Think you can spot a shoplifter a mile away? Well, you probably need to rethink that because most shoplifters don’t look anything like you’d expect.
Most shoplifters don’t stand out from the crowd – they blend in and look just like other ordinary customers. They are also often friendly and engaging as they don’t want to appear suspicious and spend time chatting to staff members (which can be a ploy to distract attention whilst their accomplice gets to work).
Theft costs Australian retailers billions of dollars each year and the numbers are on the increase. On average, theft accounts for between 1 – 3 % of a retailer’s gross profit and whether you’re a large national entity or a small business with very slim margins, those losses can have a big impact on your profitability and possibly even your sustainability.
What to look out for
Being informed and knowing what to look out for are key weapons in the fight against retail crime so check out these red flags when it comes to spotting a shoplifter.
Keep an eye out for customers who don’t fall into the category of your ‘regular’ or ‘typical’ shopper. For example, a group of teenagers coming into a store specialising in apparel for mature-aged should set off your shoplifter radar.
Many shoplifters work in groups, often creating a disturbance or distraction of some kind whilst the others steal merchandise. Be aware when a large group enters your store and alert other staff members to your concerns.
Bulky, loose or unseasonally heavy clothing
Shoplifters may use bulky, baggy or heavy clothing, or a large coat, to conceal stolen items – and your suspicions should be aroused if you see people dressed unusually warmly for the weather.
Be on the lookout for customers who linger in or outside your shop for protracted periods of time or who frequently enter your shop without buying anything because they could be casing the premises, and working out how and when to shoplift.
Shifty eyes, a reluctance to make eye contact, a disconnect between what a person’s hands are doing and where their eyes are looking are all telltale signs of someone who is uneasy and nervous – and that’s a red flag. If they’re constantly picking up random items or are more interested in watching you and the other staff rather than focusing on the products, then it’s likely they’re up to no good.
Takes large quantities of items to a fitting room
Fitting rooms are a good cover for shoplifters because these areas can’t be covered by security cameras. Look out for someone who takes a large number of items to the fitting room but who leaves with only a few items.
Oversized bags and prams
Shoplifters often hide items in large bags and pushchairs – so be aware of customers’ accessories (especially if they’re empty when they come into the store). Typically, shoplifters try and take as much as they can rather than nick one small item, so look out for suspiciously big bags.
Shoplifting is a frustrating – and costly – reality of doing business but there are things you can do to minimise the threat and prevent theft.
Appropriate staff training, appropriate customer service techniques, effective store layouts, inventory controls, and procedures, and of course, security measures like video surveillance systems will all help to prevent shoplifting and minimise losses.
Advice from experienced industry professionals like Crown Security will be a key advantage in your fight against crime as they will have a viable security solution for your operation using tried and tested methods and technologies including CCTV, security alarms, and security cameras in Perth.
Since its inception in 1994, Crown Security has grown into one of the leaders in domestic and commercial security in Perth and across WA – and you can get in touch with our experienced team on 08 9400 6000 or via our website.
- Posted by admin
- On 28/05/2019