Retail Theft: The Scourge Of Business

Shoplifters and employees that steal are about the lowest forms of life. They cause retail businesses billions of dollars in retail theft. There are several entire industries devoted to anti shoplifting and employee theft. Still these people cause us headaches. As a former Director of Loss Prevention for several major companies I have found that much of the problem of anti shoplifting and employee theft falls with the retailers themselves.

Theses types of retail theft must be attacked daily. You cannot let your guard down. You must have loss prevention program than focuses on prevention. Take shoplifting as an example. Anti shoplifting programs such as Checkpoint security tags do little if the employees are not supporting the program. Seek out employees that are enthusiastic about prevention and their jobs. Use incentives such as bonuses or contests. Make those employees the core of your retail theft prevention effort. If they are into it then others will come along.

One of the key issues that retailers must keep in the forefront of their over all plan is training. Training that is focused on prevention pays dividends beyond just shoplifting prevention. One of the key prevention tactics in anti shoplifting is customer service. Shoplifters hate customer service. They want to blend into your “normal” customer base. They do not want to stand out in any way. If your employees emphasize customer contact and follow up this in itself will shut off a portion of your retail theft. This in turn benefits your overall sales because your good customers like the attention. To stop more hard-core shoplifters you need to practice stronger  anti shoplifting techniques.

Another area that is often overlooked is the use of a tag alarm system such as Checkpoint security tags. Again, it goes back to training and management’s enforcement. How many times have you see a tag alarm go off at the front door and the employee simply waves the customer through? Do you think that this is company policy? Very unlikely. The employee is thinking that they just rang up the customer. They know that they got everything the customer put on the POS. So it must just be the Checkpoint security tags that did not get deactivated right? Wrong, what the employee did not think about is the item that the “customer” had concealed on their person. The tag alarm caught it, the employee didn’t. Training, training and more training. Then hold employees to the standard!

For more information: shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547

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