As the holiday season comes to a close it is time to already begin thinking about inventory. There are so many things to do to prepare to ensure you get the most accurate results. Will you count your store with your own staff? Will you hire an outside agency to do the inventory? How soon will you start to prep your store(s) before inventory?  Regardless of how big or small your store is these are all questions to consider. Having been involved in store inventories for over 26 years, I have been an Inventory Leader for a big box retailer, an Audit Captain in charge of inventory prep, a prepper and a counter. I have some personal insights I would like to share that can assist a store owner or manager in their preparations. One important consideration I have for all stores is that this is the perfect time to ensure proper retail theft prevention tactics are in place. From top to bottom look at your Checkpoint Security System and make sure it is functioning properly and Checkpoint tags are protecting all of your merchandise.


When I speak of inspecting your Checkpoint Security System I am referring to several things. Place a service call to have a technician ensure the antennas are all functioning properly. If any tuning or tweaking is in order they can make sure it is taken care of. A technician can also verify all of the deactivation pads are working at peak efficiency and replace any equipment that may be faulty. Just as you get your car inspected occasionally to make sure it is performing at its best, a Checkpoint Security System should be given the same care. In this way you will ensure you are taking proper steps to stop shoplifting AND internal theft.


I also would suggest that store managers use the time of preparation for inventory to verify that all merchandise is protected withCheckpoint tags.  Prepping involves making sure each product has a scannable barcode on it so it will be counted accurately. As employees are verifying that barcodes are in place, the time should be used to validate that Checkpoint tags are also on the item. Not only will this ensure you will stop shoplifting of those items in the future, you will also protect against potential theft by an outside inventory crew, if you choose to hire one. Just like any other company, the vast majority of employees are honest but during my years as a Loss Prevention Manager I did have a few inventory counters I caught stealing and others I suspected of stealing. Remember, these people will have access to stockroom areas and “off-stage” areas not normally accessible to regular customers. If you don’t normally protect your merchandise with Checkpoint tags until the product hits the sales floor, I recommend using this preparation time to tag it while it is in the stockroom. Again, you are already checking for product barcodes anyways so why not maximize the productivity? Retail theft prevention should start in the stockroom anyways, this helps protect against employee theft.


     A few other suggestions I would like to share for a successful inventory:

–          Whether you are going to have an outside agency or your own team count, have a group of employees ready to do random audits. Auditing will catch errors and identify if there is one person making multiple mistakes.

–          Check everywhere for stray merchandise, under base decks, in offices, desks, on top of fixtures. Remember, every piece of merchandise counts.

–          Think about when you want to conduct inventory. Will you do it before or after store opening? Will you do it overnight? Some stores conduct it while still open. Do you have enough staff to operate the store and conduct an inventory?

–          Will you provide food for your employees during inventory? Not only does it help morale, it can provide energy to keep your employees alert and attentive.

–          If you provide food, avoid sugary desserts and sweets until after inventory is complete. Instead, fruits, vegetable trays, even subs or pizzas may be alternatives to consider. Sweets will give a brief energy burst and then wear off.


Be ready for inventory and improve your results this year and the following year by getting your Checkpoint Security System checked. By validating all merchandise is protected with Checkpoint tags you will deter the chance of theft during inventory and strengthen your retail theft prevention strategy for the rest of the year.


Get more information on Checkpoint Security Systems, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.