Every store I visit, or manager I speak to always wants to know what they can do to prevent shoplifting. I will always be the first person to say that there is not one single method, or tool you can implement that will stop your losses. You have to take a multi-layered approached to combat shoplifting. I thought I would do something a little different and make a three part series on, what I believe are the most fundamental pillars to battle shoplifters.
Unless you’re a major, multi-billion dollar a year corporation, chances are you don’t have a loss prevention team in your store. It’s more than likely up to you, and your store employees, to prevent losses from shoplifters. Most store managers want to simply deter a theft than having to go through the process of contacting the police and having someone arrested. It’s just as simple to scoot the shoplifter out the door and recover your merchandise. At the end of the day, you keep the money in your store, and that’s what our ultimate goal is anyway.
Your store employees are one of the bigger investments you make as an employer. Why not use those employees to prevent shoplifting. Think of this… You can only be in one place at one time. Your employees are always around different areas of the store at all times. So how do you get your hourly staff excited about stopping theft? It’s not an easy question to answer. One of the first things you need to shore up is the level of customer service your customers are receiving. When a shopper walks into a department, are they greeted and offered assistance, or are they ignored as your employee trudges away at a task? I can tell you from years of experience that a shoplifter does not want to be noticed. They want to come into your store with their head down and not bring attention to themselves. If they know employees are aware of their presence, and will be monitoring them in case they need assistance, they will be less likely to steal from you.
There’s two sides to this equation as well. As retailers, our main focus is to drive sales. If your employee is engaging your customer, think of the potential add on sales that can be made. So not only is your employee doing their part to prevent shoplifting, they are boosting your bottom line. The best part of this… you don’t have to spend a single penny. This is one of the simplest ways to get your team motivated to prevent theft all while driving sales and helping your store meet sales expectations. If your store is known for great service, your customers will tell their friends. I’ve had long term customers tell me that they drive an extra 25 minutes to come to my store because they appreciate the level of service they receive.
Customer service is the most important of the three pillars of reducing losses from shoplifters. It’s a simple method for you to immediately implement and you will see a return on this investment on the very same day. Don’t let shoplifters take advantage of your store; provide them with exceptional service and you will be sure to see your losses decrease all while your sales go up!
For more information, contact us at Prevent Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547