Preventing Shoplifting In Your Store

A Target or Walmart store can and are able to fight shoplifting in their stores every day of the year.  The expense associated with shoplifting has for many years been known to be passed down to the consumer, and the increase in prices has been an expense that gradually has affected consumers around the globe.

In the United States retail shrink which includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative errors and vendor fraud cost the US retailers close to $50 billion in 2016 alone. More than 36% of shrink was due to shoplifting, and 30% was due to employee theft.

Many local businesses across the United States have taken different approaches to prevent shoplifting.  From investing in Facial recognition software to shoplifting prevention training, many businesses have taken different approaches to the prevention of this crime.  But, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) even as the average inventory shrink rate has increased by close to 1.5% the budgets for loss prevention personnel has decreased or remained flat.

What are some of the steps local businesses have taken to prevent shoplifting?

Signage – A Spokane Washington local business has signage that lets you know from the time you enter their store that they have Video surveillance in use and they will prosecute you in case of shoplifting, and they also have a policy of taking your name when you enter their fitting rooms. If you shoplift, they already have your name.

Customer Service -has been proven to be one of the major loss prevention strategies businesses have adopted that can also benefit them in the long run. Be aware of the difference between offering great customer service and stalking a customer.

Training –  Trained personnel cannot only help you prevent shoplifting but can prevent incidents from getting out of hand.  Knowing the laws, regulation, and the process when a shoplifting incident occurs can save lives and prevent lawsuits.

Facial recognition software – If you are using facial recognition software in your stores, caution has to be taken into consideration.  Using facial recognition improperly can lead to too many problems and too few rewards.  Properly trained personnel are one important aspect of using this kind of security measure.

There is probably a fine line between great customer service and making your customer feel like a criminal.  Losing customers because your employees follow them and are constantly asking them if they need help or making them uncomfortable is not a good solution.  If you are also targeting people for no apparent reason, the probability that the bad experience will find an outlet that will carry bad publicity for your business is very likely.

Let us know if some of the above methods you are using seem to be working for you.

Shoplifting, Employee and Vendor Theft: Is There A Solution?

Employee theft, shoplifting, and vendor theft are problems that the retail industry faces every single day without a clear solution. The billions of dollars lost to these crimes is a constant problem for retailers, and the losses have to be accounted for someplace else, and they need to make them up somehow to minimize their losses.  The amount of sales retailers need to cover any losses is significant and not easy to do. Is preventing the loss the first step to stop the crime? Read more about this topic by clicking the links below.

Wage Theft and Shoplifting: Same Cost, Different Deterrents

The treatment of these two kinds of crime, however, are completely different.

Many more resources go into trying to deter, detect, and punish the guy trying to pinch a video game system off the shelf at the local big-box store than into the grand theft the store itself may be perpetrating against its own employees—even if the retailer is taking millions of dollars from workers’ paychecks. It’s one more way that the economic crimes of the powerful are treated far less seriously than the transgressions of those with less power.

Task force teaches businesses how to thwart fraud, theft

The enormous number of ways criminals can defraud shoppers and business owners requires increasing awareness about how to combat their efforts, Greenwich police detective and state financial crimes task force member Mark Solomon told attendees of a Monday panel on how to combat identity theft and retail fraud.

“It’s a constant cat-and-mouse game — there’s always a vulnerability criminals will learn to exploit,” Solomon said during his presentation. “It’s not if (criminals) do have our information, but how many times over they have it.”

Due to its wealth and slowness to adopt more secure credit card technology, the United States has become a prime target for cybercrime and fraud, according to Solomon and his co-presenter Christopher Riley, resident agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Connecticut financial crimes task force.

Employee retail theft soars says new report

When it comes to insider theft and employee dishonesty, the news is not good for the nation’s retailers. At least that is what Mark Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International, one of the leading loss prevention and inventory shrink control consulting firms in the world, confides as the group announced the results from their 29th Annual Retail Theft Survey this week.

The 23 large retailers who were surveyed comprise 16,038 stores across the country with over $370 billion in sales in 2016 and they reported 438,000 incidents of shoplifting and employee theft where suspects were apprehended. A staggering $120 million was recovered by retailers from these thieves.

“The five-year trend shows a continued increase in employee theft in both apprehensions and recovery dollars.  This past year is the first decline, which was very minimal, in both shoplifting apprehensions and recovery dollars. In four of the past five years both shoplifting and employee theft apprehensions and recovery dollars have increased, and in many cases, this is with a reduced loss prevention/asset protection staff.  The losses are real and the theft problem is only getting worst,” says Doyle.


