For many brick-and-mortar retailers, shoplifting seems inevitable.
It’s difficult to pinpoint who exactly is likely to shoplift, and there isn’t one main reason why people do it. Is it done out of necessity, or because shoplifters want a luxury item they can’t afford? Is it done out of desperation, or is it a psychological disease? If a person steals once, are they likely to commit another crime? With so many questions unanswered, what’s a retailer to do?
What we do know is that shoplifting continues to be a growing cost concern for retailers. According to a National Retail Security Survey, shoplifting cost American businesses over $12 billion in 2010. The year before, that figure was $11.7 billion, and in 2002, it was $10 billion.
Furthermore, thieves don’t discriminate. This is an issue that affects both big-box chains and independent stores. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be one item that’s more enticing to thieves than others. According to Business Insurance, the most shoplifted items in America include everything from home electronics like laptops and cellphones, to cosmetics, clothing, baby formula, and event meat.
So, what’s a store owner to do? How do you fight against something as broad, undetermined, and inevitable as shoplifting, and where do you even begin? Here, we’ll outline some common shoplifting traits, so you and your staff know what to look out for. We’ll also explain how to curb them and give you the tools you need to implement a loss-prevention policy for your business.