'Tis the Season to be… Shoplifted? 5 Tips for Preventing Retail Theft

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, more than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting over the last five years. And with the holiday season in full swing, increased store traffic means a greater risk of retail theft than at other times of year. 

Here are five ways you can improve retail security, prevent shoplifting and reduce inventory shrinkage during the holidays and beyond: 

  1. Staff adequately: With more customers in the store, you’ll need to make sure you schedule the right number of employees in each department. For a stronger understanding of the customer traffic to expect at any time or on any day of the week, integrate your point of sale system with your scheduling solution. This data will provide insight into which departments will be impacted most by the holiday rush and thus how many team members to schedule. Having more employees on the floor will not only help you keep a better eye on a busy store, it can effectively deter would-be thieves.
  1. Monitor self checkout lanes: While self checkout options give your customers the convenience they’ve come to expect, it also opens you up to risk through fraudulent scans. Have you heard of the “banana trick”? That’s when a customer scans an inexpensive piece of produce but places a more expensive item of a similar weight in the bag. Some shoplifters will even change out the barcode sticker on an item to get a better deal. A great holiday gift for them, maybe, but not for the retailer.

Consider scheduling an employee to check receipts at the end of self-service lanes. Sure, you’ll pay for the additional staff member’s time, but a strong loss prevention strategy will save money in the long run.

  1. Install CCTVs: If you haven’t already, installing closed-circuit cameras throughout your store is must—and not just for the holiday season. Much like the increased presence of your employees, a camera system serves as a deterrent to shoplifting. But unlike staff members, the cameras are always watching. Not only are they watching customers, but they’re also monitoring your employees. That’s why cameras not only deter customers from stealing, but they also deter employee theft.
  1. Use bottom-of-basket cameras: General surveillance cameras are effective deterrents to would-be shoplifters, but you should also install cameras to monitor for potential bottom-of-basket theft.

During the holiday rush, cashiers are working extra hard to keep transaction times low— meaning they may be more easily distracted and forget to check for bottom-of-basket items. While many stores rely on bottom-of-basket mirrors, these require your cashiers to be on the lookout. And if it’s a “sweetheart” theft—and your cashier is intentionally looking the other way—the mirror won’t accomplish anything at all. Bottom-of-basket cameras don’t get distracted and continuously monitor for those who try to help themselves to some hidden holiday cheer.

  1. Leverage visual intelligence: The ideal retail surveillance solution ties your security cameras to a cloud-based DVR system, one that uses visual intelligence to provide real-time fraud alerts and recognize bottom-of-basket items. Because it’s cloud-based, an advanced loss prevention solution like TRUNO’s lets you audit your stores remotely. It automatically searches for possible fraud and protects against sweetheart, self checkout and bottom-of-basket theft.

The best part about our visual intelligence? More than just monitoring and preventing theft, it lets you analyze traffic distribution, visitor counts, dwell times and conversion rates to help you optimize your store layout.

Need help protecting your bottom line against holiday retail theft?

Let TRUNO take your traditional retail monitoring system to the next level.

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