It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are getting cooler (or so my friends up North tell me), the days are getting shorter and there’s that clock ticking down to the start of the holiday shopping season. For most people, it’s a joyous time. Friends and family gatherings are on the horizon, shopping for the perfect gifts for loved ones and doing what you can to spread a little cheer to your fellow man. If you run a retail store, it’s really about how you make the most sales in a very short time, with minimal loss, to end the year in the black. It probably also means using anti-shoplifting tools to secure the new, coolest products you are selling this year.
Every year it seems like my company invests more and more into the electronics category this time of year. These are not items we normally carry during the year, so item placement is scarce and our buying teams never really give any consideration to how easy they can be stolen. The store would be loaded with digital music players, GPS units, wireless speakers…etc, and they would be positioned throughout the store in a haphazard way, with no anti-shoplifting device installed. It was basically open season and thieves new it. This will be my 9th holiday season in retail and I can tell you that more of your “average Joes” steal during this time of year. These are people who would never consider stealing at any other time of the year, but with crowded stores and long lines (and in some cases, screaming little kids), you can see how one can quickly resort to shoplifting. This is also a time of year when parents feel they need to give their children an amazing experience, buy maybe financially, it would be impossible.
Every year for the past 9, I have worked on Christmas Eve. We close at 6pm, so I never really had a problem with it. 8 of those 9 years I have caught a shoplifter on this day. One that sticks out happened about two years ago. A lady came into the store and quickly began filling a basket with what, anyone would assume was her shopping list. When I walked past her full buggy of toys, I noticed that the anti-shoplifting device on a pair of speakers had been removed. I let my team know and they began surveillance. It wasn’t long before she walked right out of the front door with her full buggy, never once stopping to pay for the toys. It was Christmas Eve, but I still had a job to do. When we got her to the security office she told us why she had did it. Her husband had just been killed overseas and she was without an income. The government was dragging its feet with her benefits and she had three children to look after. I couldn’t send this woman to jail, she wasn’t a bad person. Just a parent, lost and trying to make her children a little happier. When the police arrived, we declined to pursue any charges and explained to the officer why. He didn’t seem to care and our store actually donated some toys to her family.
For more information, contact us at Anti Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547