All News News Posted December 5, 2017 By MAEDA


As small business owners, the cost of high tech cameras, door scanners or facial-recognition software is just not in the budget as in the big box stores. So in order to curb shoplifting, here are five helpful tactics that are cost-effective, low-tech and can be implemented right away.

  1. Keep your store organized and products well-placed. In order to identify whether something is “missing,” a visual cue can be the first signal that something has gone wrong. If your store is messy, disorganized or a maze to get through, it is harder to notice if anything is missing.
  2. Chris McGoey, the founder of Crime Doctor, recommends keeping all your merchandise “faced,” which means pulling your products to the edge of the shelf to create a solid wall of product. If someone takes from the shelf, then it is easy to tell.
  3. Identify common shoplifting methods and traits. Often, shoplifters will work in pairs or larger groups so at least one person can distract the clerk while the others steal. A common practice among shoplifters is to hide merchandise in clothing, handbags, strollers, umbrellas, and bags of purchased merchandise. A bold shoplifter can quickly grab an item and run out of the store, however, price label switching and bogus returns are also common.
  4. Be observant of those who seem to watch the cashier or clerk more than they actually do shopping. Also, watch for items taken into the dressing room and not brought out, or those shoplifters who seem nervous and pretend to shop showing no real interest.
  5. Train your staff to learn shoplifting tactics and use them to prevent theft:
    – Greet each customer and if possible call them by name so they know you are aware of their presence.
    – Have an adequate number of staff on the sales floor at all times.
    – Create and implement a policy of large bags or purses being brought into the store.
    – Watch for price tag switching.
    – Establish a code word for staff to alert each other of suspicious activities.

Make use of the store’s design and layout for prevention of theft by locating your checkout counters so that customers need to pass one of them to exit the store. Installing mirrors to cover corners or blind spots will help spot customers in those areas as well as adequate lighting throughout the store. Keep shelving low to see into the aisles and keep small or expensive items near the front or in locked cabinets.