Shoplifting and employee theft are nothing new to business. In fact, today they account for $13 billion in losses a year, or $35 million per day. While these numbers are staggering, there are things you can do to minimize losses on both fronts – and keep more of your profits where they rightfully belong.
While there is no typical shoplifter, there are some typical shoplifter behaviors. They’ll avoid eye contact, wander without buying (while they’re really planning their theft) and linger in areas that are difficult to monitor. Shoplifters succeed by being stealthy and inconspicuous. Bring them to light and deter theft with these practices:
• Greet everyone who enters your store
• Be alert and keep tabs on customers by “scanning the room”
• Approach lingering customers with offers to help or answer questions
• Display signs saying you prosecute shoplifters to the fullest extent of the law
• Hire a security presence or install a system, if possible
If you suspect a customer is stealing, do not accuse the person. Give them an opportunity to pay for the item by asking if they’re ready to be rung up. Do not detain them – doing so can put you at risk. Instead, make note of what they look like, call the police or security as soon as you can, and give a detailed description.
Employee theft can happen anywhere from the cash drawer to the warehouse. Deterring it takes a comprehensive approach that covers all the conceivable ways money or merchandise could walk.
Create an illusion of constant vigilance
Check cash drawers and inventory
Train and empower employees
Watch for odd behavior
You can’t be everywhere to prevent shoplifting and employee theft, however, you can do everything in your power to create a vigilant workplace. And that’s the next best deterrent.