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Take Steps To Curb Shoplifting By Improving Employee Awareness

Take Steps To Curb Shoplifting By Improving Employee Awareness

A retailer may have the most state-of-the-art anti-theft measures in place, and it should. Yet even if a store has surveillance cameras, alarms and other devices, nothing can replace a well-trained employee for loss prevention. Cashiers, stock personnel and customer service representatives who know what to look for and how to prevent shoplifting pair well with technology to keep merchandise safe.

Here are some key pointers to improve their awareness for retail theft prevention.

How Shoplifters Operate

First and foremost, it is essential for retail workers to know common techniques shoplifters employ. They may attempt to:

  • Overwhelm staff: In groups of two or more, they will try to distract store employees by bombarding them with questions or requests for assistance.
  • Strike at the worst time: Many thieves will take advantage of a store’s busiest hours, or periods when they’re confident that staff will be distracted with other tasks.
  • Hide merchandise: Most shoplifters try to smuggle items off the premises in their bags, backpacks or pockets. Other times, they hide expensive items inside of a cheaper item and simply pay for the container.

Courtesy Counts

When team members approach customers with a friendly, “How can I help you?” it does more than contribute to great service. It also puts would-be thieves on edge because they know someone is paying attention to them. However, it also is important for sales personnel to know that it’s not their responsibility to confront or chase anyone they suspect of stealing. Those actions are best left to law enforcement or security personnel.

Keep Up Training Efforts

Employee handbooks and training manuals may have a lot of good advice for loss prevention, but without periodic reminders, staff may forget about it. This is why it’s a good idea to hold regular security awareness training sessions. When employees attend frequent theft awareness classes, they’re much more likely to handle a sketchy situation well.

Watch for Warning Signs

There is no stereotypical shoplifter — they come from all walks of life. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to spot one based on his or her behavior. For example, people who seem to come in and out of the store over and over without buying anything may be researching their next crime. Groups of people who go into dressing rooms together also should raise suspicion. Further, cashiers should be aware of any customers who spend more time watching them than shopping.

Employees are the first line of defense against theft. Make sure that in addition to anti-shoplifting measures from Se-Kure Controls, you have team members who know what to do. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help improve your store’s security.