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Retail Loss Prevention to Protect Your Store

Aug 18, 2007
Retail theft, or shoplifting, is the lifting of merchandise that is offered for sale in a shop, and it is one of the most common crimes that are committed. Retail loss prevention equipment can help deter crime.

There are many lawbreakers who are simply amateurs, while others are skilled criminals and groups that target particular locations, most often large chain stores. Many people feel that large companies will not miss the loss, but the reality is that you as a consumer will pay more for items.

While much of the retail industry claims that shoplifting is the biggest cause of excessive costs, employee theft or fraud is the cause of an astounding 50% of the loss and can cost retailers on average $25 million a day.

Most shoplifters rationalize that store merchandise is over-priced and only benefit the owners and executives of the company at the shopper' s expense. The reality is that you, as the consumer, will pay more for merchandise as the retail outlet makes up for their loss. Shoplifters will eventually damage the targeted retail store's bottom line and increase their price points causing consumers to shop elsewhere.

To protect yourself from retail loss, it is important to understand the different types of shoplifters. There are those that simply do not wish to pay for items, others that get a thrill from stealing; some need the merchandise and lack the money, and others who steal merchandise to sell again for profit.

There are also extreme cases where people fake shoplifting to bring legal action of false accusations against the store owner. There are also political shoplifters that steal merchandise to produce economic damage to owners or store managers. Shoplifters can also be store employees and security personnel that steal internally from the company that they are employed by. Part of retail loss prevention is monitoring the store from these illegal activities.

Merchants and store managers must follow several rules when performing an internal arrest and detainment. You must see the suspect enter the display area, witness the theft actually occurring, see where the suspect has concealed the item, and you must see the person leave the store without paying.

Many merchants fear lawsuits by people that feel they were falsely accused. Retail loss prevention methods help aid merchants and store managers in ensuring the store is not losing valuable merchandise and opportunity for profit.

Often times retail stores place phony shoppers in areas throughout the store to browse the racks and monitor people that are shopping. This is a great way you can protect your merchandise and ensure that people that may have been trying to steal from actually completing the task.

You can also use uniformed guards and exit inspections to deter shoplifting and to monitor people coming in and out of the stores. There are also many floor attendants that are taught to greet, follow, and offer help with their shopping experience. It is important to also teach your employees and personnel to also monitor the store for possible shoplifting opportunities.

Many stores also have locked merchandise cabinets for expensive or demand products, and require shoppers to purchase that merchandise before leaving that department. Many store employees, managers and owners have certain powers of arrest where they can detain people that you feel are unlawfully taking merchandise. In this case, merchants can do a limited search of packages, handbags, and other property if they believe they contain stolen merchandise. This ability helps merchants feel like they can truly work on retail loss prevention techniques that deter the crime in the first place.
About the Author
Retail loss prevention is a priority with store owners and with Shortage Control, Inc. Defend your retail store or personal property with state-of-art Closed Circuit Television, CCTV. Shortage Control, Inc. offers numerous options and systems to design a program to fit your needs. Visit us at http://www.scvideo.com.
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