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Securing your Retail Business from Shoplifters

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Security in shopping centres has always been a hands-off approach. This is because big shopping centres do not want to have a bad image associated with their name. They would rather lose revenue from lost stock than potentially lose customers because the security is deemed “too rough”.

Bigger stores such as Kmart have decided they wanted a more covert type of security and instead have people walking around in plain clothes observing people as they shop. These covert security officers can be very effective because they look like everyone else and once they have had some experience in it, they can observe people without even looking like they are paying attention.

While this is an effective way of monitoring people in your store without making it look like you are following your customers around, this is not very practical for smaller stores or in small towns. For smaller stores and other locations where covert security is not an option, cameras can be very effective. By having a sign on your door that states you have cameras and placing cameras in positions that are highly visible, you are creating a visible deterrent against theft because they can see they will get caught. People fall into the trap of hiding cameras to catch thieves stealing their items which works well for catching someone after they commit the crime but, having the camera in plain sight can stop them from committing the crime in the first place which saves time not chasing down footage and making police reports and leaves the stock in your store so that people can buy it.

Another trick we found useful especially for small convenience stores is mirrors. Having mirrors or other reflective objects at the back of the store and in hiding spots can be a good way of reducing the areas you cannot see. This is useful because shoplifters tend to be opportunistic and if they know you can see them behind a shelf because of a mirror in the back corner of a store they will be less likely to try to steal items.

The third tip is to place smaller items and things that are easy to conceal in open areas. People tend to steal smaller objects such as chocolate bars or hair dyes. Things they do not need but wants they do not want to pay money for. By placing these in open areas with no hiding spots, you are making it difficult to steal and it means they must pick up the item and take it to another area of the store to try to conceal it. With training of your staff it becomes easy to pick up on this behaviour and they can pay more attention to people who are doing this sort of thing.

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