Shoplifting Prevention

Shoplifters assume they will not be caught. Prove them wrong by following these tips.

Put a Stop to Shoplifting
  • Alerting employees may be your best defense. Have them greet customers when they enter the store. Teach them to be attentive in a helping way.
  • Make sure that all your employees are familiar with your shoplifting policy.
  • Establish procedures for them to follow if they suspect a person is shoplifting.
  • Make sure you can see everything that goes on in your store. Keep counters free of clutter. Mount mirrors in corners so there are no blind spots.
  • Make it hard to leave your store without paying. Place expensive items in the center of the store, away from exits or behind the register.
  • Arrange counters and display tables so there is no direct route to the exit.
  • Arrange your displays so that missing items are easily noticed. Place small items in neat rows or patterns; fasten expensive merchandise and attach alarms. Reverse alternate hangers of hanging garments to prevent "grab and run."
  • Post your policy of prosecuting shoplifters in a visible location. This may be enough to turn shoplifters away.
Common Shoplifting Methods
  • Bulky clothing - coats and pants - are often used to hide merchandise.
  • Packages, bags, knapsacks and purses are good hiding places.
  • Special props include hollowed-out books, fake casts, umbrellas, secret pockets, belts or hooks under coats.
  • Folded newspapers or magazines are used to hide small and/or flat items.
What to Watch For
  • Be aware of customers’ hands, their pockets, purses, and handkerchiefs.
  • Notice open packages, purses, shopping bags and knapsacks.
  • Watch for customers who are nervous, have wandering eyes, or are loitering.
  • Watch groups of people, especially if one attempts to keep you distracted.
Employees are Not Exempt
Some experts believe that businesses lose more to employee theft than to burglary, robbery and shoplifting combined. Examine your management practices. Make your employees feel that they have got a stake in your business.