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Simple Steps You Can Take to Avoid Retail Theft

A National Retail Federation survey found that over 95% of all retailers have been a victim of some sort of organized retail theft. That makes retail loss prevention one of the most important security priorities of your retail establishment. Here are some things you can do today to enhance what loss prevention tactics you already are employing.

Check and Maintain Surveillance Equipment

Too often, surveillance equipment is not maintained properly or checked, which leads to important footage being lost. Make sure your surveillance cameras are in good working order, powered on and are videoing what you need to be documenting. Your video management software and other associated equipment must also be checked and maintained.

Make sure you and at least one other person can operate the software, should you need to review the footage. Finally, keep the management equipment in a locked cabinet and any software password protected. You do not want to lose valuable footage because someone compromised your data or damaged your equipment.

Place Video Cameras for Personal Impact

Video cameras have been a “godsend” in terms of helping law enforcement investigate, identify and apprehend perpetrators of theft or robbery. Too often, though, monitors to review video are hidden away in a back room. While this serves a purpose, it also is wise to put a monitor at the front of the retail establishment, in full view of patrons. If a potential thief knows they are being videoed, they are far less likely to commit theft. It is a psychological deterrent  and effective retail theft prevention tactic that reinforces in people’s minds that they will not get away with criminal activity.

Monitor Register Activity

Register shortages are bad. Register overages are just as bad. At best, they indicate an employee is accidentally charging customers too much for what they are buying, risking losing them as a customer if they find their product cheaper somewhere else. At worst, it is an indicator of an overcharge that has not been pocketed by an employee who is stealing from you. Check and monitor overages and shortages via software and if you discover a pattern with one employee, monitor their register exchanges.

Establish Personal Contact

You want your employees to build a rapport with your customers. It makes the customer feel special and wanted and that leads to more sales. It also is a significant retail loss prevention tool. Shoplifters who are communicated with personally are far less likely to steal from a retail merchant, both because it establishes a rapport and reminds the potential thief that they might be being watched.

Unfortunately, retail loss prevention is as much a part of a good management strategy as is training employees well or providing stellar customer service. Because that is the case, though, there are multiple, simple tips you can take to limit your risk of theft.

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