Did you know that between 2021 and 2022, The National Retail Foundation estimates that retail stores in the US lost more than $94 billion due to inventory loss, primarily from shoplifting?

If you’re having problems with retail shrinkage, you’ll need to put a solid plan into place as soon as possible. To do this, you must learn how to stop shoplifting by understanding what strategies to implement first.

In this guide, you’ll learn valuable tips that will help keep your store safe and secure from shoplifters.

How to Stop Shoplifting

It’s best to form a comprehensive plan that you can easily make a part of your daily routine. Doing this will help create a long-term plan to reduce theft in your store. 

Training your employees and identifying shoplifting tactics are crucial to your loss prevention plan. You’ll need to take steps that include the following:

Learn Common Shoplifting Tactics

The first thing you need to do is learn to distinguish the telltale signs of a shoplifter. Remember, shoplifters can be any gender, age, or social class, so you’ll need to dive deeper to understand what to train your staff to look for.

The first clue is familiar shoppers making frequent visits but not making purchases. You might also notice them walking by your store to look inside throughout the day. If you’re suspicious of a particular shopper or a group of shoppers that often visit your store, have your staff keep a close eye on them.

Shoplifters also typically carry large backpacks or purses to conceal stolen items easily. You may notice them wearing oversized clothing and even winter coats during summertime. In addition, look for awkward lumps under oversized sweaters that may indicate hidden stolen items.

Shoplifters often wear sunglasses, scarves, and hats to conceal their faces. You also need to watch out for behavior signs, such as:

  • Constantly watching employees
  • Looking through multiple items
  • Sweating excessively and appearing nervous
  • Not making eye contact
  • Fidgeting
  • Standing around in one particular spot in the store
  • Paying close attention to security cameras
  • Taking multiple items into the dressing room but exiting with one or two items

Remember, you don’t want to profile people or make assumptions. The key is becoming more aware of behavior outside the norm of your usual customers.

Engage With Customers

Having engaged and attentive staff is one of your best defenses against retail theft. It’s also cost-effective since you only need to use your current customer service practices as a deterrent against shoplifters.

First, ensure that your staff greets each customer that enters your store. Not only does this create a great customer experience, but it makes shoplifters aware that they aren’t going unnoticed once they enter your store.

Your staff should also ask every customer in your store if they need assistance. Doing this lets potential shoplifters know that your team closely monitors every customer.

Finally, you’ll need to maintain your staffing levels. If you find you don’t have enough people on the sales floor, examine your budget to see how you can add more employees to your payroll. You’ll likely find it’s well worth the investment when you ultimately have less retail inventory loss.

Optimize Your Store Lay Out to Deter Theft

Organizing your store’s merchandise and physical space is essential to deter theft. Having an organized storefront free of clutter will make it much more difficult for shoplifters to steal items.

You’ll also need to think about strategic product placement. While each store has different methods for designing its layout, there are key things you can do to prevent theft.

First, ensure your customer checkouts are as close as possible to the store entrance. This will direct customer flow, giving your employees a better chance of catching shoplifters before they leave the store.

Also, be sure to keep expensive items in lockable cabinets and place your product displays below eye level. This makes it easier for staff to notice missing items.

Create Shoplifting Policies

It’s imperative to put policies in place, so your staff knows what to do when they catch a shoplifter. To do this, you must ask yourself how your business wants to handle shoplifters. 

Will you involve the police every time, or will you try to deal with some situations in-house? 

You may want to figure out a price threshold that determines your action. For example, for stolen goods worth over $100, you can instruct employees to call the police.

Put these policies in writing and ensure all employees are familiar with these procedures.

Install Security Cameras and Mirrors

Next, you must focus on enhancing your retail security overall. Simply having security cameras in your store acts as a deterrent to potential shoplifters. They also allow your staff to easily monitor people who are acting suspiciously in your store.

In addition, cameras can provide the evidence you need to prosecute a shoplifter successfully.

Mirrors are also helpful tools to increase visibility and reduce blind spots. You can find anti-theft mirrors in many different sizes at a low cost.

Hire Security Guards

One of the most effective things you can do to enhance your store’s overall security is to hire a reputable security guard company in your area.

Make sure the company you’re considering offers security services for various businesses and has experience dealing with loss prevention. You should also have the option to choose between armed or unarmed security guards. 

Look for fast online booking and technology that enables you to track the areas your guard is patrolling. It’s also essential that you’re able to communicate with your security guard in real time while they’re on duty.

Security guards are experienced and well-trained. They can monitor your customers and handle any situation that could arise.  

Hire a Security Guard Company for Your Retail Store

Now that you know how to stop shoplifting, you can start putting a plan in place for your retail store.

If you’re looking for an experienced and reliable security guard company, you can turn to Security Now USA for your needs.

We have experienced security agents with over 40 years of combined experience in federal, state, and local law enforcement and the military. Our security guards are licensed, bonded, insured, and professional.

Make sure you visit us today to book a security guard for your retail store!