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Strategies to Prevent Shoplifting

June 29, 2017
camera security in shopping mall with supermarket blur background.

camera security in shopping mall with supermarket blur background.American retailers lose billions each year due to shoplifters. In 2014, U.S. companies lost a combined $32 billion from customer and worker thefts. From major corporations to small corner shops, anti-theft security systems are critical components for reducing shoplifting losses.

Maryland Security Professionals offers the latest surveillance technology for commercial properties. The following are some effective security strategies to consider implementing to prevent shoplifting in your establishment.

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Install anti-theft technology

Stores that have invested in anti-theft commercial surveillance technology generally see significant declines in inventory shrinkage. Schedule a security evaluation with Maryland Security Professionals to learn which types of surveillance technology would best fit your business’ needs. Commercial property owners often prefer surveillance systems that are highly visible, which can deter potential shoplifters.

Post your store’s theft policies

It’s a common practice for retail stores to post warning signs intended to prevent shoplifting. Clothing stores often post these inside dressing rooms. Usually, these signs state something like, “We prosecute all shoplifters,” or “Active surveillance in place for your protection.”

Because these notices are so commonplace, however, shoppers tend to ignore them. Make yours stand out by including a description of the specific legal penalties for shoplifting in your jurisdiction. In Maryland, the theft of property valued at less than $100 is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Optimize the store’s layout

Certain store layouts facilitate shoplifting activities. Tall shelves and displays let shoplifters slip items into pockets or handbags, and cash registers positioned too far from the exits give shoplifters the confidence that their thievery will go unnoticed. In addition to placing the register next to the exit, train your employees to be attentive to the flow of traffic through the door.

Position convex surveillance mirrors at strategic locations to eliminate blind corners, and install adequate lighting in all areas. Consider installing additional security features, such as highly visible cameras with blinking lights to indicate that recording is taking place, in areas that house high-value inventory.

Maintain a tidy store. Shoplifters are more likely to steal from stores with shelves that are overflowing with merchandise placed haphazardly. Instruct your employees to “face” the merchandise, or pull the items out to meet the edge of the shelf. This alerts your workers to shoplifters who have swiped multiple items off the shelf.

Train your employees in theft prevention

If your store cannot hire onsite loss mitigation specialists, it becomes more important to thoroughly train your employees regarding shoplifting behaviors. Let them know how to identify the signs of a potential shoplifter and provide clear instructions regarding how to intervene when a theft is taking place.

Maryland Security Professionals provides customizable surveillance technology for commercial and residential properties in Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. We can design and install a system that suits your needs and budget. Some of your options include advanced infrared cameras, wireless surveillance, and license plate recognition capabilities. Call today to schedule your complimentary security evaluation.

Additional “shoplifting prevention” resources:

  1. CNBC, Shoplifting, other fraud cost US retailers $44 billion in 2014: Survey,
  2. Fortune, Shoplifting, worker theft cost retailers $32 billion last year,
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