Curbing Shortage: Steps For Clothing Security And Merchandise Theft

How do you handle clothing security for your store? What I mean is this, what controls do you have in place to prevent theft? Who may be stealing in your store and where is it happening? If you are operating a store and selling any type of apparel you need to ask yourself these questions. Psssst…store owners who don’t sell clothing I recommend you don’t stop reading. You may not sell clothing but the information will be relevant to you too. The first thought that you probably have is this is an article on shoplifting. Yes and No. Shoplifters are a big concern for stores and more so for those stores that are not using any type of security tags on clothes. It is important that you don’t discount the chance that you have employees who may also be stealing from you. Retail anti-theft devices can deter theft at all levels and theft accounted for approximately 66.5% of retail shortage in 2017 according to the 2018 National Retail Security Survey (pg. 5). 
     

With 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention experience under my belt I will unequivocally tell you that if you are not using a retail security system in your store you are inviting theft into your building. Those stores that have a Sensormatic security system and use security tags on clothes (and nearly all other merchandise) are deterring criminals from stealing and sending them where? That’s right, to YOUR store. Criminals know what security systems look like when they walk into a store and they know what security tags and labels on clothing look like. Theft is always risky and the bad guys know that but they make every effort to avoid being detected and going to jail.  So, when they enter YOUR store because they ran into security equipment at the store just down the block you are inviting theft in. You aren’t without recourse you can join those who have installed a Sensormatic system and have added clothing security to their merchandise. If you have any questions about the purchase of a system and tags Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can give you information you need to make a smart decision.
     

Getting back to the original question though, how do you handle clothing security? Bearing in mind that employees and customers will steal from you there must be steps in place to cover all of your bases. Here are some tips to help you control the opportunities for merchandise theft:

As we have already discussed retailers should be using security tags on clothes. I recommend Sensormatic hard tags to make forced removal of tags an almost impossible task without damaging garments.

Train employees on the importance of customer service. Teach them how it can help increase store sales and how it can deter theft. Note: Training employees on how to stop shoplifting through customer service is a skill and Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer training seminars that will teach associates the best methods to identify it and stop it…SAFELY.

Have locked fitting room doors if you cannot afford a dedicated fitting room attendant. All items must be separated piece by piece to prevent items from being hidden between layers. Use number chips to track how many items a customer takes in and limit that amount to 6 pieces at a time. The rule must apply to employees who are shopping as well as customers.

Do not allow employees to ring up family or friends at the register.

Require employees (including all managers) to have purchases and bags checked before leaving at the end of the shift.

Conduct manager training on how they can prevent employee theft. Again, Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer this in a training seminar as well as other training sessions.

Do not allow employees to keep personal belongings at a cash register or on the sales floor. Provide lockers or locking cabinets for the storage of personal effects while the associate is on the clock.

If it is in the budget consider a limited closed circuit television system to keep an eye on cash registers, front doors and even hard to see sales floor areas. 

Finally consult with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. on a theft evaluation of your store and areas of vulnerability. They can also assist with a shortage action plan.

Clothing security is not hard it just requires having the right resources and knowledge of theft related issues. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction to bring down shortage. Sensormatic has the right tools to protect your clothing (and other merchandise) to send crooks to the next retailer that has not put a security system in place.

 

Need information on clothing security? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.
         

 

Visual Merchandising Enhanced With A Door Counting Sensor Part 1

 

