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.