Retail Pilferage

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Shortages are Costly; but Controllable!
There are two basic sources of missing merchandise;
1.) Customer theft
2.) Employee theft.
Statistics show that employee theft is the largest.

Employee Theft:

Employees have the best opportunity to seal if so inclined. They know what your security systems are, who is watching and when. It is almost impossible to keep an employee that wants to steal from doing so. They can steal money as well as merchandise.

What can you do?
You can be more careful when hiring. Do background checks and call references. When in doubt, do without. A person who will lie to you on a resume may also be inclined to steal from you on the job.
When scheduling, keep in mind that it is easier to steal when alone than when working with another employee. There are many good reasons to have people working with someone. An even bigger reason than theft retardation is added sales. Once one person gets busy with a customer, that’s when more customers come into the store, and they are not as likely to be serviced.

Happy employees are not as likely to steal, so keeping people happy is another deterrant. Watch for trouble signals. When someone starts complaining (about anything) it may be time to move on.

Customer Theft:
The pros are going to get you; accept it. That being said, you can lessen their chances of being successful in your store by keeping a few simple things in mind.
The biggest deterrent to customer theft is an alert salesperson. The simple act of making eye contact and greeting a customer will cause some would be thieves to turn around and leave.
Your constant attention drives shoplifter’s nuts. A person intending to steal from you gives up as a result of your willingness to help with information and buying decisions. It is interesting that the things you can do to lesson theft are the same things that increase sales.
Thieves know how to remove security tags, so check the change room when someone leaves and limit the amount of merchandise taken in there. When someone comes out of the change room looking like he or she gained a few pounds in there, be suspicious.
If you see someone put something in his or her pocket or purse, say something like, “I think you accidentally dropped that Rolex you were looking at into your purse. Will you please take it out?”
There is no crime committed until the culprit leaves the store. Should that be the case, make a good note of the person’s description and license plate number, and then call the police. Don’t be a hero! People about to get busted may become violent, Your safety is more important than the merchandise. The merchandise is easier to replace than you are. Be alert, be aware, and be cautious.

One Response to “Retail Pilferage”

  1. Ron Says:

    Click here or cut and paste this link into your browser:

    http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2007/08/20/story5.html?f=et182&b=1187582400^1507648&ana=e_vert

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