Retail and commercial theft remains a significant problem in the U.S. The 31st Annual Retail Theft Survey from Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. found more than 279,000 instances of theft involving shoplifters and employees at 20 large retail companies, in 2018. The loss prevention/inventory shrinkage control consulting firm also revealed one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft.
Theft (including shoplifting), fraud, and other crimes increase during the seasonal spike in holiday shopping. Stealing can lead to significant losses at any store or office. Here are five security tips to help your business improve its loss prevention strategy:
Combat Employee Theft
Employee theft accounts for more inventory shrinkage than shoplifting, administrative error, and vendor fraud. A cashier may pocket change that shoppers don’t wait around for, while a sales associate may refund an unpurchased item and add its value to a gift card. There are many possible scenarios involving staff, but these precautions can help:
- Balance the cash register after each employee’s shift
- Rotate employee assignments
- Compare daily receipts to items sold
- Schedule frequent physical inventories
- Conduct random sales audits
Reduce the Threat of Shoplifting
It’s harder to track customers who shoplift than employees who steal. They’re less easily recognized, but you can put at-risk items closer to the checkout counter to monitor them. Also, place desirable items where there’s a good line of sight. Store managers should greet customers and make their presence known, paying careful attention to people with bags, strollers, and carriages. Other precautions include posting shoplifter prosecution policies and using electronic tags detected by sensing devices at the front door.
Take Extra Security Precautions
Additional security precautions include:
- Installing security CCTV cameras that can provide proof of theft and enable you to report a thief to law enforcement.
- Hiring a background-checked, trained security officer who can deter and catch shoplifters in the act.
- Ensuring your store is well lit and that inventory is well-organized.
- Locking dressing rooms so customers must interact with retail staff.
- Creating a clear anti-shoplifting policy to post in dressing rooms and other highly visible areas.
Review Surveillance Information
Having a surveillance system is not enough. You must proactively monitor it; to do this, double check security cameras to ensure they’re working and capturing potential criminal activity. If not, reposition video surveillance cameras. If there are decorations and other obstructions on your commercial property, check for, remove, or reposition them so cameras, alarm systems, or motion detectors aren’t blocked.
Monitoring your live feed is also important. These days, feeds can be conveniently accessed via mobile phone apps and remote video monitoring services provided by security companies. Consider revising your alarm notification list and submitting it to the company as well. Your intrusion alarm service provider will then know who to contact during an emergency.
Encourage Employee Vigilance
Train employees to spot and report suspicious activity. You can improve office security by training workers to react to any strangers in the office building. For example, if a suspicious individual is on the property, code words can be used to relay someone is watching them or it’s believed theft is occurring. Using tenant security activity scheduling unlocks offices only when enough employees are present to supervise an area and offer adequate protection. Access control is reactivated later in the day to lock vulnerable areas.
Work with a Private Security Company
Boyd & Associates, the largest family owned security company in Southern California, provides advanced security and burglar alarm systems as well as commercial patrol, intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance services. To learn more, request a free quote online or call 888-907-1659.