Welcome back to my ultimate guide to clothing security! If you recall our last segment, we talked about how a few merchandising tricks can stop shoplifters from raking in your profits. I’d like to continue that here but focus a little more on one area of the store where I KNOW you are losing money to thieves, your fitting room. I can see you cringe through my keyboard at the mere mention of that area. I’ve been in the LP world for 10 years now and I still hate the fitting room… You can’t have cameras, chances are you can’t have it staffed constantly and you don’t want to ruin your legitimate shoppers experience by making them feel like they are a thief. So what are you supposed to do?
Good clothing security starts with a solid fitting room program. I’ve worked in big box retailers, specialty stores and for very small companies. All of them have had the same downfall with their fitting rooms. There was never a solid program in place. While each of these companies focused on using clothing security tags, a proper fitting room program was overlooked. I always said if I owned my own store one day, I would have a fitting room that would see zero losses!
First things first. If you are one of those retailers that places a clothing security tag remover back here, get rid of it right now. Seriously. Stop reading, go take it down and come back. I’ll wait….. I know why some of you do it. If you have that customer that is spending $500 on a single article of clothing, you want to provide them with the ability to try it on and not wait for an employee to run to the front of the store, then back to the fitting room. I get it, trust me. Also trust when I say the thieves know what stores have this, and will exploit it every single day of the week. Clothing security really starts here. You never, ever want to make it that easy for a shoplifter.
Second, have a policy and stick to it. If you want your fitting rooms manned by an employee all hours of the day, then schedule for it. Don’t have that employee off in another part of the store if it’s slow. All it takes is one minute for a shoplifter to drop in, see that it’s unattended and hit you for thousands. You can have the best clothing security tag on the market, but an unattended fitting room will get you every time. Also, make your fitting room policies known with in store signage. Make sure your customer’s understand that there is a limit (whatever you want it to be) of what can be taken into the stall. Signage in the fitting room that speaks to the prosecution of shoplifters should also be in every stall.
While no one has one program that is the end all-be all to fitting rooms, I’d like to know the differences there are out there. Drop a line in the contact section if you have some suggestions on fitting room controls. I’d be curious to see how the small apparel stores handle things. As I close out the fitting room portion of this series, it brings me straight to the next segment on organized retail theft, and how no matter how great your controls are, you can still find yourself the victim. I hope you come back for part three as I discuss that very topic.
For more information, contact us at Clothing Security, or call 1.770.426.0547