Every year, retailers lose more than $35 billion worth of goods to theft.
Whether you’re worried about burglars breaking in after-hours or customers pocketing merchandise, theft prevention is a key part of any retail business.
Are you trying to beef up your store security?
Let’s take a look at 10 theft prevention tips to make sure you don’t lose inventory to criminals.
1. Keep Your Store Clean Inside and Out
When your store is disorganized, a potential shoplifter sees an opportunity. Not only can they sense an easier opportunity to steal, but you might not even notice if something’s missing.
Keeping your store and merchandise organized and clean is a deterrent for criminals. The more professional your store appears, the higher likelihood they assume they’ll be caught.
This also applies to the outside of your store. If your lawn and landscaping is manicured and the exterior is clean, it makes a point that people are frequently caring for it. If the outside of your place is dirty and disheveled, it’s a signifier that they might be able to break in without getting caught.
2. Strategically Place Your Inventory
Some things are much easier to steal than others. Small, easily concealable items should be kept near the registers where employees can keep an eye on them.
You also won’t want to keep high-risk items in window displays overnight.
You might also consider having an open floor plan. If a thief knows an employee or even another customer can see them, they’re much less likely to swipe something.
3. Use Locks and Bars
If you’re worried about theft after hours, installing industrial door locks and bars is a good idea.
Both of these business security tactics can go a long way in preventing burglaries. With both locks and bars, you’re minimizing the number of potential entry points to keep the thieves at bay.
4. Replace Your Traditional Glass
If a burglar is absolutely determined to get into your store after hours, they will likely find a way. The best way to deal with this dilemma is by slowing them down as much as possible.
It’s easy for someone to break traditional glass windows and enter your store. However, reinforced tempered or laminated glass is a lot harder to break into. While it will break eventually after several strikes, at this point they’ve been slowed down and likely drawn a lot of attention to themselves.
5. Shed Some Light on the Situation
Keeping both the inside and outside of your stores well-lit is one of the classic theft prevention tips.
Not only will shoplifters and burglars be less likely to break in or steal if everything is well-lit, but it also will lead to higher quality security camera footage if there is a robbery. If you keep your parking lots well lit, you’ll be much more likely to be able to read the license plate on the getaway car.
6. Put Your Checkout Near the Exit
An effective strategy for avoiding retail burglaries is to place your checkout near where customers exit. This means you can greet customers when they come in and make eye contact with them, as well as acknowledge them when they’re on their way out.
If your checkout is in the back of the store, it makes it a lot easier for someone to slip out with merchandise unnoticed.
7. Install Security Cameras
Security cameras can both help with shoplifting prevention and catching a burglar in the act. Having security cameras can even help you save money on your store’s insurance premium.
8. Maintain a Low Staff to Customer Ratio
When your store is really busy, shoplifters see an opportunity. They know that when it’s hectic, all of the employees are distracted and less vigilant.
This is why shoplifting is most common during certain days of the week and certain times of the day. Shoplifters seize the opportunity when stores are most busy to grab something and slip out.
The more employees you have per customer, the less likely a shoplifter will feel secure stealing something. Take a look at when your busiest times are and add more staff accordingly.
9. Install an Alarm System
Having an alarm system can help prevent theft by both customers and employees. It’s advisable to have a real alarm system and not just one for show, too. If word gets out that your alarm system isn’t real, that can make you a target for local shoplifters.
10. Build Relationships With Customers and Employees
People are much less likely to steal from you if they know you personally. When you know your customers by name, they understand that you could identify them in a lineup if necessary. Getting to know your more honest shoppers also encourages them to let you know if they see something suspicious.
Theft prevention isn’t just about your customers, though. Did you know that three out of every four employees have stolen at least once from their employer?
It’s also important that you build relationships with your employees. You want your staff to know that you appreciate them and that they’re valued. Employee theft is a huge issue, maybe even a bigger one than customer theft.
If a worker has pride in their job and feels engaged and valued, they’re much less likely to steal.
Avoid Losing Inventory With These Theft Prevention Techniques
It’s an unfortunate reality that retail store owners have to worry about the possibility of theft. Luckily, using these theft prevention tips can help ensure that you aren’t losing merchandise to opportunistic thieves.
Did you find this article on theft prevention helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more useful content!