter
  • Positioning snatch-prone items where staff members operate or stay
  • Utilizing lockable glass cabinets to display items (ones that potential shoplifters won’t easily slide in their bags since it would require assistance from staff members first.)

Use Customer Service as a Security Tactic

security tactic

Using customer service as a security tactic is a subtle and friendly move that you can employ to prevent shoplifting in your store. Although, of course, this tactic shouldn’t just be applied when you suspect someone to be a shoplifter because a polite and friendly approach is ideally essential. But in the event that you do encounter a shoplifter, you’re prepared. 

Keeping watch and giving good customer service can be as simple as greeting all customers. Having staff members positioned at the entrance of a store can help deter shoplifters, particularly when they see that all the staff members are closely paying attention to every customer who enters the store. In reality, asking customers if they need assistance equates to good customer service, but you can also use this as leverage to let shoplifters know that you are watching. 

Put Up Anti-Theft Signages in Your Store

Anti-Theft Signages

Anti-theft signages are necessary, especially for retail stores located in busy commercial areas since it can be a target for shoplifters. Putting up anti-theft signages lets customers know that it’s a safe place and also lets thieves know that your store is equipped with security devices such as a CCTV camera. 

Add Mirrors to Your Store

The mirrors you see in grocery stores and other retail stores are not just for aesthetic purposes because they are designed to lessen blind spots and improve the visibility of every area in the store. Along with anti-theft signages, anti-theft mirrors are also a low-cost way to prevent shoplifting in retail stores. 

Install CCTV Cameras

install cctv

Installing CCTV cameras is a must for every commercial establishment because it acts as a deterrent to shoplifters and other perpetrators. On top of that, having a security camera system allows you and your employees to completely monitor the store for any possible shoplifting, and even present the CCTV footage as evidence to help authorities identify the culprit. 

Related: 5 Reasons Why Installing CCTV for Your Business is Important

The reality is that no one store is totally safe from shoplifting because just as we have mentioned previously — shoplifters almost always devise new ways to get their hands on your merchandise. But this also doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to prevent them from happening. 

We hope that the tips we have listed above were helpful in improving your retail store’s security measures. 

Contact us today if you need specialized security services, and we will gladly offer you the best of our services!

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Posted on: January 30th, 2023 by Wazile