Any retail business is risking theft. In fact, businesses in 2014 saw a $44 billion loss; shoplifting accounted for 38% of the loss and employee theft accounted for 34.5%. There are ways that you can prevent theft in your business. Here are some great tips to reduce loss prevention.
Several stores are known for having greeters in the front. Most people wonder why someone is paid to just stand in front of the doors and say hi to customers. These employees are actually the first line of defense when it comes to preventing theft in the store. Acknowledging each customer as they enter a store can make some of them less likely to try and shoplift.
Make Eye Contact
Another way to keep customers from shoplifting is to make eye contact with them as often as possible. If an employee is stocking the shelves or cleaning an area, they should keep an eye out and make eye contact with the customers who are shopping alone. It makes them feel watched and recognized, so some will be less likely to pocket an item.
Security cameras are the most important line of defense when it comes to customer theft. 360-degree cameras should be placed all over the store so every section of the store is covered by the camera. An employee from your security team or contracted security company should always be watching the screens in the surveillance room at all times.
Lock Target Items
The commonly stolen items vary by state and location. These are often expensive items that people use on a regular basis. When some people run out and have no money, they get desperate and decide to go steal it. Locking up the items that are stolen the most from your store will make it impossible for people to steal them. Some stores lock up razor cartridges, ink cartridges, baby formula, and other expensive necessities.
As you saw in the statistics, employee theft is nearly as bad as customer theft. Employee theft can be even more difficult to catch because employees know where any camera holes are, they know the security staff, and it's not suspicious when they hang out in the same place for a long time. However, there are still things you can do to reduce employee theft.
Incentives actually help both customer and employee theft. Some stores offer bonuses to employees on an annual basis if loss prevention is less than a specific amount. Employees will want their bonus enough to keep them from shoplifting, and they will be more vigilant when it comes to keeping an eye on customers.
Put Cameras on Registers
Each cash register in the store should be equipped with a surveillance camera. It will ensure employees at the register don't try to get away with pocketing cash or items that customers decide they don't want to purchase. This surveillance should be reviewed to ensure the employees are honest and trustworthy.
Count the Till
When cashiers change, they should have a brand new till drawer. Each cashier should go upstairs to the office to get a new drawer. Each new drawer should always begin with the same amount of cash. The employee should count the new drawer to double check it's correct. Once the cashier is finished for the day, he or she should take their drawer upstairs to count the cash. This will show the managers if the cashier is pocketing cash or handing out incorrect change.
While it's impossible to stop every theft from happening, $44 billion in loss is far too much. Make sure your store does everything it can to stop theft before it happens.
For more information and options, talk with a commercial security company, such as A Tech / Easy Living Store.