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Protect Your Store During this Busy Holiday Season

November 30, 2017

shopping crowd at mallAccording to the 2016 National Retail Security Survey, shoplifting accounted for 39% of inventory loss. Companies also lose an average $377 for every shoplifting incident. Retailers across the Mid-Atlantic region can expect an increase in theft attempts as shopping increases in time for the holidays.

Maryland Security Professionals can help tighten your store’s security this holiday season by installing a customized surveillance camera system to discourage shoplifters and identify perpetrators in the event of a theft. Stores should also take additional measures to combat theft.

1. Keep Items Organized

When items are disorganized on store shelves, staff may not be able to identify missing items until it’s too late. When restocking items, it’s recommended that you place them in a “faced” position. This means every item placed right on the edge of the shelf. This way, it’s easy to tell when someone sweeps multiple items off of the shelf.

2. Identify Shoplifting Methods

Shoplifters employ different methods. Some are novices that will try to sneak an item out of the store in their pocket or bag. Others deploy a more strategic method by working in pairs, where one may distract staff members while the other makes off with the goods.

Train staff to look for concealment areas where people can make way with stolen items. This includes baggy clothing, handbags, umbrellas, strollers, and inside other purchased merchandise. Thieves also tend to demonstrate telltale patterns of behavior, such as spending an unusual amount of time eyeing a cashier or staff member. They may also seem fidgety and pick up items at random with no interest.

With experience, you’ll develop an intuition that alerts you when a customer behaves suspiciously.

3. Leverage Customer Service

Utilize customer service strategies to your advantage. Consider these ideas:

  • Have a greeter at the front entrance. This lets customers know that multiple staff members are present and keeping a watchful eye.
  • Post signs informing customers that the store premises are under surveillance. Place signs at the front entrance and also near the ceiling and corners where thieves will check for cameras.
  • Post signs warning customers of federal and state penalties for shoplifting. It helps to include large numbers (i.e. maximum $25,000 fine for shoplifting under Virginia law).
  • Train staff to recognize price switching.

4. Change the Store Layout

Organize the layout of the store to make it difficult for thieves to exit the store undetected.

  • Organize your store so that customers have to pass through the checkout counter to exit the store
  • Avoid positioning shelves and items on corners and other blind spots. Place a convex mirror in every ceiling corner.
  • Keep smaller and more expensive items in locked cabinets.
  • Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of garments allowed per entry.

Fortify Your Store with Surveillance Cameras

Theft rates rise with the holidays. It’s also harder to detect theft, since shoplifters can easily blend with the large crowd. Call Maryland Security Professionals to install surveillance cameras and set up a state-of-the-art monitoring system. Commercial surveillance systems serve as an extra set of eyes and catches and records illegal activity. This protects your assets while ensuring the safety of customers and staff.

More Store Security Resources for the Holiday Shopping Season:

  1. Shopify, 5 Quick and Low-Tech Tips to Prevent Shoplifting in Your Retail Store, https://www.shopify.com/retail/119537923-5-quick-and-low-tech-tips-to-prevent-shoplifting-in-your-retail-store
  2. CNBC, Five-finger discount for shoplifters seeking a holiday high, https://www.cnbc.com/2013/12/24/five-finger-discount-for-shoplifters-seeking-a-holiday-high.html
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