Shoplifting costs Americans over $1 billion annually. Everyone pays for this crime; the businessman in lower profits and every customer who must ultimately pay through higher prices.
Theft of a $2.00 item from a store operating on a 10% profit margin requires the sale of $20.00 in merchandise to make up for the loss. Supermarkets and others operating on low margins of 1% must sell $300.00 in merchandise just to cover the theft of a $3.00 item.
No one can afford the cost of shoplifting. This crime can be substantially reduced, through public awareness and positive action.
Sharp-eyed, alert clerks are the shoplifter’s worst enemy. Employee training must include the following steps to prevent shoplifting:
Training your employees to detect and prevent shoplifting should be a continuing effort. Your police department can assist you in employee training programs.
Inexpensive modifications to your store and procedures can create several obstacles to the shoplifter. When you increase the risk of his getting caught, the criminal will frequently look elsewhere for an easier mark.
Just as you advertise for customers, you must also advertise against shoplifters. Post warning signs that you are on guard and that you will prosecute shoplifters. Honest customers will appreciate this because they realize shoplifting is costing them money, too.
Valuable items are the shoplifter’s favorite marks, and therefore deserve special treatment. Move them away from walls where they can be seen from more than one angle. Keep them out of reach, either under locked glass or behind a counter. If this is impossible, place them near a cash register or clerk’s station. Arrange them neatly so any missing item will quickly be noticed.
Where possible, fasten down small appliances used for display purposes. "Dummy" displays are excellent crime prevention techniques. It is a good basic policy to keep high-priced merchandise away from store exits.
Always remove empty hangers from clothing racks after the article has been purchased. That way, an empty hanger becomes a signal that a shoplifter is at work.