We see it in the movies and television shows. It is often glorified and made to look like it is normal and funny to do so. The sad truth is that ‘theft’ is and should not be acceptable. It’s a criminal offense, after all. People running big retail businesses can afford a highly qualified combination of security personnel and system. But the ones running small businesses are the ones who have to pay the price with no fault of their own. Imagine, inviting guests to your house and treating them with utmost respect and hospitality and after they leave, you notice that the beautifiul show-piece that you bought last year is missing from your house. You look for it everywhere but can’t seem to find it. For a businessman, it’s equally disappointing or maybe more.

Here are some tips to safeguard the products of your retail shop from Theft:-

1)How to identify a shoplifter?

Following are the specific red flags to be kept in mind by employees of the shop

a)Someone who is not your regular typical customer

Let’s take the example of a clothing retail shop for women of a certain age. Those stores are mainly crowded with women who fit in the certain age bracket but when someone belonging to a completely different age group or the opposite gender shows up, then the probability of them being a shoplifter is quite high. Keeping an eye on them is important.

b)The odd ones out

Someone carrying a large bag, wearing a large coat, avoiding eye contact or even typically watching the staff and not the merchandise.

c)Traveling in groups

These people indulge in premeditated plans of shoplifting. There are typical, two people or even more in cases. One is the lifter and the other is the one who plays the role of distracting the manager and the employee by asking stupid and unnecessary questions or something enough to catch their attention for a good amount of time so that the crime can be committed without being caught.

d)Watch out for the fake baby bumps and unnatural walking style

It may sound quite bizarre but some people hide small products between their legs and then they walk in a funny manner which makes them quite noticeable amongst the humans walking properly. In fact, some women carry fake baby bumps to stuff merchandise inside it and get away with shoplifting. These cases may be quite difficult to handle but being highly observant around these people will clear your doubts and then you may proceed to do the right thing.

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2)Have you had ‘The Talk’ with your employees?

The best and easiest way to defend your shop, well before it has been attacked is by educating the employees. Here is how you can educate them-

a)High alert

Ask them to shift to high-alert during the peak hours. They should be extremely aware of everything that is happening around them. One miss or any room to carelessness can cause major loss.

b)The common tactics used by shoplifters is that they switch labels and even indulge in theft in changing rooms.

c)Be wary of everyone

It’s important to establish a customer-seller relationship but does not trust anyone blindly. Neither it is professional to do that, nor is it any helpful to the case of preventing shoplifting. But don’t overstep the boundaries and irritate a customer by intervening too many times. Ask them once, if they need help and if they reply in affirmation then let your eyes do the work from a distance. Observe silently.

d)Return policy

Be attentive when someone returns the stuff that they bought, an extraordinary number of times. This trick can be used where same products available in different sizes. Shoplifters in their act of robbery, choose to pick up what is kept at the top. A small size is usually kept at the top. If you notice someone returning small sizes, too often then it is time to reassess your security measures and return policy.

3)A properly organized store

According to certain statistics, it was found that 73 percent of shoplifting incidents are not pre-planned. So, the store should be organized in such a manner, that the shoplifter should find many obstacles which convince them to change their mind.

Dive into the points mentioned below to learn how to organize your store in a better way-

a)The checkout door should be near the front of the store.

b)The design of the store should be in such a manner that the store is visible to the cashier to a great extent.

c)There should be no dimly lit areas.

d)The items which can easily be stolen or are mostly stolen should be kept the closest to the cashier register.

4)Invest in Surveillance Cameras

This may be heavy on the pockets of small business retail business owners.

The alternative for them would be to buy fake surveillance cameras. They can be put to create the illusion of being under high surveillance.

5)Put Anti-shoplifting/theft signs at the entrance

These signs can act as a subtle warning for the customer with wrong intentions. Research surrounding this issue, states that stores with strong signs of shoplifting experience lesser shoplifting cases than the ones without these signs.

6)Hire a security guard for the exit door

Every time that a person leaves the store, the guard should look at the bill-slip and match the items in the shopping bag. This may not be convenient at all times but can be very helpful.

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