Preventing Shoplifting… Part 2: Store & Stock
There has been much research done into the effect a store’s design and layout can have on shoplifting. By thinking carefully about these things and implementing some seemingly small changes, stores can reduce their losses from shoplifters.
A shop with lots of hidden corners is providing ample opportunity for a thief to conceal items without being noticed. Open floor plans with space between displays however make it easy for staff to see the customers and watch what they are doing.
Using lower shelving units also gives staff a clear line of sight, and if higher display shelves are used, positioning them against a wall will ensure they don’t reduce visibility across the store.
Aim to reduce, or if possible eliminate, any blind spots.
More than one entrance/exit also gives shoplifters more chance of leaving without being detected.
Brightly lit shops not only deter shoplifters who will feel they can be seen, but also offers customers a more welcoming space to do their shopping. It is worth considering carefully the location of lights and types of lighting used.
Mirrors also provide increased visibility around the store helping remove any blind spots.
Most store designers recommend placing the cash register close to the door, making it harder for people to steal. Customers walk past before exiting which means they are visible to the staff who can watch who comes and goes, and if they have been trained in observing potential shoplifters’ behaviour they will be in a perfect position to do so.
Raising this area slightly will also give staff a better view over the rest of the store.
Shoplifters often make use of changing rooms as a private area to hide items. Having a member of staff checking merchandise on the way in and out with reduce the opportunity for this.
Displaying stock is important in encouraging sales, but also in preventing theft. Placing rails of clothing close to a shop entrance may entice customers but it also provides a greater opportunity for shoplifters to ‘grab and run’, quickly removing items and leaving the shop before they can be stopped. By using different types of hangers and rails you can make it much more difficult to remove the items quickly and without being seen.
High value items should be placed behind glass, in a locked display or behind the check-out area where staff are needed to assist customers.
Keeping the store tidy and well maintained will also help in preventing losses. By having stock neat and well-ordered you will be able to easily see if anything goes missing. Keeping all merchandise in the right places is also more attractive to potential customers, it will help them if they are looking for a specific item and make them more likely to return.
Doing a regular stock take will keep your inventory under control. If you don’t know what you have you won’t know if anything is missing. Keeping up with inventory will also help you to understand patterns of theft and take steps to prevent it happening.
If you haven’t read it already….Part 1: Staff & Local Community is available here.