Larger, multi-location companies have the advantage of being able to communicate between their different store locations to share shoplifter intelligence. With small businesses, it is a little more difficult because you either have one location, or your stores are not usually as geographically close together. This is where networking comes into play, and is an important tool for your business’s arsenal of anti-shoplifting measures. If you don’t have other nearby locations in your company, you need to reach out to other businesses, even if some of the other businesses are competitors. If shoplifters are stealing from your store, it is a safe bet that they are also targeting nearby businesses. Staying in touch with neighboring business is a must when trying to stop shoplifting in your community.
Why should you share intelligence with a competitor? Because in the war on shoplifting, we are on the same team. Small businesses need to stand together to make more of an effort to work together to stop shoplifting. If you communicate information about a specific shoplifter that has been affecting your store, and the shoplifter is apprehended at your competitor’s store, who wins? The answer is everyone, well except for the shoplifter, of course. The shoplifter is no longer affecting either one of your stores either way.
It’s a good idea to get together every so often and have a meeting with other businesses in the community. Also invite your local law enforcement agency, which will most likely send someone to attend and speak at the event. You would be surprised with the amount of information you will gain from these meetings. You will get a different perspective on what other businesses are doing in regard to anti-shoplifting strategies or devices they may be using. You may also realize that you share some of the same shoplifters. For example, if you have identified a thief that consistently steals from your store at around 3pm on Wednesdays, and then hits another business at around 4pm, you have developed a pattern. This is powerful information that can be used to catch the shoplifter. Even if you attempt to stop the thief at your store and they get away, you know the next place they may be heading, so this can be shared with the other store and law enforcement.
Keeping a good working relationship with area businesses is always beneficial, even if your contact at the other business moves on, they can pass your information on to their replacement and let them know how helpful you have been to them. Remember, the idea and common goal is retail theft prevention. You want to make as much of an impact on theft in your area as possible, so the more partners you have, the easier it will be to catch the shoplifters. On many occasions, I have had other retailers contact me and tell me that they just caught a shoplifter, and the thief also had merchandise from my store in their possession. In some of those cases, our store wasn’t even aware that a theft had occurred. If I wasn’t in contact with the other retailers, there is no telling what would have happened to the merchandise. Communication is key when trying to accomplish any goal, and trying to stop shoplifting in your community is a big goal, so why attempt to do it by yourself?
For more information contact us: Stop Shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547