If you feel like your business is being run ragged by theft, you aren't alone. Research has shown that shoplifting costs American businesses a staggering 32 billion dollars each year—destroying profits and putting companies out of business. Fortunately, you don't have to fall victim to dishonest customers and pilfering employees. Here are two security tips that might protect your bottom line:
1: Recognize The Tempting Merchandise
One of the hardest things about mitigating retail theft is tracking down the items that are most vulnerable to thieves. After all, since stolen items leave with that dishonest customer, it isn't always easy to know which merchandise to lock up or to protect with extra camera coverage. However, research has shown that these types of items are most likely to be stolen:
- Cosmetics: Since makeup is typically expensive and small, cosmetics are a common target for shoplifters. In fact, makeup theft is so common that cosmetics manufacturers lose about 2% of their yearly profits due to shoplifting.
- Clothing and Accessories: Clothing is easy for people to steal because it can be put under existing outfits or shoved into open bags. One of the best ways to keep people leaving with your merchandise is to become innately familiar with your inventory. If you notice a customer leaving with one of your scarves, jackets, or shirts, ask about it—you might be able to fend off theft.
- Electronics: If you sell electronics, consider having an employee manage the area constantly. That way, an employee will be on hand to answer questions about complex technology issues, and thieves might be less willing to walk away with that camera, external hard drive, or cell phone.
After you have identified your at-risk merchandise, keep a closer eye on those items. Consider counting inventory more frequently to track sales and actual product numbers. Ask employees to help any customer who might peruse that vulnerable display. Add extra anti-theft tags to make those products less appealing. By closely tracking at-risk merchandise, you might be able to avoid pricey losses.
2: Position Your Security Cameras Effectively
That high-end security system might look great, but does it really help you to track shoplifters and dishonest team members? If you want to make the most of your security system, make sure that you are positioning your security cameras effectively. Here are a few places you should monitor 24/7 and why:
- Entrances and Exits: Make sure that your security cameras have a great view of all store entrances and exits so that you can capture video of everyone who comes and goes. Consider installing cameras with a narrow viewing angle so that you can see details such as facial features, tattoos, or merchandise tucked underneath a jacket.
- Checkout Areas: In addition to monitoring your till for things like robberies, positioning a camera to watch your till can also help you to spot things like employee theft. If a worker decides to pocket a few twenties out of that register, you can get it on tape.
- Stockrooms: Monitoring stockrooms can help you to watch for employees who might be slacking on the job and customers who might sneak into the back to stuff merchandise into their purses.
If you have an area that is especially prone to theft, consider installing multiple security cameras so that there is an overlap with the footage. Overlap can help you to see trouble spots from multiple vantage points so that you can better understand how people are stealing. Great footage can also be valuable evidence in court, should you ever have to prosecute a shoplifter.
By making a few simple changes to your store security, you might be able to protect your profits and keep your employees honest.Share