Retail Traffic Counting System –3                                                                                                 WC Blog 683
Door Counting Sensor-3
Visual Merchandising Enhanced With A Door Counting Sensor Part 1
     I walked into my favorite grocery store today and saw the new weekly sales displayed at the front of the store and it started my mind churning about a retail traffic counting system. I began thinking about the role that customer counting has in relationship to visual merchandising and advertising. This store puts out a weekly flyer on Wednesdays and has weekend sales specials they advertise in it. Now I recognize that there is a certain customer base that will always come in. You have the loyal customers, the customers on the way home from work and then the shopper who responds to advertising and merchandising. The goal of every store owner, regardless of what you sell should be to increase foot traffic and in the process increase sales. To do that you can’t depend on just your loyal customer and the customer making a quick stop for a specific item (although if you merchandise properly you could turn this customer into a new “regular” shopper). IF the goal of advertising and visual merchandising is to draw in people, doesn’t it only make sense to measure/count the number of people coming to the store? A door counting sensor makes customer tracking easy for any retailer.
     The Integrated EAS Traffic Counter from Sensormatic can be placed on the Sensormatic electronic article surveillance pedestals. This retail traffic counting system tracks people entering AND exiting the store and is not affected by shadows or weather. That means your counts are going to be accurate. It also means that you will have real numbers to use in assessing and interpreting sales activity. Is your store without an EAS system? Are you interested in preventing shoplifting, reducing shortage, improving profits and increasing sales? Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can help you do ALL of these things with the installation of a Sensormatic system and yes, track customers as well.
     Before we go further you might want to know why visual merchandising is so important to your store. I used to think it was annoying when the stores I worked in would rearrange planograms or move merchandise around. Sure, a new endcap display made sense to me but other aspects seemed counter-intuitive. Don’t customers like to go directly to where they know merchandise is located in a business? Some may, but here are some other points to consider when it comes to merchandising.  Here are some tips from snapretail.com, “11 Visual Merchandising Tactics To Increase Sales”:
1. Window Displays Make First Impression – They suggest making a story out of the window display, even giving the illusion of movement.
2. Appeal to Desires – “Display nearest the entrance should feature solely desires” (as opposed to needs).
3. Create a Connection – The idea they want conveyed is to put items together to show what it may look like as part of a set. The writer mentions having a scarf displayed as part of an outfit or a Stand mixer on a counter with baking goods.
4. Keep it Fresh – They suggest changing displays every two weeks and keep the seasons in mind. Don’t leave holiday displays up after the holiday is over.
5. Regularly Update POS Displays – “Your regular customers will remember what’s on display as they check out and are more likely to grab an extra item if the display is fresh.”
These are my top favorites from the website’s article but I encourage readers to review it for the other tips they offer. What I will add is that this can be very time and labor intensive. How do you know if that window display was worth the effort you and your team put into it? Did sales increase? If they did was it only because your regular customer came in and happened to purchase an item that was displayed? Sales data won’t give you that information. A door counting sensor can provide more insight into the people flowing into your shop.
      Assuming you can now see the advantage a retail traffic counting system can have in assessing your sales data you may still be wondering if you really need a Sensormatic EAS system. You could increase your sales with the displays and bring in more people but if some of those people intend to steal from you they will look for signs of a merchandise protection. The first sign is the Sensormatic EAS pedestals at the front doors. In Part 2 of this article I want to talk more about the correlation a door counting sensor, visual merchandising and marketing have with each other and how they can improve sales.
Get more information on retail traffic counting systems contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.
     
      

I walked into my favorite grocery store today and saw the new weekly sales displayed at the front of the store and it started my mind churning about a retail traffic counting system. I began thinking about the role that customer counting has in relationship to visual merchandising and advertising. This store puts out a weekly flyer on Wednesdays and has weekend sales specials they advertise in it. Now I recognize that there is a certain customer base that will always come in. You have the loyal customers, the customers on the way home from work and then the shopper who responds to advertising and merchandising. The goal of every store owner, regardless of what you sell should be to increase foot traffic and in the process increase sales. To do that you can’t depend on just your loyal customer and the customer making a quick stop for a specific item (although if you merchandise properly you could turn this customer into a new “regular” shopper). IF the goal of advertising and visual merchandising is to draw in people, doesn’t it only make sense to measure/count the number of people coming to the store? A door counting sensor makes customer tracking easy for any retailer.

The Integrated EAS Traffic Counter from Sensormatic can be placed on the Sensormatic electronic article surveillance pedestals. This retail traffic counting system tracks people entering AND exiting the store and is not affected by shadows or weather. That means your counts are going to be accurate. It also means that you will have real numbers to use in assessing and interpreting sales activity. Is your store without an EAS system? Are you interested in preventing shoplifting, reducing shortage, improving profits and increasing sales? Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can help you do ALL of these things with the installation of a Sensormatic system and yes, track customers as well.

Before we go further you might want to know why visual merchandising is so important to your store. I used to think it was annoying when the stores I worked in would rearrange planograms or move merchandise around. Sure, a new endcap display made sense to me but other aspects seemed counter-intuitive. Don’t customers like to go directly to where they know merchandise is located in a business? Some may, but here are some other points to consider when it comes to merchandising.  Here are some tips from snapretail.com, “11 Visual Merchandising Tactics To Increase Sales”:

1. Window Displays Make First Impression – They suggest making a story out of the window display, even giving the illusion of movement.

2. Appeal to Desires – “Display nearest the entrance should feature solely desires” (as opposed to needs).

3. Create a Connection – The idea they want conveyed is to put items together to show what it may look like as part of a set. The writer mentions having a scarf displayed as part of an outfit or a Stand mixer on a counter with baking goods.

