To some, shoplifting seems like an innocent crime; however, when you look at the facts, this is a crime that is costing retailers as much as 11 billion dollars in losses each year. Some of the most common items stolen include jewelry, music, books, clothing and anything else a person can fit easily into their pocket or purse.
A good video surveillance system will help you identify and prosecute suspects and also help deter shoplifting, but you should try to prevent the theft before it occurs. Here are some tips that will help you stop shoplifting in its tracks:
- Meet and greet your customers when they come in. When salespeople are attentive, shoplifters will typically go elsewhere.
- Be aware of customers who are avoiding eye contact or seem nervous.
- Encourage your employees to walk around the store to find suspicious activity.
- Keep your store clean and organized – dirty stores tell shoplifters that employees aren’t really concerned with what is going on.
- Keep items that are commonly or easily stolen in plain view of the front counter.
- Speak with other business owners in the area to see if they have noticed suspicious activities or people.
- Hire quality employees who will provide personal attention to customers.
- Create a shoplifting policy and enforce it.
- Install various anti-theft devices such as anti-theft tags, mirrors, and surveillance cameras.
- Restrict access to fitting rooms.
If you spot a person who may be shoplifting, you should never accuse them. You can, however, ask if you can assist them. In most cases, you should contact security or the police if this occurs, rather than trying to stop them on your own.