Retailers face an incredible dilemma when it comes to protecting their merchandise. Sources of risk come in the form of waste, errors, accidents and thefts by employees, vendors and so-called "shoplifters." Aside from the risk of actual inventory loss, other risks, namely exposure to civil litigation, lurk around every corner.
What to do?
The merchant must develop a strategy aimed at prevention. Prevent and discourage employees and customers from shoplifting so confrontations and detentions are avoided if possible.
How do you do that?
The following is a list of strategies to consider, the consequence of which will inevitably contribute to the reduction of inventory shrinkage:
- Never hire an employee on the basis of their appearance or unverified background.
- Write out expectations of performance and rules and share them with employees.
- Always know what your employees are doing. Employees are known to do what you inspect, not what you expect.
- Treat employees the way you would want to be treated.
- Secure under lock and key high-price goods in stock areas.
- Count incoming goods to ensure you get what you’re paying for.
- Take advantage of modern technology, such as closed circuit television cameras and deploy them so that customers, vendors and employees know they are silent witnesses on guard in the store. Of all technology, the camera ranks #1, because it provides both pro-active and re-active benefits (serves as a deterrent, can assist in witnessing a crime and provides historical documentation of the criminal event).
- Create a climate in which employees identify with the goals of the business, care about the store, see their future in the continued success of the store and the best manifestation of that attitude is reflected in GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. It's hard to steal when an employee is anxious to provide assistance, direction and advice.