You have a great culture in your store, and a dedicated team that cares about preventing loss from happening in your store. Your employees are always on the lookout for shoplifting activity, but do they actually know what they are looking for when trying to spot a shoplifter? In order to ensure all of your employees are on the same page, it is important to conduct loss prevention training for your whole team. Regardless of how much your employees want to help you keep the products on the shelves, if they don’t know to spot the behaviors it may not be very helpful at all.
There are many things to look for when trying to spot a shoplifter. Keep in mind, there is no definitive indicator that someone is going to shoplift until you actually see them committing the theft, and just because a customer is displaying one of these examples doesn’t necessarily mean they are shoplifting.
There is an endless list of shoplifting methods that thieves will use to rip you off. I couldn’t possibly cover everything I have learned over the years in this article, but here are some red flags you can teach your team to look for: quick selection of merchandise, clothing that is out of season, and camera checking.
First off, we have quick selection. Think about when you are shopping. Do you just walk up to a display and immediately throw an item into the cart? There are obviously times when people know exactly what they want and are in and out of the store quickly, especially with grocery shopping. On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t do this when shopping for high dollar electronics. For example, if you see a store patron load up a shopping cart with a television, home theater system, and a laptop in under five minutes; that should give you a good idea that something isn’t right.
Out of season clothing is a good indicator that someone could possibly be partaking in dishonest activities. If it is 95 degrees outside and a person walks into your store wearing a big winter coat, you may want to keep an eye on them. They may be filling that coat faster than you can say sneaky scoundrel. This is an easy red flag to spot, so it would definitely be a great tip to include in your team’s loss prevention training.
Then there is camera checking, which means looking for cameras. It seems like this would be way too obvious, but it happens quite often. Some shoplifters actually look up at the cameras before, and while they are shoplifting. I’m assuming that they are attempting to figure out where the cameras are and if they are being watched, but in the process they are attracting unwanted attention.
Once again, this is in no way a complete list of potential indicators of theft. If you don’t feel that you have enough knowledge about shoplifting to provide guidance to your team, it’s a good idea to get a professional to come in and conduct a loss prevention seminar. They will also be able to help develop a training program that’s right for your specific needs.
For more information contact us: loss prevention training or call 1.770.426.0547