Improving Loss Prevention Training For Your Employees

Training your personnel well on how to handle shoplifting incidents, can be an asset for any company. Excellent training is an asset.  Prejudiced training is a liability for the business plus it’s bad for business.  The loss prevention team and management of the store that receive training and are constantly educating themselves through out their careers, become  indispensable in any company.  

For more about this topic, follow the links below.

How Organizations Can Impact Loss Prevention with Improved Associate Knowledge

Four takeaways gathered over the course of transforming the way Bloomingdale’s approaches LP and safety training:

Prior to 2012, Bloomingdale’s was doing what most retail organizations do when it comes to lossprevention and safety training–relying on a number of standard training approaches like posters, classroom training, huddles, and pre-shift morning rallies. But these approaches just weren’t working.

As I contemplated this situation, I realized we weren’t focused on the right thing. We were concentrating on simply delivering training, when we should have been focused on building knowledge. Simply plastering posters on the wall or using all those other one-off approaches weren’t making our associates smarter or getting them to do the right things on the job. This dearth of knowledge was impacting our loss prevention and safety numbers.

We sought out and eventually discovered an employee knowledge platform that aligned with the organizational vision. The platform’s methodology, which was rooted in brain science principles, and its use of gamification techniques to keep associates interested, succeeded in building employee expertise over time. Since implementing the platform, we’ve reduced safety claims by 41 percent and saved $2.2 million per year, which is a $10 million savings overall.

Here are a 20 ways to make more money and boost your profit margins by minimizing loss in your business: – Modest Money (press release) (blog)

There’s an old saying that “you have to spend money to make money,” but it’s also true that one of the best ways to make money is to avoid spending money in the wrong places. If your business is spending too much money on unnecessary business expenses – or worse, if your business is losing money due to theft by customers or employee fraud – you are letting good money go out the door. And this makes it harder for your business to be profitable because you have to work that much harder.

Here are a 20 ways to make more money and boost your profit margins by minimizing loss in your business:

  1. Reduce Administrative Errors: Many businesses make seemingly simple mistakes in their pricing, paperwork or bookkeeping that lead to big losses over time.

VIDEO: What police told last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting about recent gunfire incidents, and more

Despite the overnight gunfire spree hours earlier, turnout was low at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we recorded highlights on video. Above is what precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told attendees; below, special guest Officer James Ritter, talking about the SPD Safe Place program, which has now been adopted by more than 50 cities across the country.

Toplines: Capt. Davis said a multi-city/multi-agency task force is working on the gunfire situation, which has seen recent incidents in South Park as well as West Seattle (SP also is part of the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction). None of the WS incidents have resulted in injuries – so far; the precinct is working with special teams including the Gang Unit and SWAT and trying to get more officers out on patrol to try to get ahead of the problem. They are working to identify potential suspects who might be from out of the area – he mentioned Kent, Renton, Federal Way – but spending time with family in this area.


Starting A Better Year

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention-NASP-there are 27 million people that shoplift in the United States today. That is 1 in 11  people, and 75% of those people are adults.  Women shoplift as much as men, and in case you were getting ready to profile an individual, there is no such thing as a profile of a typical shoplifter.

The busiest shopping season has passed, and if you haven’t taken inventory or are in the process of conducting one, you will realized the losses you suffered.  For many stores across the country, the holiday season is the busiest season for sales and hopefully profits, but is also the busiest time for shoplifters. One will hope that shoplifting stops when the holiday season ends, but as always, shoplifting is a year long crime that never ends.

What is there to do then?  Vigilance and preparation can help you prevent some of the shoplifting that happens at your store.

Did you know that good customer service can help you prevent some of the shoplifting at your store?

  1. Greet every customer that enters your store and ask them if they need any help
  2. Place high value items behind registers or locked up.  If they want the item, they need to have a person helping them unlock it.
  3. Have visible signs alerting the customer you will prosecute in case of shoplifting.
  4. Make the promise  of prosecuting true.  Believe it or not, shoplifters know which stores are easy target. Which stores have poor security, and which stores cannot really prosecute the shoplifter.
  5. If you check social media platforms, you will realize that there are groups of individuals that ask advice about which store they should target.  The help from other shoplifters is amazing, but you can learn whether your store is targeted and how they go about it.

Prevention, trained personnel, and clear policies and procedures can help your store and profits stay afloat.  The policies and procedures from store to store will change, but the underlying goal is the same.  Prevent losses or at least minimize the amount your store losses to shoplifting and employee theft by having clear goals and exceptionally well trained employees.