In order to help stop shoplifting in your store, you should know who you are dealing with and why they are stealing from you. Although there are several different types of shoplifters, I’ll try to narrow it down to two main categories. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate which group a shoplifter should be placed, but I’ll make it easy and group them as either amateur or professional. The main difference is that an amateur shoplifter usually steals for personal use, while a professional shoplifter typically steals to sell the merchandise after the theft.
The amateur and opportunist are your typical everyday shoplifters. They are usually stealing items for themselves. Some you could classify as opportunists, because they don’t always come into the store planning to steal, but while they are shopping, an opportunity presents itself and they take full advantage. An example of this could be a lack of employees in an area, or even a showcase left unlocked. Many shoplifters in this group will be deterred by anti-shoplifting devices placed on merchandise. Just because this group is categorized as amateurs, doesn’t mean that they won’t cause a good amount of loss.
The booster or professional is a whole different species of shoplifter. They come into the store well prepared, and typically know what they are after before coming into the store. They sometimes have an actual list of what they need to take, which is provided to them by a fence, which is basically a person or location that will buy the stolen product. In my experience, the majority of shoplifters that fall into this category are either involved in highly organized retail crime (ORC) or they are drug users stealing to support their habit. With the internet, it is also much easier to sell stolen merchandise than it was in the past. They don’t need to find a third party to sell the stuff they just took from the stores, all they need to do is just put it up for sale themselves online.
Boosters usually steal high dollar products, or large quantities of smaller items. It’s not every day that you see someone come in and select 5 of the same electric toothbrush or grab a $600 television within a few seconds. These are the kinds of things you need to be able to recognize when looking for shoplifters. Most of the time, they work very fast because they want to limit exposure. Though they are not always this quick, I have personally witnessed some professional shoplifters in and out of a store in less than a minute. Timing depends on where the product is located, and whether or not there are other customers or employees in the area. Some shoplifters are so determined that they don’t even stop shoplifting when other customers walk into the aisle.
Both of these groups can cause you to lose out on major profits. Whether you are dealing with professional or amateur shoplifters in your store, a good way to slow them down is to attach anti-shoplifting devices to the merchandise. Even if this doesn’t stop them from stealing the item, trying to remove the device will attract attention, and give you a chance to catch them in the act.
For more information contact us: Stop Shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547