I have been working pretty hard in the last few months with my colleague John Bradberry in a North Carolina shopping center who have had some problems with theft. Charlotte is no different from any other big city when it comes to petty crime but this was a shopping center which seemed to have a great many thefts in a short space of time. Thankfully we have now reduced this level of theft through taking some pro-active action around staff training and product protection and I wanted to share some of the advice that we gave out so that if you were having the same problem, you too could reduce the risk and the level of theft in your store.
Your staff are the real keys to the reduction of theft and through doing nothing more than the job that is expected of them, they can play a big role in preventing theft from your store. The first step is to ensure that their customer service is on point, there is little else that a thief wants to see when they walk into your stores is to be greeted with a big smile and the question of ‘how can I help you today?’ In many cases, this could be enough to deter someone alone. The second step is to ensure that the store always has someone on the floor, leaving the shop floor unattended is just going to invite unsavory characters. Finally, your staff should know what to look for in a thief and know who to alert in the circumstances that they are suspicious of anyone.
Many business owners will tell you that they do not have the money to invest in security equipment but when you look at the amount of stock that is walking out of the door, you can see that this, in fact, costs them more money. You do not need to spend the Earth trying to buy security equipment for your store, all it takes is a few items to act as a security deterrent and you could save yourself a great amount of money from potential theft.
If you have high-value products inside your store then you must ensure that they are protected as these are going to be the most high-risk items in the shop. If you are able to, it would make sense for you to lock these away in a secure cabinet and the only people who should have access to them is the staff. If this is not something which you can do then you should try to have them in plain sight so that it makes it harder for anyone to steal them. Another thing to ensure when you have high-value items is that there are no blind spots around the store that change thieves the chance to stash something in an area that nobody can see.
Be vigilant and take smart steps to ensure that nobody can steal from your store, at least not with any ease.