When making a decision on where to buy quality clothing, a good home entertainment system, or even some new furniture for your house, how do you usually decide where to shop? Most people turn to Google to find the closest location with the best deal. One thing that Google doesn’t have is a recommendation from someone you trust. If your best friend suggests shopping at a certain store, you trust their recommendation, right? Especially if they brag about the great customer service experience, prices, and the quality merchandise. This recommendation carries a lot of weight for you, builds a credible reputation for the business. Creating a reputation can also help a store to prevent shoplifting.
Believe it or not, this occurs with a store’s reputation of security, customer service, and how easy it is to steal from that store. However, criminals spread word of mouth about poor customer service, unsecure merchandise, poor alarm response and ultimately ability to shoplift undetected. These attributes make a store more appealing for shoplifters to target. If the word on the street is that a store is hard to steal from undetected, most shoplifters will choose a better-recommended store.
Over the many years that I have been working in retail loss prevention, I have observed and apprehended hundreds of shoplifters. I have also witnessed many shoplifters and thieves case a store to size up its security. There are a few things I have witnessed shoplifters pay close attention to when sizing up a “score.”
The first thing that they look for is merchandise security. Are most expensive items locked up on the sales floor? Do they have locking peg hooks, Alpha Spider Wraps, Alpha 3 Alarm Cables, or other Alpha security devices? How difficult would it be to defeat any security devices without being detected? If you have one of your best-selling items left unsecured and ready for the taking, it is at high risk for shoplifting. Items that are shoplifted tend to be the same items that are in high demand for paying customers, and are thus high-selling items.
The next thing they size up is store staffing. Does the store have a lot of employees? Are those employees busy accomplishing tasks on the sales floor, or are they greeting every customer that comes within fifteen feet of them? At what time is the store staffed the least? Do employees have a good knowledge of what product is in their store? All of these help a thief decide whether they are likely to be approached or caught by an employee while they are shoplifting. Likewise, engaging customers and providing a great customer experience is one of the best ways to prevent shoplifting.
The third most important aspect of security that shoplifters will assess is the store’s security system. Do they have a Checkpoint Security System or other electronic article surveillance that will sound an alarm at the door? Are the devices that will activate the alarm on the desired merchandise? Are there many cameras and public-view monitors around the store that will detect their theft? Is there an armed guard at the entrance? A weaker security system within a store certainly does make it a more desirable target for thieves.
Keep in mind how these three elements of safety and security are present in your store, and what you are doing to prevent theft. Know that these things do not only affect who walks into the store, but also what people are saying about your store out on the street.
For more information contact us: Prevent Shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547