Retail Loss Prevention is a field dedicated to reducing the inventory losses in retail establishments. Professionals manage security problems, and often create programs to lessen the occurrence of loss prevention that often arise from employee theft, vendor theft, fraud, shoplifting, and accounting errors. Security professionals involved in loss prevention should interact and deal with store personnel and store customers directly when dishonesty and negligence happens. These events must be handled sensitively as accusations of dishonesty and negligence is a big deal and must be handled with professionalism.
This can cost a lot of money for the retailers, and it should be controlled. Investing in the right security company is the right step, but what else can you do as a manager?
Here is a list that can help you prevent losses in your shop.
- Signage. Signs are a low-cost way to keep thieves at bay. Put yourself in their shoes: Where do shoplifters go if they want to steal your goods? The answer to that question could be the best place for you to put up the said signs. Also, signs should be placed on doors, near entrances and exits, and in fitting rooms. Your sign should emphasise that shoplifting isn’t tolerated and will be reported to authorities.
- Mirrors. Mirrors are another inexpensive way to monitor theft inside a retail store. Have a quick walk inside your shop and check for blind spots. Those blind spots are the perfect places to install security mirrors. The most common blind spots are corners, especially those that are far from the cashier. Also check for places along the cashier’s line of vision that is blocked by storage facilities like shelves.
- Cameras. This can be a bit more expensive compared to signs and mirrors but it is worth the investment. Installing surveillance cameras will give you a close monitoring of your shop. By close we mean 24/7 monitoring. It records everything and it provides you the option of revisiting events, if necessary. Don’t forget to remind your patrons that surveillance cameras are in place as this would deter possible shoplifters.
- Inventory Management. The most straightforward way of knowing if you are losing stock is to take an inventory of it. This is critical to preventing loss in your stocks as poor stock control will lead to misplaced items, products and therefore unchecked discrepancies in your records. But what if you have a lot of stock in hand? Arm your business with an Inventory Management system if you have to as it will save you a lot of money in the long run. However, make sure you do your inventory checks frequently to notice discrepancies. It also makes your financial records up to date.
- POS systems. First things first: What is POS? For those of you who are not familiar with the acronym, POS means point-of-sale. Typically, it is your cash register, monitor and barcode scanner. To prevent loss in your stock, you might want to assign permissions to your employees based on their tasks. For example, voiding sales can just be assigned to managers and restrict the admins from doing so. This is an easy way of monitoring who-processed-which, as stealing stock can be easy when no one is monitoring.