Retail · Retail Tip of the Week · Uncategorized

Top 12 Loss Prevention Strategies

If you are just joining our conversation about retail shrinkage, you can catch up by reading a short overview here.

So we’ve established that losing your inventory to shoplifting, fraud and employee theft is a huge, oftentimes underestimated problem in today’s retail stores.

So how can you protect yourself?

Well, you could try placing this sign all around your store…
…thankfully we’ve come up with a list of 12 other things you can do to discourage those… less superstitious… clients.
  1. Customer Service.
    • When you see, hear or meet a customer all other activates are put on hold. First, foremost and fanatically SERVE THE CUSTOMER! Shoplifters want to remain anonymous and be left alone… so do not give them that opportunity.
  2. Employee Discounts. 
    • According to most surveys, employee theft is the #1 cause of retail shrinkage. Most business owners or managers want to think their employees do not steal from them, but that does not mean they do not.  Offering your employees a substantial discount, say 10% over cost, not only lowers the chance they will steal an item, but it also gets them using (and talking about) your product  to your customers. Note: We will be doing an entire article or series or articles on reducing employee theft.
  3. Profit Sharing:
    • An employee who feels vested in your business will be much less likely to steal from you. Share profitability with your employees, have a profit sharing plan, have a team goal to reduce shoplifting and have a pizza party when the goal is reached!
  4. Be Genuine.
    • Approximately 1 out of 10 customers in your store are potential shoplifters! Treat customers as individuals, be genuine when asking questions of them. Approach shoppers exhibiting suspicious behavior and ask if they need help instead of walking away from them – that’s often enough to deter potential shoplifters. It is helpful to have a code such as “Marie to the back of the store”  over the loud speaker if someone looks like they are up to no good.
  5. Move Frequently.
    • Encourage employees to walk around the store, down various aisles, particularly along the walls instead of just down the center.
  6. Clean Up.
    • Maintain a clean and organized store, including racks, shelves and dressing rooms. A disorganized, dirty store not only lowers your sales  it tells a shoplifter the employees are not paying attention. Keep shelves and displays low, and install adequate lighting to maintain visibility throughout the store. For the gondola shelving, and other fixtures that will block your view I prefer no higher than 4’6″.
  7. Plain Sight.
    • Keep commonly stolen items in plain view to discourage shoplifters. Place higher theft items near the front of the store or in a showcase. A nicely lit showcase will not only lower theft it will “add value” to the item.
  8. Share Notes.
    • Compare notes with your neighbors. Talk with other shop owners about any suspicious behaviors they might have witnessed. Ask employees to keep logs of suspicious behaviors to share with each other as well as with other shop owners.
  9. Schedule Strategically.
    • Hire an adequate number of employees – enough to give customers personal attention. Stagger lunch and break times among employees.
  10. Post Policies.
    • Draft a shoplifting policy and enforce it. Post the policy so employees and customers are aware of it. Offer ongoing training for employees so they understand how to prevent shoplifting or how to handle a situation if it does occur.
  11. Use Technology.
    • Install anti-theft devices including an Electronic Article surveillance (EAS)  system, apparel locks, showcases, Peg lock systems, security cameras, convex mirrors in corners and anti-theft tags on merchandise.
  12. Restrict Use.
    • Restrict the use of fitting rooms. Lock dressing rooms, and require customers to see a salesperson before using the room. Post signs in your store and  in fitting rooms warning  that you will prosecute shoplifters.

Next week we’ll talk about some ways for you and your staff to spot potential shoplifters. There is an art to it… you want to keep your merchandise safe while not alienating your clients.


Safe and Sound.

We’ve got the tools to help you secure your business. From large scale projects like installing an EAS system to smaller projects like installing mirrors and announcers, we are your source for loss prevention products and technology.

You can go here to read more about some of our popular products, or give us a call and we’d be happy to help you outfit your store with exactly the products you need including:

Don’t see what you need? Call us at 800-426-5708 or email us at to let us know what you need for your store. A knowledgeable sales rep can help you get the right setup for your unique needs and products.

Security Cameras

Peg Hook Locks

Motion Sensors

Electronic Article Surveillance

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