5 Steps to Protect Your Business Against Retail Theft
More than 950,000 shoplifters were apprehended in 2010, according to the 23rd Annual Retail Theft Survey. In addition, approximately one out of every 33 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2009. Employee thieves stole, on average, more than six times the amount taken by shoplifters.
Simply locking up your merchandise may not always be the answer. You need a balance between protecting your products and having them available for consumers to access. Many popular retailers put their high-end electronics, for example, in locked glass cases. These stores are also usually understaffed, leaving shoppers to wait for help or go somewhere else to find it. It can be a challenge to protect yourself without decreasing sales.
Retail theft (i.e., shoplifting and dishonest employees) continues to be a much greater problem than many people realize. These losses are responsible for higher prices paid by consumers and even store and company closures due to the profit drain. To prevent your business from becoming part of these statistics, there are steps you can take to limit retail theft losses:
1. Assess the theft. Determine what are your most high-theft items in all locations. Is the problem global or isolated by geography or individual locations? Is the solution to look at high-end technologies, in-store processes, awareness programs or simply better use of existing legacy systems?
Determine what, how and why things are being stolen, and whether they're worth protecting. Do you really want to invest in surveillance to protect low-value items? Is the problem global or can it be isolated to an individual location?
2. Do a pain value analysis. A pain value analysis looks at important issues to a business (e.g., number of people affected, cost to the business, expected duration of service downtime). An investment in security technology or services may not be worthwhile if it doesn't proportionally impact inventory shrink — no matter what the technology promises.