Well, we finally made it to part three of my mini-series on steps you can take to prevent shoplifting in your store. We’ve discussed using customer service and how installing cameras can help deter would-be shoplifters. An important piece a lot of retailers fail to utilize are proper physical security measures. There are tons of anti-shoplifting devices on the market. Depending on your store and budget there is has to be a cost effective solution to any problem you are having with loss.
Recently, the company I work for saw a steady increase in losses associated with shoplifting in our pocket knife line. It’s a large store, so we have an entire aisle dedicated to every type of pocket knife you could possibly want. The losses caught the attention of the buying team when they realized that the category was no longer making a profit. Yep… we were losing more knives than we were selling. That’s a lot of knives. On any given day, stores would find anywhere between 10-30 empty packages. Did anyone buy pocket knives? It was obvious we had to do something. We were clearly bleeding and had to find a cost effective way to help prevent shoplifting in this category.
After trying and testing a few items, we settled on a simple peg lock. They are designed to keep the merchandise on the peg and can be released by an employee with a key. Very simple, very cheap and they worked. We installed them on the higher priced knives and within a week, we saw a noticeable decrease in losses. Now, I’d be lying to you if I told you this was the complete cure to shoplifting, I’d be lying. This move did shift our losses to the less expensive knives, but it did help protect the more expensive product. We reduced the loss to an acceptable level by using a very simple physical security measure. It didn’t negatively impact our sales and our customers seemed to understand, or not really care that we had to take additional steps to make sure the merchandise was available for them to purchase.
Now, there are tons of tools you can use to increase the effectiveness of physical security measures in your stores and a peg lock is just an example. Every store is different and a good merchant will know what is best suited for their own stores. When you’re walking your store, walk with the eye of a shoplifter. Look at what you could easily steal and ask yourself if it’s worth protecting. While you can’t very well go and lock up every single item in your store, you can aim to reduce your high dollar losses.
While there is no single method you can employ that will completely prevent shoplifting, taking several small steps over time can help your business reduce unnecessary losses. Whether you engage your teams to promote some of the best customer service possible, install a new camera system, or use some simple physical security measures, you will definitely see a reduction in shoplifting. As retailers, we will also be fighting the battle between profit and loss, make sure you are doing your part to minimize your stores exposure to loss.
For more information, contact us at Prevent Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547