Retail profits are prime during the holiday season and so is security. It can be a very challenging time for business owners, as they try to please their customers as well as prevent loss from shoplifting. The influx in traffic from shoppers creates crowded aisles and stressed out employees. Con artists are out and about and prepared get a bargain, a free bargain. Most stores and shops are well aware of the threat as retail security is more savvy than you think.
Inflation is due to many factors including the real issue of shoplifting. The retailing industry experiences billions of dollars in loss each year and has no choice than to build back the cushion into their prices. Well trained employees are key to help minimize the loss, as well as advanced means of security. Retailers are keen on the game of stealing are have implemented systems of loss prevention beyond the typical security camera in the corner.
Beefing up retail security has taken on new and creative ways to run a profitable business. The use of security towers, computerized labels and tags have been helpful, but when someone wants to steal, they find a way. Special training of retail employees has helped scale back thefts more than in past years when the employee simply stood behind the cash register. As customers enter the store, the greeting and eye contact is the first line of defense. When the customer is aware that their presence is known, it reminds them that they are being watched as well as being served.
Some shops, in clusters of shopping districts and even in malls, keep in touch with each other if they spot a suspicious shopper. Large purses, backpacks, strollers and even wheelchairs can be a reason for more eyes, as the shoplifter is usually the one least expected. Locked dressing rooms are helpful against shoplifting as an employee knows what goes in and what comes out. Posted signs warning against theft keep shoppers accountable and honest.
Scammers and shoplifters have developed their own systems to achieve the thrill of the catch and have proven successful in the continuing crime. While some think they can beat the rap by their own skills, they could be surprised by the creative tactics some retailers are now using. The savvy and perceptive means of catching thieves have graduated over the years. Secret shoppers are everywhere dressing as teens, moms and grandmas. The plain clothes shopper could be a security guard just passing down the same aisle with an arm full of merchandise. The background bells and buzzers may just be a code to alert the officials to an ongoing theft.
Surveillance cameras are being installed and hidden in the least expected places these days as retailers fight their losses. Teddy bears, commonly used as nanny cams, are being randomly placed in children’s clothing stores and toys shops. Mannequins are quite stylish in the latest outfit on sale and could also be housing a secret eye on the shopper’s activity.
Flattery is a great tool in getting information about a suspected shoplifter, especially in a clothing store. Recently two young girls in Ohio were trying on clothes and were suspected of taking some of the goods. The clerk cleverly said they would make excellent models and proceeded to gather all their information for a future contact. As the girls left excited with their hidden stolen items, they were later contacted and arrested.
Extra seasonal employees are often hired to assist customers during the holidays as well to help deter shoplifting. The savvy means of updated security serves as an overall protection to the consumer. As it used to be just buyer beware, it also can now be added, shoplifter beware.
By: Roanne H. FitzGibbon