Stop Holiday Season Shoplifters
The holiday season is a busy time for retail stores. There are increased sales during this time, and that means there are more people inside shopping malls and stores than there are during the rest of the year. This is good for business but, unfortunately, that also means there are more criminals.
Criminals take advantage of the busy holiday season to commit crimes. They know that store staff have difficulty dealing with larger crowds, and they also know that it’s easy for them to blend in with other shoppers when a store is busy. One type of crime that certainly increases during the holiday season is shoplifting.
When retail stores are busy and store staff are occupied, shoplifters take the opportunity to slide items into their bags, coat pockets, and purses. Since most stores are packed full at this time of year, it’s relatively easy for a shoplifter to steal an item and walk out of the store along with several other people, escaping unnoticed.
The good news is that there are certainly things that retail store owners can do to reduce holiday season shoplifting. Here are some tips.
Know Which Items Criminals Target
Certain items are more desirable to criminals than others. These are usually smaller items that can easily be removed from shelves and hidden. Commonly-shoplifted items include cigarettes, alcohol, medication, electronics, cosmetics, infant formula, designer clothing, razor blades, and other such items. Once you know what assets criminals will be looking for, you can implement a plan to protect them.
Train Your Employees
Make sure that your staff are capable of handling an increased amount of consumer traffic while still staying focused on suspicious behavior. Have staff members greet customers as they enter the store and make eye contact with them. This will let criminals know that you know they’re in the store and that staff are alert.
If someone has been in the store for a very long time without making a purchase or without asking for assistance, have your staff check in with this person. Often shoplifters will spend time scouting out a store, waiting for the right chance to steal. If they know they’re being watched, however, they’ll think twice.
Alter your Layout
Don’t give criminals places to hide. Shoplifters will frequently stand behind tall shelves or around corners and use their cover to hide when they’re placing items into their pocket or bag. Eliminating these areas will keep your store safe. Have plenty of open spaces where it’s easy to see everyone in the store.
It’s also a good idea to keep your store neat and organized. Not only do criminals take advantage of cluttered layouts to steal items, but it’s easier to see if something has been removed from a shelf when everything is organized.
Use Physical Security
Physical security tools can be used to prevent shoplifting. Commonly stolen items can be locked behind bars or gates, or placed inside locked cabinets. This will prevent shoplifters from being able to take them off the shelf and it will mean that customers will have to speak with staff to access certain items, which will scare away criminals.