Here’s How to Improve Security
By Noah Rue
There is nothing worse than having products stolen right from your store. While certain levels of shrinkage are to be expected with any business, having items stolen right from under your nose adds insult to injury. Furthermore, when thieves make off with your products, they are putting a serious dent in your profits and putting your livelihood at risk. Luckily, there are some easy and cost-effective ways to stop these small-time criminals in their tracks, saving you money and the headache of dealing with constant theft.
In 2014, shoplifting and other forms of fraud cost US retailers an astonishing $44 billion. Shoplifting took the majority of the blame at 38 percent, while employee theft followed close behind at 34.5 percent. Losses at this level should be unacceptable to any business, and one of the fastest ways to improve is through optimizing inventory management.
Retail inventory management can save you the headache of dealing with shoplifters and employee theft by closing any loopholes they might be exploiting. By introducing integrated POS systems and inventory management systems, you’ll be able to keep an eye on all of your product from the minute it arrives to the moment it leaves in a paying customer’s hands. Additionally, you can instruct employees to greet every customer, to ensure they know that they have been recognized.
Don’t skimp out on inventory management software or other security measures, as the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here too. When choosing security for your business, do serious research into what programs and technologies will work best for you. Sometimes even rearranging the store to make everything more visible to the security cameras you already have can do the trick.
The best defense against shrinkage is a good offense, which is why you should look beyond the standard security guard when it comes to loss prevention. Improving your store’s security with technology is easier than ever, and can often provide the same visual deterrent that security guards offer. The benefit of technology is that it is much harder to fool than the human counterpart.
Using a variety of alarm systems not only deters shoplifters from taking off with stolen goods, but helps prevent employees from stealing as well. Key exit alarm systems will notify you when employees are leaving with valuable assets or keys, keeping them on premises. Visible security tags on products are also very effective in stopping shoplifters in their tracks.
Additionally, you can always employ the tried-and-true security metal detector to prevent loss. While many see these detectors as old hat, they do a fantastic job of loudly letting everyone know when someone is leaving with something that they shouldn’t be. Even the idea of the embarrassment associated with this public shaming can be enough to prevent theft.
Finally, one of the best ways to prevent shoplifting in your store is to properly educate employees. Training your employees to not only spot potential shoplifters, but letting them know how important preventing employee theft is, helps to reduce theft overall. Customers wearing bulky clothes or that have oversized bags should have a closer eye kept on them by your employees.
Employees make an excellent theft deterrent as they are one of the most visible aspects of a store. They can unobtrusively check in on customers, both providing assistance and preventing any potential theft at the same time. Ensure that you have enough employees on the floor so that they won’t be distracted, allowing shoplifters to quickly steal items.
Also, consider taking a look at your own shoplifting policy. Many businesses have policies in place that prevent employees from confronting a suspected shoplifter. Both Walmart and Victoria’s Secret have policies to this effect, and while it is done to protect employees from potentially dangerous thieves, small tweaks can help to prevent too much loss.
Stopping theft at your store completely may never be an attainable goal, but with the right training and technology, you can reduce it significantly. Make sure that, above all else, your security measures are visible, as visible deterrents are often the most effective.
Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t frantically updating his news feeds, Noah likes to shut off his devices, head to the beach and read detective novels from the 1930s.