Deterrence: This is the real answer if one wants to stop shoplifting. Everyone in my profession loves to catch the shoplifter and bring him or her to justice but the damage is already done by that time. Your merchandise has left the floor and is possibly damaged and not resalable; you have expended resources capturing the thief; your customers have been exposed to an apprehension in your store, giving them pause about how safe it is to shop in your store; and now you have to choose to prosecute and expend more resources. Wouldn’t it be better if the shoplifter decided your store was the wrong place to be shoplifting?
I argue that it would and am sure you will agree that preventing that shoplifting in the first place is the best answer. Shoplifting is a growing crime and now has outgrown internal theft as your number one loss causing threat as a retailer. What can we do to prevent the crime and deter the shoplifter from targeting your store?
Many of you already have one potential solution: strong customer service that makes the shoplifter feel as though he or she can never be alone in your store to do their crime. Combine that with electronic article surveillance (EAS) and consistent policies surrounding how your staff ensures that EAS tags are placed on merchandise and that anti-shoplifting alarms are responded to appropriately, and you have a solid deterrence program as well as a solid anti-shoplifting response program.
Checkpoint systems, a world leader in retail theft prevention offers many strategies and options designed to stop shoplifting in its tracks. You see, the same strategy that catches shoplifters works to deter shoplifters but it is even more important to execute it consistently and purposely. Checkpoint system has a variety of hard and soft tags, specialized packaging, spider-wraps, and EAS antenna configurations to protect a very diverse inventory of merchandise. If you take advantage of the variety of configurations available to you, your Checkpoint systems will do the work. Every time an alarm goes off on your anti-shoplifting system and your staff responds quickly and appropriately to deal with the alarm it reinforces to the potential shoplifter that this store has systems in place to stop shoplifting and takes those systems seriously. When they go to your high dollar merchandise and find spider-wraps or Alpha cases on the merchandise, their frustration increases as they know they have to overcome those anti-shoplifting devices if they are to get their hands on your merchandise. Every time they see you respond to alarms or address tampering with packages by detaining the shoplifter and calling the police it is reinforced in the shoplifter’s mind that there is a cost to doing his kind of business in your business. This is what you want!
Your Checkpoint systems are now not only catching shoplifters, they are working to stop shoplifting altogether in your store. Shoplifters are businessmen too (maybe just not good ones). They have to evaluate their ROI (return on investment) and balance risk against gain. They understand that there is risk in their business but they try to balance that risk with the potential reward of getting their hands on your merchandise and reselling it. When that risk cause by an increased potential for getting caught because they have to take an inordinate amount of time overcoming your Checkpoint systems or have to expose themselves to the eyes of your staff who are approaching them regularly to provide them good customer service, their ROI and risk versus gain does not make a solid business case for shoplifting in your store.
You have now proven the thesis of this blog: Deterrence is the real answer to stop shoplifting! The good news is that we have also shown that it can be done at the same time as you are trying to capture the shoplifters and can easily become part of your business operations. Let’s make shoplifters rethink their business case when it comes to doing business in your business – put your Checkpoint systems to work for you!
For more information on Checkpoint Systems contact us: 1.770.426.0547 or www.antishoplifting.net.