Retail Theft Prevention Introduction
Retail Loss Control is one of the main determining factors to retail success and profit. Despite huge investments in your store’s fitout, marketing and sales staff, stock theft is ultimately the major interruption to achieving top sales and revenue. Unfortunately there is an increasing trend in shoplifting – both external and internal.
Loss prevention tools allow retailers to leverage smart technology to significantly reduce shoplifting and the array of costs associated, such as after-hours stocktakes. Any retailer with a shrinkage total over 1% can implement a basic retail loss control system such as Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) to add that loss straight back to the bottom line. Depending on your store’s size and turnover, this could mean a figure in the hundreds of thousands.
The Australian retail arena is also becoming more flexible than ever before, with weekend trading, extended hours and staff turnover causing a growth and minimising control of store security and shrinkage levels. Lifestyle products have also spiked in recent times with the advent of highly sought designer labels, whether it’s clothing, handbags and smaller accessories such as belts and sunglasses. Also, the burst of popular personal electronics products such as iPhones, iPads and laptops - poached mainly by external shoplifters for their resale value – are also a main target for theft.
Retail Loss Control Techniques
While some larger retailers employ a specialist Loss Prevention Manager handling the asset protection strategy and efficacy of the security equipment, retail loss for small to medium retailers can practice some simple, low maintenance and effective retail loss prevention techniques.
- Training staff to be aware of the shop floor. A simple acknowledgement or greeting by staff will deter shoplifters by making them aware they are noticed.
- Store layout and product placement work synergistically to deter stock loss. In the past, high-shrink stock was either put behind the counter or glass cabinets or in the case of leather jackets, chained to the rack. However, innovative technology has freed this expensive merchandise with high-technology electronic security tags and handheld display systems.
- Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a deterrence system used by retailers to prevent theft. Security tags or security stickers are placed on merchandise and will sound an alarm at the security gates if the tag has not been removed or deactivated at the point of purchase.
- Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is also a significant deterrent to external and internal shoplifting or embezzlement. The shop owner or manager can gain a better view of potential suspects and record incidents while identifying stock theft patterns in their particular environment. Modern technology allows managers to view live CCTV footage remotely - from another office, home or other portable device such as an iPad or smart phone.
Vitag is a leading retail loss prevention company that can assist in the identification, management and reduction of retail theft. Contact us for a consultation.