If you are an owner of a retail store, then you may have experienced the ugly situation of shoplifting. However, if you have not, then I am sure you have taken precautionary steps to avoid such scenarios. But, for all those who retail store owners who still find it a challenge to deal with such situations, continue reading the blog which will provide clear insights about:
How to spot potential shoplifter?
What measures should be taken to avoid them?
Shoplifting leads to an unexpected increase in production cost that directly affects the business’s bottom line. To protect products from shoplifters, you as business owner should take safety measures to eliminate such costly situations.
How to spot them?
Below are some of the major signs that you should educate your employees to keep a check for shoppers who:
– Looks around everywhere in curiosity than actually looking at your store’s offerings.
– Loiters in your store for long without purchasing anything.
– Strolls at places within your store where it is hard to monitor.
– Repeatedly returns to your store and leaves without making a purchase.
What measures should you undertake?
– Have sufficient and trustworthy staff
Whether you have a big or a small store, it becomes important that you hire staff sufficient enough to cover your store area. Train them in a way that does not make your shoppers feel they are being watched, but at the same time they should be able to identify shoplifters when they visit your store. Shoplifting scenarios are mostly experienced during rush days (holidays, clearance sales day), but it safe to keep your staff on their knees throughout the year. Also, it is suggested to involve local people to manage your store, as they are known to local customer behavior. They can also be trusted and available whenever you want them.
– Greet your shoppers
Ensure you always have a staff member available at entrance specially to greet every shopper who walks in and out of your store. This will make shoplifters feel that your staff is aware about their presence in your store.
– Entry check-ins
Most of the shoppers may visit your store with handbags that they always accompany with them wherever they go. Therefore, you need to have proper security arrangements (male and female staff) at the entry who should strictly not allow anyone to enter your store with handbags or any other bags. But, at the same time they should be trained well to secure and return the shoppers belongings when they exit.
Ensure your staff is proactive and are spread out at different corners of your store leaving no place unattended. This will create a fright amongst shoplifters that they are been watched, no matter which part of store they plan to play their mischief.
Every products that are sold to shoppers should have a receipt with product details which later needs to be provided to the security person at exit, for a check. Also, make it clear to shoppers that returns and refunds will only be processed on basis of a receipt.
One of the major role performed in your store will be the cashier’s job. Ensure you have a focused and educated staff member at the cash counter. The cashier should be firm with his job and not get distracted by other shoppers waiting in the line. Also, the cashier’s major responsibility is to make sure each product passes through the barcode scanner and are present on the bill before handing it over to the shopper.
– Exit check
Ensure every shopper who enters your store passes through the exit gate allowing the security in-charge (that you need to keep one) verify each purchased product is present on the bill – nothing more, nothing less. This will give no chance to shoplifters play their dirty game.
– Helping hand
Train your staff to identify those shoppers who loiter in your store for long without making a purchase. Ask them to approach with a helping hand which will make potential shoplifters feel that they are been watched, and would think twice before taking a mischievous step.
– Store layout
Infuse bright and clear-colored lightings that will keep your staff active, alarms that will notify when the shoppers enters and exits your store, and an inventory-tracking system to monitor inventory. A well designed store layout may not eliminate shopliftings but will reduce them to a great extent. Closed-circuit television cameras can also be used to avoid shoplifters from entering your store, but at the same time it may make your staff go in a relax mode, and this can increase the chances of shoplifting. Therefore, even if you install cameras in your retail store, motivate your staff to stay engaged and alert all time.
– Store security
Implement sign board reflecting security messages for shoplifting scenarios. This can include – calling the police immediately, as well as bag and body checks. It is not legal to check anyone’s bag or body, therefore ensure your put signs and posters in clearly visible location to make shoppers aware on how you deal with shoplifting scenarios.
Of course, there is no way to eliminate shoplifting scenarios, however creating a positive work atmosphere will help you reduce them. Therefore, make sure you educate your staff members about the seriousness and business damage due to theft, and keep them informed with the security policies regarding theft preventions.