3 Easy Ways to Reduce Shoplifting

As anyone who’s worked in retail can confirm, shoplifting is often an unavoidable part of store ownership. No matter how many precautions stores takes, many shoplifters remain undeterred. Fortunately, reducing instances of shoplifting doesn’t have to be an uphill battle for store owners. By putting a few practical tips to good use, you can prevent shoplifters from stealing your merchandise and deter them from targeting your store. In the quest to reduce retail theft, the following tips are sure to prove useful.
1. Don’t Provide Shoplifters with Cover
As a retail interior design expert can confirm, emphasizing visibility when arranging your shelving can effectively reduce inventory losses. This means making your shelves readily visible to clerks and sales associates and not arranging them in a manner that provides shoplifters with cover. Furthermore, when setting up store displays, make sure they’re not placed in areas where they’re liable to give shoplifters a place to hide.
2. Approach Customers Who Act Suspiciously
Shoplifters engage in a number of strange behaviors when preparing to steal. These behaviors include avoiding eye contact, constantly looking at sales associates, lingering in aisles and wandering around for long periods of time. Instead of avoiding individuals who exhibit these behaviors, your staff should approach them and ask if they need assistance. Knowing that they’re being watched often causes shoplifters to retreat. This isn’t to say that everyone who engages in the aforementioned behaviors is a potential shoplifter, but it never hurts to keep an eye on customers who act suspiciously.
3. Press Charges
When it comes to prosecuting shoplifters, it’s important for stores to walk the walk. Although many establishments claim to have zero-tolerance policies for shoplifters, a surprising number of store owners seldom press charges against people who have stolen from them. If shoplifting from your store doesn’t come with any discernible consequences, there’s no reason to expect people not to do it. It’s no surprise that stores with reputations for pressing charges against shoplifters tend to have fewer instances of inventory theft.
Shoplifters are the bane of many store owners’ existence. Since some stores lose thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise to shoplifters each year, this is hardly surprising. Luckily, stopping these individuals in their tracks isn’t nearly as daunting as some retail proprietors think. Heeding the tips discussed above stands to dramatically reduce instances of shoplifting, thus saving your store a considerable amount of time, money and hassle.