4. Keep it Fresh – They suggest changing displays every two weeks and keep the seasons in mind. Don’t leave holiday displays up after the holiday is over.

5. Regularly Update POS Displays – “Your regular customers will remember what’s on display as they check out and are more likely to grab an extra item if the display is fresh.”

These are my top favorites from the website’s article but I encourage readers to review it for the other tips they offer. What I will add is that this can be very time and labor intensive. How do you know if that window display was worth the effort you and your team put into it? Did sales increase? If they did was it only because your regular customer came in and happened to purchase an item that was displayed? Sales data won’t give you that information. A door counting sensor can provide more insight into the people flowing into your shop.

Assuming you can now see the advantage a retail traffic counting system can have in assessing your sales data you may still be wondering if you really need a Sensormatic EAS system. You could increase your sales with the displays and bring in more people but if some of those people intend to steal from you they will look for signs of a merchandise protection. The first sign is the Sensormatic EAS pedestals at the front doors. In Part 2 of this article I want to talk more about the correlation a door counting sensor, visual merchandising and marketing have with each other and how they can improve sales.

 

Get more information on retail traffic counting systems contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.
     

      

 

 

Risky Business Choices Aren’t So Risky When The Free Loss Prevention Calculator Is Used

A free Loss Prevention Calculator helps store owners see what the return on an investment in a Retail Loss Prevention System would be without spending anything to look into it. Shoplifting costs stores money through stolen merchandise and the loss of business when a customer can’t locate the goods they came into the store to purchase. It also takes an additional toll when a shoplifter picks up an item and then returns it for cash or a gift card. Nothing like paying for your own stuff is there? Is there a risk in spending money on a Sensormatic System? Is it a good idea for a business owner to take a risk in investing in something without assurance it will pay off? I know of one example of a calculated risk taken that has paid off.  
     

About three years ago, my Alma Mater, Coastal Carolina University, made what appeared to be an unusual investment for a school, they sponsored a NASCAR driver in the truck racing series. There was no equivalent to the Loss Prevention ROI Calculator for the University to refer to before attempting this venture. Not many schools would make such a partnership but the deal has been beneficial to the driver, Brandon Brown (a Coastal student and alumni), his team and Coastal Carolina. The sponsorship helps the driver and his team cover the expenses of travel, salaries and vehicle maintenance. The return on investment for the school is the national recognition the school receives every time Mr. Brown, his truck and now Xfinity series race car are viewed on television. In a feature page on Coastal’s website in a story by Brent Reser, “In The Fast Lane”, Bill Plate, CCU’s Vice President for University Communications, pointed out the benefit of the sponsorship for Coastal with the school’s Chanticleer logo prominently displayed. “It is no different than a billboard except this billboard moves up and down moves up and down I-95”,  Plate says referring to the trailer marked with Coastal insignia that transports Brown’s vehicle”…Plate goes on to say, “Then on race day it is a billboard that goes 180 mph…” NASCAR is a hugely popular sport and is watched all across the nation so the attention garnered aids in recruiting new students. It is also helpful to the CCU athletics teams in recruiting efforts to make the school competitive on the highest levels. It was a risky move that has turned out well for the University.
     

The Loss Prevention ROI Calculator gives retailers the ability to see how adding Loss Prevention system to their store will add security that reduces shrink without taking a risk. Click on the ROI calculator on the top of the Loss Prevention Systems Inc. home page and enter two key pieces of information, your estimated annual sales and the amount you would spend on a Sensormatic system. The calculator has a built in shortage reduction factor so it will give you the estimated number of months it would take for a system to pay for itself. In other words Loss Prevention can pay for itself. The Loss Prevention ROI Calculator removes any and all risks a store owner takes in the purchase of a Sensormatic security system by showing the benefits it will provide.
     

As a former Loss Prevention Manager with over 27 years of retail experience I have first-hand knowledge that Checkpoint systems work. I have seen top theft departments drastically improve in shortage performance after Sensormatic tags and labels were used on merchandise. I have complete confidence that after using the Free Loss Prevention Calculator you will see that your business can see similar shortage improvement. 
     

Adding a school logo to a racing truck and car was a calculated risk for CCU. There was no way to measure what the impact would be prior to sponsoring the team. Adding a Sensormatic security system to your store doesn’t need to be a risk. The Free Loss Prevention Calculator gives a realistic expectation of how much store owners will save in reduced inventory shrinkage. Decreased shrink means more profit and merchandise in the store for customers to purchase and THAT is something to crow about!

 

For more information on the Loss Prevention ROI Calculator contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.