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Deterring Shoplifters this Holiday Season

The holiday season is rapidly approaching and retailers are getting ready. Unfortunately, one of the things that retailers need to focus on at this time of year is shoplifting. This crime does tend to increase during the holiday season, as criminals take advantage of busier stores and distracted salespeople to steal without being noticed.

The good news is that there are several things that retailers can do to reduce shoplifting during the holidays and throughout the year. Here are some tips for preventing shoplifting at your retail store this holiday season.

Keep Your Store Organized

Keeping your retail store clean and organized goes a long way to keeping it secure as well. There are several reasons why. First of all, if a store is unorganized, there are likely more places for criminals to hide without being spotted. Criminals take advantage of these situations to stash items in their pockets or bags when no one is looking. If you eliminate clutter and ensure that it’s easy for store staff to see all areas of your store, you make it much harder for shoplifters to steal undetected.

In addition, when a store is clean and organized, it’s easier to see if something is missing. This lets you react to a theft more quickly.

Train Team Members

It’s important that members of your team understand how likely shoplifting actually is. Make sure that they keep an eye on customers as they move through the store. Also, teach them to handle complicated transactions quickly, so that they don’t get distracted. Skilled criminals often work in pairs. One person comes to the cash with a complex return or purchase that requires multiple credit cards, gift cards, etc. while another takes advantage of this distraction to commit a crime. Don’t let this happen.

Make Sure You Have Enough Staff

A lot of people take vacation during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this is the exact time that many retail stores get much busier. The combination could result in your store being understaffed. If this happens, criminals may take advantage and steal items.

Use Physical Security

Physical security tools aren’t just used to prevent smash and grab robberies. They can also stop shoplifters. If you lock small yet valuable items behind security gates or inside locked cabinets, shoppers will have to ask staff to see these items. This greatly reduces the risk of theft and it deters shoplifters from even attempting a crime.

Engage Shoppers

Your staff should make a point to say hello to every customer who walks into your store. Not only is this good customer service, but it also lets potential shoplifters know that they have been noticed and that store staff is alert.

It’s also a good idea to ask staff to go over and speak with anyone who is acting out of the ordinary. If someone has been in your store for a long time, or if someone is walking around randomly, picking up items and returning them to shelves without showing much interest in them, this person could just be waiting for a moment to steal when they’re not being watched. If a staff member walks over and asks if they can be of any assistance, this could discourage the person in question, causing them to abandon their criminal plans.

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